Friday, October 17, 2008

AASL launches national Learning 4 Life (L4L) initiative

ALA: 2008 October 14

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is launching a national initiative to support states, school systems and individual schools in implementing the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.

The goal of the initiative, Learning 4 Life (L4L), is to increase awareness and understanding of the learning standards and to create a committed group of stakeholders with a shared voice.

L4L is now available online at The Standards for the 21st-Century Learner can be downloaded at

L4L incorporates the belief that it is essential to offer the necessary tools for educators to transform the learning standards and their school library media programs into meaningful and effective practice. AASL president Ann Martin commented on the choice of "Learning 4 Life" as the title of this plan. "School library media specialists need to bring home the message that learning for life is the essential component in developing successful students. This plan will facilitate the integration of the standards and bring learning for our students into the 21st century."

In addition to public awareness initiatives, AASL will create hands-on tools to assist in realizing the learning standards and program guidelines. Such tools include assessments, planning and discussion guides, toolkits, educational opportunities (conferences and webinars), best practice articles and searchable online FAQs and resources.

Susan Ballard, chair of the AASL Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force, emphasized the value of customization to the plan. "L4L provides a variety of options that will assist and support implementation efforts in many areas. It is designed as a flexible framework that states, professional associations, school systems and the higher education community can adjust in order to develop their own built-to-order plan."

At the completion of the initiative, AASL envisions school library media programs that prepare learners to thrive in a complex information society, seek diverse perspectives, gather and use information ethically and use social tools responsibly and safely.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.