Have you wanted to learn more about how ALA governance impacts AASL and the students, teachers, and communities we serve? During ALA Midwinter and Annual there are several open meetings where members are encouraged to attend.
During the ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session any member of ALA may present a resolution after learning what Council and the Executive Board have worked on during the preceding months.
During Council forum meetings in the evenings usually from 8:30-10:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights, councilors meet to casually discuss topics that might be presented during the next day’s council sessions. Many people use these meetings as opportunities to bring resolutions to councilors and other members of ALA for feedback. Councilors like me are there to answer your questions, listen to your feedback, and learn more about how we can best represent the interests of our respective divisions, round tables, and chapters. These sessions are a great chance to get in on the action!
On Sunday mornings after Council I, the Youth Council Caucus meets. The caucus is composed of any councilor who is interested in youth issues and includes members from AASL, ALSC, and YALSA. This year in Boston we discussed how to celebrate and recognize the contributions of legislators and librarians from all types of libraries who advocated for passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Plans are underway to have work sessions in Council at Annual to focus on the Libraries Transform campaign which will impact library promotion for the next several years.
New to annual this year will be opportunities for school librarians to gather informally in the Council suite and talk to the AASL, ALSC, and YALSA councilors about issues impacting youth.
Anyone can request read-only access to the ALA Council listserv and all ALA Council meetings are open to the public. When you set up your schedule of events to attend at ALA Midwinter and Annual in the future, be sure to look for Council sessions, Council forums, and the ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session. Emails will go out with invitations to participate, so reply, respond, ask questions, and resolve to be more involved.
You have the opportunity to share your voice and talk about your issues and concerns, your questions about resolutions, your opinions on future resolutions, and your successes with me, your division councilor, Diane R. Chen. I will be happy to work with you and for you on ALA Council. Contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through ALA Connect at any time.
Author: Diane Chen
AASL Representative to ALA Council