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 Secretary/Treasurer are:
- Juan Rivera
- Steve Tetreault
If someone were to ask me why AASL and why I want to serve as Secretary/Treasurer, I would respond that school librarians are educational leaders who can leverage their skills and standards at a great time of opportunity and peril. Our strengths as literacy and digital literacy leaders live alongside growing numbers of book challenges and attacks to intellectual freedom. We need a strong yet nimble association to help our members flourish and lead.
AASL’s Shared Foundations provide an excellent framework for our on-going leadership. As one of the Emerging Leaders who worked on Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials, I helped push to use the standards to guide and grow our work. AASL can also use these foundations to strengthen our association and guide our leadership.
AASL members Inquire. We look for gaps in ourselves and in our learning communities and work to address these gaps. AASL works to Include. We should not only defend inclusive collections, but also work to grow and diversify leadership. AASL works to Collaborate. It is crucial to work not only with each other as school librarians but also with the entire ALA ecosystem and library types, community partners, legislators to help their students and communities thrive. AASL works to Curate the best, timely resources. AASL works to help members Explore, to discover and innovate and learn through their practice and personal exploration. I hope to help AASL examine our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOTs) in the current landscape. AASL also helps the profession Engage in the safe, legal and ethical sharing of information. This also calls for developing an active understanding of how to defend and protect intellectual freedom.
Why AASL? Because now, more than ever, school librarians are needed as educational leaders
I’ve only officially been a school librarian since January 31, 2022, but I’ve been an AASL member and a vocal proponent of the profession for five years. In that time, AASL has helped me expand my knowledge and my community.
The forums have let me communicate with colleagues I might otherwise never encounter. They provide great ideas and let me share thoughts, materials, and suggestions. In this way, AASL brings together professionals who might otherwise feel disconnected. It gives school librarians from every state a professional rallying point.
AASL’s “Knowledge Quest” is another outstanding school librarian resource. Both the magazine and website offer articles by practitioners about the practice. The authors–from different locations, different types of libraries, and different levels of experience–share insights and perspectives that an individual librarian or group within a district might not see, providing new ideas for daily practice.
Perhaps most importantly, “Knowledge Quest” has been a source of information and insights into the struggle for intellectual freedom. As the rising tide of challenges spreads across the nation, AASL and “Knowledge Quest” have offered clear-cut suggestions, steps, and resources to help school librarians stand strong.
AASL is also vitally important as an organization because it actively tracks and records events in the school library world. In the past, the statistics gathered regarded book challenges were sobering and eye opening. It helped fuel anti-censorship programs in libraries all over. Having an organization that is recording and collating data on the current unprecedented spread of censorship oozing across the country seems indispensable to the profession. AASL’s data collection and advocacy are allowing us to see the bigger picture. AASL is helping us understand that these are not isolated incidents. In so doing, AASL is giving school librarians much needed information that’s helping us band together.
Author: Kathy Carroll, AASL Leadership Development Committee Chair
As AASL Immediate Past President Kathy Carroll is chair of the AASL Leadership Development Committee.