The 2016 ALA/AASL Election is quickly approaching. AASL is using this public forum as an opportunity to introduce the candidates running for office to all members. Each candidate was given the opportunity to respond to this question: If elected, what will you do to advance AASL’s new mission to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning? Read their responses and vote beginning March 15.
ESLS Chair-Elect Candidates
The ESLS section of AASL empowers educators of school librarians and libraries with the exchange of ideas, discussion of curricula and the sharing and facilitation of research that informs the practice of school librarianship. This is essential to creating future school library leaders who are focused on advocacy and transforming teaching and learning.
The passage of the ESSA bill recently brought to Washington provided evidence that active engagement in advocacy, and uniting as one national voice, is effective in inspiring positive change. The future holds great promise and school librarians need to be prepared as advocates and school leaders to follow through on this unprecedented opportunity to create lasting change for the students of our nation.
Engaging practicing and preservice school librarians in the work of ALA is paramount to supporting the national advocacy efforts of ALA. It is a well-documented fact that school librarians do transform teaching and learning. If elected to the ESLS chair elect position, I would strive to support AASL’s stated mission to empower leaders, specifically ESLS’s school library educators and those they teach. The ESLS division has traditionally been a forum for the exchange of ideas and research on best practices. As chair elect, I would like to provide more opportunities to engage educators of school librarians in dialogue and in preparation for the new AASL standards for school librarian preparation programs. As a current Board Examiner for CAEP (formerly known as NCATE) and as a member of the ALA Accreditation Board I bring in depth knowledge of both sets of standards. If elected, I look forward to advancing the mission of the ESLS section and supporting AASL’s mission to transform teaching and learning.
If someone had suggested to me in 1990 when I got my first school library position that I would be a leader in the school working to transform teaching and learning, I would have shook my head in disbelief. The notion of librarians as leaders was simply beyond my comprehension. Yet, in retrospect, I did become a leader in my own modest way. I was at the forefront of integrating technology into the school library: from obtaining the first library computer, to having the first wireless system, to teaching with the first Whiteboard, and ultimately to becoming an instructional technology trainer so I could help teachers learn how to teach with these exciting new technologies. All of those actions — which seemed small at the time — led me to where I am today: an educator of future school librarians.
I am deeply committed to ensuring that the educators I teach become the best library leaders possible. I develop and deliver a meaningful, standards-based curriculum that is grounded in research and theory and tied to practice. My goal is to encourage future school librarians who can develop dynamic school library programs and empower learners through collaboration, leadership, and technology. I am dedicated to the future of the profession because I believe that school librarians have an essential role in the education of a child. In order to successfully fulfill that role, school librarians must have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be effective in a future we can only imagine. The challenge for school library preparation programs is to develop strong programs that will ensure those prospective school librarians have the “right stuff.” The purpose of the Educators of School Librarians Section is to give focus and support to that goal through the “exchange of ideas” between members, “the review and study of curricula,” and the “development of research activities.” If elected, I will work with other members to continue the vital work leading to the achievement of that purpose.
ESLS Secretary Candidate
When asked to run for the position of Secretary for the American Association of School Librarians Educators of School Librarians Section (ESLS) I reviewed the policies and purposes of this particular division. ESLS’s purpose is to focus attention on the programs and training in higher education that prepare students training to become librarians in pre-K-12 settings. ESLS does this by disseminating research, offering opportunities for professional development, as well as providing avenues for discussion and collaboration across universities and colleges.
School librarians are being trained in higher education programs to be technology and literacy leaders in their schools. Being a part of The Educators of School Librarians Section further supports the collaboration to place strong librarians in every school across the US. As secretary of ESLS I will be able to further that work and be further involved, a role that excites me greatly. With the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) being passed exciting changes will be taking place. A leadership role in ESLS and AASL will make for a thrilling front row spot to take part in the transformations as they take place.
ESLS Representative to the AASL Board of Directors Candidate
AASL’s mission statement “to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning,” defines the responsibility that each member of AASL must embrace to further the work of the association. As a liaison from the Educator’s of School Librarians’ Section (ESLS) of AASL to the AASL Board of Directors, I will establish a two-way system of communication between the Board and ESLS to accomplish this mission. The members of ESLS have the responsibility of working with pre-service librarians to guide them in becoming leaders who will transform the information environment to assist members of the learning community in their evolution as learners. Members of the Board need to be aware of how ESLS is working with the pre-service librarians. On the other hand, the members of ESLS need to understand the current issues the Board faces, so that the members of ESLS can support the Board of Directors as they continue their work. As the liaison between these two groups, it is my responsibility to establish these lines of communication so that the information flows freely between the two groups “to empower” the members of both groups. It is my honor to be asked to run for this position.