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.
ISS Chair-Elect Candidate
Independent school librarians straddle many sections in ALA without really calling any one of them home. While we are undoubtedly school librarians, the high stakes testing and standards driving so much creative work in our public school counterparts is absent from our lives, and the programming emphasis of YALSA’s membership adds flavor to our libraries but is not the main course of what we offer. For high school librarians, ACRL has many services to offer us as we ready our students for a seamless college transition, but in the end the focus on academic libraries focus doesn’t exactly fit our positions. External organizations like AISL and ISTE offer wonderful experiences and camaraderie but without the opportunity for cross-pollination between library specializations.
I propose as ISS chair is first to analyze what we need from professional organizations as independent school librarians. By looking at that data and understanding what the common needs of our group are, we can begin to construct what has been missing from our professional lives – a strong group that gives us a foundation in the larger context of the library profession. Using this information to communicate a clear message to ALA and the divisions will help us explain how our natural role of travelling between division boundaries can strengthen the organization as well as the independent schools we represent.
With a strong ISS section offering the programs we need to develop ourselves as teachers, we will amplify the student learning already taking place back home in our schools; a clear mission for our group will help us do the leadership work that will offer our members both opportunities to fill their own leader roles at ALA while also giving us a big-picture knowledge of the world that will help our schools stay relevant in a changing world.