ALSC Strategic Plan, 2012-2017


In October 2010, the ALSC Board of Directors, the ALSC Priority Group Consultants and the ALSC office staff met to review and update its strategic plan for the future. The outcome of this planning process was enhanced clarity, and a renewed focus about how ALSC will invest its valuable and limited resources in meeting the future needs of its members and influencing the future direction of the profession. Building on our successes to date, the strategic plan will help move ALSC forward.

The strategic plan includes the following:

  • A set of factors in the long-range horizon (10+ years into the future) to guide decision-making including a core purpose, core values, Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), and a vivid description of future success;
  • Focused goal areas that identify where the association will direct its energy in the next five years. These goal areas focus on outcomes beneficial to the association and its members.
  • A set of objectives within each articulated goal that will guide the association in achieving them.

In addition, ALSC committees will develop benchmarks (strategies) that will help the association meet its objectives.

ALSC’s leadership views strategic thinking and planning as an ongoing process within the organization. This is not a “strategic planning project” that is completed; adopting the plan will be an affirmation of the general intent and direction articulated by the envisioned stated goals, and objectives. With the help of the ALSC staff, the ALSC Board of Directors will assess progress towards achieving the plan’s goals and objectives annually, and update the plan based on achievement and changes in the needs of the stakeholders served.

Long-term Core Ideology and Envisioned Future

Core ideology describes an association’s consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment.  It consists of two elements - core purpose – the association’s reason for being – and core values – essential and enduring principles that guide an association.  Envisioned future is a clear and compelling catalyst that serves as a focal point for effort and conveys a concrete yet unrealized audacious vision for the organization.  The vivid description is a vibrant and engaging description of what it will be like to achieve the envisioned future.


Core Purpose: 

Creating a better future for children through libraries.

Core Values:

  • Collaboration
  • Excellence
  • Inclusiveness
  • Innovation
  • Integrity and Respect
  • Leadership
  • Responsiveness

Envisioned Future (or BHAG):

Libraries are recognized as vital to all children and the communities that support them.

Vivid Description of the Desired Future:

Through free, public, and equal access to library services, children develop a love of reading, and become responsible citizens contributing to a global society.  As a result of positive library experiences, children remain library users throughout their lives and pass this engagement on to future generations. Libraries continue to be dynamic, responsive, and inclusive physical and virtual environments that are fully equipped to serve all children and the communities that support them. Libraries are viewed as central and integral partners in maintaining vibrant communities.  

ALSC is viewed by its members as essential for their success and the growth of their profession. The association is recognized as the definitive source for new and relevant information and resources by library workers serving children. The association is politically effective through the active participation of its members, and is acknowledged as a leader in effectively directing the future of library services to children and the communities that support them.


Five-Year Goals and Objectives

The following goals describe outcomes the organization is committed to achieving in five years.  The achievement of each goal will move the association toward realization of its vision.  The goal areas are not in priority order.
Objectives provide direction on how the association will accomplish its articulated goals. 

Goal Area:  Advocacy

ALSC will promote the value of excellent library services to children and the communities that support them.

Objective (1):  Increase influence in legislative initiatives affecting library services to children and the communities that support them.

Objective (2):  Increase mutually beneficial collaborations with other organizations serving children and the communities that support them.

Objective (3):  Increase awareness of the value of excellent library services for all children and the vital role youth services librarians and trained library workers serve. 

Objective (4):  Create resources to assist libraries in recruiting, developing, and retaining diverse highly qualified individuals who specialize in library service to children and reflect increasingly diverse communities.
Objective (5): Support initiatives to enhance resources for the children of underserved communities.


Goal Area:  Education

ALSC will innovatively expand its educational opportunities for all library workers serving children.

Objective (1):  Enhance both access and content offered through continuing education and professional development.

Objective (2):  Expand educational opportunities focused on new and emerging technologies.

Objective (3):  Expand educational and training opportunities that reflect our core competencies and values.

Objective (4):   Ensure that our educational and training opportunities reflect and reach our increasingly diverse communities.

Objective (5): Identify and promote the finest in resources (print, nonprint, and emerging formats) and programs for libraries serving children.

Goal Area:  Access to Library Services

ALSC will empower its members to eliminate barriers to library services for children and the communities that support them.

Objective (1):  Increase educational opportunities focused on overcoming barriers to library services.

Objective (2):  Increase advocacy for technology funding for children’s services to ensure that children have full access to emerging information technologies. 

Objective (3):  Provide access to economically efficient strategies for serving the underserved. 

Objective (4):  Provide access to innovative and collaborative models for community participation in library service to children.

Objective (5): Increase ALSC's influence in promoting equity of access especially in supporting efforts to reach children of underserved communities.

Approved by the ALSC Board of Directors, June 25, 2011.