access and delivery, and administering and managing the program" (AASL & AECT 1998, p.
Some of the responsibilities of the library media specialist and the library media program
are traditional and have been documented from the earliest standards. These include acting as
information specialist, conducting readers' advisory, and maintaining and developing the
collection and budget. Some responsibilities, such as collaborating with classroom teachers in
instructional planning, teaching and evaluation; integrating new technologies and information
literacy skills into the instructional program; and providing school leadership through staff
training and participation on curriculum and leadership committees, have evolved in a
progression since the beginning. In Information Power.: Building Partnerships for Learning
(AASL & AECT, 1998), each of these responsibilities is viewed through the lens of building
students' information literacy skills as articulated in the standards above. Since work on this
study began, AASL has published a new document, "Standards for the 21st Century Learner"
(AASL, 2007), which focuses specifically on standards for skills, dispositions, responsibilities,
and self-assessment strategies of students. Since the data from this study pre-date this latest
AASL document, detailed discussion of those new standards is beyond the scope of this study.
As school libraries have adopted new standards in response to educational goals and
technological advancements, federal support of school library programs has dwindled. The most
recent data available for school library funding nationally shows that between 1994 and 2000,
the percent of public schools with library media centers has fallen, the number of students in
schools with library media centers has not kept pace with enrollment, the number of books per
student has fallen, and library expenditures per student have remained flat, in spite of increased
costs for books and periodicals (Michie & Holton, 2005). In 2001 Senators J. Reed and T.
Achterman, Douglas L. Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/. Accessed November 25, 2015.