School Library Competencies

School Librarian Competencies based on the PSELs, April, 2017

As part of ALA President Julie Todaro’s initiative, “Libraries Transform: The Expert in the Library,” Sara Kelly Johns, Susan Ballard, and Dorcas Hand chaired a special school libraries group formed “to build a set of resources to define and support professional growth.” One of the major outcomes was the promulgation of School Library Competencies to “provide a rubric of competencies and supporting resources in eleven identified areas.” The goal is to “allow building-level school librarians to increase their professionalism through personal growth becoming experts in the library….” For a more complete description of the origin and development of the program please see “The Big Reveal – Libraries Transform, But Only with Expert Librarians.”

The Big Reveal – Libraries Transform, But Only with Expert Librarians

Teacher Librarian: The Journal for School Library Professionals is happy to support the School Library Competencies initiative by providing open access to several articles selected to as key resources. The articles are listed below under the appropriate competency. Please feel free to download or save the articles and share them with your colleagues. We would ask that appropriate credit be given to Teacher Librarian as content is used.

1. Mission, Vision and Core Values – Effective School Library leaders develop,
advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high-quality
education and academic and/or professional success and well-being of each

Keller, Cindy. (2017). “Action Research: Your School Library, Your Timetable, Your Local Challenge” Teacher Librarian, 44(5), 8-11.

Lewis, Kathryn Roots. (2016). “The School Librarian and Leadership: What Can Be
Learned?” Teacher Librarian, 43(4). 18-21.

Weeks, Ann C. (2016). “From Library Power to Liliad Fellows Program: Creating New Expectations for School Libraries and Librarian Leaders.” Teacher Librarian, 44(1), 12-15.

Welton, Ann. (2016). “Presenting the School Library Program in a Public Forum.” Teacher Librarian, 43(3), 36-38.

2. Ethical Principles and Professional Norms – Effective School Library
leaders act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each
learner’s academic success and well-being and/or practitioners’ professional

Keller, Cynthia. (2016). “Tracking Teacher Librarian Effectiveness Using Digital Portfolios.” Teacher Librarian, 43(5), 20-23.

Lovett, Amber. (2016). “Teaching About Plagiarism with a Lyrical Approach.” Teacher Librarian, 43(4), 39-41.

McLaughlin, Lori & Hendricks, Randy. (2017). “Intellectual Freedom, Censorship, and Case Law.” Teacher Librarian, 44(3), 8-11.

3. Equity and Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness – Effective School
Library leaders strive for equity and inclusivity of educational opportunity, and
culturally and linguistically responsive practices to promote each learner’s
academic and/or professional success and well-being.

Haeffner, Christine. (2016). MOSAIC: Multicultural Literature Selection and Promotion. Teacher Librarian, 43(4). 32-35.

Horton, Lisa. (2016). “Meeting the Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, or Questioning Students through the School Library Collection.” Teacher Librarian, 44(1), 20-23.

Lugo, Sujei. (2016). “A Latino Anti-Racist Approach to Children’s Librarianship.” Teacher Librarian, 44(1), 24-27.

“Special Issue: Race and Culture and YA Literature & Who Publishes Diverse Books?” (2016). VOYA, 39(2).

4. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment – Effective School Library leaders
design, deliver and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of
curriculum, instruction and assessment to promote each learner’s academic
and/or professional success and well-being.

Barker, Kelsey and Buffy Edwards. (2016). “In Principle and Practice: Developing a Guided Inquiry Design Unit for District-wide Implementation.” Teacher Librarian, 44(2). 23-26.

Maniotes, Leslie& Cellucci, Anita. (2017). “Doubling Up: Authentic Vocabulary Development Through the Inquiry Process.” Teacher Librarian, 44(3), 16-20.

5. Community of Care and Support for Students – Effective School Library
Leaders cultivate an inclusive caring and supportive school community that
promotes each learner’s academic and/or professional success, personal
interests and well-being.

Harada, Violet. H. (2016). “The Power of Place-Based Learning: Caring for Our Island.” Teacher Librarian, 44(2), 8-12

6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel – Effective School Library
leaders develop their personal professional capacity and practice to best support
other school personnel in order to promote each learner’s academic and/or
professional success and well-being.

Anderson, Amelia & Everhart, Nancy. (2015). “Project Pals: Ensuring Success in Libraries for Patrons with Autism.” Teacher Librarian, 43(2), 24-25.

Rush, Elizabeth Barrera. (2015). “Genius Hour in the Library.” Teacher Librarian, 43(2), 26-30.

7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff – Effective School Library
leaders foster development of a professional community of teachers and other
professional staff to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional
success and well-being.

Donham, Jean & Rehmke, Denise. (2016). “High School to College Transition: Sharing Research with Teachers.” Teacher Librarian, 44(2), 13-17.

Gavigan, Karen & Lance, Keith Curry. (2015). “Everybody’s Teacher: Administrators’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of School Librarians. Findings from the South Carolina Association of School Librarians Impact Study. Teacher Librarian, 43(1), 8-11.

8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community – Effective School
Library leaders engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and
mutually AASL/PSEL Competencies January, 2017 beneficial ways to promote
each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being.

Sims, Chelsea. (2016). “Library Communication Tools: The Library Newsletter” Teacher Librarian, 43(4), 28-31.

9. Operations and Management – Effective School Library leaders manage
resources and operations to promote each learner’s academic and/or
professional success and well-being by creating an inviting environment,
providing a flexible program, developing the collection, curating and organizing
the resources, integrating digital and technology access, managing appropriate
funding and encouraging critical thinking to create a community of lifelong

Loertscher, David V. & Koechlin, Carol. (2016). “Collection Development and Collaborative Connection Development: Or, Curation.” Teacher Librarian, 43(4), 52-54.

Sanborn, Lura. (2016). Scholarly Conversations About the Future of eReference.” Teacher Librarian, 43(4), 13-17.

10. School Improvement – Effective School Library leaders act as agents of
continuous improvement to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional
success and well-being.

Aitken, Tracy. (2017). “1:1 Initiative for Individualized Learning.” Teacher Librarian, 44(3), 12-14.

Johnson, Kathleen. (2016). “Bridging Two Worlds: Moving from Repository to Learning Spaces.” Teacher Librarian, 43(3), 19-23.

Ray, Mark & Trettin, Sara. (2016). “Librarians Connected to National Future Ready Initiative.” Teacher Librarian, 44(1), 8-11.

11. Literacy and Reading – Effective School Library leaders promote reading for
learning, personal growth, and enjoyment (and) are aware of major trends in
children’s and young adult literature. They select reading materials in multiple
formats to support reading for information, pleasure, and lifelong learning. They
use a variety of strategies to reinforce classroom reading instruction to address
the diverse needs and interests of all readers. Literacy takes many forms (EX:
digital, information, cultural, etc.) that all rely on the foundational literacy of
Cox, Robin Overby. (2017). “She’s Just Not That Intuit.” Teacher Librarian. 44(5), 21-24.

Fontichiaro, Kristin. (2016). “Data Literacy Strategies to Bolster Student Election Understanding.” Teacher Librarian, 43(5), 24-27.

Guldager, Nicole N. (Simon), Krueger, Karla, & Taylor, Joan Besseman. (2016). “Reading Promotion Events Recommended for Elementary Students.” Teacher Librarian, 43(5), 13-19.

Smith, Catherine A. (2017). “Picture Book Advocacy: Using Children’s Literature to Nurture Library Lovers.” Teacher Librarian. 44(5), 25-27.

Wong, Tracey E. (2016). “Game Design as a Catalyst for Learning.” Teacher Librarian, 44(2), 34-37.

DeLap, Alpha & Simeon, Laura. (2017). “White Kids Need Diverse Books.” VOYA, 40(1), 28-30.

Colvin, Sharon. (2017). “Literature as More Than a Window: Building Readers, Empathy and Social Capacity Through Exposure to Diverse Literature.” VOYA, 39(6), 24-27.

PSEL attribution: National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2015). Professional
Standards for Educational Leaders, 2015. Reston, VA: Author. CC BY-NC-ND.
School Librarian Competencies based on the PSELs
April, 2017

1 Comment

  1. […] to move a library professional’s work along the continuum. ALA, AASL, School Library Journal, Teacher Librarian, and ABC-CLIO, an academic and reference works publisher, granted permissions to share articles for […]

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