ALA/AASL Election – ALA Councilor

AASL_GOTV_KQ-MeetTheCandidatesThe 2015 ALA/AASL Election is quickly approaching. As many were not able to attend the AASL Candidates Forum at Midwinter, we wanted to use this public forum as an opportunity to introduce the candidates running for AASL offices. 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 24.

Diane Chen, Candidate for ALA Councilor
Valerie Edwards, Candidate for ALA Councilor

Today we hear from:

Diane Chen, Candidate for ALA Councilor

When there is a conflict between the way things have been done in the past and the need for new skills and approaches to obtain the vision of a successful future for our students, strong leaders transform themselves and their colleagues to meet these challenges. I am a passionate advocate for all librarians using the 21st century 4 C’s skills of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. As an elected councilor-at-large of ALA, I used the 4C’s to build relationships among all types of librarians and to communicate the importance of vital school libraries led by empowered, engaged, and active school librarians. Empowered leaders have access to new skills and processes to encourage commitment of colleagues to obtain joint goals. Not all members are aware of the resources ALA and AASL provide to transform our programs and our teaching. If elected AASL division counselor, I will advocate for school libraries and increase two-way communication between ALA and AASL. All members of AASL need strong communicators and collaborative representatives among the ALA councilors to speak for school libraries. I have experience within AASL particularly with the grassroots Affiliate Assembly group and I believe the opportunity to communicate with representatives from every state is vital to sharing our vision of transformation and empowerment. As a member of the ALA Executive board, I represented all ALA members while advocating for school libraries with each issue that arose. As a building level school librarian, I understand the complex needs of today’s schools and the challenges we face. Transformation is a positive change. I look forward to actively improving our school library association through transforming librarians.

Valerie Edwards, Candidate for ALA Councilor
As the current AASL Division Councilor, I have focused on communication as a fundamental vehicle for empowering leaders to transform teaching and learning. Communication should occur in many fashions and should allow leaders to take a role in ways that are most suitable for them. Providing concise information on issues/actions that ALA is focusing on is critical in enabling leaders to be proactive as they identify opportunities and address concerns thus strengthening their ability to be responsive. This type of communication best takes the form of posts to AASL Forum and alerts in AASL calls to action sent via email or via AASL Hotlines. Regular reporting to the AASL Executive Committee, AASL Board and AASL staff are essential to effectively providing key information on professional development and leadership opportunities to AASL leaders/mentors.

In addition to communicating with AASL members, in the role of AASL Division Councilor, I have built relationships with ALA Council members that provide for communication targeted at sharing the issues and opportunities that AASL is undertaking in which they can share either by supporting or participating with our membership. In this way, I have and would continue to serve as a conduit of communication both to ALA Council from AASL and to AASL organization, staff and membership from ALA Council and the larger ALA organizational body.

Author: Susi Grissom



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