Next up was school library super hero, Joyce Valenza, who spoke of the need to focus all of our work on the “why,” as articulated by Simon Sinek in his TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”
Sunday’s meeting kicked off with an introduction to a variety of candidates for AASL/ALA’s upcoming elections. All of the candidates seemed well qualified and passionate about the prospect of serving AASL, which was inspiring. One takeaway that is important to emphasize is that we have 30 votes for ALA Council, so the more votes we give to school librarians, the better representation we will have within the larger ALA body. We heard from 7 AASL candidates for ALA Council, and we would recommend voting for all of them. You do not have to use all 30 of your votes, but we would encourage you to use as many as necessary to vote for all of the school librarian candidates. We will be reminding everyone to vote as the election draws closer.
Following that we had a variety of break-out sessions on topics such as Fake News, Reading for Pleasure, Student Privacy, Self-Censorship, and more. We rotated from group to group for brief, stimulating conversations and shared best practices.
Later we had a presentation of AASL Announcements and Updates by Audrey Church, AASL President. Her remarks covered an actions update on the 2016 Commendations and Concerns taken up by the body, a discussion of ESSA, a review of AASL Awards & Grants and strong encouragement to apply, task force updates, bylaws amendments, advocacy and legislation updates, standards updates, Future Ready Librarians, and the upcoming AASL conference in November in Phoenix, AZ. Lest we not go on too long, you can review the slides here: http://connect.ala.org/files/AASL%20Updates%20Midwinter%202017%20-%20Audrey%20Church.pdf
We rounded out the day by reconvening with our region to discuss possible commendations and concerns to raise to AASL for consideration during the annual conference in June. If you have any organization (nonprofit only) that you feel deserves a public commendation from AASL for their support of school libraries, please contact Reba or Jennifer with your suggestions. Similarly, if there are concerns that you feel AASL should be addressing with specific actions, please let us know. We are here to represent the concerns of Massachusetts school librarians and share them with AASL and ALA leadership as warranted.
Your faithful servants,
Jennifer Dimmick (firstname.lastname@example.org and Reba Tierney (email@example.com)