For the Record | AASL President-Elect’s Report – ALA Annual 2016


Audrey Church | Longwood University (VA) AASL President-Elect, 2015-2016

Your 2016-2017 AASL Board of Directors began its work year at the Board III meeting on Monday, June 27, at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. Members new to the board include Laura Hicks, Region 2 Director; Ann Schuster, Region 9 Director; Sarah Searles, Supervisors Section Representative; and Wendy Stephens, Region 5 Director. Returning to the board and serving in new capacities for 2016-2017 are Devona Pendergrass as Member-at-Large and Steven Yates as President-Elect.

Excitement and energy filled the board meeting room as we began to address the work of the association. Devona Pendergrass was elected to serve as the board member of the Leadership Development Committee, and Jody Howard was elected to serve in the board representative position on the AASL Executive Committee.

Who are these people serving on your AASL Board of Directors? A quick survey revealed the following information:

  • Board members’ experience in the field of education ranges from 7 to 40 years with the median at 28.5 and the mean at 27.75.
  • 12 have served as president of their state associations.
  • Working previously within AASL, they have chaired committees and sections and held various leadership roles within Affiliate Assembly.
  • When asked to name the one thing they are most proud of professionally, responses included earning a Ph.D. while working full-time, writing a book, achieving National Board Certification, being appointed a Master Teacher by the state department of education, working as a librarian in “three different states, public and private schools, elementary, middle and high, urban and rural and in various socio-economic areas,” “my leadership in libraries and instructional technology in my district,” and “I am most proud of the fact that I have been locally successful in raising awareness of what strong school library programs can do to improve learning.”

What happens next and throughout the year? To move the work of the association forward, the Executive Committee (consisting of President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Treasurer, Division Councilor, Board Representative, and Executive Director as ex officio) holds monthly conference calls and meets face-to-face once in fall and once in spring. The full board holds conference calls, once in fall and once in spring, and meets face-to-face at ALA Midwinter and at ALA Annual Conference. Throughout the year we communicate using the board listserv and ALA Connect.

The 2016-2017 AASL Board of Directors will work hard and will serve you well. Concerns and commendations brought forward from Affiliate Assembly will be addressed. As ESSA implementation moves forward at the state and local levels, we will continue to work with the ALA Washington Office to represent school librarianship and to provide you with information and guidance. My presidential initiative will focus on informing principals of the important role that school librarians play in student learning, #SchoolLibrariansTransformStudentLearning. Watch for updates throughout the year.


Read other ALA Annual 2016 reports from AASL’s For the Record:


Author: Audrey Church, Leadership Development Committee Chair and 2017-2018 AASL Past President

Categories: Association News, News

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