Maine woman becomes executive director of AASL

Posted Sept. 10, 2013, at 8:32 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2013, at 1:49 p.m.

The Maine Association of School Libraries (MASL) is delighted to share this news with you.

AASL Executive Director

Please join me in welcoming Sylvia Knight Norton as the new Executive

Director of the American Association of School Librarians, effective

September 30, 2013. Sylvia K. Norton comes to AASL/ALA from the College of

Communication and Information, School of Library and Information Studies,

Florida State University, where she has been School Library Media Internship

Coordinator and Instructor. During this period, she also served as State

E-Rate Coordinator, Florida Department of Management Services (2011-2012).

Sylvia brings strong state and local experience to the Association. From

March 2002 to September 2010, she was the School Library, Technology

Planning and E-rate Coordinator, Maine Department of Education, where she

planned, developed and advocated for statewide programs and professional

development to enhance teaching and learning through instructional

technology and school library programs. In that capacity, she was involved

in a broad range of programs related to school libraries, from technology

implementation to school library construction and to the development of


In earlier positions, Sylvia Norton was School Library Technologist at the

Maine State Library (2001-2002) and a school librarian at Freeport High

School (ME). She also held several positions in health sciences


Sylvia also brings extensive leadership experience within ALA and other

professional associations. Since 2011, she has been a member of the ALA

Executive Board, in which capacity she also served as a member of the ALA

Budget Analysis and Review Committee and the Board’s Finance and Audit

Committee. She served on the ALA Council from 2005, when she was elected a

Councilor-at-Large. She served twice on the AASL Board of Directors, from

2002-2005 representing the New England region and from 2006-2011 as the AASL

Councilor. Throughout this time, she has served on numerous committees and

task forces. In addition, Sylvia was active at the state level. She served

as president of the New England School Library Association (2001-2002) and

president of the Maine Association of School Libraries (1997-1998), among

many other roles.

Active in her local community as well as her professional community, Sylvia

has been a school board member. She has also served as a public library


Sylvia was a frequent presenter at conferences and contributed to many

publications. Most recently she authored “Technology Planning: Designing

the Direction to Get There,” in Knowledge Quest, 42 (1) 2013.

She was honored with Lifetime Membership to the Maine Association of School

Libraries (2007) in recognition of her leadership. She was elected to the

Hall of Fame of the New England School Library Association in 2008 for her

significant contributions. In 2010-2011, she received a PALM (Partnership

Advancing Library Media) Research Center, Florida State University, Doctoral


Sylvia Norton has a BA in English from University of Maine (Orono), a Master

of Library and Information Science degree from Simmons College and a Master

of Public Administration from University of Maine (Orono). She completed

doctoral studies in Educational Leadership (University of Maine) and is

currently pursuing a doctorate in Library and Information Studies (Florida

State University).

AASL is a division of the American Library Association. AASL’s mission is

to advocate excellence, facilitate change, and develop leaders in the school

library field. AASL provides continuing education (including a biennial

national conference , biennial forum and electronic courses), publications

(including a regular journal, Knowledge Quest, and an online research

journal, School Library Research, as well as books and other resources),

advocacy, research, service awards and a wide array of leadership

opportunities. AASL also developed and administers a major grant to the

ALA/AASL – the Beyond Words grant from the Dollar General Foundation.

Thanks go to search committee members Gail Dickinson (president, AASL),

Susan D. Ballard (Immediate Past President, AASL), Mary Ellen Davis

(Executive Director, ACRL), Michelle Harrell Washington (Director, Office

for Diversity/OLOS), Marci Merola (Director, Office for Library Advocacy),

Mary Ghikas (Senior Associate Executive Director, ALA) and Cynthia Vivian

(Director, HR) for a successful search. Thanks also go to Allison Cline

(Deputy Executive Director, AASL) for her leadership as interim executive

director and to all the staff of AASL for their work and for their support

of the search process.

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