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ALA: Ahead to 2010


Envisioned Future and Organizational Values

Envisioned Future

The Association's "envisioned future" is intended to describe a concrete yet unrealized vision of future conditions - a future toward which the Association and its constituent parts may work over an extended period of time, through successive short-term goals.

Desired Future:


  • All people in the United States are literate.
  • All people can participate in the "information society".
  • People of all ages have access to adequate library services in their communities and schools.
  • There is free, permanent public access to government information
  • Libraries are universally perceived as an essential public service

The Library

  • There is ample funding for all libraries to support their mission.
  • All preschools and elementary, middle, and high schools have certified school librarians.
  • Each library is an active center for the community it serves and reaches out to serve its community.
  • Each library has sufficient resources, technology, and qualified personnel to support its mission.
  • All libraries actively uphold the First Amendment rights of library users as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights
  • Every public library offers service to children and young adults, provided by appropriately educated personnel.

The Profession

  • The profession of librarianship is as diverse as the people that libraries serve.
  • Working in a library is a sought-after career choice.
  • Librarians and library staff are prepared to meet the challenges of a changing information environment.
  • Librarians and library staff are equitably compensated, in acknowledgement of their valuable knowledge and skills.
  • Librarians and library staff have access to professional development programs that are affordable and timely.
  • All librarians and governing bodies adhere to the ALA Code of Ethics.
  • Library support staff are a fully participating and valued component of librarianship.
  • Library school graduate students are a fully participating and valued component of librarianship.
  • Serving on a library board, faculty committee or library advisory group is a sought after volunteer choice.

The Association

  • ALA is respected for defending and maintaining First Amendment, intellectual freedom and privacy rights.
  • ALA makes significant contributions to increasing literacy in the United States.
  • New members are easily able to find an affinity group within ALA.
  • All members understand and can articulate the value of ALA membership.
  • Every librarian and library staff member is a member of ALA.
  • ALA has the resources it needs to accomplish its goals.
  • ALA and its leadership are recognized as innovative and proactive.
  • ALA's structure is nimble and flexible, enabling it to respond quickly to opportunities and changes.
  • ALA is recognized for its excellent two-way communication between the association and members.
  • ALA supports certification programs that provide quality training and improved library service.
  • ALA is the most complete and authoritative place to learn about - or receive - scholarships for library education.
  • ALA contributes to public policy decision-making in all areas related to education, libraries, and access to information, both nationally and internationally
  • ALA is a primary resource for local library advocates and library advocacy.
  • ALA is a primary source for library research and statistics.
  • ALA is a leader in the use of information technology for member communication and member services.
  • ALA services are available in a variety of languages.
  • ALA services are accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • ALA is universally recognized as a leading advocate for preservation, fair use, and access to information.
  • All relevant accreditation agencies use ALA standards.
  • ALA supports schools of library and information studies in the development of professionals who understand and espouse the core values of the profession.
  • ALA maintains close working relationships with state, regional, national and international library organizations to achieve mutual goals.
  • ALA supports access to information by contributing to the development of standards and by identifying best practice.
  • ALA is an international leader in promoting improved library service and access to information for all.
  • ALA is recognized for its outstanding publications program.


Organizational Values:1

The Association is committed to:

  • Member service
  • All types of libraries - academic, public, school and special
  • All librarians, library staff, trustees and other individuals and groups working to improve library services
  • An open, inclusive, and collaborative environment 
  • Professionalism and integrity
  • Excellence and innovation
  • Extending and expanding library services in America and around the world.
  • Social responsibility and the public good.

1 "Organizational Values" provide a basis for the culture of ALA (the organization) and determine how it will function.  Recently, the ALA Council approved a set of "Core Values" for the profession.  They provide a framework for crafting policies relating to the profession.  The Core Values are: Access, Confidentiality/Privacy, Democracy, Diversity, Education and Lifelong Learning, Intellectual Freedom, The Public Good, Preservation, Professionalism, Service, and Social Responsibility.


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ALA: Ahead to 2010 Appendix: Envisioned Future and Organizational Values
ALA: Ahead to 2010 Appendix: Envisioned Future and Organizational Values