For immediate release | November 9, 2012

AASL sponsors Roberts and Southworth as Emerging Leaders

CHICAGO — The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will sponsor two participants in the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2013 Emerging Leaders (EL) program. The AASL-sponsored participants will join 50 of their peers as the program kicks off at the ALA 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

Kathleen Roberts of Henrico, Va. and Amy Jo Southworth of Sayville, N.Y. 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 2013 Midwinter Meeting and the ALA 2013 Annual Conference.

Roberts, currently the school librarian at Rivers Edge Elementary School, part of Henrico County (Va.) Public Schools, graduated from Longwood University with a master of education with a concentration in school library media. She is a member of the school leadership team and was awarded the Teacher of the Year in 2011. She has been an active AASL member, serving on the Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Task Force and was a contributor to the May/June issue of Knowledge Quest.

“Mention [Roberts’] name and everyone from central office staff, school administration, school staff, her students, to her library colleagues across the state exclaim that she is a librarian whose professionalism encourages change and best practice,” wrote Ann Martin, Henrico’s educational specialist, in her recommendation letter. “She welcomes the challenges of our profession with a positive focus and is always forging ahead with practical solutions to new technologies and instructional initiatives.”

Southworth, a graduate of Queens College, N.Y., with a master of library science focused on school library media, is currently the school librarian at Bay Shore School District in Bay Shore, N.Y. At Bay Shore, she was named a New Teacher Mentor for 2010-2011 and a Cooperating Teacher in 2011. She has taken the lead in implementing the Common Core State Standards in her school and in highlighting the role of the school library program in the implementation.

“As an emerging leader, my principal requested that I present on “The Common Core and School Libraries” to the Principal’s Council of department directors,” Southworth wrote in her application. “I am ensuring that the role of our profession is rooted in the minds of my administrators. I regularly present at conferences and organizational meetings. Many of the ideas I shared were ignited from sessions I have attended at other professional development events. As you can see, I value our profession and strive to see it move forward.”

Following the kickoff session at ALA 2013 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 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago. 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.

"It is an honor to be able to sponsor the participation of Kathleen Roberts and Amy Jo Southworth in the ALA Emerging Leaders Program as outstanding examples of the best and brightest among a new wave of school librarian leaders,” said Susan Ballard, AASL president. “Our division will be ably represented through the positive energy and enthusiasm they will bring to the effort, and ultimately to the overall improvement and advancement of the profession.”

The American Association of School Librarians,, 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.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

800-545-2433 ext.4383