For the Record | AASL President’s Report – ALA Annual 2018

Your 2017-2018 AASL Board of Directors maintained a packed schedule in New Orleans for ALA Annual this June. Along with meetings on Friday and Saturday, we also celebrated AASL’s award and grant winners on Saturday morning. With wonderful speakers, thought-provoking programs, and powerful networking opportunities, ALA Annual Conference never disappoints.

AASL’s Board of Directors arrived in New Orleans having studied over 300 pages of board documents, including a report recommending strategic investment in effectiveness research on the National School Library Standards, a key portion of our comprehensive implementation plan. Your AASL Board approved this investment that will provide us with the information we need to continue implementation efforts in measured and proactive ways. We also approved a plan to capture states’ data collection efforts to better understand the current status of school librarian positions across the country. AASL Affiliates will be hearing more about this plan in the coming months.

The board book also contained progress reports from all of our committees and task forces. Notable reports included those from the following groups:

Libraries in Public Charter Schools Task Force, which made recommendations for AASL to continue focused work to advocate for certified school librarians in all public charter schools.

K-12 Regional Accrediting Agency Task Force, which provided a draft letter for AASL to send to AdvancED to open a dialogue and work for positive change on accreditation verbiage for certified school librarians and school library collections in guidelines across the country.

Position Statement on School Librarian as Leader Task Force produced a position statement on the school librarian’s role as leader after the Vision for Implementing ESSA Task Force identified the need for a statement on the topic.

In our ongoing efforts to be sure our policies match our practices, your 2017-2018 AASL Board established the following policies:

A-19: Annual Performance Evaluation of AASL Executive Director

C-12: Student Bridge Scholarship Program

J-16: Committee Commission: Student Bridge Scholarship

J-17: Committee Commission: Induction Program.

We also passed revised versions of Policy I-2 concerning the Knowledge Quest Editorial Board and Policy J-7 related to the National Conference Committee.

One of our final board actions in 2017-2018 was to approve AASL’s FY 19 budget. This budget includes investment in ALA’s Policy Corps, a cooperative effort that is also supported by other divisions of ALA, along with a focus on the development of AASL’s next strategic plan.

What a year! I remain in awe of the incredible passion for school librarianship that exists across our organization, as well as the commitment to our success that is shared by our colleagues across ALA. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as your president this year and I hope to continue serving our profession for years to come. It takes every one of us to make AASL the organization that our profession needs. With AASL undergoing strategic planning as ALA embarks on an organizational review, it is imperative that school librarian voices from all parts of the country are present in these critical conversations. Let’s make the brightest future together!

Read other ALA Annual 2018 reports from AASL’s For the Record:


Author: Steven Yates

Steven Yates is an assistant professor and coordinator of the school library media certification program at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. He earned a doctor of philosophy in instructional leadership with an emphasis in instructional technology in 2017.

Categories: Association News, News

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