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ALA: Ahead to 2010


Draft Strategic Plan

April 15, 2005


Founding Purpose:

The object of the American Library Association shall be to promote library services and librarianship.  (ALA Constitution, Article II)


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.  (ALA Policy 1.2)


ALA is the leading advocate for:

  • The value of libraries and librarians in connecting people to recorded knowledge in all forms.
  • The public's right to a free and open information society.

Key Action Areas:

  • Diversity
  • Equity of Access
  • Education and Continuous Learning
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • 21st Century Literacy

(Approved annually since 1997 by the ALA Council as the "programmatic priorities" of the Association.)


Goals and Objectives

The goals presented are intended to guide the Association for the next five years.  The goal statements answer the question: "What would constitute success?"  For each goal, draft strategic objectives are defined.  These strategic objectives provide the bridge between the goals and specific strategies and action plans.

Goal Area I:  Advocacy/Value of the Profession

Goal Statement:  ALA and its members are the leading advocates for libraries and the library profession.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Increase support for research and evaluation to provide evidence regarding the value and impact of libraries.
  2. Increase public awareness of the value and impact of libraries of all types.
  3. Increase public awareness of the value and impact of librarians and library staff.
  4. Mobilize, support and sustain grassroots advocacy for libraries and library funding at local, state, and federal levels.
  5. Increase collaboration on securing legislation favorable to libraries.
  6. Increase public awareness of the importance of intellectual freedom and privacy, and the role of libraries in a democracy.


Goal Area II:  Education

Goal Statement:  Through its leadership, ALA ensures the highest quality graduate and continuing education opportunities for librarians and library staff.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Ensure that accreditation standards reflect the needs and core values of the profession.
  2. Increase availability of and access to continuing education and continuous learning opportunities for librarians and library staff.
  3. Make ALA continuing education programs and publications affordable and accessible in a wide variety of media and formats.
  4. Establish standards for educational programs for library support staff.


Goal Area III: Public Policy

Goal Statement:  ALA plays a key role in the formulation of national and international policies that affect library and information services.

Strategic Objectives

  1. Increase ALA's promotion of all forms of literacy.
  2. Increase ALA's influence in promoting First Amendment rights, intellectual freedom and privacy.
  3. Increase ALA's influence in promoting equity of access and fair use.
  4. Increase ALA's influence in promoting the preservation of our cultural heritage.
  5. Support grassroots efforts to influence local, state and federal policies and standards that affect library and information services.
  6. Increase understanding of international issues affecting library and information services and generate support for international partnerships that strengthen library and information services.


Goal Area IV:  Building the Profession

Goal Statement:  ALA is a leader in recruiting and developing a highly qualified and diverse library work force.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Increase leadership development opportunities for librarians and library staff.
  2. Increase the diversity of the library profession and workforce to reflect a changing population.
  3. Support nationwide efforts to increase recruitment and retention of librarians and library staff
  4. Support efforts to increase career development opportunities for all librarians and library staff.
  5. Through ALA-APA, advocate for improved compensation for librarians and library staff. 


Goal Area V:  Membership

Goal Statement:  Members receive outstanding value for their ALA membership.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Increase the value of the Association to its members through identifying and responding to changing member needs.
  2. Increase opportunities for association involvement that is customized to individual interests
  3. Increase opportunities for electronic and virtual involvement in association activities.
  4. Provide high quality programs, workshops, and publications in print and electronic format.
  5. Effectively communicate the value of association, division and round table membership.


Goal Area VI:  Organizational Excellence

Goal Statement:  ALA is an inclusive, effectively governed, well-managed, and financially strong organization. 

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Increase ALA's ability to respond effectively to a changing environment.
  2. Increase the amount and diversity of revenue sources to support ALA programs and services and meet current and future member needs.
  3. Continuously improve ALA's technology capabilities in order to achieve the association's goals and meet member needs.
  4. Increase and improve communications, cooperation and collaboration throughout the association, its divisions and round tables.
  5. Provide greater opportunities for more members to assume leadership positions within the organization.
  6. Strengthen efforts to recruit and retain members.


Envisioned Future and Organizational Values


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