ALA Library Support Staff Interests Round TableStrategic Planning Process

Adopted July 1996

at the ALA Annual Conference in New York City

Planning Overview

The 1996-97 Support Staff Interests Round Table Executive Board, recognizing that we must have an understanding of the needs that exist for support staff, and understanding of the potential areas of development for support staff, has appointed a diverse, broad-based group of support staff from all across the nation to serve as the Strategic Planning Process Steering Committee.

The Executive Board challenges the committee to study and identify the most pressing needs of support staff and to develop recommended strategies to address these needs. The Executive Board requests that a report of the committee's findings be presented at the American Library Association Mid-Winter Conference to be held in Washington, DC in February 1997.

At that time, the report will be reviewed and critiqued, and the Executive Board will discuss implementation of the committee's recommendations.

Issues Identification

The Strategic Planning Process Steering Committee shall contact state and regional associations as well as individual members in an effort to identify a full range of support staff issues. However, the Support Staff Interests Round Table Executive Board realizes that we will not be able to address all issues identified. Therefore, the first charge for the Strategic Planning Process Steering Committee shall be to cut the list of identified issues to the three issues it perceives, based on its research, to be the most crucial.

Once the issues are identified, the second charge to the Strategic Planning Process Steering Committee is to develop mission statements for each issue.

Task Force Subcommittees

Once the three most crucial issues have been identified, the Support Staff Interests Round Table Executive Board shall appoint task force subcommittees for each issue. Each task force shall be asked to analyze its particular issue; develop implementable solutions; and report back to the Support Staff Interests Round Table Executive Board its recommendations for review and adoption.

The final report of each task force shall detail how it addressed its work; the process it followed in carrying out its charges; and the recommendations it developed.


This Strategic Planning Process involves the first step in a proactive approach to problem solving. It is deeply rooted in the involvement of a large cross section of support staff from across the nation and from all types of libraries. The process should remain on-going and not be allowed to become static. Constant monitoring and refining must take place by the 1996-97 Executive Board as well as future Boards of the Support Staff Interests Round Table.

A crucial ingredient in this process is implementing the strategies developed, thus addressing key areas of concern that created the need for this process in the first place. When the process is followed to fruition...areas of concern are addressed and some problem areas can be solved.

The 1996-97 Support Staff Interest Round Table recognizes that the establishment of a Strategic Planning Process and the appointment of a Steering Committee is but a first step. We recognize that this will be a slow process and that the second step of the process is implementation...which must come at the conclusion of the Strategic Planning Process Steering Committee's report and recommendation.

M. Meadows, 07/05/96

For questions or comments, contact the LSSIRT Staff Liaison, Danielle M. Ponton.