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 ESLS Chair-Elect are:
- Pamela Moore
- Ellen Pozzi
Statements and/or videos were a voluntary option offered to all candidates.
I see AASL as having a prime opportunity to assist school librarians grow as leaders through educational changes. Some may view these opportunities as insurmountable challenges because change can sometimes be quite difficult. However, my belief is that as an organization, we must always be future focused.
As I work to prepare future school librarians, I share that they have to tap into prior experiences but also recognize that education can change rather quickly. The global pandemic and other events have taught us that. As an organization, AASL must be able to pivot quickly and be flexible to meet the needs of members. I share with pre service librarians that they must also look within to acknowledge and utilize the leadership qualities that they have previously cultivated. This is the same for AASL. Organization leaders and those who desire to become leaders must tap into the wisdom of current librarians and research best practices while developing strategies to address what’s next. Even if it doesn’t quite look like what they envisioned. Serving in this profession, leadership characteristics become refined. The organization must continue to communicate and advocate for resources that can make libraries better able to meet the needs and interests of students and other educators.
Often, I attend library events to listen to current librarians share information about what they encounter on a daily basis. These conversations allow me to gain a broader view of expectations, best practices and resources. This information informs my teaching practice along with my research. It also helps me to encourage students to identify as leaders. They are the future of the profession and AASL. We must plan for the future while working with the present.
While the pandemic has presented many challenges to educators, some students are thriving in their virtual environments. Many teachers and parents now have a greater familiarity with technology that can be an opportunity for librarians to continue to engage them through the use of creative technologies. AASL should continue to offer professional development that will develop librarians’ skills to leverage the hybrid environment that I believe is the future of education. AASL should also continue to provide advocacy for the presence of certified school librarians, which will be important considering the budget implications of the pandemic. While the current leadership provided by librarians in their schools on technology issues and finding resources in a virtual space have been invaluable, administrators will need to continue to be reminded of the value of their school librarians in the future.
Author: Mary Keeling