Library Aide Basics (LAB)

Frequently Asked Questions


Library Aide Basics, or LAB, is a training program developed in 2018 to serve school library paraprofessionals across the state of Utah. The program is a USBE and LSTA grant-funded effort to provide accessible, free, online training to library aides serving elementary school students and includes up-to-date training in procedures, budgeting, collection development, intellectual freedom, and other topics relevant to basic library administration. Each of the seven LAB modules is designed to be self-paced.

The American Association of School Libraries (AASL) is a division of the American Library Association (ALA) dedicated to serving school librarians and empowering them “to transform teaching and learning.” AASL has set national standards of librarianship (updated in 2018) to help school libraries respond to the evolving challenges and the resources available to school librarians, who represent an important aspect of the American education system. LAB encourage districts to provide access to the Standards for all of their school librarians. Library Aide Basics cannot replace purchasing the official AASL National School Library Standards, but is aligned with those standards and provides some insights for applying AASL Standards in elementary school libraries.

Under the direction of Caitlin Gerrity, the Southern Utah University (SUU) Library Media Program assembled a team of experts to create the LAB modules. The SUU Library Media Program will continue to host the completed modules for the foreseeable future.

Depending on your question, you may find it most helpful to contact your principal, a mentor in your school district, or ask the SUU Library Media Program through our Contact Us page. For questions regarding procedures, budgeting restrictions, or any other in-school administration of library services, please work directly with your principal. For questions regarding specific standards of collection development, technology operation, and professionalism in your school district, please contact a mentor within your district. Any questions or comments directly regarding the training modules or about furthering your library certification after completing LAB are welcomed by the faculty of the SUU Library Media Program.

Depending on your school district or principal, the benefits and incentives for completing the LAB training may vary. Direct benefits of the program include a deeper understanding of basic library administration and gaining skills that will directly impact your ability to serve teachers and students.

When school library aides or paraprofessionals are properly trained in managing their libraries, their ability to serve patrons, supervise library holdings, and care for their facility will increase. The lessons, recommended tasks, and quizzes built into each LAB module are intended to familiarize library aides with the new AASL Standards and provide opportunities for reflection and improvement upon their current library operations. By completing these modules, library aides will be better prepared to advocate for their libraries and the students, teachers, and communities they serve.

For specific instructions on what to expect when you begin the LAB course, please visit our Get Started! page and read the instructions provided. A video explaining how to use our Canvas course is available on the LAB: Library Aide Basics Canvas home page. Each module includes an instructional video to introduce the content covered in that module. Modules includes several lessons paired with hands-on practice or application assignments, and a quiz reviewing the most important concepts from the lessons. The modules may be completed in any order, but we recommend they be done from first to last.

The amount of time required to complete the LAB modules will vary from person to person, depending on how many of the provided resources are used. Participants can spend as much or as little time as they want learning and doing recommended tasks. Districts may set completion deadlines, however, individuals may study LAB as topics interest them or become pertinent. The course material is extensive and not intended to be rushed through as a matter of completion. Participants may return to lessons again and again as they see fit.

A module is a thematic unit, similar to a chapter in a textbook. There are seven LAB modules in this training.