State Ecosystem Initiative

Ecosystem Initiative logo

A library ecosystem is the interconnected network of all types of libraries, library workers, volunteers, and associations that provide and facilitate library services for community members; families; K-20 learners; college and university communities; local, state and federal legislatures and government offices; businesses; nonprofits; and other organizations with specific information needs.

A patron of one library is the potential patron of any other library at a different time of life or location. No library exists independent of the library ecosystem. When we stand together in mutual support using common messaging themes that demonstrate this interconnectedness, every library is stronger.

Year Two: 2018-19

The State Ecosystem Initiative continues! We are pleased to welcome ACRL chapters to the State Ecosystem Initiative, a project that will continue into its second year and includes a virtual community on ALA Connect. For more information or to join the community, contact Megan Cusick, mcusick@ala.org.

Year One: 2017-18

American Association of School Librarians (AASL), ALA's Office for Library Advocacy (OLA) and Chapter Relations Office (CRO) embarked on a yearlong initiative to strengthen state library ecosystems through unified messaging and identification of shared priorities for action. This initiative followed more than 40 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 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 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

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 kick-off 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.