In the complex technological world of today, education is no longer simply the acquisition of a body of knowledge. It is rather the ability to continually access and use a vast array of information sources. The learner must be able to effectively evaluate these sources, combine them in meaningful patterns and react creatively to the results. For a successfully educated individual, this mode of learning becomes a lifelong habit, since knowledge acquired today may be inadequate tomorrow, while the process of searching out answers, once learned, will be a lifetime skill.
—Rationale for Today’s School Library Media Center, MSLA
Core Standards by Grades
The needs of learners in today’s society are growing increasingly complex. Resources and technologies have changed; information literacy is more than just using reference books to look up a definition or simple description. The skills of the 21st century include being literate in a variety of digital, visual, textual, and technological tools, and individuals must have the thinking skills that will enable them to learn continually. Becoming an educated user of information in this potentially overwhelming culture of information is a critical part of students’ education. The comprehensive school community must support the development of these skills in general and in content-related areas.
The library is central to the school community in this process of developing students who are literate users of technology. Highly-qualified teacher librarians, working in conjunction with content-area teachers, provide instruction for students that develops their ability to find and use information to support their academic learning and personal development. The Utah Standards for Library Media were created by librarians in schools to demonstrate the integration of information literacy skills across all curricular areas.
The school library media teacher's role as master teacher, information specialist, and standards partner encourages the involvement of global access to information use of technology as an effective learning and teaching tool, and the continuation of reading for information and enjoyment. The school library media teacher must continue to seek the best techniques and strategies to empower students.
In the absence of a licensed school media teacher, the classroom teacher must take the lead in the implementation of the Library Media Core Standards with the support of school library media personnel and resources. The responsibility for achieving the purpose of the School Library Media Standards resides in the collaborative efforts of the school library media teacher staff, classroom teacher, student, support staff, administrators, board of education, and communities.