School Library Standards Revision Framework and Process

Legislative Mandate: Texas Education Code §33.021:

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, in consultation with the State Board of Education, shall adopt standards for school library services. A school district shall consider the standards in developing, implementing, or expanding library services.

Charge: The Steering Committee will revise the School Library Programs: Standards and Guidelines for Texas to align with the Texas Education Code, the Administrative Code, and national standards for school library programs, and to provide tools to assess and improve school library programs across Texas.

VISION: Texas school libraries are essential interactive collaborative learning environments, ever evolving to provide equitable physical and virtual access to ideas, information, and learning tools for the entire school community.

MISSION: Certified librarians and trained staff nurture a culture of literacy and inquiry throughout the school community. An integral part of instructional teams, librarians collaborate with teachers on curriculum design and delivery.  They maintain a professionally developed collection of print and digital materials and assist learners in locating resources that match their academic and personal interests. Librarians model and teach information literacy and digital citizenship, empowering learners to make ethical, informed choices in an increasingly complex and evolving global environment.


  1. School libraries promote information literacy requiring targeted instruction to efficiently locate, accurately evaluate, ethically use, and clearly communicate information in various formats.
  2. School libraries provide access to information for inquiry including the pursuit, creation, and sharing of knowledge, and support for both student and professional learning.
  3. School libraries support reading for learning and pleasure which are essential skills for college and career readiness and for life.
  4. School libraries are vital technology centers, providing access to devices and online resources, supporting personalized learning, and teaching digital literacy including privacy, safety, etiquette, creative credit, cyberbullying, and creating a positive digital footprint.
  5. School libraries are essential, safe, and inviting centers for teaching and learning.
  6. School libraries are effective when staffed by full-time, certified school librarians at every school, supported by trained paraprofessionals.

Link to the proposed new standards.

New State Library Program Standards 

Steering Committee Members:

Sub-Committee Members

Special thanks go to Mary Woodard, Director of Libraries in Mesquite ISD, and Suzanne Lyons, Coordinator of Libraries in Fort Bend ISD, for graciously editing our compiled document!

Meeting #1 - November 4, 2015

Members introduced themselves, reviewed charge and goals for this revision. Selected Donna Kearley and Sonja Schulz as co-chairs of the steering committee. Began establishing vision, depth of revision, and milestones for the process. Agreed to create subcommittees and create a presence at the TLA Annual Conference in April 2016. Ongoing work to be kept on shared documents in a Google Drive folder.

Meeting #2 - January 15, 2016

Agreed to adopt and adapt AASL Common Beliefs and 4 Learner Standards to guide this revision - work is ongoing to wordsmith these. Reached consensus that this revision will be learner-centered, not as centered on program management. Discussed incorporating language from new federal ESSA legislation, as well as SAMR model for tech integration into common beliefs. Refining TLA 2016 presence - we will have a booth in the exhibit hall for conversations about this revision and as a place for librarians to give feedback and ideas. Once common beliefs are established and aligned with Texas School Librarian Certification Guidelines, we will begin appointing subcommittees to start revising the Standards themselves.

Meeting #3 - February 10, 2016

Agreed to adopt this language for vision, mission, and common beliefs to guide this revision of the standards, pending input from surveys and at TLA conference in April.

Meeting #4 - March 30, 2016

Considered draft alignment to T-TESS rubric in development at Birdville ISD, including reference to learning objectives. Added Common Belief #6 after group discussion. Discussed presence at TLA Conference - booth and focus groups.

Meeting #5 - May 24, 2016

Reviewewd feedback from TLA and made wording changes to Vision and Common Beliefs reflected in red above. Discussed subcommittees and decided to begin with 7 subcommittees, one for each common belief + one for staffing/budget/collection size/square footage type measures. Decided members of steering committee act as ex-officio members of subcommittees to assist in writing Standards. We have volunteers, but need more elementary representation.

Meeting #6 - ­ July 5, 2016

Reviewed feedback from TASLA and made wording changes to Vision, Mission, and Common Beliefs reflected in red above Discussed makeup of subcommittees representing all areas of the state and both elementary and secondary librarians. Discussed instructions for subcommittees, chairs, and liaisons from the steering committee. Discussed the timeline and template subcommittees will use.

Meeting #7 - September 2016

Subcommittees on Reading, Inquiry, Instructional Literacy, Technology, Building a Safe and Nurturing Climate and Professionalism met for the first time and went over their task of building a rubric for their topic. 

The Steering Committee met to discuss next steps.   We have been tasked with writing the Texas definition of an Effective School Library Program by TSLAC.   Since this is part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Chair of the ESSA Library Taskforce was invited to our meeting to discuss

Meeting #8 - November 1, 2016

Brief meeting between the standards committee and Kathy Ferguson at TEA to discuss the TEA ESSA survey and the progress of the Standards Committee.

Meeting #9 - November 2016

The committee met to review the work that the subcommittees did on each of the 7 strands. The work done by subcommittees is really good.   The group recommended that we incorporate more of the T-TESS keywords into the language used in the strands. It was aslo recommended that we divide each strand into sections similar to the T-TESS; Planning, Instruction, Learning Environment, and Professional Policies and Responsibilites. The group also looked at the submitted definition of an Effective School Library. The submission was approved and Donna will send to TLA, TASL, and TSLAC for posting.

Meeting #10 - December 7, 2016

Brief meeting between the co-chairs and TSLAC to plan for January meeting review of subcomittee docs.

Meeting #11 - January

Subcommittees (Reading, Inquiry, Information Literacy, Technology, Safe Environment, Professionalism, and Metrics)  submitted their drafts to the Steering Committee. Steering Committee looked over the draft made some minor edits to standardize language and syntax before sending the drafts on to experts in the field for critique.

 Meeting #12 - February

Steering committee met to discuss creating infographics geared toward different stakeholder groups (i.e. parents, administrators, teachers, student, and community members).

 Meeting #13 - March

Steering committee looked at expert feedback and returned them  to the subcommittees to incorporate feedback. The steering committee also met to plan the TLA workshop to introduce the draft standards to the TLA membership.

Meeting #14 - April

Standards were introduced to the TLA membership. The membership was given a link to submit comments on the proposed standards.

Meeting #15 - May

Comments on the proposed standards were submitted through the website form and were incorporated into the document.

Meeting #16 - June

The proposed standards were presented to the TASLA attendees, comments were submitted and again they were incorporated into the document.

Meeting #17 - July

The proposed standards were presented at the TLA Annual Assembly meeting, again comments were submitted and incorporated into the docment. This document was then sent to two people for final editing and wording.

Meeting #18 - August

After final edits and comment inclusion the final version of the proposed standards were submitted to the Texas Education Agency for submission to the State Board of Education for their September 2017 meeting.

Meeting #19 - September

Liz Philippi represented the Texas State Library & Archives Commission at the Curriculum Committee of the State Board of Education meeting to explain the proposed standards and answer any questions. After this process the proposed standards were added to the TSLAC commission meeting agenda for the November meeting.

Meeting #20 - November, 2017 - TSLAC Commission Meeting

Liz Philippi and Jennifer Peters, Director of the Library and Development Networking division of TSLAC, presendted the standards to the TSLAC commission members, they explained the documents and answered questions. At this meeting the proposed standards were approved for posting on the state website for comment. The changes were posted to the Texas State Regulation website for public perusal and comments on Nov. 24. The comment period is 30 days.

February 2018 

The proposed standards went back to the TSLAC commission board for final approval at the February meeting. Once they standards were approved the steering committee, sub-committees, and other interested Texas school librarians began working on supporting documents and resources such as a crosswalk to the new AASL standards.

March 9, 2018 - The Revised School Library Program Standards officiallly became part of the Texas Administrative Code!


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Page last modified: March 19, 2019