Ten years ago I became the State Consultant for School Library Media Services with the South Carolina Department of Education after working for many years as a South Carolina school library media specialist. From my experience of being evaluated based on a teacher evaluation model, I knew the first order of business had to be beginning the process of writing state standards for school library media specialists. The timing was perfect because the state had just implemented the first teacher evaluation standards as part of a new evaluation initiative, ADEPT–Assisting, Development, and Evaluating Professional Teaching. After issuing invitations and asking for volunteers, we had a very respectable group of library media specialists and district library supervisors who worked VERY hard to write the South Carolina ADEPT Performance Standards (PSs) for School Library Media Specialists. I must say it is very gratifying to finally have their work validated beyond the boundaries of South Carolina. I am truly grateful for their foresight, their vision, their dedication, and their commitment to that project. They did an amazing job of writing standards that are truly reflective of what the building-level library media specialist should be about on a daily basis. I might add that these standards were written BEFORE the LMS standards for National Board Certification.
In planning and presenting staff development sessions for school administrators, I often use the 7 ADEPT Performance Standards for School Library Media Specialists as the basis for the presentation. Seeing the light come on and watching some of these administrators have an “Ah-ha” moment during the presentation is a wonderful sight to behold.
ALL South Carolina library media specialists are to be evaluated based these state professional Performance Standards. Only those induction LMSs, those LMSs working on annual or provisional contracts, and those LMSs who have transferred from other states are formally evaluated on all 7 of the PSs. For the other library media specialists (those being informally evaluated through Goals-Based Evaluation or whatever it’s called in your district) who have continuing contracts, their goals must be written to reflect these state professional standards for school library media specialists. As these experienced LMSs are contemplating their evaluation goals for upcoming years, their goals should reflect PSs 2-7 and how what they do in their library media center improves student learning and achievement.
The recent revisions to the GBE evaluation process will be very beneficial for LMSs. So stay tuned for future developments on South Carolina’s professional standards for library media specialists and the next phase of evaluation.