ALA Strategic Planning

ALA Strategic Planning

On June 28, 2015, the ALA Council adopted a new Strategic Plan  and the Association’s new strategic directions for the next three to five years. Building on the Council-adopted Key Action Areas, three strategic initiatives have been identified as priority areas of focus for the Association. These three strategic initiatives are:

  • Advocacy
  • Information Policy
  • Professional & Leadership Development.

Planning began with a series of “kitchen table conversations” with members beginning in 2013. In January 2014, the ALA Executive Board met to discuss the Association’s future direction and work on a new strategic framework for the Association. In February, 2014, President Barbara Stripling shared the proposed framework with members. This was followed by a year of face-to-face and online forums and conversations designed to provide members with an opportunity to shape our vision going forward and the future of our work in these key areas.

Over the course of the fall and winter of 2014 and 2015, the ALA Council, divisions, round tables, interest groups, committees, chapters, affiliates and individual members all discussed three questions that helped shape the vision, goals, objectives, strategies and tactics in each of the three strategic direction areas. These questions were:

  • What would success look like?
  • How do you think we might get there?
  • How might you/your community (division, round table, committee, chapter, affiliate) help us get there?

During November and December, 2014, President Courtney Young hosted three virtual town hall meetings where members were able to share their thoughts on the initiatives and questions. Over the course of the spring, all these member comments were incorporated into the strategic plan document which was approved by the Executive Board in the spring of 2015 for submission to the ALA membership and Council, which approved the plan in June, 2015.

For further information on the information on the strategic planning process, forums and conversations visit the ALA Connect Strategic Planning group at  This also includes information on the three implementation plans, which detail goals, strategies and tactics in each of the strategic direction areas.

 A brief history of planning at ALA…

In 1998 the ALA Council voted commitment to five Key Action Areas as guiding principles for directing the Association’s energies and resources. With the development of a series of strategic plans, beginning with ALA Goal 2000 and continuing with ALAction2005, ALA Ahead to 2010, and ALA 2015,these principles have expanded to the current eight Key Action Areas , which are included in the Association’s new  Strategic Plan, adopted in June, 2015.