It is so important to get connected with fellow teacher librarians once you become a librarian. No one else in your building knows or understands what you go through. Librarians, well all educators, are a wealth of knowledge, so why would you not want to connect with others to share ideas, get feedback, or just commiserate together?
KASL- Kentucky Association of School Librarians is a state level organization of school teacher librarians that support each other. We are a voice for all school librarians. We contact legislatures when there is an educational concern at the state level or the national level. KLA, Kentucky Library Association, is comprised of librarians from schools, public libraries, universities, private schools, and colleges and universities. KASL is a section of KLA. At the local level, each district has their own KASL group made up of various school districts in your geographical area. It is important to be a member at ALL levels; locally, at the grassroots level to make a difference in your district and to support each other when districts make decisions that affect school libraries, and at the state level to make our voice stronger when libraries are being affected, whether negatively or positively. You may even consider joining nationally with AASL, the American Association of School Librarians. What a great way to connect with librarians from around the United States.
One of the greatest perks, I think, of being a member of KASL is visiting with fellow librarians at our conferences, the Fall Conference in September and the Summer Refresher. I have life long friends I have made throughout the state that I would not have met if I hadn’t joined KASL. Even after they retire, we remain friends on Facebook or by email.
What better way to let your principal know that you take your job seriously and are a true professional than by participating at the state level. Whether you present at a conference, serve on an awards committee or hold an office at the district level with KASL, that commitment and leadership help you to grow as a professional. Since I have been involved with KASL over the years, my leadership abilities and self-confidence in my job have grown exponentially.
I know life is busy with work, family, kid’s activities, etc…but try to make time to get involved with your professional organization. You will not regret it.