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Present Your Authentic, Imperfect Self: with Allison Mackley

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Allison Mackley, a school librarian in Pennsylvania who is three months from wrapping up her term as the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association's immediate past president and an American Association of School Librarians (AASL) board director. She serves in numerous positions in her state and national library associations. Allison was named the 2019 AASL Social Media Superstar: Leadership Luminary.

Click here to listen to her interview now.

In this podcast, Allison describes her first year in the school library.

  • She was comfortable with trial and error; testing things out.

  • Work to create a learning environment that feels comfortable to you and the culture of your library.

  • She changes things every year to make her procedures and processes work better.

  • Don’t take it personally when people question your process or procedure.

Here are some Librarian Influencer strategies Allison shared:

  • She keeps a portfolio of some of her favorite experiences to showcase her professional work.

  • She also serves as the Instructional Technology Coach, K-12 Library Department Coordinator, and on the District Professional Learning Team. These additional roles give her a voice in helping guide the district.

  • She also serves as the Learning Commons Council advisor and TEDxYouth@ChocolateAve advisor which puts her in a position to honor student voices.

  • She elevates others by illuminating their potential and providing opportunities they can pursue.

Presenting your authentic, imperfect self is the path to professional and personal contentment:

  • Present yourself as someone who is doing the best that you can. This helps her feel content.

  • Allison recommends reading Dare to Lead by Brené Brown.

  • Live by your values in your professional and personal life.

You can follow Librarian Influencer Allison Mackley at:

  • Twitter: @amackley

  • Facebook:

  • Instagram: a.mackley

  • High School Library Website:

  • Professional Website

COVID-19 Update from Allison:

As a school librarian, I often tie my professional identity to the environment I create in the physical space of the library, but as schools have closed across the nation, I have been able to pivot. I have always believed that the library is more than a space, and watching my peers solidify the essential role of school librarians during this time of virtual learning is inspiring.

School librarians step forward to provide academic and social lift for learners, faculty, and administrators by curating collections of resources; providing professional learning opportunities; offering live and recorded help sessions for information, digital, media, and technology literacy skills; expanding a social media presence; moderating virtual book clubs; co-teaching in virtual classrooms and so much more.

That feeling you get when you walk through the doors of a library is created by the school librarian, regardless of whether that door is physical or virtual.

~Allison Mackley

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