Process for Revision of the 2015 ALA Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies

Ongoing review of the ALA 2015 Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies has culminated in a draft revision. In conjunction with its stakeholders as part of its ALA charge “…to develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies,” the ALA Committee on Accreditation (CoA) has collected feedback from the library and information studies (LIS) and professional community, educators, students, and the public to provide feedback.

The January 20, 2023, Standards revision proposed to Council was further revised through meetings with an ALA/Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Working Group. That further revision is here: [Word] Standards revision September 2023.

Feedback on the Draft 2022 ALA Accreditation Standards Revision

  • Survey for feedback Version 2 of the Proposed Revision to the 2015 Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies Survey ( [Survey closed January 18, 2023]
  • Forum via video conference on Friday, May 20, 2022 from 1:00-2:15pm. Register by contacting with the subject line: Register for online Standards revision forum [Meeting recording:… ]
  • Video conference on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, from 11:00am-12:00pm, focused on the Canadian context.
  • Forum in-person on Saturday, June 25, 2022, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 2022 ALA Annual Conference, Washington, DC
  • CoA Open Meeting at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24
  • Presentation of the January 20, 2023, revision to ALA Council by the 2022-2023 CoA chair at the ALA Annual Meeting
  • Four meetings with an ALA/Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Working Group on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Discussion Panel at the ALISE 2023 Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI. 21st Century Accreditation: Teaching, Learning, Practice, and Competencies (slides)
  • Presentation of the September 28, 2023, revision at the ALA Executive Board Meeting on October 14, 2023, at which the CoA chair requested that a special session of ALA Council be held in November or December, 2023, for a vote on approval of the revision.
  • A special session for an ALA Council vote on adoption is scheduled for November 30, 2023.

If adopted, programs will begin responding to that version in reporting interim to their next comprehensive review. Programs already in a comprehensive review will continue using the 2015 Standards.

About the Draft ALA Standards Revision

The Standards are limited in application to assessment of graduate programs of library and information studies that lead to a master's degree. Identified are the indispensable components of library and information studies programs while recognizing programs’ rights and obligations regarding initiative, experimentation, innovation, and individual programmatic differences. They are are indicative, not prescriptive, with the intent to foster excellence through a program’s development of criteria for evaluating effectiveness, developing and applying qualitative and quantitative measures of these criteria, analyzing data from measurements, and applying analysis to program improvement. The Standards stress innovation and encourage programs to take an active role in and concern for future developments and growth in the field. The requirements of the Standards apply regardless of forms or locations of delivery of a program.

Please note that the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion are referenced throughout the Standards because of their importance when framing goals and objectives, designing curricula, selecting and retaining faculty and students, and allocating resources. These elements in the proposed revision in particular address this:

Standard I: Systematic Planning

The program’s implementation of an ongoing, broad-based systematic planning process involves the constituencies that the program seeks to serve and results in improvements to and innovations in the program.

I.1. Mission and goals. The mission and goals of the unit and the educational program incorporate values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The program’s goals are consistent with the values of the parent institution and foster quality education.

Standard II: Student Learning Outcomes and Curriculum

The student learning outcomes that students who complete the program achieve, including descriptions of different courses of study, specializations, or other variations and the evaluation of attainment of outcomes collectively across the program.

II.1. Ethics and values. Student learning outcomes and curriculum are designed to incorporate the philosophy, principles, and ethics of the field, including the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and relevant professional codes of ethics.

Standard III: Faculty

The faculty who support the program: their qualifications, achievements relevant to the program, evaluation of performance, and professional development.

III.1. Faculty diversity. The recruitment, development, and advancement of all faculty reflect the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Standard IV: Students

The processes and systems which recruit, retain, and support students and prospective students, including the evaluation and continuous improvement of those processes and systems.

IV.1. Student diversity. Student recruitment, retention, and support systems address student needs in a global and diverse society, explicitly advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Standard V: Infrastructure

The administrative, financial, physical, and technological resources and services which support student learning and enable program learning outcomes to be achieved, including the evaluation of such resources and services for continuous improvement.

V.1. Values underlying infrastructure. Resources and services that affect the program incorporate values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Fiscal resources are distributed equitably in accordance with institutional and unit missions.