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Highly Effective Schools Through Libraries: Every Student Succeeds

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The focus of the Highly Effective Schools Through Libraries (HESTL) is two-fold:

  1. To provide guidance for K-12 educators as they facilitate student achievement and preparation for 21st century success, and,
  2. To recognize outstanding school library programs and librarians.

Our goal is that all schools will have highly-qualified teacher librarians and communities (parents, students, administrators, and fellow educators) who value an exemplary teacher-librarian and library program in order to help students and staff thrive in school and beyond.

To earn highly effective status principals and teacher librarians complete applications for five exemplars, using the HESTL rubric as a guide. After earning all five exemplars, the school will acquire the "Highly Effective Schools Through Libraries" designation.

HESTL Program Information Flyer



Highly Effective Recognition

Teacher librarians collaborate with their principal to earn up to five credentials in the areas listed below. These forms are designed as a guide for principals and/or evaluators to determine when the teacher-librarian earns the credential.

Examples of Impactful Artifacts/Evidence 

Here are some suggestions for exemplar evidence.

HESTL planning badge

  Note: Each credential has its own application.

Highly Effective - Planning - (Use both "Planning" components to earn this exemplar.)

A highly effective teacher librarian develops effective plans for the library program. Annual review of school focus goals, library data and collaborative input from the school community is part of developing a plan of action for continuous quality improvement. Planning Exemplar Application   

HESTL instruction badge

Highly Effective - Instructional Specialist - (Use all three "Instructional Specialist" components to earn this exemplar.)

The highly effective teacher librarian designs and implements lessons and assessments that meaningfully integrate 21st Century Learning Standards, Colorado Academic Standards, and digital literacy skills through direct instruction and collaboration with content teachers. Instructional Specialist Exemplar Application 

HESTL leadership badge

Highly Effective - Leadership - (Use both "Leadership" components to earn this exemplar.)

As a leader, the highly effective teacher librarian promotes collaboration and creative problem solving. The teacher librarian influences staff and students to embrace a growth mindset by demonstrating lifelong learning in practice. Leadership Exemplar Application   

HESTL environment badge

Highly Effective - Library Environment - (Select two "Environment" components to earn this exemplar.)

The highly effective teacher librarian establishes a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students. The school library space is open, warm welcoming; it is flexibly designed to meet a wide variety of needs as well as to foster learning and curiosity. Library Environment Exemplar Application   

HESTL management badge

Highly Effective - Library Management - (Select two "Management" components to earn this exemplar.)

The highly effective school library and library staff  believes that  print, multimedia, and electronic materials are core ingredients for building a foundation for literacy, reading pleasure, and research skills. A strong collection:  1) includes professionally selected print and digital resources that are easily accessible, align to curriculum, foster independent reading needs, and reflect diverse points of view; and 2) is regularly weeded to create a viable and current collection, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing environment that facilitates and encourages users to select relevant materials. Library Management Exemplar Application   


​Highly Effective School Library Past Recipients


*See 2-3 minute video clips embedded in 5 of the competencies.

Contact Information

For more information about the Highly Effective School Library Program, contact:

Tammy Langeberg, Highly Effective School Library Coordinator