Trinity’s Mr. Tim Jones is honored to serve this school year as the President of the Jefferson County Association of School Librarians (JCASL). In only three months in the role, Tim has already helped shatter the JCASL membership record by 30 members, reshaped JCASL’s future by building the most diverse board in JCASL history, and increased the number of board positions from to 18 to 25 (adding positions for Advocacy, Diversity, Events, PD, and NTI). He’s also overseen an official JCASL Equity and Diversity statement, a new and improved JCASL website, ongoing NTI and pandemic resource sharing, expanded social media outreach, a record number of applications for JCASL’s Lucy Marx Scholarship, and the most viewed JCASL newsletter on record. You can check out some of these happenings, some of the professional developments he led this summer (including via Zoom to Peru), and more in the JCASL newsletter here. Also a member of the KASL state board, Mr. Jones continues to grow and help other educators grow through his professional learning networks.
Read below for an interview with Mr. Jones:
When did you find out you were going to be JCASL president?
I was nominated for President in 2018-2019, assumed duties as President-Elect in 2019-2020, will serve this year as President, and will continue as Past-President next year in more of a mentoring capacity. As president of the JCASL district, I serve also on the board of the Kentucky Association of School Librarians. In addition, the KASL President selected me to serve a four-year term on the KASL board as Awards Co-Chair.
Is this an elected position? How long will you be serving?
The JCASL Executive Board is elected by the membership, so it’s quite an honor to be elected by your librarian peers who are doing their own amazing things across the county. Unlike in other districts, JCASL presidents only serve for one year, so I am trying to make the most of my tenure.
What goals do you have in your tenure?
Ultimately, JCASL is an association meant to assist school librarians, so that they can elevate their schools and communities. So the potential for effecting wide positive change is enormous.
I noticed a lot of areas for creating long-term change that would outlast my tenure, and that’s where I got started, including developing initiatives to make the board more inclusive and diverse. We have the largest and most diverse district in the state, but since I can remember, our board had been 100% white. Our board is now truly representative. We are now amplifying a lot of voices that were absent and not receiving deserved opportunities for leadership. At our Virtual Back to School Bash, we are giving away gift cards to various local businesses and Black-owned businesses. I’ve also restructured the board to help it operate and reach out more efficiently, including to graduate students, retirees, and non-JCPS librarians.
We live in a time of great anxiety and uncertainty. Self-care and mental health have never been more important. So I’ve been extremely intentional as well about promoting more positivity and advocacy. The more we can promote that, the greater ripple effect we’ll have on our communities and county.
What’s your favorite part of the job so far? Why is this so important to you?
Being able to give back. The librarians I’ve always respected the most are those who pay it forward and help each other out. When librarians have each others’ backs, the stronger their professional learning network becomes, the less we feel like islands, and the more we grow from one another. When we work and learn together, that benefits each of our schools. During this online learning and NTI era, that’s become exponentially more important – because we’re sort of learning how to fly the plane while we’re building it. Whether it’s through our new website, monthly Twitter chats, bimonthly newsletters, or general relationship-fostering, our members are better positioned to build that plane and help our colleagues fly.
I also believe that librarianship is one of the most important professions. We are the most trusted on topics such as media literacy, according to surveys. So, whether it’s through instructional support, technology, nurturing empathy, or fostering a love for reading, we have the unique skillset through our various roles to benefit the whole school community. JCASL and KASL helps me maximize what I can offer.Trinity’s Mr. Tim Jones
Way to go, Mr. Jones! Trinity is PROUD!