Meet the 2022 AASL Candidates for Election – Independent School Section (ISS)

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 Independent Schools Section, Chair-Elect are:

  • Hannah Byrd Little
  • Neha Thakkar

Hannah Byrd Little

Why AASL?
I joined AASL for the same reason that people join any professional association. Professional Development, Networking, Support, Industry Publications, and codified Industry standards.

I initially joined the association because it was so affordable with the student membership, and it helped me with networking when I was beginning my career. Even fifteen years later, AASL helps me connect with other school librarians when I have a question or need some advice. The association also provides incredible professional development in conferences and online courses. In addition, your membership includes the free publication, Knowledge Quest. Finally, being an AASL member also qualifies the library and librarian for awards and grants.

But the most compelling reason for being an AASL member is the fun we have with other school librarians!

Neha Thakkar

To me, AASL is key to building relationships and connections. The more we can point to our why: the support and resources we can bring to a classroom, our standards, our need in the school for literacy, along with another trusted adult for kids who need one, we can continue to make learning meaningful. I am also passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, as I don’t often see people like me in the library. After 15 years in urban public and private schools, I’ve learned a lot about how to stretch a budget, reach a kid who just didn’t want to read, and bring some teachers into the current century. I look forward to the next 15 years to continue that important work, learn new things myself, and laugh out loud with kids.

The candidate(s) for Independent Schools Section, Secretary-Elect is:

  • Amanda Lucas

Amanda Lucas

Why AASL?

In library school, my mentor emphasized that part of my professional role was to join and participate in our professional organizations, ALA and AASL being preeminent, so I did.  Admittedly, I did so because my mentor said I should.  As with everything else she admonished, she was right, and it took a very short time to understand why.

AASL is the group of professionals that define the character and practice of school librarianship for the benefit of our learner communities.  In the first Information Power (1988) mission statement of my library practice, the focus of the program was on the people—’students, teachers, administration and staff’.  The focus on learners has never wavered. The 2018 National Standards continue to inform our practice for the benefit of learners in our community.  A school librarian who is student-focused will find opportunities to grow in practice, research to support methods of practice and standards by which to measure the success of practice through active membership in AASL.

In addition to standards, AASL provides professional, tools to advocate for the implementation of those standards.  Fairly often I have been asked by teachers and administrators questions about why flexible scheduling, why weeding, why did you select that book, why do you need more funding?  The resources provided through AASL for answering these questions through planned advocacy efforts, policy development and practice recommendations both inform and add gravity to the responses.

Finally—but only because I must choose a last reason—the value of membership in AASL is the one-to-one interaction that happens at conferences and meetings.  The collegiality, the sharpening of our professional skills and the synergy of ideas leading to better practice for the benefit of our students cannot, in my very long experience of membership, be found elsewhere.

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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