Diversity is an integral facet of the American landscape and it permeates all professions including school librarianship. Diversity in its many dimensions including ethnicity, nationality, race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, mental and physical abilities, learning styles, values, and viewpoints enriches the school. In this setting, diversity provides rich opportunities for school librarians in collaboration with teachers and administrators to create meaningful learning experiences that foster cultural competence, sensitivity, appreciation, and respect for differences in the library and classrooms. A persuasive benefit of an inclusive environment is student success and empowerment.
As the premier organization of school librarians, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) recognizes the necessity of diversity in the organization. Three documents assert this commitment. From the AASL Values, AASL will encourage diversity in its membership. From the AASL Vision Statement, the American Association of School Librarians is “An open friendly, welcoming organization that embraces cultural and ethnic diversity." From the 2009 Strategic Plan, in the Goal Area: “Community” which is defined as AASL fostering vibrant, inclusive accessible, and supportive communities for school librarians, an attendant objective is to Increase the diversity of the membership and leadership of AASL.
Acknowledging the realities of diversity in professionalism and the organization, the American Association of School Librarians affirms its commitment to increasing diversity among its members in leadership positions.