AASL Collaborate Project selected for ALA Emerging Leader Work

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/08/2024


Stephanie Book

Manager, Marketing & Non-serial Publications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

(312) 280-4389


CHICAGO – Developing Creative Collaborators, Flexible Partners, and Resilient Citizens, a project proposed by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), has been selected as a part of the 2024 American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders program. AASL’s project tasks an Emerging Leaders team to develop materials that support professional development and instruction around the National School Library Standards Shared Foundation of Collaborate. 

“This year's Emerging Leaders project team will focus on one of the most important standards in our profession—Collaborate. The focus for my presidential year is on building relationships, and school librarians do this every day by collaborating with others in their schools, their districts, their communities, and with school library colleagues,” said AASL President Courtney Pentland. “School librarians also work with learners to help them build their capacity in this important life skill so that they can successfully Think, Create, Share, and Grow with others throughout their education and beyond.” 

The Emerging Leaders program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. The program culminates with a poster session presentation to display the results of the project work of each group at the ALA Annual Conference. 

As part of the Collaborate project, the Emerging Leaders team will be asked to develop a collection of activities and resources to support professional development and instruction. The team will also craft an infographic to help school librarians visually display their role in developing learners’ abilities to contribute to teams that can capitalize on a diversity of thinking and perspective and to facilitate conversations with other educators around the ideals of the Collaborate Shared Foundation. 

“Collaboration is key to working effectively with others to broaden perspectives and work toward common goals, which is why it provides significant support for the other Shared Foundations in the AASL Standards Framework,” said Pentland. “I am excited to see the results of this Emerging Leaders group's collaborative efforts on this topic.” 

AASL member Hannah Byrd Little will serve as AASL’s member guide to the 2024 Emerging Leaders team working on the Collaborate project. The team will kick-off their work on January 19 in a face-to-face workshop during ALA’s LibLearnX event in Baltimore, MD. 

“As a passionate advocate for collaboration in school libraries, I'm thrilled to join the Emerging Leaders program. I experienced the challenges as a new librarian with a strong desire to succeed and lead without this program's guidance and support,” said Little. “As a result, I'm eager to guide participants in the Shared Foundation of Collaboration. I believe teaching information skills in isolation is ineffective, and I'm excited to empower others to bridge the gap and foster collaborations within their schools.” 

The Collaborate project is the fifth in a series of Shared Foundations projects completed by Emerging Leaders teams. Earlier projects focused on the Shared Foundations of Include, Explore, Curate, and Inquire and can be found on the AASL Standards web portal at standards.aasl.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.