Meet the 2020 AASL Candidates – Director-at-Large C

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 ( 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 Director-at-Large C are:

  • Anita Cellucci
  • Blake Hopper

Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.

Anita Cellucci

From attending Affiliate Assembly for Massachusetts, and serving as Region 1 Director for NE, I have learned so much about other states–the successes, the struggles, and the things that connect us as school librarians. Intentional practice and mindful leadership are embedded in my philosophy of school librarianship and at the heart of who I am as a person. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are integrated with intention into my philosophy as an educator. I seek opportunities to get it right and to help my colleagues to do the same. 

I would like to address the AASL Goal Objective: Increase alternative participation models. In order to ensure that AASL will be relevant to all school librarians, we must think about access. In a time when budgets are often scarce and librarian positions are continually slashed it is imperative to offer alternative participation models for access to leadership. 

We must ensure that knowledge, training, and best practice are available to all school librarians–regardless of how well their school is funded or the status of their personal finances. Creating virtual spaces that are truly equitable and allow all voices an opportunity is no longer a “nice to have” it is a must have. It will be important to have conversations that allow for new ideas to emerge within the messiness that is necessary for real change. 

We must be vulnerable and courageous in creating new avenues for belonging. As librarians, we know that equity of access will be the difference for our students and we often advocate fiercely for our students. It is time to ensure that we embody this practice for our colleagues. I will work hard to listen purposefully and ask hard questions that dive deep into present issues of access. I am running to amplify your voice. I humbly ask for your vote.


Blake Hopper

Increase opportunities for state and local leaders to enhance their leadership capacity. (M)

As Director-at-Large C, I aim to strengthen the leadership roles of librarians, to carry out the strategies outlined in the strategic plan, and to be a voice for all of you. Librarians are already natural leaders, and it is my goal to ensure that we are perceived that way. One simple way to work with state and local leaders is through AASL Chapters, which consist of state and local leaders from across the nation. If we work together, we can identify members that would be great leaders in AASL. We can provide leadership PD during chapter meetings. We can support these members in their state-level leadership pursuits, and help them become stronger leaders. We can also work with the Leadership Task Force, established by president Mary Keeling. Every day we are on the front lines leading our students and faculty to be readers, good digital citizens, and good researchers. I will advocate for a certified school librarian in every school and ensure that librarians are recognized as leaders. I know the powerful impact we can have on school culture. I know firsthand that if we approach school leadership in a positive and strategic way, we can accomplish more together. I have worked with my district over the last few years to position a librarian in every school by demonstrating the powerful impact that school librarians can have on school culture and student achievement. When voting opens, I would appreciate your vote. Together, we can continue to grow the leadership potential of our leaders and our profession as a whole.

Categories: Community


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