Position Statement on
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Massachusetts School Library Association endorses the following recommendations of the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians on the value and staffing of school library media programs.
In today's information age, an individual's success, even existence, depends largely on the ability to access, evaluate and utilize information. Library media specialists are leaders in carrying out the school's instructional program through their separate but overlapping roles of information specialist, teacher and instructional consultant.
To guarantee every young person an equal and effective educational opportunity, officials must provide each school with library media facilities and resources to meet curriculum needs. District administrators must also ensure that each school's staff includes highly qualified library media teachers and support personnel to carry out the mission of the instructional program.
School library media specialists have a broad undergraduate education with a liberal arts background and hold a masters degree or equivalent from a program that combines academic and professional preparation in library and information science, education, management, media, communications theory, and technology. The academic program of study includes directed field experience in a library media program, coordinated by a faculty member, in cooperation with an experienced library media specialist. Library media specialists meet state certification requirements for both the library media specialist and professional educator classifications. While there may be many practicing library media specialists who have only an undergraduate degree and whose job performance is outstanding, the masters degree is considered the entry-level degree for the profession.
Although staffing patterns are developed to meet local needs, certain basic staffing requirements can be identified. Staffing patterns must reflect the following principles:
All students, teachers, and administrators in each school building at all grade levels must have access to a library media program provided by one or more certificated library media specialists working full-time in the school’s library media center.
Adopted October 2005
"AASL Position Statement on Preparation of School Library Media Specialists." American Library Association. 2005. 15 June 2005 <http://www.ala.org/aasl/positions/ps_prepschool.html>.
"AASL Position Statement on Appropriate Staffing for School Library Media Centers." American Library Association. 2005. 15 June 2005 <http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslproftools/positionstatements/