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Library Skills Standards

These are a work in progress, but here is a draft of the standards for kindergarten through sixth grade. The hope is that these skills will be taught during those years and reinforced and put into use during junior high and high school.

Library Skills Standards for K-6 [draft as a Word document]

Today’s world requires us not only to absorb information but also to interact with it. We are bombarded by more information than at any time in human history. Knowing how to navigate through that information, how to discern what is good from what is bad, and how to manage the information we ourselves put out in the world is crucial. Library instruction, therefore, still consist of traditional skills-reading and finding books, using reference sources-but it also now includes new skills-evaluating information for both usefulness and credibility, managing an online identity, understanding copyright, fair use, and information policy-that both complement and expand our idea information literacy.

The grade levels below are intended only as suggestions; the skills and needs of the individual child are the real criterion.

know how to behave in the library
know how to hold books, turn pages, etc.
identify books, magazines, and other media types
identify cover, spine, pages, illustrations, etc.
understand authors and illustrators
know the difference between fiction and nonfiction
understand that library books are organized into fiction and nonfiction
know who the librarians are and can ask for help

First Grade
understand authors, titles, keywords
recognize alphabetical and numeric order
know that nonfiction books are organized by topic
recognize different formats: books, magazines, newspapers, websites
know about the existence of the internet and can open a web browser and follow a link
understand different kinds of content creators: authors, journalists, corporations, etc.

Second Grade
understand and locate titles, authors, and publishers of books
use table of contents and index
locate fiction books by author
use beginning reference sources: dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia
recognize different kinds of books: biography, folktales, poetry, reference, etc.
use kid-friendly search engines and library databases

Third Grade
understand the cycle of information in print and online
know that the Dewey Decimal system is used to organize nonfiction books
locate nonfiction books by call number
use maps, globes, dictionary, thesaurus, and other reference sources
find books on a particular topic for an assignment, with assistance
construct a simple bibliography (author, title, publisher, date)
generate search strategies for internet and database searches
begin to evaluate internet sources
be aware of internet safety and security
begin to understand plagiarism, copyright, and fair use

Fourth Grade
understand that books can be found by title, author, or keyword
generate possible keywords for searches
use library catalog to locate books by title, author, and keyword and use call numbers to find them on the shelf
begin to generate facet analyses and use Boolean logic to do advanced internet and database searches
identify the best resources to help fill an information need
evaluate information sources for quality and bias

Fifth Grade
recognize different kinds of print and electronic resources
understand the difference between full-text searching and citation searching
know strategies for note-taking and keeping track of sources
recognize the copyright status of information in print and online
identify materials available for use under the fair use doctrine
identify materials freely available for use (public domain, Creative Commons, etc.)

Sixth Grade
complete a research project using previously acquired skills:
-identify a topic
-create search strategies
-find the best sources using print and electronic resources
-take notes and keep track of sources
-create a presentation with proper citations
know what an online social network is
understand the risks and benefits of participating in social networks online
know techniques and best practices for maintaining an online identity

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