I love the school library profession and have gained so much from being a member of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) throughout the years. Therefore, I feel very honored to have been elected as the AASL President for the 2022-2023 school year. I also feel a deep sense of responsibility and am looking forward to working with all of you to continue our work to advance our profession, bring equity of access to our students, and to support each other.
AASL has a new membership brochure with the title: Working Together; Standing Together. Yes! The school library voice is stronger and heard more clearly when we work together to educate everyone about the essential work of school librarians. We really need to speak as one voice and support each other, especially now, as we stand up for intellectual freedom and our students’ right to read.
Below are just a few ideas of ways for AASL members to contribute to a stronger voice for school libraries and our students:
- Vote! ALA is a partner in National Voter Registration Day and secondary school librarians can participate and encourage eligible youth to participate in our democracy. It is also important for all of us to research candidates and be an informed voter in the upcoming elections including local school board elections.
- Ask colleagues to join AASL! If you know of other school librarians who are not members; please ask them to join.
- If you have not already, join the #uniteagainstbookbans campaign, also, it is very important to ask friends, family, and community members to join this important campaign!
- Help increase the school library voice in ALA.
- The ALA nominating committee has announced that they are seeking candidates for ALA president-elect and multiple councilor-at-large seats. It is important to have school librarians on the ALA council. I hope you will consider nominating yourself or a colleague. Nominations are due by September 30, 2022.
- Join an ALA Committee. It is important to have school library voices on ALA Committees. To be considered for an appointment to an ALA Committee for 2023-2024, You must fill out the ALA Volunteer form by September 30, 2022. (You must be signed in to your ALA account to access the form.)
- Get more involved in AASL.
- Volunteer for an AASL Committee. To be considered for an AASL Committee for 2023-2024, fill out the AASL Get Involved form. (You must be signed in to your ALA account to access the form.)
- The AASL Leadership Development Committee will be meeting soon to discuss candidates for the next AASL election. If you are interested in being an AASL Board member or being involved in AASL Section Leadership, please go the the AASL Get Involved form and check the box that says “I would like to run for an elected position within AASL”.
AASL will continue to support members through Town Halls (if you have a topic you would like discussed at a Town Hall, let me know), through developing resources for members (have you seen the new activity guide: Developing Critical Curators Developing Unique Perspectives developed by a 2022 Emerging Leaders Team?), through providing timely articles and information (make sure you are reading the KQ Blog posts, Knowledge Quest magazine, and the AASL e-newletters), through working with ALA and developing partnerships with other organizations (did you see the AASL announcement about the new AASL Leadership Collaborative?), and much MORE!
If you have other ideas of how we can stand together, please add them in the comments to this post.
Also, if you have any questions, thoughts about how AASL can better support you, or need specific support, please do not hesitate to reach out to AASL at firstname.lastname@example.org or to me at email@example.com.
I’m looking forward to a year of working together and standing together!