These personal professional growth competencies were developed by 2016-2017 ALA President Julie Todaro’s presidential initiative task force. Any school librarian can use them in transitioning to the AASL National School Library Standards that were released in November 2017 at AASL’s National Conference in Phoenix, AZ.
Personal Professional Growth Tool
Self-Assessment Using School Librarian-PSEL Competencies 1-11
School Librarian Competencies based on the PSELs April, 2017
1. Mission, Vision and Core Values - Effective School Library leaders develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high-quality education and academic and/or professional success and well-being of each learner.
2. Ethical Principles and Professional Norms – Effective School Library leaders act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each learner’s academic success and well-being and/or practitioners’ professional success.
3. Equity and Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness - Effective School Library leaders strive for equity and inclusivity of educational opportunity, and culturally and linguistically responsive practices to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being.
4. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment - Effective School Library leaders design, deliver and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction and assessment to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being.
5. Community of Care and Support for Students - Effective School Library Leaders cultivate an inclusive caring and supportive school community that promotes each learner’s academic and/or professional success, personal interests and well-being.
6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel - Effective School Library leaders develop their personal professional capacity and practice to best support other school personnel in order to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being.
7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff - Effective School Library leaders foster development of a professional community of teachers and other professional staff to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being.
8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community - Effective School Library leaders engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial ways to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being.
9. Operations and Management - Effective School Library leaders manage resources and operations to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being by creating an inviting environment, providing a flexible program, developing the collection, curating and organizing the resources, integrating digital and technology access, managing appropriate funding and encouraging critical thinking to create a community of lifelong learners.
10. School Improvement - Effective School Library leaders act as agents of continuous improvement to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being.
11. Literacy and Reading – Effective School Library leaders promote reading for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment (and) are aware of major trends in children's and young adult literature. They select reading materials in multiple formats to support reading for information, pleasure, and lifelong learning. They use a variety of strategies to reinforce classroom reading instruction to address the diverse needs and interests of all readers. Literacy takes many forms (EX: digital, information, cultural, etc.) that all rely on the foundational literacy of reading.
PSEL attribution: National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2015). Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, 2015. Reston, VA: Author. CC BY-NC-ND.
Repeat the process as many times as you want for as many competencies as you want.
This is your opportunity to become a stronger school librarian.
School Librarian Competencies based on the PSELs with Rubric: An Introduction
What does PSEL stand for? Professional Standards for Educational Leaders.
The PSELs were written by the National Policy Board for Educational Administrators and are being embraced by them.
[National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2015). Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015. Reston, VA: Author. CC BY-NC-ND.]
What is this School Librarian-PSEL Rubric?
In her capacity as Program Director for the MS in School Leadership with School Librarian Certification at Granite State College, Susan Ballard (also a Todaro co-chair) adapted the ten competencies included in the PSELs for school librarians - and she added one, Literacy, an essential for librarians! School librarians work every day with their school communities and need to use the language of administrators when working with them and developing their own leadership. Todaro School co-chairs Susan, Sara Kelly Johns and Dorcas Hand, with a committee of other school library leaders, used Susan’s work to develop the following Competency continuum to encourage professional growth across the broad community of school librarians.
This Todaro ALA Presidential Initiative, The Expert in the Library, has worked to offer practitioners tools to improve our work product in practical, philosophical and pedagogical ways. School Librarians need to be strong Educational Leaders every day to affect student achievement in the most useful ways. The following rubric offers the 11 competencies derived from the PSELs, and demonstrates how a range of implementation might look to a practitioner.
All readers of this work can discover how accomplished you think you are in any one or all 11 competencies and then find resources to challenge yourself to a stronger understanding and practice. There is no scoring system or survey; just read the rubric and decide what works best for you. What do you want to work on today? Resources are included to advance personal learning along the continuum from Ineffective to Highly Effective. You may learn you are only Emerging for some skills but Highly Effective in others - that is really the point. We all have room to grow, and great practitioners are lifelong learners who are always striving to get better at how you support student achievement in their school Library practice.
Todaro School Library Committee:
Dorcas Hand, Co-Chair; Sara Kelly Johns, Co-Chair; Susan Ballard, Co-Chair; Angela Hall; Debra Kachel; Jennifer Jamison; Joyce Valenza; Kathy Hicks Brooks; Kathy Burnette; Kay Wejrowski; Ric Hasenyager
Todaro School Library Expert Panel members, assigned to review the work of the School Library Group: Debbie Abilock and Blanche Woolls
Thank you to Susan Ballard for these adaptations that use the vocabulary of school administrators to describe the work of school librarians.
Original PSELs: National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2015). Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015. Reston, VA: Author. CC BY-NC-ND.