The Oregon School Library Standards were developed to provide direction to school libraries for skill development and instruction. These quality standards are essential to meeting the needs of the 21st century learner.
Standards help equalize the playing field in that students from remote, impoverished or rural areas will be given comparable opportunities and be held to the same learning outcomes as those who live in highly populated, affluent or urban areas. They become a basis for teacher preparation and student instruction.
Standards are the norm for all core areas of academics. Because librarians work with students and staff from all content areas, it is important that there be a standard for instruction that best serves the needs of all students. The Oregon School Library Standards help to accomplish this.
The Partnership for 21st Century Learners offers the following description. “Twenty-first century learners are always on, always connected. They are comfortable multitasking. They are multimedia oriented. Their world is Web-based. They want instant gratification. They are impatient, creative, expressive and social. They are risk-takers who thrive in less structured environments.”
The library standards speak to the needs of the 21st Century Learner. Information literacy, Reading Engagement, Social Responsibility and Technology Integration are important corner stones to the .com generation. 21st Century Learners need an environment where they can formulate ideas and process information in ways that speak to them. The new School Library Standards provide direction so that the needs of this new generation of learners can be met.