(written by Nicole Roohi, AkASL President) At both the ALA Annual and the ALA Midwinter meetings AASL has an Affiliate Assembly composed of representatives from state affiliates (in our case AkASL). Although Alaska doesn’t attend these meetings regularly, the AkASL board is invited to send up to two members to the conference. This summer I attended Affiliate Assembly representing Alaska as your president.
There were two meetings. The first evening was to consider changes to by-laws and new policy proposals from various affiliates. The second morning was far more interesting. This was when various committees and people reported to the group on what had been happening in the past year and made announcements.
- The most important announcement they made, and I think one we as a state need to work on, was that nominations for National School Library Program of the Year are open now through January first. The information and application can be found here: http://www.ala.org/aasl/aaslawards/nslpy/nslpy Why should an Alaskan apply? First it is incredibly prestigious. $10,000 in award money (for up to three winners), and a chance to be on the cover of School Library Journal! Second, the committee pointed out that no one from the Northwest has ever won and they were begging for applications from us. So this might be our year! And third, this would be amazingly great publicity for us at a time when library programs are being cut across the state. So please consider nominating yourself or someone else. If you have ideas of who would be a good nominee (including yourself, don’t be shy!) please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). AkASL will do all we can to support any candidates.
- There is a newly formed retiree special interest group. They are looking for new members. So if you’re retired, check out the group here: http://connect.ala.org/node/157745
- Banned Websites Awareness Day will be October 3rd, 2012. You can find essential links for the day here: http://aasl.ala.org/essentiallinks/index.php?title=Banned_Websites_Awareness_Day On that day Gwyneth Jones (http://thedaringlibrarian.com) will be giving a free webinar on How to be a Ninja Warrior Filter Fighter! The time is 3pm Alaska time.
- ALA’s DC office reports that May 7-8 will be Library Legislative Day in 2013. Also, they are coming up with a brochure on how to get a politician or school board member into your library to see the fantastic work you do!
- AASL and NCTE (National Council of the Teachers of English) have a brand new organization called the National Center for Literacy Education: http://www.ncte.org/ncle This is a good venue for librarians to get their stories out. AASL needs help with this, and it’s a good advocacy tool.
- People were urged to consider joining the National Association of State Educational Media Professionals (NASTEMP http://nastemp.wikispaces.com/) which was founded in 1976 and is an association of state-level professionals working to strengthen and improve education through school library programs.
- Finally, AASL will be holding their Fall Forum in Greenville, SC on October 112-13. You can find more information here: www.ala.org/aasl/fallforum
Lastly, I urge you to join AkASL and get active in school librarianship at the state level. If you have a desire to go to an ALA conference apply for a grant and consider representing Alaska. It was a fascinating look at our profession.