A Fresh Look, Lending a Hand, and the Equality State

Now that we have enjoyed a short Labor Day respite, the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air and we find ourselves in (American) football season. On the AASL calendar, September reminds me that we are in the final weeks before National Conference in Phoenix and the premiere of the National School Library Standards. As if the launch date is not enough excitement, the standards editorial board and the standards implementation task force are teaming up for a Twitter chat at 6:00 p.m. Central on Monday, September 18 to begin the #AASLStandards conversation—join us! AASL is adding one more bit of excitement to September by “soft launching” our new logo! Seeing the standards launch in November as a perfect time to explore a fresh look for our association, the AASL Board of Directors approved a new logo earlier this year. Designed to strengthen the brand association between AASL and our critical resources, products, and services, our new logo embodies the evolution and modernization of our already strong brand while blending well with the new National School Library Standards brand. Keep an eye out for this new look across the AASL website and other resources this fall…and you can catch a sneak peek in the banner above!

So many of our members, affiliates, and colleagues across the country are recovering from or preparing for harrowing natural disasters; our thoughts remain with your communities. AASL stands ready to assist with two grant resources. Beyond Words, the Dollar General school library relief fund, provides resources for school libraries recovering from substantial damage or hardship due to a natural disaster, fire, or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. The Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant, sponsored by Marina “Marney” Welmers, provides $30,000 each year to assist public middle and high school libraries recovering from disasters. Our Texas affiliate is maintaining the Texas Library Recovery Connection as a grassroots effort to provide a support clearinghouse for library support efforts following Hurricane Harvey. If you hear of disaster recovery efforts in other parts of the country, please tweet them to me (@HeyLibraraman), contact your AASL Region Director, or contact the AASL office. We will continue to support recovery across the country however we can.

Last month marked my first presidential visit to an AASL affiliate. I had the good fortune of joining the School Library Interest Group of the Wyoming Library Association for their Information Power preconference before the Wyoming Library Association annual conference in Sheridan, Wyoming. The exchange of ideas among school librarians with their academic and public library peers on the beautiful campus of Sheridan College was so refreshing! Affiliate representatives Jennisen Lucas and Connie Hollin graciously assisted me as I shared the many benefits of being a part of the only national association dedicated to school librarianship. While my stay in Wyoming was only a few days, I left there knowing that I wanted to visit again very soon and so proud of the work our school library colleagues are doing to transform teaching and learning across the Equality State. I look forward to seeing many of our Wyoming colleagues and YOU in Phoenix this November!


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: Community, Presidential Musings

1 reply

  1. Thank you, Steven, for sharing both the excellent disaster recovery resources that AASL sponsors (Beyond Words, the Dollar General school library relief fund and the Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant) and the opportunity for contributing in all sorts of ways to the Texas Library Recovery Connection. We think we are immune from disaster — and then we aren’t. We are encouraging school libraries impacted by Hurricane Harvey to consider Beond Words and Inspire as they begin to rebuild. These funds can make a tremendous difference in the recovery process, and we’re grateful to AASL and the donors for assisting idamaged school libraries function again.

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