ALSC National Research Agenda for Library Service to Children (Ages 0-14)

Association for Library Service to Children National Research Agenda for Library Service to Children (Ages 0-14) 


Research Agenda Cover ImageThe ALSC Research Agenda Task Force, led by co-chairs, Dr. Kathleen Campana and Brooke Newberry was supported by a Research Agenda Advisory Board consisting of academics and practitioners. The task force charge was to create a division-wide and subject-specific articulation of current research trends, areas of further exploration, and current needs in the field that might be addressed through research; and to recommend avenues for pursuing this research. The research agenda and research questions were developed based on a survey of ALSC membership, a literature review of existing research and ongoing input from a Research Agenda Advisory Board. The Research Agenda Task Force found that research is fairly limited in several areas within the field or library service to children. The creation of the research agenda should help to call attention to the need and desire for research in the field.

The resulting six priority research areas include: Learning and Development for Young Children and Families, Learning and Development for School-age Children and Families, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Children and Families, Media Mentorship and Technology Use with Children and Families, Impact and Exploration of Literature and Resources for Children, Professional Development for Library Staff to Serve Children and Families. Each research priority area includes an introduction that expands on the topic and specific research questions to address or lead to new questions. 

ALSC will continue the work outlined in the research agenda by developing and disseminating emerging research that aligns with the research agenda priority areas. 

Print-ready and screen-friendly PDF's of the research agenda are below. 

Association for Library Service to Children National Research Agenda for Library Service to Children (Ages 0-14) [PDF - Print Ready 441 KB]

Association for Library Service to Children National Research Agenda for Library Service to Children (Ages 0-14)   [PDF - Screen Friendly 455 KB]

ALSC Research Agenda Grant - The application deadline has closed.

Libraries are constantly evolving and changing. Research can provide insight into what the field is currently doing and communicate the effectiveness and the impact of those approaches. Having that insight can encourage the spread of effective, successful practices and support advocacy of the children's library profession and services to the library community, library administrations, and to outside stakeholders.


The pilot ALSC Research Agenda Grant will offer seed funds to help develop, conduct, and disseminate emerging research that aligns with priority areas outlined in the ALSC Research Agenda. We encourage researchers to use the Agenda as a starting point to explore new ideas or further develop an existing effort. The research questions and topics are flexible and can be broadened or narrowed in scope to fit their work. 

We ask that applicants discuss how their proposed research contributes to and expands on the current scholarship in the field, In this era of COVID-19, we especially welcome proposals for research that seeks to understand the effects and impacts of the pandemic on library services for children and families in and out of the library.

Application The application deadline has closed.

Eligible Applicants: 

  • Applicants must be personal members of ALA/ALSC at the time the application is submitted. If awarded the grant, the recipient's ALA/ALSC membership must remain current through the duration of the grant cycle.
  • Practitioners currently working with children in a variety of library settings;
  • Academics in the field of library and information science are encouraged to apply

Funding Guidelines:

  • Amount available: up to $4000 for one award
  • The award recipient must maintain their ALA/ALSC membership through the award cycle.
  • Funds may be used for dissertation research as well as academic or practitioner research.
  • Funds may be used to purchase resources and materials for the research, incentives for participants, transcription, and travel, to be outlined in the budget justification portion of the application.
  • A grant activity timeline will be provided to the award recipient. Grant activity must begin by mid-September 2021 and be completed by October 2022. An interirm and final report will be required.
  • The award recipient will be required to submit an article for publication in Children and Libraries (CAL), the official, refereed journal of ALSC.
  • The award recipient will be encouraged, but not required, to submit a proposal to one or more of the following: ALSC National Institute, an ALA Conference (ex. News You Can Use session), ALSC Education Committee for a webinar.

Application Requirements:

One application - no more than three pages (single-spaced, Times New Roma, 12 pt font) - that addresses the following:

  • Intended priority area
  • Goals for research
  • Existing scholarship/Contribution to the field
  • Research design
  • How this money will fund the research (budget allocation)
    • If this is supplementing existing funding, please indicate existing funder, existing funding amount, and then specifically how this funding will be allocated.
    • Feasibility and validity of the proposed budget amount and final allocation will be considered
  • Expertise and experience of researcher
  • Identification fo collaborators and partners that play a key role in the research, if applicable
  • Schedule of project activities
  • Connection to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Application should show an understanding of ALSC's EDI statement and strategic prioirites as outlines in the ALSC 2020-2023 Strategic Plan.