CHICAGO – The Iowa Association of School Librarians (IASL) and its program “Growing the Next Generation of Leaders: A Leadership Academy,” were named the winner of the 2012 American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant. Established in 1986 and sponsored by ABC-CLIO, the grant of $1,750 is given to school library associations that are AASL affiliates for planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional or local levels.
The goals of IASL’s leadership academy are to develop the leadership skills of a new generation of school librarians and to identify and engage new leaders for the association. To accomplish this, project leaders will develop a two-day academy during which selected school librarians will develop skills such as leading from the middle, advocacy and effective communication, mentoring and principle-centered leadership.
To keep new leaders engaged after the two-day academy, IASL will establish a wiki for participants to discuss and share ideas and initiatives related to leadership. IASL will also invite academy attendees to serve on an IASL or Iowa Library Association (ILA) committee. To practice their newly learned skills, attendees will also identify another school librarian in their district or area to mentor and encourage.
"The committee was very impressed with the Iowa Association of School Librarians application," said Mary Keeling, award committee chair. "The organization submitted a clearly articulated leadership development plan. Recognizing the need to prepare individuals to take the state organization into the future, IASL developed a comprehensive professional development model that identifies and develops potential leaders. The program deftly blends principles with practical action and will develop self-awareness, collaborative problem-solving and mentoring skills. "
The Iowa Association of School Librarians and other AASL award winners will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during ALA's 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The luncheon will be held Monday, June 25. Carmen Agra Deedy, best-selling author and ardent supporter of libraries, will attend the ceremony courtesy of Peachtree Publishing. Ticket information can be found on the AASL website at http://www.ala.org/aasl/annual.
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.