The 2020 ALA/AASL election season is coming up quickly! AASL is continuing the practice of using the KQ website as a venue for you to learn more about each candidate. Those standing for election were asked to provide a short video introducing themselves. In addition they were asked to respond to this prompt: Select one of the four objectives under the Leadership Activation goal (http://www.ala.org/aasl/govern/strategic-plan) in AASL’s strategic plan, and speak to your role in meeting that objective.
As you read the candidates’ responses, remember that these positions reflect those approved in the recent by-laws election. Consider the future of your professional school library organization as you vote. Mark your calendar to cast your vote beginning March 9. Remember to invite your colleagues to vote as well. AASL Past President Steven Yates said it best last year, “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 AASL Chapter Representative (formerly Affiliate Assembly Representative) are:
- Amanda Kordeliski
- Heather Thore
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
AASL provides many different opportunities to build capacity of state and local leaders. I became involved in AASL through virtual committee work and became more involved with each opportunity. Serving as the chair of Oklahoma School Librarians, I found support and encouragement at AASL and through my work with the Standards Crosswalk task force, NSLY Award Committee, Affiliate Assembly, and the State-Level Leaders Cohort, I learned how to grow and support school library leaders at the local level. Participating in these committees has given me a background and perspective on how to mentor and encourage librarians to get involved at both the state and national level. Empowering school librarians to advocate for their positions and become leaders in their buildings, districts, and state has been my goal as the chair of Oklahoma School Librarians. In my time as chair of my state division, I have identified obstacles librarians in Oklahoma face and created professional development to better equip librarians to become leaders at their sites and in their districts. As chair, I have built a relationship with the department of education to provide free AASL Standards training for librarians, offered low cost asynchronous webcourses over the standards for OKSL members and designed preconferences and summer academies specially targeting standards and advocacy for school librarians. Building and equipping leaders at the state level is essential in creating a stronger AASL that advocates for libraries in every state and every school across the country. If elected, I will bring my passion and enthusiasm for building leaders to the AASL Board.
In the AASL Strategic Plan, the leadership team commits to refining existing participation models, increasing alternative participation models, increasing opportunities for state and local leaders to enhance their leadership capacity, and cultivating AASL leadership involvement throughout ALA. As the AASL Chapter Representative, I would focus on increasing opportunities for state and local leaders to enhance their leadership capacity and increase participation throughout the year.
After each AASL Board of Directors meeting, I will send out updates to the chapter leaders to ensure they are always informed about the actions of the board and are able to send in their local updates and requests. In addition to the email updates, I will hold quarterly chapter meetings online for those who want to participate, including delegates and other state leaders. In the quarterly meetings, we would discuss items of interest, upcoming events, and concerns that need to be shared with the board.
To help increase opportunities for state and local leaders to enhance their leadership capacity, I would like to develop a tool to help new chapter delegates learn their roles so they can feel more involved and efficient with their responsibilities. Several state chapters have systems in place that rotate their delegates each year. By the time I knew how to be an effective delegate, my time was nearly over. I know many chapter delegates feel or have felt the same way, and this is why I would like to create a tool to help them. I will investigate the most efficient method to help train new delegates and ensure they have the tools to be fully involved by their second chapter meeting.
Author: Kathryn Roots Lewis