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 Region 7 Director are:
- Sue Heraper
- Maria Petropulos
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
My name is Sue Heraper and I am running for Region 7 Director. I look forward to the opportunity to work with passionate and enthusiastic school library leaders. This is my eighth year as teacher librarian at Newbury Park High School. I also worked for ten years in a middle school library, and I have been an elementary school teacher. For this blog entry I will answer the question: “What is the biggest/most important change that AASL could make in the next 3 years?”
While I was president of California School Library Association I spearheaded an advocacy campaign titled “Stand Up 4 Students” (standup4students.org). The purpose was to provide information about the value of effective school library programs and build a group of supporters outside of the library profession who will be armed with information and ready to take action when needed.
Although AASL has begun to build coalitions with other organizations and stakeholders, the work can be increased and expanded. This year’s implementation of the AASL Standards gives us a new narrative to tell. We need to educate key audiences on the value of school libraries. By partnering with social justice organizations, we can help them realize that a fully staffed and funded school library is a critical equity issue in education. We can also help our affiliates with their advocacy and partnership-building for state legislation that would bolster school library programs.
Let’s work together to communicate our message and build strong coalitions for school libraries. It is my honor to be nominated for this position. I look forward to the opportunity to serve and I ask for your support for me in this election.
An important change I would like to see for AASL is to allow for more virtual participation in committee meetings. There are many people that would like to participate in committees, but because of financial reasons or time demands they can not always attend Midwinter and Annual. Face-to-face meetings remain extremely valuable, they build relationships and mutual trust and many lifelong friendships. While not replacing the face-to-face meetings, technology does exist, with careful planning, to enable high-quality virtual participation in meetings. As Future Ready librarians we should be leading the way with innovative practices that open the work we do in AASL to as many people as possible.
Author: Audrey Church, Leadership Development Committee Chair and 2017-2018 AASL Past President