About Leading Learning

Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada was published in 2014 by the Canadian Library Association. The standards and related projects now continue under the auspices of the new national organization, Canadian School Libraries.

The Leading Learning Approach

Leading Learning provides a guide for the transition of school libraries to vibrant centres of teaching and learning responsive to the diverse needs of learners today and into the future. It also serves as a measurement tool to help schools determine where they are now with library facilities and programs and where they want to advance to.

Standards can indeed help measure practice, but Leading Learning does much more. By focusing on the needs of the learner, Leading Learning provides a framework for growth. Every school, no matter the status of its library program, can find itself in this framework and decide on tangible steps for improvement. As a catalyst for igniting the design of futures oriented learning the standards position the school library learning commons as critical to innovative pedagogical approaches for the new century.

National Focus, Local Relevance

The development of Leading Learning brought together input from every province and territory in the country, and successfully developed standards for growth that are meaningful within this very disparate context. The process of writing the standards was very unique and modeled the benefits of working collaboratively in a networked world.

About the Project

The Canadian Library Association published Leading Learning as a PDF document, which remains available for download from this website. With the dissolution of CLA in 2016, responsibility for the standards was transferred to Canadian School Libraries. CSL has ambitiously created this web platform for Leading Learning as its first major project. The website offers an opportunity to extend the project and make connections with the evolving educational landscape.

An Introduction to Leading Learning


Leading Learning – PDF Version

(Please use the website for the most recent link updates, particularly to the “See It In Action” exemplars.)

Print copies of Leading Learning can be purchased from The Library Marketplace.

Leading Learning Bibliography – PDF Version

(Bibliography links have been updated on the web interface of the bibliography.)

Image Credits

Images used in the cover of Leading Learning have been licensed by CSL from Thinkstock Photos.

Creative Commons License
Leading Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.