Pentland and Sturge Seek 2023-2024 AASL Presidency

For Immediate Release
Tue, 12/07/2021

Contact:

Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

312-280-4383

jhabley@ala.org

CHICAGO – Courtney Pentland and Jennifer Sturge will seek the 2023-2024 AASL presidential term during the 2022 American Library Association (ALA) election. The full slate of American Association of School Librarians (AASL) candidates can be found at www.ala.org/aasl/elections

Pentland is currently the school librarian at North Star High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, and adjunct faculty for the University of Nebraska-Omaha School Library Program. She currently serves on the AASL Member Engagement Committee and at the state level, Pentland is the Nebraska School Librarians Association’s (NSLA) Delegate to the AASL Chapter Assembly. She has also served NSLA as a board member at large, president, and chair of the professional learning committee.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be selected as a candidate for president-elect,” Pentland said. “We are in an unprecedented time. School librarians across the country are facing difficulties related to reduced staffing and challenges to intellectual freedom. Our work and our struggles can often feel solitary, but we are not alone. If elected, I plan to continue to build connections between the states so we can truly be stronger together. I will advocate at the national level to ensure that every student has access to a properly staffed and adequately funded school library that includes materials that reflect our local, national, and global communities. If elected, I promise to work hard, ask thoughtful questions, and collaborate widely in support of all school librarians, their students, and school communities.”

Sturge is currently the specialist for School Libraries and Instructional Technology for Calvert County Public Schools in Prince Frederick, Maryland. Her current AASL positions include chair of the Supervisors Section and member of the Knowledge Quest Editorial Board. She also recently served as cochair of the AASL National Conference Programming Committee. At the state level she has served as  president of the Maryland Association of School Librarians and the chair of the association’s award committee.

“Thank you for the honor of allowing me to run for president-elect for AASL,” said Sturge. “I believe that every child deserves a school librarian in their building who teaches media literacy, promotes the joy of reading, collaborates with classroom teachers, and leads by example in the use of technology tools. Every child deserves a school librarian who advocates for a child’s right to read. As Kachel and Lance (2021) stated, ‘the school library community needs to better understand the perceptions, values, and priorities of those who make staffing decisions.’ When we understand the perceptions of others, we can enact positive change. If elected, I will work to advocate for school librarians, school libraries, and school library positions across the country by listening, understanding the priorities of decision makers, and using the voice and knowledge of the amazing school librarians across the country to further our profession.”

Ballots for the 2022 ALA election will be sent via e-mail beginning on March 9, 2022, and the election will close on April 6, 2022. To vote, AASL membership must be current as of January 31, 2022. For questions regarding membership status, contact ALA Member Relations and Services at 800-545-2433 x 5 (International members should call +1-312-944-6780) or e-mail customerservice@ala.org

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.