AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner
Common Beliefs
The learning standards begin by defining nine foundational common beliefs:
  • Reading is a window to the world.
  • Inquiry provides a framework for learning.
  • Ethical behavior in the use of information must be taught.
  • Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs.
  • Equitable access is a key component for education.
  • The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed.
  • The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own.
  • Learning has a social context.
  • School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills.
The Standards
The Standards describe how learners use skills, resources, and tools to
  1. inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge;
  2. draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge;
  3. share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society;
  4. pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

Colorado Standards for Information Literacy
Quality school libraries are a catalyst for increased student achievement and lifelong learning. An effective school librarian, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, empowers all students to become information literate.
Information literacy is the ability to identify information needs, seek out resources to meet those needs, and then analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and communicate the resulting knowledge.

Based on and aligned with national standards from the American Library Association*, Colorado's information literacy standards are tailored to this state and its educational needs. They describe the standards that students must achieve to be “information literate”. Similar in format to Colorado’s other educational standards, the following nine standards offer information literacy concepts with a rationale and indicators similar to classroom standards.
Each information literacy standard is aligned with the structure of Colorado's K-12 Academic Standards. This creates opportunities for incorporating information literacy instruction with other subject matter being taught in the classroom.

Information Literacy

The information literate student...
...accesses information efficiently and effectively.
  • States overview of a topic.
  • Connects ideas and other issues to a main topic.
  • States more than one side to an issue.
  • Indicates when information is complete or incomplete; accurate or inaccurate.
  • Develops essential questions that go beyond facts and are thoughtful.
  • Locates information using a variety of formats.
  • Identifies and uses primary and secondary sources.
  • Locates relevant information to answer research questions.
...evaluates information critically and competently.
  • Identifies fact-based information.
  • Demonstrates that differing resources may have conflicting facts.
  • Identifies accurate information by comparing and contrasting topic-related resources.
  • Uses facts and opinions appropriately.
  • Uses identification of point-of-view to assess validity of information.
  • Identifies inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Continually revises topics and research strategies as additional information is uncovered
...uses information accurately and creatively.
  • Organizes information appropriately.
  • Demonstrates understanding of essential ideas by using them effectively.
  • Integrates new information, draws conclusions, and connects with prior knowledge.
  • Develops strategies to solve information problems effectively.
  • Selects the best format to communicate the information.

Independent Learning.

The information literate student is an independent learner who...
...pursues information related to personal interests.
  • Uses information literacy strategies for real-life situations.
  • Applies information problem-solving skills to personal life.

...appreciates literature and other creative expressions of information.
  • Uses a variety of resources and formats for information and personal enjoyment.
  • Reads many things.
  • Reads regularly for pleasure.
  • Extrapolates ideas from creative sources and applies to personal experiences.

...strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation.
  • Reflects on and revises work based on feedback.
  • Sets personal criteria and checks quality of work.
  • States personal standards of excellence.

Social Responsibility

The information literate student contributes positively to the learning community and to society and...
...recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society.

  • Examines diverse opinions and points-of-view (i.e., culture, background, historical context, etc.) to develop and modify his own point-of-view.
  • Shares materials.
  • Returns materials on time and in useable condition.
...practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology.
  • Shows respect for and solicits others’ ideas.
  • Exercises personal rights and responsibilities for freedom of expression.
  • Draws conclusions and states them in his own words.
  • Cites information sources appropriately.
  • Demonstrates responsible use of information technology.
...participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information.

  • Contributes to the success of the group.
  • Shows respect for others’ points-of-view and ideas.
  • Solves information problems in collaboration with others.
  • Reflects on and evaluates his own and the group’s work to improve content, delivery, and work habits.