2017 ALA/AASL Elections – Supervisors Section

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.


SPVS Chair-Elect Candidate

Maria Petropulos

As the district library supervisor of a small school district in California, I have had a front row seat in the fight to hire credentialed librarians. AASL’s new position statement on effective school library programs has created a definition that will increase opportunities for school library programs. This definition will give us the language for advocacy and will help raise the awareness of what an effective school library program entails.

For the past three years, I have worked with my school district to educate and advocate for credentialed librarians. It has been a long road, but I’m proud to say, we now have credentialed librarians in all of our schools, but three. This is very rare in California, a state with a total of 859 credentialed librarians.  

For the last two years, I was fortunate to be part of the Lilead Fellows Program, a program that allowed me to work with 25 other district supervisors on issues in school libraries. The support of the other fellows and the work we did together was a big part of my success in getting credentialed librarians in my district.

Over the past few years, I have met library supervisors that need the same support I was given through the Lilead Fellows program. As chair-elect, my goal is to provide a similar support system for district library supervisors so that we can work together on issues in our library programs and come together to problem solve and find solutions. The role of a district library supervisor can be lonely and challenging. I understand from experience the power of working together, building relationships, problem-solving and supporting each other. I look forward to using AASL’s new position statement as the starting point for the work we do within the AASL Supervisors section as chair-elect.

SPVS Secretary Candidates

Erin Downey

As the district consulting librarian for Boise schools, I am charged with managing resources, training, and communication for our 45 schools. It’s a somewhat limited scope for library supervisors–I don’t hire or evaluate staff, and I don’t have any control over what building administrators choose to do with their librarian or library program. And I think it is for that reason that AASL’s mission of empowerment is so vital in my position. The librarians I serve depend on me to be their advocate, as well as to clear the path for them so that they can shine as leaders in their own right.

As secretary of the SPVS section, my goal is to continue expanding the section to best connect school library supervisors across the country. Our work as supervisors is done in such isolation that it is vital we establish collaborative networks with one another. I look forward to the opportunity to serve AASL and the SPVS section.

Joanna Gerakios

I am honored to be nominated for this position. Being elected would allow me to give back to the profession I love and extend the efforts I have been engaged in for many years. I work as the lead school librarian in a district of about 24,000 students. I have also served as President of the North Carolina School Library Media Association and been on the board for six years.

The AASL’s position statement on effective school libraries calls on school librarians to wear many hats: instructional leader, program administrator, teacher, collaborative partner, and information specialist. In my district position, I strive to help school librarians perform at their highest level in each of these roles and developing programs that impact teaching and learning. Through NCSLMA, I’ve worked to increase avenues for members to connect, share ideas, and promote innovative programming. I’ve also represented NC on the AASL Affiliate Assembly. That experience has increased my appreciation for the collegial networking AASL provides. Recently I served as Recording Secretary for the Affiliate Assembly, and now I would like to do the same for the Supervisors Section.

The first time I discovered a Supervisors Section session at an ALA event, I was so excited. Finally, I had found a conference session and group of colleagues that addressed the specific challenges and unique responsibilities of the district school library leader! That is why I feel this Section is so important and why I want to be an active contributor. I have written two Knowledge Quest blog articles in the Supervisor’s Corner, and now I would like to go a step further by serving as Recording Secretary. I look forward to partnering with the other officers in the effort to lead and empower school librarians in becoming Future Ready movers and shakers!


Meet the Other AASL Candidates:



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