Meet the 2018 AASL Candidates–Region 6 Director

As the ALA/AASL spring election season approaches, AASL is using this public forum as a venue to introduce our 2018 slate for the AASL ballot. Each candidate was given the opportunity to respond to this question: “What is the biggest/most important change that AASL could make in the next 3 years?” 

Read the candidates’ responses over the next few days. Be informed. Be involved. Your voice and your vote make a difference. As the election opens on March 12, be ready to cast your vote. It is important for all AASL members to exercise the right to vote in ALA’s spring election process.

The candidates for Region 6 Director are:

  • Rachel Altobelli
  • Becky Calzada

Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.

Rachel Altobelli

In the coming years, AASL should work to include and engage a higher percentage of our membership in active committee and task force participation. Processes for participating should be streamlined and opportunities for meaningful participation should be used as a recruiting technique. School librarians considering joining AASL should see pathways to meaningful and substantive participation before they commit to joining.

Seeing a clear path to participation and leadership will help show school librarians why joining AASL is so important, both for the profession and for each librarian’s professional growth.

AASL must both lead and listen as we work towards greater inclusiveness and participation; as budgets shrink, school librarians need to see the concrete benefits of membership.

AASL must adopt a responsive mindset. The pace of change in our world — technological, educational, and social — will not slow. We need to position AASL as an organization that constantly seeks out and incorporates new ideas and exciting ways to approach existing issues. It’s essential we not lose track of our core functions or focus on shiny technologies instead of student-centered instruction, growth, and learning. Including a wide variety of school library perspectives into our work will ensure we do not lose sight of either new or fundamental priorities.

We can use our new AASL Standards to work through these and other issues to show the kind of responsive yet thoughtful change effective school libraries can lead. Together, we can model how to respond quickly — but thoughtfully, and never reactionarily — to technological shifts, by using new tools to demonstrate core library functions.

Using the new AASL Standards and increasing participation from a broader segment of AASL members can show school librarians why AASL is a necessary and vital segment of the school library ecosphere.

Becky Calzada

My name is Becky Calzada and I am the Library Services Coordinator for Leander Independent School District located outside Austin, Texas. I am immediate Past Chair of the Texas Association of School Librarians and a co-moderator for #TXLChat. I have been asked to address the question: What is the biggest/most important change that AASL could make in the next 3 years?

AASL is a 7000+ member strong organization; because of its size, building relationships and sharing the wealth of resources can be a challenge. Strengthening relationships at the affiliate level by reading affiliate blogs/newsletters, connecting via social media and attending state conferences whenever possible are a few ways to solve this. These actions provide insight into affiliate happenings, with the  added benefit of hearing about trends, challenges and celebrations at the state-level.

My background in libraries, leadership and education has brought me here today; I am an advocate for libraries and the work that librarians do at the local, state and national level. In all that I do, I consider the student impacts because they are “our why.” Librarianship has become more challenging in our ever-changing profession. Telling the library story and sharing implications should be at the forefront of all that we do, leveraging social media, blogs, newsletters, or word of mouth to share the great things occurring in our spaces.

As a candidate for Region 6 Director, I’m committed to listening to concerns and asking questions to understand the issues that impede librarians’ capacity for leadership. Building a strong professional learning network impacts not only our region but also the greater AASL community.  I’m ready to participate in the AASL Board decision-making. I stand humbled before you with a wide-range of experiences, excited to contribute my skills as a librarian, servant-leader, and problem-solver.


Author: Audrey Church, Leadership Development Committee Chair and 2017-2018 AASL Past President

Categories: Community


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