Monday, November 03, 2008

MSLA -- Our Acronym

MSLA is the acronym for the Massachusetts School Library Association, the official organization representing a vibrant group of school library professionals at work in the state. This past weekend, I (along with several other Brookline Public School librarians and our director of Educational Technologies and Libraries) attended its annual meetings in Sturbridge. High on the agenda was exploring the American Association of School Librarians' newly-published Standards for 21st Century Learners and our state's new draft of school library standards and practices. For me, making a very real connection with my daily library practice was an important consideration. These recent documents are strong, well-articulated guidelines for "best practice" in school libraries, focusing on the literacy and information skills that genuinely provide a foundation for student success and life-long learning. For people outside the library profession, the details of these documents may seem boring; to those of us on the front lines who know "in our heads and hearts" the reasons why we work hard to provide welcoming, useful libraries, it is terrific to have them articulated so well.

Another important reference document for school libraries is the newly-revised School Libraries Work!, the 3rd edition of a seminal survey documenting the direct impact well-staffed school libraries have on student success.