One of my parting duties as Treasurer for AASL is to report to the AASL membership. At the ALA Annual Meeting in Chicago, the AASL Board spent time looking at the budget and finances of the association in order to make sure the finances were in line with projections and aligned to the strategic plan. In keeping with the AASL Vision Statement, the board has exemplified “a flexible, responsive organization that models effective management practices,” while it “addresses issues, anticipates trends, and sets the future agenda for the profession.”
As indicated in the 2017 Virtual Membership Meeting, AASL is fully staffed, which is good for the work of the association, although that savings due to a staff vacancy has been beneficial to the AASL budget during the last two years. In a truly joint Board effort, AASL leadership provided ESSA workshops, which met a timely need for legislation information to support affiliate state organizations. This additional expense reflected in increased travel and productions costs. Publication sales are down, as we look forward to the new professional and learning standards due to be published and launched at the AASL National Conference in November 2017.
Our membership numbers have been on a decline the last couple of years. As your treasurer, I would encourage members to explore the AASL website and utilize the member resources available to you. There are two fantastic programs that are focused on membership development. Share the Wealth provides a way for membership to recruit for the association. This is your opportunity to encourage your colleagues to join an organization that provides resources, awards, publications, and professional development opportunities.
AASL is celebrating 65 years of service to the school library profession with a giving campaign to help ensure the future of the school library profession. Campaign funds will support scholarships to student members and the development of an AASL Induction Program. We are going to recognize contributors at conference and have a “giving tree” for people to make on-site donations. The 2017 National Conference will conclude AASL’s 65th Anniversary Giving Campaign and members are encouraged to make donations before or during the conference.
- The AASL Induction Program, scheduled to launch at the 2017 AASL National Conference, will offer a systematic structure to assist future school library leaders in recognizing and developing their leadership abilities. This comprehensive program will ensure that members are prepared to actively shape the future of the K-12 education landscape as leaders within their schools and the association.
- The Student Bridge Scholarship Fund will support those new to the profession as they transition to regular membership during the first three years of their school library career by “bridging” the cost of increase in dues. At a time when a new school librarian needs their professional association the most, the increase in dues can cause a financial hardship that many are unable to cover. This fund will ensure our newest members receive the support needed for a long and successful career in the profession.
Other points to highlight affecting the 2017 budget can be viewed in the 2017 Virtual Membership Meeting.
All in all, the AASL Board and staff are working to continue to grow and develop initiatives that embody the organization’s mission to “empower leaders to transform teaching and learning.”