Free the Standards

The AASL (American Association of School Librarians) has come out with NEW standards for school librarians – Standards for the 21st-Century Learnerthat we are supposed to be using to educate our students.  If you go to the standards website you can download copies of these standards.  However, before you do so, I recommend you follow the link “Rights and permission on the use of the learning standards.”  When you do, the first paragraph states that you can use the standards for your own personal or educational use; however, if you read down further you find that in order to use these standards you have to request permission and possibly PURCHASE the rights to use them.  WHAT!

In addition,

  • we cannot LINK to the documents without obtaining permission, which is why I didn’t link to it above.  If you want to read them, Google AASL and “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner” yourself as I don’t want to be in violation of the copyright.
  • we cannot list standards on curriculum maps, lesson plans, or other educational documentation unless we obtain permission – which may have a price tag.
  • we cannot train other educators using these standards in training handouts, PowerPoint/SlideShare or other mediums without obtaining permission – which may have a price tag.

Now, I’m not always the brightest bulb in the pack, but what is the point of having taken the time to compile a set of standards and then restrict their implementation by making us have to request permission EVERY TIME WE NEED TO USE THEM!  Bureaucracy in action folks!

Come on AASL.  Get with the program.  Free the Standards by making them available under a Creative Commons license.

To read more about the issue, check out Joyce Valenza’s NeverEndingSearch blog posts “#FreeTheStandards” and “#FreeTheStandards — David’s Take” as they are more eloquent stated than my own ranting.

9 thoughts on “Free the Standards

  1. AASL is being totally ridiculous, and displays a lack of understanding of the standards which they are trying to promote. No linking?? I think you should have done it anyway. In fact, I’ll do it here so you don’t have to take the blame.

  2. @Fran & @Cathy – you know I could have use a lot of more colorful phrases to describe how I feel about AASL holding the standards prisoner, but I refrained! Aren’t you proud of me!

    @Tom – thanks for visiting and commenting, as well as linking to the standards. I would have linked, but was trying to make more of a point by not linking. Those who know me know I tend to walk the line (if not cross the line!) when I feel the reasons for the line are just down right STUPID, like not making the standards available under CC.

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  5. Hi Heather,

    I am late in coming to the party, but in putting together a presentation for teachers which I wanted to link with standards, I caught up on my reading—and discovered this more than silly copyright restriction. How irritating, to say the least! Thanks for sounding off about this! Currie Renwick

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