Meet the 2020 AASL Candidates – Independent Schools Section Chair-Elect

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 Independent Schools Section Chair-Elect are:

  • Hannah Byrd Little
  • Jenna Nemec-Loise

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

Hannah Byrd Little

As the candidate for AASL ISS chair-elect, I will focus on two of the core values from the AASL strategic plan: Collaboration and Innovation. I am excited to cultivate AASL leadership involvement throughout ALA with section partnerships like the ALA Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) and promoting AASL librarian’s participation in the ALSC and YALSA section committees.

I hope that the independent schools’ section could have a mutually beneficial relationship with AASL and ALA. I am a school library optimist. However, I have great concern about the loss of library positions and libraries in both public and non-public schools. Though the independent school library is unique and requires its own section, I am passionate about working together with all kinds of libraries. We need collaborative advocacy from an association that is more than just independent schools. Why? Because many of us personally negotiate our contracts annually. We must often defend our programs and positions to administrators and boards looking to streamline budgets. Associations can provide tremendous support when we need to advocate for our jobs and facilities.

We benefit from the strengths of the association, but we must also contribute. Librarians are incredible at sharing! We share books, supplies, ideas, and information. We should find how we can support one another and serve AASL by doing what librarians do best, sharing. We need to share our programs at conferences, webinars, and workshops. We need independent school libraries to participate in industry research. Independent schools have considerable freedom and resources to develop a next-level curriculum. An innovative curriculum can be implemented and tested in a single-school model, and we can be the early adopters. We can find educational systems that are scalable, and that perhaps could work for our colleagues in much larger schools and school systems.

Categories: Community


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