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 believe that the best way to transform teaching and learning is through collaborative, reciprocal professional learning. In my position as a school media specialist, district media adviser, and state master teacher, I have facilitated professional development for media specialists and teachers in my school and across the county and state. As your Regional Director, I would like to expand that professional learning to our region. There are amazing things going on in media centers all over our region! My vision is to create or expand Professional Learning networks within and across our states so that we all can benefit from each other’s expertise: for instance an online bank of mini-webinars, created by members, to share new discoveries or best practices.
AASL is a treasure trove of resources for media specialists. I don’t think everyone is aware of that. As your Regional Director, I will work with state affiliates to increase awareness of these great assets and stimulate enrollment so that all media specialists have the opportunity to become a part of this great organization. Conversely, I will act as a conduit for the Association to interact with the states. We want the whole country to know about the great work that is happening in our school libraries!
Finally, I would like to help others expand their professional repertoire as I have. One of the great joys of being a master teacher is the chance to help teacher librarians grow and flourish in their professional lives. One of my presidential goals for the Maryland association is to increase options for media specialists to pursue leadership openings. As your Regional Director I will seek out and share regional and national professional growth opportunities with our member state affiliates, as well: opportunities like advisory boards, focus groups, and affiliate representatives at conferences.
School librarians wear many different hats. We are collaborators, teachers, change agents, and leaders. Is a school librarian born a leader or made a leader? If I were to ask myself the same question, I would say I have some inborn traits (high internal energy and sociability) that make a school librarian a leader. But I have also had amazing opportunities with friends and colleagues to help grow my leadership abilities. I was a member of the ALA Emerging Leader Class of 2012 and was awarded recently an IFLA 2016 National Committee Fellowship Grant to attend the IFLA 2016 Congress in August 2016. I was able to obtain the exposure through my involvement with numerous library organizations including the American Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association.
If elected Region 2 Director, I would share resources and knowledge to empower leaders and future leaders in AASL to transform teaching and learning. By being a member of AASL, you are already on your way to be a leader. Don’t be afraid to lead out loud and make some noise. Stand up and be an advocate for libraries. Be the voice that helps all students obtain equitable access to education. There are so many ways to get involved with AASL. Depending upon your interest you can attend a conference, participate in professional development, join a committee, or even write a blog post for Knowledge Quest.
As Director, I would lead by example and would have open communication lines with leaders of the different state organizations. I would highlight to the Region 2 members all of the positive achievements found throughout the different affiliates. As school librarians, we are doing so many wonderful, exciting, and engaging activities with our students. Let’s share our knowledge and inspire others to lead out loud!