To promote life-long learning by the students of Illinois, AISLE will provide leadership and support for the development, promotion, and improvement of the school library media profession and programs in Illinois.
The Mission Statement and Goals Statements of the association were originally approved by the Board of Directors during the 1994-95 fiscal year. This revision was approved by Board action on October 21, 2000. The goals are not necessarily listed in priority order.
The Illinois School Library Media Association was formed on March 3, 1988 when a group of school library media professionals known as The Friends of School Libraries met at the Oak Brook Hills Conference Center and presented a proposal for formal organization. The necessary organizational tasks were begun immediately. They included filing for incorporation under the General Not for Profit Corporation Act of Illinois, and applying for 501e3 tax exempt status with the IRS.
ISLMA also became an affiliate of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) with voting status, began a membership campaign, and planned and executed a major conference. Committee chairs and committee members were appointed and a newsletter was begun.
The elected officers (Illinois Association for Media in Education - IAME) continued in their offices as the ISLMA Board. The first officers for 1988-89 were:
Kay Maynard - President
Nancy Bloomstrand - President-Elect
Joyce Karon - Secretary
Becky Trewartha - Treasurer
Dale Guthrie - Board Member
Pamela Kramer - Board Member
Jackie Plourde - Board Member
Carol Morrison - Board Member
By December 1988 over 500 school library media specialists had become charter members of ISLMA. The first ISLMA Conference was held October 28-29, 1988 at the Hyatt Woodfield in Schaumburg. 411 attended the conference, 26 concurrent sessions were held and 48 exhibitors were present.
ISLMA was formed as a separate organization, not as a part of ILA. Since ISLMA was organized, school librarians have been more involved in cooperative projects with other librarians and collaboration between different types of libraries is high. As Kay Maynard said at the first conference in 1988 "We want ISLMA to be the vehicle for advancing the school library media profession in the state of Illinois and we believe that you must be involved in fueling that vehicle."