ESSA Definition for an Effective School Library for the State of Texas


The Texas State Library and Archives (TSLAC), in conjunction with the Texas Library Association (TLA), The Texas Association of School Library Administrators, and The Texas Association of School Libraries (TASL), supports the position that an effective school library program has a certified school librarian at the helm, provides personalized learning environments, and offers equitable access to resources to ensure a well-rounded education for every student.


Effective school libraries are dynamic learning environments that bridge the gap between access and opportunity for all K–12 learners.


An effective school library program prepares students for college, career, and community by:

·         Providing access and connection to an array of digital and print resources which allow for deeper, personalized learning.  

·         Providing a variety of engaging,  high-quality subscription and openly licensed, digital, and print resources.  

·         Providing resources which support a culture of reading.

·         Providing essential, and equitable learning opportunities for all students.

·         Playing a crucial role in bridging digital and socioeconomic divides.

·         Providing an approachable personalized learning environment necessary for every student’s well-rounded education.


A certified school librarian, supported by a highly trained technical and clerical support staff, prepares students for college, career, and community by:

·         Serving as an instructional leader and teacher, contributing their expertise to curricular decisions.

·         Facilitating professional learning supporting the development of participatory learning, inquiry learning, technology literacies, and information literacy.

·         Developing instruction in the inquiry learning process, digital literacy, and information literacy for all students.

·         Instructing students in how to efficiently locate, accurately evaluate, ethically use, and clearly communicate information in all formats.

·         Supporting, supplementing, and elevating the literacy experience through guidance and motivational reading initiatives.

·         Overseeing and managing the program and working with school and community partners to expand and improve resources and services for all students.

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Page last modified: November 18, 2016