As the ALA/AASL spring election season approaches, AASL is using this public forum as a venue to introduce our 2018 slate for the AASL ballot. Each candidate was given the opportunity to respond to this question: “What is the biggest/most important change that AASL could make in the next 3 years?”
Read the candidates’ responses over the next few days. Be informed. Be involved. Your voice and your vote make a difference. As the election opens on March 12, be ready to cast your vote. It is important for all AASL members to exercise the right to vote in ALA’s spring election process.
The candidates for ISS Secretary are:
- Danielle Farinacci
- Sarah Ludwig
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
The most important change that AASL could make in the next three years is to create a framework for school librarians to ensure equity, diversity, and inclusion in their libraries.
Equity includes identifying and supporting disadvantaged students in our schools by providing devices, textbooks, and academic support that extends beyond the school’s walls. Equity also means teaching privileged students to recognize their advantages and use this to help others rise to their potential.
Furthermore, we need to create diverse collections where students not only see themselves in the materials, but that reflect the voices of both our local and global communities. This must extend to exposing topics and events where bias exists either through systematic oppression or lack of opportunities throughout history.
Students inclusiveness must also play a role in creating an equitable and diverse library program through direct input and advisory committees. By giving students a voice to impact both our collections and programming, they will feel that the library truly belongs to them.
By addressing the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, AASL can help school librarians better serve their communities.
I would love for the AASL and the Independent School Section to tackle the often-thorny issues of social justice, inclusivity, and equity in our schools and libraries. As school librarians, we have the opportunity to work with our school communities to help students, faculty and staff connect with the resources they need to enact meaningful change—both locally and beyond. We all know that information and media literacy are closely connected to our ability to be informed and engaged citizens, but I’d like to take that a step further by empowering our students to be active, thoughtful, and impactful. Depending on one’s school, this can be daunting or feel like a risk, and it would be nice to have the support of one’s professional organization. In addition, I’d like for AASL-ISS to encourage us all to have challenging conversations about how we can make our collections, programs and services as justice-oriented and inclusive as possible, and to provide the resources and space to do so.
Author: Audrey Church, Leadership Development Committee Chair and 2017-2018 AASL Past President
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