Assessing Learners: Using the AASL Standards to Measure Competency and Growth

ALA Eds. Jul. 2023. 80p. pap. $49.99. ISBN 9780838949146.
This short but powerful book is a treasure trove of assessment strategies that are innovative and practical. Burns emphasizes the importance of understanding and using the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards to foster student growth and competency. This hands-on manual encourages the use of visual and organizational tools, including idea webs, diagrams, and charts, which can be particularly useful during the initial stages of inquiry. It also provides concrete examples of how to implement these strategies, making it a practical resource for enhancing student learning and engagement in the library. A comprehensive approach includes diagnostic, formative, summative, and online evaluation. This book is not just a collection of assessment tools; it’s a call to action for librarians to become more involved in the learning process, equipping them with the necessary skills to guide and assess their students effectively. The book’s practicality shines through its “Assessment in Action” callout boxes: these sections present real-life scenarios faced by school librarians. Each narrative is followed by a strategic approach that not only aligns with AASL Standards, but also integrates other national standards, such as NGSS and ISTE, showcasing the book’s broad applicability and commitment to a holistic educational framework. Whether librarians are looking to refresh their assessment strategies overnight or seeking a steady companion for their professional journey, this book is an invaluable addition to any school librarian’s toolkit.
VERDICT An accessible and engaging guide filled with actionable insights, and a must-read for librarians serious about fostering an environment of growth and inquiry in their library.

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