The Library of Michigan promotes the role of the school library in learner achievement by calling for elementary and secondary learners to have ready access to a library in their school with appropriate resources, programming, and certified staff.
To ensure the quality of individual libraries, the Library of Michigan encourages school districts to use benchmarks set forth through the School Library 21 (SL21) Certification Program, with specific measures to assess and improve the quality of school libraries in individual buildings.
Rockford Public Schools has applied for and received endorsements for its four secondary schools, with all being recognized by the Library of Michigan for meeting measurement benchmarks. Rockford High School and Rockford Freshman Center each received exemplary status, and East Rockford Middle and North Rockford Middle each received qualified status.
To earn these endorsements, the libraries demonstrated competence in three categories for school library program evaluation: Teaching for 21st Century Learning, Building the 21st Century Learning Environment, and Leading the Way to 21st Century Learning.
“We are proud that our libraries have done such good work in providing services deemed qualified or exemplary by the Library of Michigan,” said Dr. Michael Shibler, Superintendent of Schools. “By focusing efforts on these key areas, our libraries have shown a strong commitment to information literacy and student achievement.”
Based on the benchmarking concept of the QSAC (Quality Services Audit Checklist) used by the Library of Michigan for public libraries, SL21 is a voluntary management standards program that assists K-12 libraries by setting benchmarks in the areas of instruction, student achievement, technology, facility, staffing, budget, instructional materials, curriculum development, school improvement, community engagement, advocacy and additional applicable areas of instruction and engagement in the educational community.
“SL21 represents the collaborative work of several dedicated task force members, including school librarians from across the state, library educators, Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME), and the Library of Michigan,” said State Librarian Nancy Robertson. “The staff of the Rockford Public Schools is to be commended for achieving these vital endorsements for its schools and library programs.”
SL21 benchmarks are updated on a three-year schedule so certified libraries remain at the forefront of excellent service to their students and teachers. For more information about SL21, visit http://www.michigan.gov/SL21.
The district may explore endorsements for Rockford’s elementary school libraries in the future.
Cannonsburg Elementary Principal and
Director of Library and Media Services