Infomancy n. 1.The field of magic related to the conjuring of information from the chaos of the universe. 2.The collection of terms, queries, and actions related to the retrieval of information from arcane sources.

L4L: Introduce and Attend

October 27th, 2008 by infomancy

This post addresses two of the objectives presented in the recently released AASL Learning4Life document prepared by the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force. The objectives are used here under the non-commercial permission granted by ALA.

Objective 11: Introduce the learning standards and guidelines to the national educational and school administrator organizations that will have the most influence over their implementation.
As AASL works with the leadership of these national organizations, we can also work with local affiliates and members. Can you present at a local reading association meeting or a teachers’ association meeting about the new standards? The more local members we can touch, the better the larger discussions will go as the standards are introduced at state and national conferences.

Objective 12: Have 25 percent of each state’s school library media specialists attend a learning standards and guidelines session (national, regional, state, local) in the first two years that it is offered.
I hope AASL will consider creating presentation templates for official workshops that they will release freely for use by AASL members in local trainings. The challenge will be to reconcile the desire for control over the message with a need to spread knowledge about the new standards without a huge cost.

L4L: Revisions and Devotions

October 27th, 2008 by infomancy

This post addresses two of the objectives presented in the recently released AASL Learning4Life document prepared by the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force. The objectives are used here under the non-commercial permission granted by ALA.

Objective 9: Review, revise, and develop AASL policy statements, position papers, and award applications based on the principles outlined in the learning standards and guidelines.
This is a big job, but really it is bigger. We all have to go back and revise our materials. This isn’t an expunging or Information Power in some attempt to make them un-standards, but rather it is refreshing our writing to stay current. Now is the time to start looking at your library’s board policies, mission statement, curriculum documents, descriptions, and much more. It never hurts (too much at least) to read through the board policies that dictate what happens in your library, but now we need to re-read them to make sure any references to standards indicate the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Additionally, if your district or region offers any library-related awards it would help to make sure those are updated for the new standards and guidelines. If there are special teacher observation instruments for librarians, those would need to be updated as well.

Objective 10: Devote a special issue of Knowledge Quest to the learning standards and guidelines; have a regular column on implementation in the journal.
They don’t just need writers for this, they also need readers. Library supervisors or department chairs could use the KQ articles for discussion starters. These might also be a great way to share a brief overview of the standards with colleagues or administrators.

L4L: External and Internal

October 24th, 2008 by infomancy

This post addresses two of the objectives presented in the recently released AASL Learning4Life document prepared by the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force. The objectives are used here under the non-commercial permission granted by ALA.

Objective 7: Profile and target major education and library associations and current AASL partners and alliance organizations. This effort includes an action plan with specific, measurable, active, relevant, and timed objectives to enable productive collaboration.
Hopefully AASL will share those action plans with us since many of us are members of the target organizations as well. This would let us deliver the message of new standards at all levels; national, state, and local. In the end, it will be up to us inter-association members to make sure that the populations of the target groups really are aware of the new standards and what they mean for everyone involved. Even if you aren’t a member of some groups, there is a good chance someone in your school is. I think it would help to prep them about the collaborative efforts that might be taking place with AASL around the new standards.

Objective 8: Ensure that AASL members who attend conferences are aware of the new learning standards and guidelines by September 2010.
I think AASL is selling themselves a bit short with this objective. 2010? Seriously? Two more years to target your active members? I haven’t been at a conference in the past year where the new standards didn’t already come up through the AASL President’s remarks (Go, Sara!) or a giveaway of the standards booklet. Librarians who can make it to a conference should be all set (at least by the time they leave the conference) so I think we need to focus more on those who can’t attend conferences. That number will be rising over the coming few years.

L4L: Kits and Opportunities

October 23rd, 2008 by infomancy

This post addresses two of the objectives presented in the recently released AASL Learning4Life document prepared by the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force. The objectives are used here under the non-commercial permission granted by ALA.

Objective 5: Develop a basic implementation kit for building-level school library media specialists.
As this kit is prepared, make sure you are watching for requests for feedback. This implementation kit might just be one of the most important items to come out of AASL in the next few years. The new standards are great, but I know that many are waiting for help with the actual implementation. Don’t think, though, that we have to wait passively for this to be released. If you have ideas that have already proven effective in implementing the new standards make sure you share them with the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force so they can be considered for inclusion. This is your chance to give back to the organization and profession by sharing ideas that work.

Objective 6: Provide opportunities for member and state affiliate input leading to development of initial training and support to state affiliate coordinators at a summit at the ALA 2009 Annual Conference, followed by a high-profile (re)launch of the learning standards and guidelines.
Again, we need to make sure we are responding to calls for input. And then…get ready for the launch party. AASL wants to go big with this, so any help we can all provide to draw positive attention to the standards and guidelines in our districts will help. AASL and the state affiliates will be covering large media outlets, but perhaps they can provide a template or guidance for those of us in rural areas for following up with local media. Small town newspapers review stories from the wire and get press releases, so we can tip them off to keep an eye out for the new library standards story. If you can provide a local angle – how this is impacting students in your school/district – then a small newspaper can flesh out the wire story for better coverage.

L4L: Preservice and Marketing

October 22nd, 2008 by infomancy

This post addresses two of the objectives presented in the recently released AASL Learning4Life document prepared by the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force. The objectives are used here under the non-commercial permission granted by ALA.

Objective 3: Ensure that preservice and continuing education school library media specialists are aware of the new learning standards and guidelines through school library certification programs.
There are more ways to give back to your alma mater than the cold, hard cash they always seem to be looking for. If you are near a library school that has a school library program, see if they are interested in a guest speaker for a class who can address the implementation of the new standards. Make sure those preservice school librarians are invited to any local workshops on the standards. It can also help to catch them even earlier; if you can get to an education school and talk to preservice classroom teachers about the new library standards you may be catching some future library students. If nothing else, you are letting your future colleagues in classrooms know about the importance of the library (and that we really are teachers too and have a curriculum).

Objective 4: Assist AASL members and others in implementing and advocating for the learning standards and guidelines, create a visual identity (recognizable graphic representation) and awareness/promotional items for sale and giveaway that utilize the L4L brand.
Hey AASL…one way to push the L4L brand online is to create a web badge that can easily be added to website sidebars. How about a widget that displays a random indicator from the standards? Or a widget that offers headlines and links to standards news from the sources mentioned in Objective 2? I actually like the Learning4Life logo and concept, though maybe I am just partial given my connections to Fish4Info. It will be interesting to see what develops here…