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California Model Library Standards for California Public Schools

California Model Library Standards

The State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Library Standards) under the authority of California Education Code Section 18101, which requires the SBE to “adopt standards, rules and regulations for school library services.” The Library Standards include two types of standards:

  •  “School Library Standards for Students” that delineate what students should know and be able to do at each grade level or grade span to enable students to succeed in school, higher education, and the workforce.
  •  “School Library Program Standards” that describe base-level staffing, resources and infrastructure, including technology, required for school library programs to be effective and help students to meet the school library standards.


The Library Standards recognize that school libraries have evolved from simply providing print materials to offering rich selections of print, media, and digital resources; from teaching students how to search a card catalog to teaching students strategies for searching a variety of print, media and digital resources; from teaching basic reading literacy to teaching information literacy (the ability to access, evaluate, use, and integrate information and ideas effectively). The student standards also include the legal, ethical and safe use of information both in print and online, other aspects of cyber safety, and use of technology.

 The “School Library Standards for Students” are organized around four concepts:

  1. Students access information
  2. Students evaluate information
  3. Students use information
  4. Students integrate information literacy skills into all areas of learning


Each concept is followed by three to four overarching standards that continue across all grade levels and form the basis for detailed standards at each grade level or grade span. The detailed standards increase in complexity through the grades.


1. Students access information

The student will access information by applying knowledge of the organization of libraries, print materials, digital media, and other sources.

1.1       Recognize the need for information.

1.2       Formulate appropriate questions.

1.3       Identify and locate a variety of resources online and in other formats by using effective search strategies.

1.4       Retrieve information in a timely, safe, and responsible manner.

2. Students evaluate information

The student will evaluate and analyze information to determine what is appropriate to address the scope of inquiry.

2.1       Determine the relevance of the information.

2.2       Assess the comprehensiveness, currency, credibility, authority, and accuracy of resources.

2.3       Consider the need for additional information.

3. Students use information

The student will organize, synthesize, create, and communicate information.

3.1       Demonstrate ethical, legal, and safe use of information in print, media, and digital resources.

3.2       Draw conclusions and make informed decisions.

3.3       Use information and technology creatively to answer a question, solve a problem, or enrich understanding.

4. Students integrate information literacy skills into all areas of learning

The student will independently pursue information to become a lifelong learner.

 4.1       Read widely and use various media for information, personal interest, and lifelong learning.

4.2       Seek, produce, and share information.

4.3       Appreciate and respond to creative expressions of information

© California Department of Education, March 29, 2011