This is your friendly nudge to fill out the AASL Get Involved form!
One of the best professional decisions I have made is to get involved at both state and national level in professional associations. After a decade working as a board member or committee chair in our state association, I can honestly say the hours spent volunteering are 100% worth the investment. Not only have I made dear friends, but I was able to learn so much from people I would never have met otherwise. And, I can say without a doubt that the work we have done together has made a difference for school librarians across my state of Nebraska.
And, channeling Laura Numeroff, if you give a librarian committee work, chances are, they’ll sign up for another committee. That is how I came to represent our state as the Chapter Delegate to the AASL Chapter Assembly which led to learning about and filling out the Get Involved form which led to writing for the KQ Blog and being part of the Member Engagement Committee which led to running for AASL President-Elect.
I also truly feel our work at the national level makes a difference and would love for you to join us.
If you are an AASL member:
- Do you want to provide input about the direction of AASL?
- Do you want to help plan events or influence change?
- Do you want to get to know school librarians across the country?
- Do you want to make a difference for your school library colleagues?
- Do you want to improve your own professional practice?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, fill out the form today! More importantly, we NEED you! We are truly stronger and better together! AASL committee members and content creators for AASL publications should represent the diverse array of voices and experience levels present in the school library community. It doesn’t matter if you are in your 1st year or your 20th, if you are from a large or small school, a rural or urban community, a public or nonpublic institution, or if you’ve served on a committee in the past or this is the first time. Leave your imposter syndrome behind. We want everyone to apply, because you all can bring incredible value to the work of AASL. YOU MATTER! And, we need all of you.
Also, this is just my two cents and how I have ended up on committees in every school, district, and library association I have been a part of. I personally believe that I have no right to complain about the system if I am not willing to volunteer and learn more about the system and work to make it better. This is unlike those folks who sit at home and criticize a sports team that they will never have the chance to influence. You can be part of the team! Your voice and your work can make a huge impact.
Committee appointments happen all year long, but the bulk of next year’s committee appointments will happen this spring, so please fill the Get Involved form out by March 5th if possible. You will need to be a current AASL member and log into your ALA account to access the form. You can see some of the options for volunteering below. Know that some have more time involved and some have much less. Please include any info you’d like us to know including any areas of interest you have or the time you might have available to devote to committee work.
Finally, THANK YOU! Thank you to the many school librarians who already give of their time to their state associations and for those who have been part of the work of AASL. Your hard work, dedication, and leadership ensures that we continue to learn, grow, and stand strong together so we can better support all of our learners.
THANK YOU to anyone who made it to the end of this post and to those who after reading are motivated to fill out the Get Involved form.
Author: Courtney Pentland
Courtney Pentland is the high school librarian at North Star High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is adjunct faculty for the University of Nebraska-Omaha School Library program and has served on the Nebraska School Librarians Association board as board member at large, president, and chapter delegate to AASL. She is the 2023-2024 AASL President. Follow her adventures on Twitter @livluvlibrary