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.
I am humbled and honored to be a candidate for AASL President-Elect. I have spent my career serving as an educator, library director, and currently as a K-8 school librarian and have received much from my participation in AASL. As president, I will be a vocal spokesperson for the benefits of fully participating in our professional organization. I am grateful for all I have learned and continue to learn from the personal relationships I have developed with AASL colleagues and the AASL staff. I want all of our members and potential members to experience the same professional energy I have received from AASL.
If elected, my plan to advance the AASL mission would include the following:
- To develop a targeted Member-To-Member program where we personally connect with each other virtually and face-to-face. This initiative would be especially important for those who find it difficult to become active or connected due to distance, finances, or family responsibilities. I would like to see our active members volunteer to reach out personally to at least one or two members that are not active in their state or region. It would just require a personal contact via email or a phone call to their school. The purpose would be to discuss the successes and challenges in our library programs. It would also be an opportunity for the active member to ensure the other librarian is aware of all the resources and services AASL provides. Mostly it would be to let our members know we care.
- To optimize our newest opportunity with the new ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) legislation passed in December 2015.
- To continue our past-president’s initiatives of improving communication and working more closely with our state affiliates.
Together, we can continue to support and build amazing school library programs!
Active – I’ll work with our proactive board, Affiliate Assembly, members and staff who are grateful for the victory of ESSA and realize the great responsibility AASL has to make the most of the progress being made in Washington, DC.
Collaborative – The 10,000+ legislative messages sent by ALA members concerning ESSA prove that we have strong allies in ALA. I pledge to work with our colleagues across ALA to build awareness and appreciation of today’s school librarian and the new AASL standards.
Teamwork – AASL’s strategic plan provides our members, and staff opportunities for more teamwork. While we are working to realize the potential of new partnerships and teams, there is more work to be done as ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign gains steam and recognition.
Networking – As an ALA Emerging Leaders program alumnus who worked on an AASL-focused project, I learned early that AASL’s networking opportunities are quite numerous. Let’s continue to provide network building opportunities for school librarians and library educators at all career stages.
Opportunities – Our strategic plan and the wonderful resources in the ALA offices in Chicago and Washington provide us with many unexplored opportunities for advocacy, so I’ll work with the board to build the best opportunities for the present and future success of school library practitioners, educators, and stakeholders. And I’ll do it…
With Passion. – My candidate statement in KQ mentions leaders who passionate, proactive, and flexible. If you know me, you know I’m not short on passion. I have enjoyed my first decade in this profession and fully intend to share my passion for school libraries for years to come. I appreciate all that each of you do to advance our profession and invite to you to ACT NOW and vote Steven Yates for president-elect.