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.
At the Candidate’s Forum at Midwinter, I promised that, if you elect me to be your President, I will be your lever, increasing the reach and impact of your efforts, just as each of you empowers people in your school, your district, your community to learn, grow, and have a greater impact in and on the world.
In order to be a true force multiplier we need to coordinate our efforts, not just at the level of the AASL Board or Committees or the Affiliate Assembly, but within each of our Sections and Affiliates, with our allies in other divisions of ALA, and with strong partners like the Future Ready Schools Initiative.
As your AASL President, I would relentlessly seek out opportunities to leverage these relationships and partnerships to promote the key components of an Effective School Library Program:
- adequate and appropriate staffing of school libraries with certified school library professionals;
- robust funding to support current and relevant library resource collections;
- recognition of our vital role as collaborators with our classroom teacher colleagues, and of our contributions to their ongoing professional development.
We all know how urgent the situation is in our schools and our communities. My challenge to all of you—and, I should be clear, if you elect me to be your President, you can expect me to challenge you early and often… my challenge to you all is to think about the impact your school libraries have, and to find and share stories that communicate that impact with your district administrators, with your local papers, with your governmental representatives, with anyone who cares to listen—or, better yet, who learns to care because they listen. This is how we will move the world together: with the force of our collective voice, sharing our stories.
Our association faces two terrific opportunities with regard to effective school library programs.
- The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has started conversations with decision-makers.
- This year’s implementation of revised national standards gives us a new story to tell.
If elected, I will work through AASL’s existing structures to connect with librarians about these opportunities, strategically communicate action steps we must take, and build coalitions with supporters.
CONNECT. During the next three years, we need to help members and other librarians connect with the new standards, identify professional growth goals, and develop relationships with each other for support. I can
- see connections between ideas, events, and trends
- nurture potential in people
- suggest innovative partnerships
- invite others to join the work
I will use these skills to strengthen connections among librarians across our organization. These relationships will empower AASL members to persuade decision-makers in their states and local education agencies to include school libraries in local ESSA plans.
COMMUNICATE. AASL has effective corporate communication tools in place, and I will use these to tell stories about effective library programs and their contribution to individual student growth. I will also use AASL’s communication platforms to inform members when opportunities for individual action arise. I will make individual action easy through clear, concise, and regular communication.
BUILD COALITIONS. Let’s go big. AASL has begun to build coalitions with like-minded organizations, and I look forward to accelerating this work. We will find real support for school libraries by partnering with other organizations that focus on literacy and youth empowerment.
Let’s take advantage of these opportunities. Let’s work together to connect people and ideas, communicate our message, and build strong coalitions for school libraries. I look forward to the work ahead, and I ask for your support for me in this election.
Kathryn Roots Lewis
Let’s Build Roots for Our Future! goo.gl/QYDC2Q Twitter: @KathrynRLewis
LET’S ensure effective school library programs for ALL learners.
- Partner with AASL governance, members, and staff to implement initiatives that demand effective school library programs: our role within ESSA legislation and reimagined AASL school library standards.
- BUILD structures and alliances that confirm school librarians as educational change agents central to learning.
- Advocate for school librarians as an integral part of the learning community.
- Strengthen our ROOTS by championing our roles as collaborators, innovators, technologists, professional developers, co-teachers, and information professionals by creating leadership opportunities that empower members to navigate ever-changing learning landscapes and man the helm in effective school library programs.
- Embrace the adage, “One for all and all FOR one,” as AASL bolsters its identity as the catalyst for effective school library programs – let’s make this reality!
- Ensure, along with stakeholders, that ALL learners have access to effective school library programs.
- Achieve effective school library programs with state-certified librarians, abundant resources, equitable access, and personalized learning by expanding opportunities for school librarians and administrators to fulfill a shared vision.
- Expand dialogue among school librarians, administrators, and partners to work in concert helping OUR students succeed.
- Recognize the FUTURE is now by welcoming and acting on what stands before us!
As AASL president, I will engage members to implement strategies that transform our work and the lives of learners we serve. AASL members must be change agents for educational and technological growth that eclipse changes in society. Our actions are imperative and must empower AASL and its members to proceed as relevant, forward-thinking representatives of a shared vision for effective school library programs.
I am passionate, enthusiastic, and committed to the bright future of school librarians and AASL, and appreciate your vote for Kathryn Roots Lewis for president-elect.
Meet the Other AASL Candidates:
- 2017 ALA/AASL Election – Treasurer
- 2017 ALA/AASL Election – Member-at-Large
- 2017 ALA/AASL Election – Region 4 Director
- 2017 ALA/AASL Election – Region 6 Director
- 2017 ALA/AASL Election – Region 8 Director
- 2017 ALA/AASL Election – Educators of School Librarians Section
- 2017 ALA/AASL Elections – Independent Schools Section
- 2017 ALA/AASL Elections – Supervisors Section