The 2021 ALA/AASL election season is almost here! This year, AASL continues its “Meet the Candidates” series on the KQ website. The association has invited each candidate to use this space to introduce themselves with a short video and a blog post responding to this prompt:
“The pandemic has presented challenges and opportunities for all educators. As you consider the next few years, how do you see AASL ensuring school librarians are leaders in the evolving educational landscape?”
Each candidate offers strong qualifications for serving in leadership capacities throughout AASL. View their videos, read their blog posts, and consider how each one can shape the future of our professional association. Join them for a Q&A session at the AASL Town Hall on March 3, at 6:00 p.m. Central to learn more. Then vote! Vote to show your support, and vote to make your influence felt. Encourage other AASL members to vote as well. Let’s demonstrate our leadership within ALA by standing strong with our candidates and voting in this election.
Mark your calendar to cast your vote while polls are open, March 8–April 7.
The candidates for Director at Large B are:
- Lori Donovan
- Michelle Easley
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
This pandemic has shown us how truly innovative and creative school librarians are. It has also shown how many leaders there are in our profession. When national lockdowns occurred, school librarians jumped into action. We created tutorials for digital resources, we created choice boards and lessons for digital learning, we added digital resources so students, teachers, and parents had access to quality literacy resources. We had curbside pickup or concierge service for students to have access to our print collections. We taught lessons on copyright and fair use to our teachers and administrators.
Throughout this pandemic and the many changes to how we deliver instruction and programming and the many ways we have been “doing school”, I have been amazing at the creativity and leadership displayed by school librarians around the country. The Town Hall meetings sponsored by AASL have been a great outlet for us to be able to work together to brainstorm ideas to help our students, no matter what format their learning has been and is taking this past year.
This past year, school librarians have shown how important school libraries and school librarians are in the teaching and learning of our students. I have been amazed at how much sharing of resources and ideas continued, even when we were at our most stressed. With over 25 years in education and 15 years as a school librarian and library specialist, I would be a privilege to continue this collaboration effort and help develop more leaders in the profession as the Director at Large for AASL. I am confident that together we can make anything possible.
The pandemic has created unprecedented challenges in education. AASL will ensure school librarians are leaders in the educational landscape by equipping, empowering, and engaging all members, during and beyond the pandemic.
AASL will continue to equip school librarians with vast resources and information to support our work during these challenging times. AASL will maintain a steady flow of information dedicated to assisting school librarians who are required to work in new ways, such as remote and hybrid learning environments. Additionally, innovative approaches to learning and member success stories will be shared. I see the Knowledge Quest Blog, eLearning and the AASL Learning Library as integral to this information exchange. Many inequities have been highlighted by the pandemic and AASL will continue to work with members to challenge these inequities; providing resources to help ensure that all students have equal access to information, even during a pandemic.
AASL will empower school librarians by offering a safe space for honest conversations about opportunities and challenges. The AASL Town Halls will continue to provide participants an opportunity to share best practices, solve problems, and most importantly, feel supported during these difficult times. The town hall is a vehicle for cultivating leadership. It immerses participants in divergent points of view and allows them to consider new approaches.
AASL will engage members in new ways, ensuring they continue to be effective leaders. The pandemic has produced more opportunities for virtual engagement. I see, in addition to the traditional face to face engagements, AASL offering members virtual avenues to learn, collaborate, connect, grow relationships, and contribute.
I am excited about the future. The pandemic, while difficult, has forced disruption and pushes everyone, not just school librarians, to innovate. I would be honored to serve AASL as we work together to cultivate and sustain school librarian leaders.
Author: Mary Keeling