2017 ALA/AASL Election – Region 8 Director

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.


Dona Helmer

I am sitting here with a large box of tissues, a mug of orange juice and the worst cold of this year. I am trying to focus on what I can do to if I am elected as the affiliate representative from the region eight to advance AASL’s new position statement on effective school library programs.

First, let me say that I have worked in three of the states in my region as a school librarian, district media coordinator, or university professor in charge of the education/curriculum library and I have driven through Idaho many times. I know the difficulties of finding and retaining “qualified” certificated librarians to serve at the helm of school libraries. I am well aware of the difficulties of finding and securing funding for up-to-date print and electronic resources. I am also aware of the problems with bandwidth, up-to-date hardware and sport programs. As a school librarian, my budget has been pitted against wrestling, football and volleyball in a smack down for funds.

Being a school librarian is not an easy job. We don’t do it because it is easy. We drag ourselves from sick beds to get the job done because our students, staff and profession needs us. We do it because we believe it is the most rewarding job in the world.

We also know that we are not alone. AASL is there to help us. It offers support in time of stress, professional development opportunities, fellowship and encouragement every day.

If elected I see my role as both cheerleader and coach. As a cheerleader I will encourage you. As a coach, I will help bring the AASL game plan to you.  We are all on the same team—and I will work to foster communication and information flow.

Ann Morgester

As a former 7th grade teacher, high school librarian and current library supervisor I believe that the critical role of certificated school librarians to student success, student literacy and staff support can’t be understated. However, many school librarians feel torn between the traditional aspects of the librarian’s job and the changing aspects of the job to create personalized learning using digital tools, open access resources and digital platforms. Librarians are good at creating links between curriculum and student interest, but we need to support all librarians in gaining the skills and proficiency in integrating the digital aspects in meaningful ways that support students and teachers in developing personalized learning.

I also believe that engagement, literacy and access are at the core of library services. Effective weeding, submitting needs based budget requests and curating engaging and dynamic digital and print resource are critical not only to effective school library programs but to making clear the critical role of librarians in student success. I am committed to providing professional development in the areas of weeding both print and digital collections to create engagement, creating needs based budget requests that encompass both print and digital resources, and digital curation.

School librarians are at many places along the spectrum regarding all of these skills and I believe that we need to have collegial conversations regarding how we can create these engaging and personalized environments in our individual and unique situations. I am honored to be considered for Region 8 Director.


Meet the Other AASL Candidates:



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