The Wilmington Area School District Library provides literary and research resources, as well as information literacy skills, to both students and faculty. The library follows the philosophy outlined in Information Power published by American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Information Power seeks to "build a community of independent, information-literate, lifelong learners."

  • By providing intellectual and physical access to materials in all formats
  • By providing instruction to foster competence and stimulate interest in reading, viewing, and using information and ideas
  • By working with other educators to design learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students. 

Guidelines for School Library Media Programs is as relevant today is it was in 1988, and so it remains the mission statement for the information literacy standards for student learning as well and for Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning. Although changes in society, education, and technology have transformed many of the challenges facing library media programs during the past decade, the mission itself remains the same. Today, this mission focuses on offering programs and services that are centered on information literacy and that are designed around active, authentic student learning as described in the information literacy standards for student learning. The goals of today's library media program point to the development of a community of learners that is centered on the student and sustained by a creative, energetic library media program. These goals are as follows:

  1. To provide intellectual access to information through learning activities that are integrated into the curriculum and that help all students achieve information literacy by developing effective cognitive strategies for selecting, retrieving, analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, creating, and communicating information in all formats and in all content areas of the curriculum.
  2. To provide a physical access to information through a carefully collected and systematically organized local collection of diverse learning resources that represent a wide range of subjects, levels of difficulty, and formats;
  • a systematic procedure for acquiring information and materials from outside the library media center and the school through such mechanisms as electronic networks, interlibrary loan, and cooperative agreements with other information agencies; and instruction in using a range of equipment for accessing local and remote information in any format.
  • To provide learning experiences that encourage students and others to become discriminating consumers and skilled creators of information through comprehensive instruction related to the full range of communications media and technology.
  • To provide leadership, collaboration, and assistance to teachers and others in applying principles of instructional design to the use of instructional and information technology for learning.
  • To provide resources and activities that contribute to lifelong learning while accommodating a wide range of differences in teaching and learning styles, methods, interests, and capacities.
  • To provide a program that functions as the information center of the school, both through offering a locus for integrated and interdisciplinary learning activities within the school and through offering access to a full range of information for learning beyond this locus.
  • To provide resources and activities for learning that represent a diversity of experiences, opinions, and social and cultural perspectives and to support the concept that intellectual freedom and access to information are prerequisite to effective and responsible citizenship in a democracy.

Works Cited

American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. 1988.
Information power: Guidelines for library media programs. Chicago: ALA. American Association of School Libraries

Excerpted from Chapter 1, "The Vision," of Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning. Copyright © 1998 American Library Association and Association for Educational Communications and Technology. ISBN 0-8389-3470-6. Order by phone at 1-866 SHOP ALA (1-866-746-7252). American Library Association