I am pleased to report that the Michigan State Board of Education passed a resolution at its October 14, 2014 board meeting in support of school libraries. What I really like is the focus of the resolution, which reaches far beyond the dated stereotype of a school library. Indeed, the resolution specifically cites certified school librarians as an important way to achieve 21st century learning and teaching goals, then elaborates about how they do so! Although there is no money tied to the resolution, it is believed to be a good step forward in advocating for strong media programs, and the educational civil rights of students.
But wait….there is more!
What is also interesting to me, is that the Library of Michigan, an office of the Michigan Department of Education, has developed benchmarks for school libraries. These benchmarks allow a school administrator and school librarian (working together) to evaluate the school library program across the areas of :
- Building the Learning Environment
- Teaching for 21st Century Learning
- Leading the Way to 21st Century Learning
What a breath of fresh air! Administrators can better visualize what is possible in a school library program if they have specific benchmarks to consider! And by working through the benchmarks together, there is an opportunity for much needed conversation too. Do you think a resolution or benchmarks could help with Minnesota school library staffing issues?
Update 2/3/2015: Oregon adopts School Library Standards
Please send questions, comments or ideas to me, Patricia Post, Director of CMLE, one of the seven MN multitype library systems, at email@example.com