The 2019 ALA/AASL election season is just around the corner! AASL is continuing the tradition of using the KQ website as a space for you to learn more about those standing for election on the AASL ballot. Candidates for the 13 open positions were asked to answer the question “What Shared Foundation speaks to you, and how does it apply to you as a leader in the association?” and provide a short introductory video.
As you read the candidates’ responses over the coming days, think of what you want the future of your professional organization to be. The votes we cast will determine the future of our association, so mark your calendar to cast your vote beginning March 11 and be sure your local and state peers are casting their informed votes as well. School librarians are a critical part of the American library ecosystem and voting in our association election is a clear way to demonstrate our voice, our power, and our fervent desire for the strongest future for school libraries!
The candidates for the Educators of School Librarians Section (ESLS) Secretary are:
- Angela Branyon
- Aaron J. Elkins
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
Sitting firmly within the Domain of Create is the Shared Foundation of Collaborate. I believe that we as an organization are stronger and more effective when we work together to solve a problem or reach a common goal. I believe that Collaborate leads to engaging in the other Shared Foundations. When we willingly Collaborate within our organization, we can reach out to Inquire about solutions and best practices, Curate knowledge gained from our colleagues as we Engage in our organization as a community of practice. Through exploring our own and other’s experiences, we will become more aware of the resources available to us as members of a national library association both material and human and renew our commitment to including and respecting the diversity within our community and the richness gained through our differences.
As a leader, it is my responsibility to be a change agent playing a significant role in perceiving present and future needs. Leaders anticipate obstacles and continually lead the organization to reflect on current policies and create new solutions to meet challenges. By fostering an environment of creativity, innovation, and openness to new ideas, welcoming and encouraging input from other to create consensus, the leaders of this organization become visible and active leaders. The job succinctly is to advocate, communicate, and promote opportunities to improve the profession.
Aaron J. Elkins
For an organization to be successful, everyone in it has to be willing to work together to advance the mission, which to me resonates with the Shared Foundation of Collaboration. We come up with better solutions when every stakeholder is represented in the decision-making process. Involving everyone in the decision-making process ensures that all aspects and perspectives are addressed and represented, and involvement in the process helps to encourage buy-in when a solution or new process is implemented. Collaboration means that we honor and recognize the unique contributions each of us has to offer, and work to learn from and grow with each other. We must be able to communicate openly and effectively, using and learning new tools to foster true collaboration. I feel it is also important to reflect on what we have done, so that we may work to increase future effectiveness.
As a leader, I will seek to foster collaboration by listening before I speak, so that I might hear the diverse perspectives and experiences of those with whom I am working so that we might together work to synthesize and create solutions and innovations through a process of consensus building.
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.