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 Supervisors Section Chair-Elect are:
- Cherity Pennington
- Jennifer Sturge
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
With AASL’s new strategic plan, school librarians are set to be well prepared to take leadership roles well into the future. The plan’s emphasis on increasing opportunities for school librarians to enhance their leadership capacity is a well-suited pursuit of the Supervisors Section.
One way I envision the Supervisors Section enhancing leadership capacity is through professional development opportunities. District school library leaders need more avenues for professional development that focus on their unique needs. Hosting webinars, virtual discussions, or other professional development is one way that the Supervisors Section can help its members become better leaders.
Another leadership need that the Supervisors Section can help is through mentorships. I had the privilege of having a wonderful mentor within my state who reached out to me to offer assistance. Not every district leader has that same privilege. The Supervisors Section can help fill that mentorship need by helping more experienced district leaders connect and work with those who are newer to the leadership role.
I am excited about the direction AASL is headed with its strategic plan, particularly on its emphasis on helping school librarians assume greater leadership roles within their institutions and professional organizations. I am grateful for the nomination to the position of Supervisors Section chair-elect, and I would appreciate your vote.
“Every school librarian is a leader, every learner has a school librarian” (AASL 2019). Through the Lilead fellowship, I learned about transformational change. Transformational change requires analysis, understanding, leadership, and risk. Through my doctoral program I am learning about transformational leadership. Transformational leadership works within teams to identify needed change, create vision, and execute change. Together, transformational change and transformational leadership provide a shared direction and a shared purpose. School library supervisors and school librarians are uniquely positioned to be transformational leaders and changemakers because our role impacts every member of the school community. As a group, we need to continue to strategically build on this role.
AASL shares a goal in the strategic plan which seeks to building capacity for leadership at all levels. Subsequently, the third of AASL’s stated objectives reads “increase opportunities for state and local leaders to enhance their leadership capacity.” If elected as SPVS chair, I would work to increase opportunities for transformational leadership.
Some of my ideas include enhancing opportunities for professional book studies among librarians and library leaders and ensuring that we are utilizing social media for scheduled Twitter chats among school library leaders and school librarians. Our state and local associations are doing amazing work, why not showcase that work and learn from each other? Using the power of ALA Connect and the already active communities, we can continue to grow our connections and collaborate together. If elected as SPVS chair, I will work to enhance transformational leadership capacity by utilizing our Shared Foundations of Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, and Engage. Together, we can increase opportunities for all to embrace the positive transformation our chosen profession is undertaking by asking questions, working together, exploring opportunities, and engaging in professional learning around our standards and the power of the school library.
Author: Kathryn Roots Lewis