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Standards for Libraries and Teacher-Librarians


This page explains what standards are, and provides references and resources for library standards used in some of the major education systems in North America and internationally. 

​​What are standards?

Standards in education are how we measure and evaluate the quality of our service to our students. They provide a model, direction and guidance, as well as the means to assess what is happening in our schools and libraries. School standards are specific and detailed, so that comparative evaluation can be made to the concrete descriptors across the different foci of education and over time.

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ISTE Standards for Educators _ ISTE - Go

What are some major standards documents with respect to the library?


Asselin, M., Branch, J. L., & Oberg, D. (2003). Achieving information literacy: Standards for school library programs in Canada. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: CASL and ATLC. 

  • Now out of date, but still a useful resource.

Canadian School Libraries (CSL). (2018). Leading learning:  Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada. Available:


International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), School Library Section Standing Committee. (2015). IFLA School library guidelines, (2nd ed.). Den Haag, Netherlands: Author. Retrieved from

  • A good overview of the teacher-librarian profession, especially with the detail in section 5.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2018). ISTE Standards for educators. Retrieved from

  • Tech integration is a major part of the 21st century teacher-librarian's role. There are also standards for students. Resources for teachers are also available.

United States of America:

American Association for School Librarianship (AASL). (2018). Standards framework: National school library standards. Chicago: Author. Retrieved from

American Association for School Librarianship (AASL). (2010). ALA/AASL Standards for initial preparation of school librarians.  Chicago: Author.  Retrieved from


  • These standards help to show the various important parts of the teacher-librarian's role. Each standard has an assessment rubric, and the research behind that standard.

Useful, downloadable resources from the AASL:

Helpful summary checklist for self and library evaluation, according to alignment with the AASL's 2018 Standards.


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Very useful pamphlet summarising the AASL's Standards Framework for Learners. 

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Crosswalks are downloadable pdf tables comparing the AASL's standards with ISTE and others. 


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Downloadable PDF poster infographics for the AASL's Shared Foundations, with summaries of the competencies and core actions for school librarians.​

Two are shown below.

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Another Resource:

Zmuda, A., & Harada, V. H. (2008). Librarians as learning specialists: Meeting the learning imperative for the 21st century. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

  • Useful when looking at standards and especially when considering mission statements (see Mission and Vision page).

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