In the interview, entitled “Core Values: ALA Preview 2012,” Ballard and Engberg describe the opportunities that the Common Core State Standards bring to librarians, and suggest that a renaissance may be on the horizon for librarians and library programs that are ready to become the heart of Common Core implementation for their schools and communities. According to Ballard, people in education are starting to realize that -
“You know what? The people who can help make Common Core work are the librarians, because they’re familiar with all areas of the curriculum, and they know the universe of resources and make the connections.”
And the opportunities for building library connections to the Common Core don’t end in the school library. As Engberg explains, public librarians can help inform parents about the new standards, and support students and their families with digital resources and services in after-school hours.
From the materials side of the Common Core conversation, the interview tackles the “Appendix B” topic- the “Text Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks” of the standards, which some librarians and teachers have criticized for its lack of currency and limited range of titles. Susan Ballard also notes that a new Common Core taskforce is being developed within AASL, possibly to launch at ALA Midwinter in January.
Appendix B does include the disclaimer that the titles “expressly do not represent a partial or complete reading list” – but when I’ve been in rooms with librarians and this document, the questions and critique of the list still create some energetic conversation. What are your thoughts on Appendix B? A good starting point? Tried and true? Or just tired? Let us know in the comments!