North Carolina’s School Library Media Coordinators Standards

Along with the announcement of the new School Librarian Evaluation Rubric from New York state, news comes of another new standards piece for school librarians: North Carolina’s School Library Media Coordinators Standards.  According to the State Board of Education Professional Standards website,

The purpose of these Professional Standards is to guide the curriculum development and instruction in North Carolina graduate programs in Information & Library Science and Instructional Technology.  The Standards set expectations by describing what new graduates should know and be able to do.  These Professional Standards provide a foundation for the development of a new Evaluation Instrument for library media and technology educators.

I had to double-check the “coordinators” reference for North Carolina school librarians, and as I thought I remembered hearing at conferences over the years, “in North Carolina, the library media coordinator may be identified by a variety of titles, such as librarian, library teacher or media coordinator” (from the Work4NC Schools Job Description page).

So to be clear, this document guides the educational preparation of professional school librarians, and is distinct from the purpose of the New York evaluation rubric in that this is not an instrument for evaluation.  As noted, the evaluation component is in development, and the pilot rubric is also posted.  This pilot rubric offers four levels of performance (from developing to distinguished), a checklist of descriptors for each level, and of particular note I think – a list of examples of artifacts to support ratings.  This is especially helpful not only for pre-service librarians but also for practicing librarians, in that specific evidence is suggested to demonstrate  the range of professional responsibilities that fulfill the standards.  As a quick example, artifacts that demonstrate Standard 2.b. (appropriate resources, services and instruction for all learners), the checklist includes Student-created content, Usage data, Assessment data, Collection Management Plan, Policies and Procedures Manuals, Collaboratively produced lesson and unit plan, Professional development plans, Documentation of Professional/Electronic Learning Community Activities, Reflective journaling, Blogs, Articles written by School Library Media Coordinator, Listservs, and Newsletters.

Standards for instructional technology facilitators were also approved, with rubrics being piloted this year.

The professional standards documents and evaluation tools from NC and NY, along with resources like the new AASL A 21st Century Approach to School Librarian Evaluation and the model library curriculum in development in Pennsylvania, represent a significant and growing emphasis on articulating what school librarians contribute to teaching and learning, and providing clear evidence of this work.  Let’s continue to follow and talk about this promising trend!

Hat tip to Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for sharing this update with us on the AASL Forum.

–Rebecca Morris


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