ALSC Strategic Plan

The Fall 2019 ALSC Executive Committee meeting initiated the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan work and was followed by the full ALSC Board's participation in developing a strategic plan by the start of the 2021 fiscal year beginning September 1, 2020.

Preparations included an extensive review of resources that informed and supported the current strategic plan. Some examples of these resources include an environmental scan, quarterly Strategic Plan Implementation Progress Reports, ALSC surveys including the 2016 Diversity Within Children's Librarianship and 2019 Needs Assessment survey results, background information on currrent ALSC projects and resources from ALA such as the ALA's Strategic Directions and update, and the State of America's Libraries reports. The Board continued the work of developing the strategic plan to ensure its relativity to a post-pandemic environment. The resulting strategic plan is ALSC's framework to direct how ALSC will invest its valuable and limited resources in meeting the future needs of its members and influencing the evolution of the profession.

To follow progress of the plan's implementation, see the Strategic Plan Implementation Progress Reports

The ALSC Board is beginning the process of updating and setting a new strategic direction and is looking for feedback from current, past and prospective members. Visit our Strategic Planning Affinity Conversations to sign up for a session and have your voice heard.

The 2020-2023 Strategic Plan

The final 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, approved on May 28, 2020, includes the following:

ALSC Vision Statement icon

Vision statement: Members of the Association for Library Service to Children engage communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children.


ALSC Core Values Icon
Affirmation of ALSC’s core values:


  • Collaboration
  • Excellence
  • Inclusiveness
  • Innovation
  • Integrity and Respect
  • Leadership
  • Responsiveness

Strategic Directions Icon
Focused strategic directions and areas of strategic action that identify where the association will direct its energy and resources over the next three years:

Spheres of Transformation Spheres of Transformation graphic

  • Transforming ALSC

Members have clear, welcoming pathways to contribute to the work of the organization.

  • Transforming Children’s Librarianship

ALSC empowers the profession to be nimble and embrace change as children’s needs evolve.

  • Transforming Communities through Libraries

ALSC and libraries are essential partners in a comprehensive system of care for children.

Areas of Strategic Action

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

    ALSC will become more diverse and inclusive, acting to promote these values in all aspects of library service to children.

  • Advocacy

    ALSC will champion the value of library service to children and the resources necessary to deliver on our vision.

  • Learning & Development

    ALSC will actively develop new generations of leaders.

Strategic Objectives iconA set of objectives in each area of strategic action, delineated by sphere of transformation, followed by specific actions to meet each objective. 

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

ALSC will become more diverse and inclusive, acting to promote these values in all aspects of library service to children. 

  1. Increase the intentional recruitment and retention of a diverse membership and reduce barriers to participation. Transforming ALSC
  • Support additional Equity Fellowships.
  • Informally solicit feedback from BIPOC members and members with disabilities on their experiences in the division.
  • Create a competitive recruitment for 20 membership scholarships for BIPOC potential members, including 10 for paraprofessionals and 10 for students.
  1. Expand opportunities for existing members from underrepresented experiences to serve in ALSC activities. Transforming ALSC
  • Continue the targeted appointment of members from underrepresented experiences on all committees.
  • Conduct an assessment of the past three years of programming (conferences, institutes, webinars) and increase the number of opportunities specifically addressing the needs and interests of diverse library staff. Develop programming for BIPOC, rather than about BIPOC.
  1. Highlight best practices for infusing EDI values as a foundational practice for library staff serving youth. Transforming Children’s Librarianship
  • Explore and draft an implementation plan for new products around Día that could potentially be sold as a revenue stream.
  • Task each committee with creating an inclusion goal/deliverable as related to their committee's charge for the year.
  • Establish bystander training for ALSC members to be conducted by ALSC trainers that participated in the train-the-trainer workshop in Fall 2019.


ALSC will champion the value of library service to children and the resources necessary to deliver on our vision.

  1. Provide opportunities for members to hone and develop their advocacy skills. Transforming ALSC
  • Make current and archived webinars more accessible by organizing them to allow members to locate webinars that focus on specific skills.
  • Work with ALA's Public Policy and Advocacy office to offer a Town Hall featuring advocacy tips and resources for youth librarians, specifically related to current challenges.
  • Promote ALSC issues, needs, and expertise as ALA reorganizes.
  1. Promote the use of the ALSC Research Agenda as a framework that informs policy and practice that prioritizes library service to children.  Transforming Children’s Librarianship
  • Provide mini research grants for work supporting the ALSC Research Agenda.
  • Ensure that research findings are shared with ALSC members.
  1. Amplify the value of children's librarianship and the vital role of library staff serving youth as information literacy experts in their communities. Transforming Communities through Libraries

Learning & Development

ALSC will actively develop new generations of leaders.

  1. Organize and promote existing leadership and mentorship opportunities and their benefits to ALSC members. Transforming ALSC
  • Organize a virtual activity/opportunity/event to discuss leading children's library services in times of crisis.
  • Increase the mentor pool by a to-be-determined percent using past mentors' stories as promotion of mentorship opportunities.
  1. Promote and position the Core Competencies as central to library service to children. Transforming Children’s Librarianship
  • In each issue of ALSC Matters, highlight an ALSC Core Competency and a practitioner who can speak to the importance of the competency.
  • Create a revenue stream building on the ALSC Core Competencies, such as a practitioner's guide or resource.
  • Use the Bill Morris Seminar as a revenue stream at state-level conference and in states with book awards, including in-person and virtual opportunities.
  1. Develop and promote best practices that are responsive to community needs for out-of-school time learning programs and services. Transforming Children’s Librarianship
  • Submit quarterly Children & Libraries journal column on out-of-school programming.
  • Promote Out-of-School-Time tool kit/best practices.

While all of ALSC’s many activities serve its vision, a strategic plan never details all of them; rather, it affirms a direction for focussed energy and growth. Strategic thinking and planning is an ongoing process within the organization. This is not a “strategic planning project” that is completed. Progress toward achieving the plan’s goals and objectives will be assessed annually and the plan will be updated based on achievement and changes in the needs of the stakeholders served. 

We look forward to working together to maximize ALSC’s impact over the next several years. 

ALSC Strategic Plan 2020-2023 [Two-page PDF, 132 KB]

ALSC Strategic Plan 2017-2020 [Two-page PDF, 464.1 KB]

Survey Results: Diversity within the Children's Library Services Profession [Two-page PDF, 540 KB]