ACRL sets strategic priorities

                                      Contact: Mary Ellen Davis

ACRL Executive Director

(312) 280-2548


For Immediate Release

May 26, 2009

CHICAGO – The Board of Directors of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has announced the adoption of a set of six strategic priorities designed to continue the association’s forward progress over the next five years. At the recent ACRL 14th National Conference in Seattle, the board reviewed the Charting Our Future: ACRL Strategic Plan 2020 document, taking into consideration progress to date, member needs and external factors. As a result, the board identified six strategic objectives as priorities for 2009-13.

The adoption of these strategic priorities allows ACRL to further position academic and research librarians and libraries as indispensable in advancing learning and scholarship. The ACRL committee leadership will work to develop multiyear plans with measurable outcomes to translate the priorities into action during the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

The ACRL strategic priorities for 2009-13 are:

  1. Strengthening ACRL’s relationships with higher education organizations that are important to faculty and administrators in order to develop institutional understanding of librarians’ roles in enhancing teaching and learning.
  2. Enhancing ACRL members’ understanding of how scholars work and the systems, tools and technology to support the evolving work of the creation, personal organization, aggregation, discovery, preservation, access and exchange of information in all formats.
  3. Increasing ACRL’s influence in public policy affecting higher education.
  4. Increasing recognition of the value of libraries and librarians by leaders in higher     education, information technology, funding agencies and campus decision making.
  5. Supporting members in their exploration, research on and implementation of new and emerging information technologies and their application for library services in educational environments.
  6. Increasing ACRL’s membership from professionally underrepresented ethnic and     racial groups.

“The selected priorities are intended to provide additional focus to best leverage ACRL’s resources for maximum results,” said ACRL President Erika Linke. “The board feels that the priorities strengthen the existing collaboration among ACRL units and provide a clear direction that facilitates assessment and measurable outcomes. We remain committed to the entire strategic plan and anticipate that continued progress will be made across all goal areas.”

ACRL has made many significant accomplishments since adopting Charting our Future: ACRL Strategic Plan 2020 in 2004. The association distributed nearly 16,000 copies of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and continued to offer its annual information literacy immersion programs to expand the adoption and use of information literacy instruction, co-sponsored three national and two regional Institutes for Scholarly Communication with the Association of Research Libraries to strengthen the development of new scholarly communication models and advocated for the NIH Public Access Policy as part of ongoing efforts to influence public policy affecting higher education. ACRL has additionally offered virtual components to the popular bi-annual ACRL National Conference to further alignment of professional development with member needs and awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships to increase access to learning opportunities, along with reaching out to higher education organizations through its Council of Liaisons program.

“The board has the utmost confidence that ACRL members will make it possible for the association to achieve continued success,” Linke continued. “We are excited about engaging with committees as we work together to advance our strategic priorities.”

Charting Our Future: ACRL Strategic Plan 2020 is available online at

For additional information on the ACRL Strategic Priorities: 2009-2013 and Charting our Future: ACRL Strategic Plan 2020, contact Mary Ellen Davis at or (312) 280-2548.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing more than 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.