In 2020, I wrote a KQ Blog post entitled “Grateful for My Professional Organizations” https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/grateful-for-my-professional-organizations/. In that post, I described how reviewing all of the things that I am grateful for has become a yearly tradition.
This year, with the attacks on education, intellectual freedom, and school librarians; I feel it is especially important to take stock of the positives in my life and items that I am thankful for. Here is a list of just a few of the items that I am thankful for:
- AASL members and school library colleagues who continue to support their students and support each other.
- Efforts like Unite Against Book Bans (https://uniteagainstbookbans.org/) working to empower readers everywhere to fight against censorship.
- Parents and community members who are willing to speak up and support educators and school librarians and to support students’ freedom to read.
- Organizations such as Project Thrive and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Education.
- Project Thrive works to “create more equitable, inclusive support systems and communities for LGBTQ+ youth.” I was a panelist for their September webinar “The Power of Representation in Books.” You can watch the recording here (passcode: d6xkR=q+)
- ADL Education “provides anti-bias education through professional learning, educational programs, resources, and strategies to build and sustain equitable and inclusive environments.” ADL Education joined AASL’s September Town Hall to discuss their “No Place for Hate” program. You can watch the Town Hall recording.
- Legislators who are willing to support our students’ right to read. In particular, I am thankful for Senator Reed and Representative Grijalva, who have introduced the Right to Read Act , Join ALA & AASL in thanking them here: bit.ly/Right2Read22.
In addition, I am thankful for the administrators, families, educators, and students that support my district’s school libraries and all of the great things happening in them on a daily basis. As school librarians, we continue to work to share and champion the joy of reading with our students, teach digital citizenship and information literacy skills, support technology, provide a safe space for all learners, and more! The positive interactions with learners, educators, and administrators keep me from getting weighed down by negative things in the world and help me focus on why I love what I do and why the work of school librarians is so important.
I believe that it is really important to share our stories of the positive impact of our school libraries and our learners and to recognize our gratitude for school library supporters. It is important to turn our gratitude and positive narratives into advocacy for our students and our profession. At the AASL November Town Hall we will discuss this topic. Please join us on November 16, 2022, at 6:00 pm central. Register at: https://www.ala.org/aasl/about/townhall
Becca Munson shares some ideas about saving library stories in her KQ Blog post: https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/saving-our-stories/. AASL would like to begin to collect positive stories about how your school library has positively impacted your students and/or your school community to use as we advocate for our students’ equity of access to school libraries staffed by school librarians. Please share a story at this link: bit.ly/AASLstory22. All positive interactions or stories are welcome – no matter how small.
Finally, my deepest thanks to all AASL members for everything that you do to support your learners and to transform teaching and learning!
Author: Kathy Lester, AASL President 2022-2023
Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Uncategorized
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