State Ecosystem Initiative

American Association of School Librarians (AASL), ALA's Office for Library Advocacy (OLA) and Chapter Relations Office (CRO) have embarked on a yearlong initiative to strengthen state library ecosystems through unified messaging and identification of shared priorities for action. This initiative follows the more than 40 ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Implementation Workshops that AASL conducted across the country during 2016-17, to ensure that school librarians were at the table as states and districts develop their implementation plans for federal education legislation.

The State Ecosystem Initiative was launched at ALA Annual in 2017 with a panel on Partnerships to Strengthen School Libraries and will continue with virtual and in-person programming, as well as the development of strategic resources, with a culminating event at ALA Annual in June, 2018.

Year One Overview

The infographic below provides a brief summary of the initiative's impact during its first year.

State Ecosystem Intiative Summary Infographic

June 2018

The first year of the State Ecosystem Initiative was marked with a luncheon and presentation by Maryland Library Association and Maryland Association of School Librarians, highlighting their collaborative advocacy on behalf of school libraries. The work of the initiative will continue via a virtual platform on ALA Connect, and ACRL Chapters were welcomed into the conversation.

May 2018

AASL, OLA and CRO hosted a conversation with library leaders from across the country, discussing their roles in their states' library ecosystems. Click on the image below to access this webinar, as well as others from ALA's Chapter Advocacy Exchange.

May Webinar Slides


February 2018

During ALA's Midwinter meeting, more than 100 librarians from across the country gathered for "Enhancing Communications and Strengthening Library Ecosystems," a facilitated dialogue to identify common priorities for action. 

Ecosystem Dialogue Tweet


November 2017

Attendees shared their feedback regarding priorities for action within their respective states.

Ecosystem Survey Postcard Survey Results Word Cloud

Thanks to all who participated in the survey and congratulations to raffle winners April D. and Dawn B.!


September 2017

AASL, OLA and CRO brought together a panel of librarians who are advocating for legislation at the state level. Click on the image below to access this webinar, as well as others from ALA's Chapter Advocacy Exchange.

Webinar_Back to School: School Library Legislation in the Statehouses


June 2017

To kickoff the State Ecosystem Initiative, AASL, OLA and CRO convened a panel of librarians to talk about the power of partnerships for sustained, meaningful library advocacy.