Sara Kelly Johns shared this week via the AASL Forum that the New York State Library Association has announced the release of an evaluation tool for school librarians. (Sara is a school librarian, active leader in professional associations, and advocacy author and blogger). From the NYLA press release,
The tool provides guidance to school districts in evaluating the performance of school librarians in support of the newly mandated Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process.The rubric was developed in partnership between the Section of School Librarians (SSL) of NYLA and the School Library Systems Association (SLSA). The team worked for over a year on the development of the document, which underwent multiple revisions prior to final SED approval.“We are excited to be able to provide this resource to schools across New York State, and believe it is the most accurate tool available for evaluating school librarians,” stated NYLA Executive Director Jeremy Johannesen.
The School Librarian Evaluation Rubric includes performance indicators for these categories of school librarianship:
- Knowledge of students and student learning. Topics: Instructional plan; independent reading; differentiated materials and instruction
- Knowledge of content and instructional planning. Topics: Curriculum alignment, inquiry-based learning; college and career readiness
- Instructional practice: Teaching for learning. Topics: Information literacy and technology; instructional delivery; questioning; communication; monitor and adjust
- Learning environment. Topics: Library facility; equitable access, climate of respect and rapport; collection management
- Assessment for student learning. Topics: Using assessment; informing instruction
- Collaboration and professional responsibilities. Topics: Ethical, responsible, legal and safe use of information and technology; collaboration with teachers; collaboration with administrators; community collaboration
- Professional growth. Topics: Keeping current; professional development; building level goals
I know I’ll keep revisiting and reflecting on the many dimensions of this tool, which depict the rich range of competencies, concerns, and priorities of 21st century school librarians. I might also keep it on hand as a “So You Think You Can Be a Librarian” quick-guide to share on occasion with those who think school librarianship is an easy job that requires no more than reading picture books to kids. This is a rewarding but demanding profession, and a tool such as this to document evidence of professional growth and contributions to student learning reveals those rigors with clarity and high expectations for our field.
Hat tip (one more time) to Sara Kelly Johns for sharing this news via the AASL Forum and to the school librarians and educators who contributed to the development of this evaluation tool.
Image: screen capture from New York School Library Program Evaluation Rubric.