AASL Members VOTE March 11 – April 3

Voting is open March 11 – April 3 for the 2024 American Library Association elections. Members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of ALA, can vote for candidates for the AASL Board of Directors and the AASL Sections and the proposed changes to the AASL Bylaws. The proposed changes and a list of candidates standing for election are available on the AASL Elections webpage. Voters may also add write-in candidates.

The following 2024 positions are on the ballot for the AASL Board of Directors and the AASL Sections. Candidates standing for election may include a response to the prompt “How would you describe AASL as your national association and why you recommend its resources and an AASL membership?”.

AASL Board of Directors

President-elect

Lori Donovan

Being a member of AASL has allowed me to meet and learn from many librarians and other library professionals from around the country. The networking opportunities AASL has provided me has allowed a much richer integration of instruction and programming in my role as a building level librarian and as the Library Services Specialist. I have forged professional and personal relationships with librarians from around the country, and with that, I have been able to share triumphs and challenges to move forward in school librarianship for all stakeholders in my district and state.

With the introduction of the AASL National School Library Standards, I have seen the most potential and growth for school librarians. We have standards that reflect all the roles school librarians play in student growth. AASL was responsive to members and nonmembers with what they needed as these standards were developed and implemented. The professional development and advocacy opportunities for school librarians since this was introduced have been phenomenal. When the pandemic basically shut down the world, AASL jumped in with many virtual opportunities for school librarians to connect, learn, and grow. Being a member of AASL allows members to directly engage with each other, their stakeholders, and demonstrate student growth. I know I would not be in the position I am in today without being a member of AASL.

Amanda Kordeliski

AASL is my association because at every point in my career as a school librarian, AASL has had a resource, a webinar, an article, or a group that met my needs. When I joined AASL as a student when I was in library school, I was eager to learn all that I could about school libraries. When I started at my first library I devoured Knowledge Quest for tips and examples of how to run a library, co-teach and collaborate with classroom teachers, grow a love of literacy with learners and how to encourage inquiry and curiosity in a library makerspace. Getting involved in AASL by joining committees and then attending conferences expanded my support system and my library world beyond my city and state. Every opportunity I have to participate in AASL activities grows me as a school librarian. Why join AASL? Because you will be surrounded by the most passionate, collaborative, supportive teachers you will ever learn from. As you grow and expand your library practice, the AASL you need is always there. I encourage every school librarian to join AASL because there is a place for you here. We support and make space for each other in extreme times like pandemics and attacks on intellectual freedom, we learn and grow from each other by collaborating in dozens of ways and advocate and teach everyone about all the amazing things happening in our school libraries. Join AASL because we are SCHOOL LIBRARIANS and we STAND TOGETHER, come stand with us.

Secretary/Treasurer

Juan Rivera

Director-At-Large

John Byrnes

Hannah Byrd Little

Hello, to the members of AASL, My name is Hannah Byrd Little, and I am the Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle, a 6th-12th grade, college-preparatory boarding and day school in rural Tennessee established in 1870. This is my 18th year as a member of ALA and AASL. I am happy to connect on Instagram and Facebook at LibrarianLittle.

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is an invaluable national association that serves as my ultimate personal learning network (PLN). As an AASL member, I have access to diverse resources and opportunities that support my professional growth and contributions to the field. AASL offers a variety of professional development opportunities, such as webinars, conferences, and workshops, keeping me up-to-date with the latest trends, research, and best practices in school librarianship. These experiences enhance my skills and knowledge, benefiting my students and teachers.

Additionally, AASL provides avenues for involvement and contribution, such as writing for the AASL Knowledge Quest (KQ) blog, where I can share insights and learn from other librarians. Volunteering for AASL committees allows me to actively participate, contribute to the profession, and connect with like-minded professionals. As a rural librarian, having AASL as my national organization is essential. It connects me to a larger community of professionals who understand my unique challenges and opportunities. I am in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and have AASL colleagues in major cities from coast to coast and even a few international librarian colleagues. Through AASL, I stay informed about industry developments, access tailored resources, and connect with colleagues for support and guidance. In conclusion, AASL serves as a lifeline for rural librarians, enabling us to stay connected, informed, and empowered in serving students and educators.

Director-At-Large, Chapters

Lindsey Kimery

AASL elevates the school library profession and helps set school librarians on the path to success. As school librarians, we are part of the fabric of education in our country, and it’s essential that we seek relevant professional learning that helps ensure our libraries and practices positively impact our school communities. Being a member of AASL has provided countless opportunities for connection and growth. Through attending conferences, serving on committees, participating in online learning, and reading resources like Knowledge Quest, I’ve expanded my professional network and found inspiration in the practices of so many talented school librarians across the country. I always strive for quality in my work, so being part of a national association that sets high standards for school librarians and provides numerous opportunities to get involved and grow as a school library leader, is invaluable.

 

AASL Sections

Educators of School Librarians Section (ESLS)

Chair-elect

Jenna Kammer

My name is Jenna Kammer and I am a candidate for chair-elect of the Educators of School Librarian Section (ESLS) of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). I have been a library science professor at the University of Central Missouri and AASL member since 2017. Throughout this time, I have relied on AASL and ESLS for community, mentoring and networking. The educators and librarians who are members of ESLS have been a critical source for guiding instruction in our program, tackling some of the biggest problems in school library education, and leading the way for school library scholarship. We recommend AASL as an organization for all of the pre-service librarians in our school library concentration, and use the AASL Standards as a guide for teaching them to develop excellent school libraries! For me in particular, AASL has provided grants, awards, committees and partnership that I would never have had without it. I look forward to the future of AASL and its positive impact on school librarianship!

Independent Schools Section (ISS)

Chair-elect

Kelly Hincks

At the start of my career, I was fortunate to have a mentor who encouraged me to join the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  This gentle push led me to an organization that not only provides access to a wealth of resources and professional development opportunities but also fosters connections with a community of passionate educators. Through collaboration and shared expertise, AASL empowers school librarians to make a positive impact on student learning and achievement.

It was these connections that have led me to participate in many different roles in the organization.  From serving on award committees, blogging for Knowledge Quest, to representing the organization on the Ready-to-Code Task Force each experience has allowed me to learn and grow as a library leader.

For me, one particularly beneficial aspect of AASL membership is its Independent School Section (ISS), which focuses on the unique needs and challenges faced by school librarians in Independent Schools. By connecting members with peers who share similar experiences, the Independent School Section facilitates meaningful exchanges of ideas, resources, and support.  This is why I am honored to be a candidate for the AASL ISS chair-elect. It is my hope as chair-elect to facilitate networking opportunities, work to provide tailored professional development, and encourage resource sharing among each other.

All librarians have their own set of challenges, and independent school librarians are no exception. However, by working together, we can meet the needs of our students as well as support our profession as a whole. I am excited about the opportunity to lead and serve as your advocate within the Independent School Section

Chris Young

Secretary

Diana Rendina

Gayle Schmuhl

Supervisors Section (SPVS)

Chair-elect

Christopher Harris

I am honored to be a candidate for Chair-elect of the AASL Supervisors Section. Throughout my 20 years of library leadership as a Director of the Genesee Valley BOCES School Library System, I have remained dedicated to giving back to the profession through my work within AASL and ALA.

For me, membership in AASL and ALA provides an opportunity to engage with others across the country and participate in shared work that advances the profession. For me, this has meant service to the wider ALA in support of school librarians and AASL. Right now, that means working as a Senior Policy Fellow for ALA focused on School and Youth issues. As part of that work, I am supporting school library responses to book challenges through ALA Policy Corp and the Unite Against Book Bans coalition.

The real value of an AASL membership is that it also gives school librarians access to the larger ALA organization. As a member of the first ALA Emerging Leaders group in 2007, I participated as an AASL representative but worked with a larger group of library leaders from across different divisions. With every interaction in the larger ALA community comes an opportunity to be an ambassador for AASL and school librarians.

So while I value my long time membership in AASL and certainly encourage all school librarians to join or remain dedicated members, as a leader of school librarians I can best serve school librarianship by advocating for school libraries in the larger construct of ALA. To that end, I would be honored to also serve as the chair-elect of the Supervisors Section of AASL as another way to give back to school librarians and continue my advocacy work.

Kevin Washburn

My School Library Colleagues,

My name is Kevin Washburn, and I am candidate for the Chair-elect position of the Supervisors Section of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  I have dedicated the last 22 years of my career to working and supporting school library programs.  Being a member of AASL during this time has guided my work and strengthened the practice that I have used to build great programs, curate the best library resources, and develop a rich, culturally relevant, and safe space for students and staff.  Having the cornerstone for educational excellence and professional development from AASL has enabled me to be successful and experience the joy of delivering a strong school library program to the communities that I have served.

The work of AASL in developing the national school library standards has increased the value of the school librarian as an essential school resource.  I am proud to say that I am a member of ALA and AASL because of their dedication to addressing issues of social injustice and equitable access to quality resources.  This is critical now more than ever as we continue to see an onslaught of prejudicial book challenges across the nation.

Having a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for promoting literacy, fostering critical thinking skills, and enhancing the overall learning experience for students has enabled me to be a better leader within the profession.  This network of connections has supported my work as the current President of the District of Columbia Library Association to address post-pandemic issues.

To anyone who seeks to excel in the role of school librarianship, I encourage you to seek out membership in your state association and in AASL.

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Author: Sylvia Knight Norton, AASL Executive Director



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