What will this document do to help your school get started?


This document has been developed to provide vision and practical strategies for those responsible for and committed to viable and successful school libraries in Canada. The framework of standards comes to life in growth continuums to support transformations from library facilities to vibrant library learning commons. The standards represent guideposts along the journey, and schools will find themselves at different points with each standard and theme within the growth continuums. Suggestions for getting started are found in the section Moving Forward, with implementation strategies as well as background resources that provide further direction and support for schools and districts.


  • School library programs should be a force for change at the centre of teaching and learning with a focus on enabling student achievement and growth as productive citizens in Canada.
  • A myriad of new technologies, the explosion of digital information, and the potential of collaborative working spaces and networks are driving pedagogical changes to school curricula.
  • Without an excellent school library functioning as a learning commons, students are severely disadvantaged. Students need to be working with the best technologies and resource collections available. They require expert instruction and guidance to become sophisticated users of information and ideas in our complex world. To meet their learning potential and participate fully as successful learners and contributors our students need learning opportunities and new environments deliberately designed to engage and inspire.
  • All schools in Canada need to be able to develop and support excellent school libraries responsive to the diverse needs of learners today and into the future. This means that all schools large and small, urban and rural, public and private, brick and mortar or virtual, need to provide access to teaching expertise in the library as well as best resources, technologies and physical and virtual learning spaces to support learner needs as they evolve. The transitioning of the school library to school library learning commons establishes the vision and structure to address these evolving needs and encourages continuous growth.
The hallmark of a school library in the 21st century is not its collections, its systems, its technology, its staffing, its buildings, but its actions and evidence that show that it makes a real difference to student learning, that it contributes in tangible and significant ways to the development of meaning making and constructing knowledge. Transitions for preferred futures for school libraries

(Todd, 2001, 4)

Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada