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Page history last edited by Judi Moreillon 6 years, 1 month ago

8 March 2018



What is the biggest/most important change that AASL could make in the next 3 years?

In order to support school librarians as they work to transform teaching and learning, AASL must strengthen its partnerships with other educational organizations and initiatives. As ALA President Jim Neal proclaimed, “The American Library Association (ALA) must build expanded, more robust, and sustained conversations and collaborations with organizations across the library, educational, civil liberties, and social justice communities” (Neal 2018, 4). I believe AASL must build on its current partnerships and, in Jim’s words, “selectively radicalize key collaborations and coalitions.”


AASL has made strides in this area within ALA. Our collaborative advocacy for language in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and forty-five workshops that supported state-level ESSA plans was exemplary. The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School-Library Cooperation’s toolkit is another example. Representatives from all three divisions collaborated to develop the initial toolkit that was published in February, 2018. AASL’s commitment to collaborate within ALA demonstrates we are on our way to creating a more cohesive association.


The next step is to recommit to further developing partnerships in the broader educational community. Individual school librarians are active members of other organizations. They write for non-school library journals, present at other association conferences, and connect with other groups via social media. Classroom teachers, specialists, principals, superintendents, and educational decision-makers are hearing and responding to the school librarian leadership message, but I believe we can be more strategic. We can do more.


In the KQ “Advocacy through Coalitions” issue, guest editor Nancy Jo Lambert wrote, “Often it is by means of coalition advocacy that real change is enacted through legislation, social media, and press” (Lambert 2018, 6). Building on the momentum of collaborative efforts we have made so far, AASL can make a deeper impact. Let’s step up our literacy leadership by activating key coalitions and creating change together.


Works Cited

Lambert, Nancy Jo. 2018. “Coalition Advocacy Needs You!” Knowledge Quest 46 (3): 6-7.

Neal, Jim. 2018. “Tying Up the Lion: Advancing Collaboration with Key Organizations.” American Libraries 49 (1-2): 5.


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