and the Common Core
;ink like a school librarian
BY MARGAUX DELGIUDICE AND ROSE LUNA
Subject: We have Common Core aligned resources!
Subject: New Common Core updates!
Subject: Are you struggling wit the Core? We can help!
If you are a librarian working in almost any sector of the information literacy field, you have probably received e-mails with some variation of the subject lines above. The rollout of the Common Core standards may be mired in controversy, but the education materials marketplace is booming. According to recent stats from the AAP,
sales for print and digital instructional materials in schools for
2013 were up 7% over the previous year, a percentage increase
not seen in a decade, due in part to the new standards.
But are the Common Core standards really driving new materials purchases, and if so, how? We wanted to find out, so we
distributed a survey on collection development and the Common Core to school librarians across the country via the popular
Library ListServ LM_NET, and via Twitter. So far, early results
show that school librarians are not swayed in their purchasing
by a “Common Core Aligned” label slapped onto a book or
splashed across a digital resource.
“My primary interest is to get my students interested in read-
ing,” stated one survey respondent, an elementary school librar-
ian. “Before students are exposed to the Common Core, and are
able to understand the standard materials, they must be basic
or proficient readers to perform at the standard levels.”
One theme was constant in the responses: supporting the cur-
riculum is paramount for school librarians, and their first priority
is purchasing high-quality materials that hold relevance and ap-
peal for students and faculty. While some librarians reported the
need to “beef up” certain areas of their nonfiction collection (which
is a pillar of the Common Core), the majority of survey respondents
indicated that their purchases are guided by their own high stan-
dards—something no “Common Core” label can substitute for.
“I want to buy well-written nonfiction—which is what I
wanted to buy before the Common Core standards were created,” one librarian responded to the survey. Simply put, librarians
say they are prepared to buy what they’ve always bought: solid