Meet the 2022 AASL Candidates for Election – President-elect

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 President-elect are:

  • Courtney Pentland
  • Jennifer Sturge

Courtney Pentland

I joined AASL because I wanted to connect with others and to learn. I stay because I know my membership not only supports services and resources that benefit me but all school library professionals. I am honored to serve in any capacity, because I know how important it is to not only be a member of an association but to become engaged and invested.

After library school, I felt the loss of guaranteed, frequent conversations with my colleagues. I missed talking with people who spoke my language and understood my passions. I found that again when I became more involved in my state association. My circle of peers that I rely on for advice, ideas, and inspiration grew even more as I got to know school librarians across the country.

As an active member in AASL, I have learned and grown in ways that I have not been able to before. As a chapter representative and part of the Member Engagement Committee, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with school librarians across the country who are passionate about supporting the needs of their school communities and their peers.

Through my membership in and volunteer work with both my state and our national school library associations, I have built friendships and professional connections that probably wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. I am so grateful for the expanded perspectives and invaluable support working with other school librarians offers.

While I would be truly honored if you chose to vote for me as president elect, I would be equally grateful if you also chose to volunteer in whatever way you felt able. The more voices included, the wider the perspectives and broader the wealth of experience that can be drawn upon in support of this vital profession.

Jennifer Sturge

When asked, “Why AASL?” My answer is clear. AASL allows school librarians from public, independent, charter, private schools, and as educators of future school librarians to come together as professionals.  AASL provides the opportunity to be a part of something larger than ourselves. As members of AASL, we connect, learn, support, and thrive together as a strong community of school librarians.

In 2018, AASL provided school librarians with updated standards that encourage us to Think, Create, Share, and Grow as professionals just as they encourage our students to do the same.  AASL provides school librarians with the tools to build our professional learning networks. Knowledge Quest enables us to learn from each other with professional development on the page, delivered to your doorstep. Our town halls provide an outlet for school librarians to share their lived experiences and best practices with each other – to learn and serve together.  These are just the tip of the iceberg. AASL is a community; and community is a powerful thing.

Today, school librarians are finding themselves under stressors the likes of which we have never experienced before. We must work together to withstand the challenges we are currently facing – and come out stronger on the other side.  Our National School Library Standards encourage the curation of diverse materials. They guide exploration and inquiry into worlds that are not our own.  Our standards lead the way for us to include and to collaborate. Finally, they steer us to engage in a community of practice in an interconnected world. AASL is our community of practice, providing needed resources, both human and content, at a time when we are facing such extraordinary opposition to our collections and our professional knowledge of book selection.

Why am I running for president-elect of AASL?  The answer is straightforward. I want to further serve my community of practice as a leader, listener, learner, advocate, and an educator. Our district recently hosted author Alison Green Myers who signed her book A Bird Will Soar with the words, “Trust your wings.” I humbly ask for your support on this journey; for you to trust my wings, and yours, to carry us forward and lift us up as a profession

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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