For the Record | AASL President-Elect’s Report – ALA Midwinter 2018

What a great conference in Denver! Between the blue bear, the beautiful snow, and dedicated school librarians, the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver was quite exciting! Hearing the buzz about school librarians’ National School Library Standards implementation plans sparked invigorating dialogue among AASL members!

All this buzz and excitement within the school library community makes me think how important it is to build awareness, deep understandings, and conversations with principals, superintendents, and state and national education officers about our new standards. Having powerful, well-defined, and actionable standards supports our position as the educators who are at the very center of teaching and learning. Building dialogues about the unique and vital role of school librarians is at the core of my presidential initiative, but I will need your help to actualize these goals.

2018-2019 AASL Presidential Initiative

The fall 2017 release of AASL’s National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries was a pivotal moment for all of us. These new standards clearly define “the school library’s centrality and ubiquity within a learning environment” while championing the school librarian as paramount to teaching and learning in the educational community (AASL 2018, 10). My presidential initiative is inspired by our new standards and my desire to ensure that school librarians are seen as essential to every school’s learning landscape. The initiative strives to meet the following goals:

  1. Create support materials for school librarians as they champion the vital role of school librarians and the importance of school libraries among stakeholders.
  2. Build opportunities for AASL to exhibit and present at national stakeholder conferences to create excitement and support for school librarians by developing an understanding of the standards.
  3. Create programming at AASL and ALA conferences that supports giving librarians a seat at the table with principals, administrators, and classroom teachers.
  4. Develop a series of articles in national stakeholder periodicals that align the AASL Standards to the broader educational landscape.
  5. Develop a step-by-step guide for school librarians on how to present the AASL Standards to stakeholders in their schools, districts, and states.

How Can You Help?

School librarians are masters at building connections. I hope that you will use the materials developed by my Presidential Task Force as springboards to open dialogues with your stakeholders about the critical importance of school libraries and the pivotal role of school librarians to learning, teaching, and, in fact, the entire school community. Watch for more to come!

AASL is your organization and is strong because of its committed members. Without you, AASL would not exist. You make the difference. Volunteer opportunities abound within AASL. Some of these commitments are short term and some are long. There are volunteer opportunities for every skill set from serving on a virtual committee, to presenting at AASL National Conference in Louisville in 2019, to running for an elected office. Please take a moment to complete the Get Involved form! Your commitment and support matter to our organization, our profession and, more importantly, for the learners we serve!


Read other ALA Midwinter 2018 reports from AASL’s For the Record:

Author: Kathryn Roots Lewis, 2017-2018 AASL President-Elect



Categories: Association News, News

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