2017 ALA/AASL Election – Member-at-Large

You matter and your vote makes a difference. The 2017 ALA/AASL Election is quickly approaching, and it will only take a few moments of your time in the days leading up to the election to get connected with the candidates. AASL is using this public forum as an opportunity to introduce the candidates running for office. Each candidate was given the opportunity to respond to this question: If elected, what will you do to advance AASL’s new position statement on effective school library programs?

Be involved. Be informed. Be a voter. Read the candidates responses over the next few days, and get out your vote beginning March 13. It is important for all members of AASL to exercise the right to vote in ALA’s Spring election process.


Lisa Brakel

When I am elected to serve as the AASL Member-at-Large I will represent all members of the association as together we ensure that our students are provided with effective school library programs as described in the AASL position statement(s). Having spent thirty-one years in education, the last seventeen as a school librarian, I am intimately aware of the daily challenges that our members face. As the 2016 President of the Michigan Association for Media in Education my mantra was, “Together We Are School Library Strong!”  I passionately believe that when we work collaboratively great things happen. The school library provisions within ESSA are a testament to the great work that AASL members, leaders and staff, are able to accomplish.

I will keep practical matters in mind as AASL addresses the following:

  • Ensure that we assist our members to understand and take advantage of ESSA’s library-related provisions at the national, state and local levels.
  • Ensure that other educational organizations understand the roles and duties of school librarians in order to build collaborative relationships and achieve mutually beneficial goals. The Future Ready Librarian initiative is one example of how such work will elevate our profession and assure access to effective school library programs implemented by certified school librarians for our students’ educational success.
  • Ensure that school librarians continue to be leaders in educational technology and respond to the 2017 AASL learning standards and program guidelines.
  • Ensure that our members are knowledgeable about and actively involved in addressing emerging educational trends, such as personalized student learning and open educational resources.

Having been a classroom teacher, a parent, the wife of a school board member, and a long-time school librarian, I believe I have valuable, real-world suggestions to offer as AASL continues its important work of empowering leaders to transform teaching and learning.

Jeffrey DiScala

My name is Jeffrey DiScala and I am running for Member-At-Large of the AASL Board. I am an Assistant Professor of Library Science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, a former middle school librarian, and I have participated and served in AASL since 2007.

AASL’s mission of empowering leaders to transform teaching and learning is crucial to student success in our educational system. School library programs are an integral part of students becoming lifelong learners and informed citizens. We are in the midst of many new and ongoing changes, challenges, and opportunities in school libraries. As a part of the AASL Board, I will take every action possible to improve AASL’s ability to empower, enable, and equip the membership for leadership roles in taking on these challenges and changes.

Serving on the AASL Board, I will work to improve communication and collaboration both within and outside our organization. I believe that enhancing partnerships within ALA and with other educational organizations is crucial to our success. In collaboration, it is not just about promoting awareness of school library programs, but providing evidence to other organizations of the indispensable work of school libraries and the impact we have on local, district, state, and national priorities for student achievement.

My participation in leadership positions in AASL, my professional work with pre-service library students at Old Dominion University, and my role in leading professional development with the Lilead Project all contribute to my abilities to collaborate with other members of the AASL Board to move our membership organization forward in providing for students nationwide.

I would be honored to serve the membership on the AASL Board. I would appreciate your vote for Member-At-Large and I sincerely thank you for participating in this election.


Meet the Other AASL Candidates:

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Author: Leslie Preddy, Leadership Development Committee Chair and 2016-2017 AASL Past President



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