ALA Strategic Planning

ALA Strategic Planning

In January 2021, ALA Council was presented with a new five-year strategic plan, The Pathway to Transformation (PDF), which launched in the Fall of 2021.

On June 28, 2015, the ALA Council adopted a new Strategic Plan: 2017 Update (PDF)  and the Association’s new strategic directions for the next three to five years. Building on the Council-adopted Key Action Areas, three strategic initiatives have been identified as priority areas of focus for the Association. At the 2017 Midwinter Meeting, ALA Council approved a fourth direction on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (PDF).  At their 2018 Fall meeting, the ALA Executive Board voted to affirm that ALA will apply a social justice framework to the ALA Strategic Directions for the next three-to-five years.  The four strategic directions are:

  • Advocacy
  • Information Policy
  • Professional & Leadership Development.
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Planning began with a series of “kitchen table conversations” with members beginning in 2013. In January 2014, the ALA Executive Board met to discuss the Association’s future direction and work on a new strategic framework for the Association. In February 2014, President Barbara Stripling shared the proposed framework with members. This was followed by a year of face-to-face and online forums and conversations designed to provide members with an opportunity to shape our vision going forward and the future of our work in these key areas.

Over the course of the fall and winter of 2014 and 2015, the ALA Council, divisions, round tables, interest groups, committees, chapters, affiliates, and individual members all discussed three questions that helped shape the vision, goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics in each of the three strategic direction areas. These questions were:

  • What would success look like?
  • How do you think we might get there?
  • How might you/your community (division, round table, committee, chapter, affiliate) help us get there?

During November and December, 2014, President Courtney Young hosted three virtual town hall meetings where members were able to share their thoughts on the initiatives and questions. Over the course of the spring, all these member comments were incorporated into the strategic plan document which was approved by the Executive Board in the spring of 2015 for submission to the ALA membership and Council, which approved the plan in June, 2015.

The equity, diversity, & inclusion initiative was added at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting and will be integrated into the larger Strategic Planning documentation. 

For further information on the information on the strategic planning process, forums and conversations visit the ALA Connect Strategic Planning group.  This also includes information on the three implementation plans, which detail goals, strategies, and tactics in each of the strategic direction areas.

 A brief history of planning at ALA…

In 1998 the ALA Council voted commitment to five Key Action Areas as guiding principles for directing the Association’s energies and resources. With the development of a series of strategic plans, beginning with ALA Goal 2000 and continuing with ALAction2005, ALA Ahead to 2010, and ALA 2015, these principles have expanded to the current eight Key Action Areas, which are included in the Association’s new Strategic Plan: 2017 Update (PDF), which was initially adopted in June 2015, and updated in January 2017 with the addition of a fourth strategic direction: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.