The 2019 ALA/AASL election season is just around the corner! AASL is continuing the tradition of using the KQ blog 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 Supervisors Section Secretary are:
- Marian Royal
- Jenny Takeda
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
This was a difficult question for me because, as a career librarian, all the Shared Foundations speak to me! But I have settled on the Inquire foundation. Inquire, to me, represents ongoing curiosity, lifelong learning, and a willingness to grow in one’s understanding of the world and all that it contains. I am a lifelong learner; I’m always asking questions, reading to learn, and sharing my understandings with others. Solving problems and helping connect others with the information and resources they need are two of my great passions.
An affinity for this foundation impacts my leadership in many ways. Most importantly, I believe it allows me to stay open to new ideas, fresh perspectives, and differing viewpoints, something I think is vital in any leader. It’s absolutely crucial that anyone serving in a leadership role be willing and available to ask questions of those impacted their leadership, to listen to what those individuals have to say, and to pay attention and observe what’s going on in the organization. As Secretary of the Supervisors Section, having an Inquiry-based attitude seems necessary. When recording the minutes of a meeting and communicating with the membership, it’s vital to pay attention, check for correctness, ask questions, and communicate clearly.
The Include Shared Foundation stands out to me because it has been an area of focus for our Library Services team in Beaverton. We have examined our circulation practices and are striving to remove barriers for our students so “BSD libraries are accessible and a resource to all.” We want all of our students to have access to safe and welcoming library spaces containing resources that are current, diverse, and relevant. In addition, we continue to collaborate with our English Language Arts and Multilingual Department teams to select titles for classroom libraries that reflect our students’ varied perspectives, backgrounds, and interests.
As a leader in the association, I think of Include in terms of bringing another voice to the table within the AASL Supervisors Section (SPVS) and collaborating with the other SPVS leaders to ensure that diverse perspectives are sought out. As one small example, I imagine there may be others like me who are district library leaders, but are not administrators or supervisors and thus may have hesitated to join the Supervisors Section. With school and district staffing in libraries changing in some areas of the country, I see an opportunity for the Supervisors Section to do continued outreach to various types of district-level library leaders. As a Lilead Fellow and co-facilitator for a professional learning community of district librarians in the Portland metro area of Oregon, I have seen tremendous value in providing a forum for library leaders to connect, share resources, and bring problems of practice to discuss with each other. I would be honored to join this dynamic group of library leaders to continue expanding these networks across the country.
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.