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AASL Affilate Assembly: What Is It and Why It Matters

In a few weeks, I will be headed to Philadelphia for ALA MidWinter 2014. I am looking forward to joining my colleagues from around the country as Ohio’s delegate to Affiliate Assembly. The purposes of the Affiliate Assembly are to “provide a channel of communication for reporting concerns of the affiliated organizations and their membership to the AASL Board of Directors; to facilitate discussion of activities and concerns of AASL as reported by the AASL President, Executive Director, and Board of Directors; and to report the actions of AASL to the Affiliates “ [AASL Bylaws. Adopted June 1997; revised May 2003]. As a delegate, what responsibilities do I hold? First, I must attend all Affiliate Assembly meetings (ALA MidWinter, AASL Region III, and ALA). I must identify issues of mutual concern and benefit to the affiliate and to AASL, study proposed issues, and be informed sufficiently either to participate in discussion or to raise pertinent questions. Delegates are responsible for sharing information about the AASL and Affiliate Assembly with affiliate leaders and members. In addition, delegates are encouraged to seek input from their state association about issues of concern as well as commendation. Last year, OELMA delegates put forth two commendations to recognize literacy leaders 2nd and 7 Foundation and the Cleveland Plain Dealer that were selected by AASL to be honored nationally. As president of OELMA, I carefully monitor the OELMA listserv to determine what issues are most pressing to Ohio’s school librarians. I also welcome e-mails about those matters that concern you. AASL is our national voice to advocate for school librarians and Affiliate Assembly is the key to that voice.  Have a great new year!