Yesterday, Eileen Kern graciously read the following speech at the AASL Candidates’ Forum at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. I am reproducing it here and on my campaign wiki for those who, like me, were unable to attend.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to run for AASL President-Elect. What motivates me to seek this position is our individual and collective capacity to step up our literacy leadership by engaging our passion, fulfilling our purpose, honing our expertise, and strengthening our partnerships.
Like you, I am passionate about the vital role literacy plays in the lives of individuals, communities, our nation, and our global society. Each school librarian’s passion for literacy can make a profound difference for the children, teens, and families whose lives they touch.
At the local level, each of us is THE representative of our profession. Through the daily practice of instructional partnerships, school librarians’ knowledge, skills, and expertise help transform teaching and learning. Our national association is stronger because of the work of each and every effective school librarian.
Our shared moral purpose is to help others reach their literacy goals. As a profession, we share an increasing sense of urgency regarding the need for today’s young people to be prepared for living and working in an ever-more rapidly changing world.
Students’ ability to ask meaningful questions and to find, comprehend, analyze, and use information, and create new knowledge and find solutions to the world’s pressing problems has never been put to higher a test. Our charge is to hone our expertise and co-facilitate empowered literacy opportunities for ALL students.
Partnerships are our pathway to literacy leadership. In order to engage our passion, fulfill our purpose, and hone our practice, school librarians and AASL must build connections…
• between curriculum and resources, standards and practice,
• between classrooms and libraries, schools and communities,
• and between our association and other educational organizations and initiatives.
AASL is tasked with strengthening partnerships to form coalitions with like-minded educators to transform teaching and learning. By working with partners that share our goals and concerns, we WILL shore up the literacy ecosystem so that ALL students, educators, and families have equitable opportunities to succeed.
As the African proverb states: To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together.
If elected, I will conscientiously facilitate AASL’s work and serve with passion and purpose in building and strengthening our practice and our partnerships to maximize the leadership capacity of school librarians and libraries.
I will work with YOU through the AASL staff, Board, and Affiliate Assembly to ensure that school librarians have an essential and enduring place at the education table.
Thank you for participating in our association’s electoral process, and please encourage your colleagues to vote as well.
Thank you, Eileen, for speaking in my stead at the Forum.
Note: Our grandson, and the reason I was not in Denver yesterday, was born on February 11, 2018 at 11:54 p.m.