Meet the 2022 AASL Candidates for Election – Director-At-Large, Chapters

The AASL election season is quickly approaching, and we have an outstanding slate of candidates standing for office!  AASL is continuing the practice of using the KQ website as a venue for you to learn more about each candidate. Those standing for office were given the opportunity to introduce themselves with a short video on the AASL channel on YouTube  and to use this space by responding to the following prompt:What would you say to someone if they were to ask you ‘Why AASL?’ ”

Each candidate is immensely qualified and is a leader and advocate for our profession. As you view their videos and read their responses, consider how each will lead our profession during these unprecedented times. Consider who can effectively carry out AASL’s mission statement to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning. Our association needs your input as to who will lead us in the future. Vote to show support for our national association and for the candidates standing for office, and encourage other AASL members to vote as well. Voting makes a difference and your vote matters!

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

Mark your calendar to cast your vote while polls are open, March 14–April 6.

The candidates for the Director-At-Large, Chapters are:

  • Cathi Fuhrman
  • Beth Thomas

Cathi Fuhrman

The American Association of School Librarians is the only organization that has the sole purpose of building capacity for school librarians to be leaders, informs the school library profession of best practices, and advocates for school librarians, school libraries and learners.

School librarians are unique and have personalized needs that need to be addressed and supported to transform teaching and learning.  AASL stands alone in addressing and supporting those needs in our ALA Ecosystem. The AASL community provides opportunities for leadership, shares best practices, advocates for libraries,  librarians and ultimately our learners to create leaders in schools, districts, states and across the nation.

The statement of being stronger together than alone isn’t a cliche’.  When you are a member of a strong organization like AASL it means that your Circle of Influence (Stephen Covey) becomes wider as we share Circles of Influence with other member. Together as an association, AASL can use our collective Circles of Influence to make certain that the circle of concerns for our members fall inside of our Circle of Influence instead of out of our control.

Why AASL in the current climate? School librarians need to be leaders in their school, district, state and nationally. They need to engage in a professional learning community that shares best practices to impact our learners and our profession.  AASL and its members are the foundational pieces of the school library profession to transform teaching and learning. Finally, school librarians, now more than ever, need to gather our Circles of Influence as one voice to defend and advocate for the importance of school librarians and school libraries and for our learners.

Building Leaders – Sharing Best Practices – Advocating for School Librarians and Learners. AASL is the association preparing the BEST school library LEADERS that ADVOCATE for learners!

Beth Thomas

AASL is the national organization for school librarians and an organization is only as strong as its members. As a school library media specialist for 20 years, I did not get involved with my state organization, NJASL, until six years ago. I had been a member since 2001, but my involvement was limited to attending and eventually presenting at the annual conference. In 2016, I made the choice to get more involved and ran for Member-at-Large. Six years later I am now the Immediate Past President and have been able to witness all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the operation of a state organization. Being on the NJASL leadership team has also enabled me to have a clearer understanding of what my AASL membership offers. From advocacy to professional development, membership in AASL has helped me to develop and grow as a school librarian and as a leader. I have seen how vital a strong membership is to the success of an organization and I encourage pre-service, practicing, and retired school librarians to become members of their state organizations and AASL. Then, when the time is right, get involved and volunteer.

Author: Kathy Carroll, AASL Leadership Development Committee Chair

As AASL Immediate Past President Kathy Carroll is chair of the AASL Leadership Development Committee.

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