CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will sponsor two participants in the American Library Association (ALA) 2010 Emerging Leaders (EL) program. The AASL-sponsored participants will join 100 of their peers as the fifth year of the program kicks off at the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.
Alicia Blowers of Alexandria, Va. and Sara Kelley-Mudie of Litchfield, Conn. will participate in project planning workgroups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA structure; and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. In sponsoring these two participants, AASL will defray the cost of attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting and the Annual Conference.
Blowers, a Middle School librarian at St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va. graduated in 2009 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with a Master's degree in Information and Library Science. In her application to the program, she noted "Engaging in professional development opportunities to strengthen my skills and better the library services I offer to my students is my top priority." Blowers has received many honors and distinctions, including the New Jersey Association of School Librarians' Al Saley Scholarship and a Beta Phi Mu Honor Society Scholarship. "Building a community of readers and thinkers is one of my primary objectives," she stated.
Kelley-Mudie, a 2007 graduate of Kent State University's Library and Information Science program, is currently a director of Library Services and Research Instructions at The Forman School in Litchfield, Conn. Recently elected as vice president of the Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL), she noted in her application, "Given that I will be taking on more and more leadership responsibilities within CASL in the next several years, the Emerging Leaders program would give me an excellent opportunity to develop my leadership skills, create relationships with other leaders in our profession, as well as learn how to best make connections between state and national efforts."
Following the kickoff session at ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting, the EL program will grow and develop in an online learning and networking environment for six months, culminating with a poster session showcasing the results of the project planning work at the ALA 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Participants commit to taking part in all aspects of the program and may have an opportunity to serve on an ALA, Division, Chapter or Round Table committee or a taskforce or workgroup upon completion of program.
"The Emerging Leaders program is an excellent opportunity for us to nurture members new to our field," says AASL President Nancy Everhart. "This program offers leadership experiences that are beneficial to all, great training for our emerging leaders and a pool of talent available to AASL."
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.