I am happy to report that we are trying to remedy this lack of understanding about Affiliate, all while strengthening the organization. The AASL Affiliate Assembly met today to begin a conversation around community building that will be continued into the Annual Meeting in San Francisco in June.
Prior to the meeting, we, as Affiliate Reps, were asked to think about the following three questions:
1. What are your aspirations/goals for the Affiliate Assembly?
2. What would be possible obstacles to reaching those aspirations/goals?
3. What would be solutions that would allow Affiliate members to reach these goals together?
We met in small groups, each with representation the different regions. The data from this meeting will be used as a starting place in June. I am eager to hear the responses from the other groups, on the mean time, here's what my group is thinking:
The Affiliate should produce something tangible that school librarians can use - a statement or a product
The Affiliate should work to improve crowd sourcing among the states-communicate initiatives and ideas
The Affiliate should help with advocacy.
AASL a should build a relationship with ISTE
AASL would take on more STEM/STEAM presence
Adopt and Promote a tech-infused library program
More free activities and resources for school library initiatives- level the playing field for all school library programs - maybe states buy into AASL sources and then distribute. (I.e., school library month - some free resources, but many cost money and budgets are limited)
Vision of school libraries is often out-dated
Perception of school library programs as being all about literacy, but not science and technology
Frequent turnover of Affiliate reps
More state library associations collaborate with state CUE organizations to put on conferences like the MSLA/MassCUE conference.
AASL taking on a bigger social networking presence - Twitter night, etc...
More resources like the elevator speech cards and buttons
Have one national/regional/state conference theme - builds consistency of message, lowers costs, spreads the work.
We've got our work cut out for us!