American Library Association Action Goal for Continuing Education


ACTION GOAL: By 2005, ALA will be a leader in continuing education for librarians and library personnel

  • ALA will have the allied professional association structure essential for certification, as well as the ALA policy framework, and have launched one or more certification programs.
  • ALA will use computer/communications technologies effectively to provide a variety of continuing education programs for members.
  • ALA will have an effective structure for coordinating continuing education across the breadth and diversity of the Association and its units.



  • Current implementation of 1 st Congress on Professional Education recommendations focuses on values and competencies, the accreditation process and employment issues. Recommendations with policy implications and/or fundamental infrastructure impact are anticipated by 2001.
  • A 2 nd Congress on Professional Education will be held in Fall 2000, focusing on continuing education for the profession. Recommendations will be received by Summer 2001.
  • The Office for Human Resources Development and Recruitment (formerly OLPR) will implement the recommendation of the OLPR Advisory Committee to establish a Continuing Education Clearinghouse, including both ALA and non-ALA information, accessible on the website. To support initial steps, .5FTE additional staff was added to HRDR in FY2000.
  • PLA/LAMA/ASCLA are completing development of curricula for the [Certified] Public Library Administrator program.
  • Structural changes in the ALA Annual Conference will enable more effective use of annual conference for delivery of continuing education by 2001.
  • AASL continues to offer web-based training to school librarians, students and parents through its ICONnect Initiative.
  • Related organizations are offering web-based continuing education courses (e.g. Special Libraries Association) and post-masters credentialing (e.g. Medical Library Association). Recent data – Executive Director informal survey, American Libraries reader survey – demonstrated both high member demand for good continuing education and the need for significant improvements.
  • Three divisions offer biennial national conferences including intensive continuing education (ACRL, AASL, PLA); three divisions offer a joint national institute (RUSA, ALSC, ALTA), one division offers an annual national forum (LITA) and one a biennial national symposium (PLA). Two divisions offer a broad, continuing array of institutes (LAMA, ALCTS).



  • Agility in content development
  • Strong quality control
  • Diversity in delivery format
  • Utilization and coordinating of existing strengths
  • Mechanism for identifying needs / gaps


  • All ALA divisions
  • ALA Committee on Education (standing, Council)
  • ALA Chapters / ALA Chapter Relations Committee (standing)
  • ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (formerly OLPR)
  • ALA Conference Services
  • ALA affiliates
  • LIS programs
  • Libraries


Relation to ALA Mission/Roles

  • Better educated library staff and trustees are more effective in policy arenas.
  • Better educated library staff and trustees provide better service to society.


Year-One Requirements [and Likely Sources]

  • Establishment of allied professional association to enable certification [FY2001 budget proposal]
  • ALA/division "co-investment" in major internet/web-based continuing education initiative [FY2001 budget proposal
  • Development of proposal for cross-association coordination of continuing education [FY2002 budget proposal]


Main Responsibility for Managing Goal(s) to Success:

  • Member Programs and Services Team – particularly ALA divisions, Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment


Measurable Outcomes – Year 1 / Year 2:

Certification: Spring 2000 – Budget proposal / allied professional association

Fall 2000 – 1 st post-MLIS certification program launched (with PLA/LAMA/ASCLA)

Internet/web-based Continuing Education:

Spring 2000 – Budget proposal / ALA-division co-investment

Fall 2000 (FY2001) – Test module development

2001 – Initial offering

Cross-Association Coordination:

Summer 2000 – MPS proposal development

Fall 2000 (FY2001) – Proposal for review


12/20/1999 mg/draft