Mission & Priorities


The ALA Constitution states the purpose of ALA as, “The object of the American Library Association shall be to promote library service and librarianship.” The stated mission is, “To provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”


The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost.

(Adopted 1892; reinstated by the ALA Council, 1988)


In 1998 the ALA Council voted commitment to five Key Action Areas as guiding principles for directing the Association’s energies and resources: Diversity, Equity of Access, Education and Continuous Learning, Intellectual Freedom, and 21st Century Literacy. With the development of a series of strategic plans, beginning with ALA Goal 2000, ALAction 2005, ALA Ahead to 2010, these principles have expanded to eight Key Action Areas, which are supplemented by ALA Ahead to 2015, the Association’s current strategic plan.