by Deborah Rinio, AkASL Secretary
It’s August and the school year is just beginning. As you start new positions, begin new projects, or settle into the groove of your day to day, it’s time to consider renewing or joining the Alaska Association of School Librarians (AkASL). You may be wondering why you should bother or what you get from your membership, so I’m here to tell you!
AkASL is a roundtable of the Alaska Library Association (AkLA) and is focused on school library issues. AkASL is also an affiliate of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and as such has a voice at the table when it comes to national school library issues through the affiliate assembly meetings that occur twice a year at ALA Conferences. Dona Helmer is our AASL Affiliate Representative this term. In her role, she brings the concerns of Alaskan libraries and library staff to AASL.
AkASL is continually working to improve and grow its services to the library community. AkASL works closely with AkLA and the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) to ensure quality school library programming at each respective conference.
We also work hard to keep you abreast of all the opportunities that abound and events you should be aware of through several channels:
AkASL also works behind the scenes to be a voice for school library issues at the state and local level. Out advocacy committee presents at principals and superintendents’ conferences, prepares advocacy materials for others to share, attends ESSA meetings, and participates in AASL advocacy events. We help pass along relevant legislation and are working on utilizing the ALA Action Center to keep you informed of statewide issues.
Right now, we are starting a campaign to ask the State Board of Education to adopt the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. Connect with us on Facebook or the Listserv to stay tuned for more information on how you can help!
AkASL also runs the Battle of the Books program, provides grants to attend professional development in person and online, and offers awards and scholarships to honor the school librarians and school library staff that make our work possible.
Most importantly, AkASL is a group of your peers that volunteer their time to - as it says in our mission statement - help in “advancing high standards for the school library profession in Alaska”. They can’t do it without your membership or your help.
To join or renew, please visit: http://www.akasl.org/join.html
If you’d like to volunteer or have comments, questions, or concerns, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to you joining us soon!