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Best Practices for School Library Media Programs

Thanks to Sharon Reynolds <> from Brevard Public Schools in Viera, Florida for her permission to repost the document below (from the AASLForum.) Does your program have something similar?

Best Practices for Library Media Center Programs and for Library Media Specialists
Brevard (FL) Public Schools

Effective library media programs are creative, dynamic, enthusiastic, and committed to the development of a community of learners that is centered on the student.  Library media specialists provide the essential link in this program connecting students, teachers, and others with the information resources they need.  The effective library media specialist draws upon a vision for the student-centered library media program that is based on three central ideas: collaboration, leadership, and technology.

Effective Media Center Programs demonstrate that:

  • The program supports the mission, goals, objectives, and continuous improvement of the school
  • The library media center is staffed appropriately with at least one full-time certified media specialist who is supported by additional qualified staff
  • Administrative support is ongoing
  • Funding supports a large, diverse, in-depth, school-wide collection
  • State-of-the-art technology is integrated into the learning/teaching and information-seeking processes
  • Cooperation with other libraries is practiced

Accomplished library media specialists are teachers who

  • understand students and their diverse social, emotional , and intellectual needs
  • support the learning of all students in the school community
  • encourage and engage students in reading, viewing, and listening for understanding and enjoyment
  • create an environment of mutual respect and trust
  • use their expert knowledge in acquiring and evaluating, developing and promoting the effective use of learning resources in different formats and media, both on-site and remote, to support the instructional program
  • integrate information literacy standards for student learning into the content and objectives of the school’s curriculum
  • integrate technology for learning and teaching
  • plan instructional units collaboratively with classroom teachers
  • provide leadership in collaborative program planning and teaching to ensure both physical and intellectual access to information
  • know curriculum programs mandated by the state, district, and school
  • model strategies for locating, accessing, and evaluating information within and beyond the library media center
  • provide appropriate information, resources or instruction to satisfy the needs of individuals and groups and foster individual and collaborative inquiry
  • use appropriate information technology to acquire, organize and disseminate information
  • manage library programs, services and staff to support the stated educational goals of the school and district
  • work collaboratively to define policies of the library media program
  • evaluate the library media program and services
  • are committed to program excellence, and remain flexible and positive in a time of continuing change
  • have effective communications skills, and work well with others in a team
  • are committed to lifelong learning
  • serve as teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator

References for these practices include

  • Information Power:  Building Partnerships for Learning, (1998) and A Planning Guide for Information Power (1999) prepared by the American Association of School Librarians,.
  • Program Evaluation:  Library Media Services (1998) prepared by National Study of School Evaluation.
  • Teacher Librarian, The Journal for School Library Professionals (Dec. 1999) published by Rockland Press
  • “Proof of the Power:  A First Look at the Result of the Colorado Study” by Keith Curry Lance
  • “How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards” (1999) from Library Research Service,
  • For Your Information, Media Guidelines,  printed by Brevard County Public Schools (July, 1998).
Just a friendly reminder - this is the good work of Brevard Schools - not the Blue Skunk! Thanks.

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Reader Comments (3)

Thanks much for posting this Doug! I have been a follower of your Blue Skunk blog (and a proud owner of your book "Machines are the easy part ..." Always nice to see the connections you make between media and technology.


May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTim Staal

Thank you for putting this together! This captures what we as SLMS should be doing as we manage our programs to benefit the students and faculty.

May 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFran

Hi Fran,

I am only sharing this. Please be sure Sharon Reynolds gets the authorship credit!

All the best,


May 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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