Strategic Framework and Enabling Strategies: A Message from ALA President Barbara Stripling
February 17, 2014
On behalf of the ALA Executive Board, I would like to share with you our plans to move the “re-imagining ALA” conversations forward into strategic action. As you know, ALA has been engaged in community conversations with our members over the past couple of years. We realize that any changes we make to our organization must be based on very careful assessment of member needs and wishes, because, although we serve three constituencies (members, libraries, and the public), we must primarily be responsive to members.
We started with large conversation sessions at our conferences, but broadened and deepened the dialogue to include insights from division and round table leadership, Council, focus groups, and a membership survey. The Executive Board and ALA staff accepted the challenge to analyze and synthesize these comprehensive conversations in order to develop a strategic framework that will guide our Association as we re-conceptualize our focus, structure, operations, and culture.
The accompanying document outlines three strategic initiatives that reflect the conversations and deliberations of our members and member leaders. In addition, the Executive Board has designated a set of enabling strategies for ALA to undertake to create a “welcoming, inclusive, engaged and supportive organization” that is focused on these three strategic initiatives.
The Executive Board invites your feedback on our thinking thus far. This is the first step in a transparent but action-oriented process to bring our aspirations as information professionals and ALA members to life through our professional association. Your engagement throughout the process will enable us to build on the best ideas and make high-impact changes. Please engage with us in creating an ALA community that supports our important mission: to enhance learning and ensure equitable access to information for all.
ALA President, 2013-2014
NOTE: The entire document is attached and also posted below. For ease in commenting -- and your comments are definitely encouraged -- it is reposted segment-by-segment:
Information Policy: connect.ala.org/node/218695
Professional and Leadership Development: connect.ala.org/node/218693
Enabling Strategies: connect.ala.org/node/218691
American Library Association
“…to ensure equitable access to information for all.”
~ ALA mission statement
ALA will focus on three strategic initiatives:
ALA shall advocate the public value of librarians, libraries and information services and seek to:
- Focus ALA’s mission and priorities working with the three constituencies:
* ALA members;
* libraries; and
* the public.
- Represent libraries and information providers at the local, state, federal and international levels while building support for libraries and librarians through public awareness.
- Assure legislation and policies that support information and library services in all types of libraries and information environments.
- Provide a vision of innovation, enable the future of libraries and promote libraries as centers of community engagement and participatory librarianship.
- Promote ALA’s core values and emphasize the impact of libraries, as represented by ALA’s Declaration for the Right to Libraries, to form the basis for advocacy and community conversations.
- Information policy
Information policy is comprised of laws, regulations and doctrines, and other decision making and practices, involving information creation, storage, equitable access, communication, accessibility, dissemination, use and preservation.
The American Library Association (ALA), operating in the public interest, focuses at every level on a diverse set of policy areas that includes: intellectual freedom, privacy, civil liberties, telecommunications, funding for education and research programs, funding for libraries, copyright and licensing, government information, and literacy.
Operating on behalf of the public, ALA seeks through libraries to:
- Serve as a knowledgeable resource on policy issues for ALA members and the public at large.
- Lead the advocacy for legislation, regulation, and policies for the public interest.
- Educate library staffs and the public on public policy matters.
- Document the impact of legislation, regulation, and policies on the work of libraries and public access to information.
- Promote coalitions to advance policy positions in advancing ALA’s agenda and mission.
- Enable successful models of information access that support the ALA policy agenda.
- Advocate for effective policies that enable libraries to meet the information needs of all sectors of the public.
- Professional and Leadership Development
Recognizing that the professional and leadership development of librarians and library workers is essential to high-quality professional practice and the future of libraries and information services, ALA seeks to:
- Provide professional development opportunities through multiple venues.
- Maintain strong accreditation standards and processes for library and information science programs.
- Foster certification programs through the ALA/APA.
- Coordinate the multiple opportunities available throughout ALA to provide a coherent, transparent, and accessible continuing education framework for all members.
- Increase the diversity of library professionals and sustain their professional growth through multiple strategies.
- Provide leadership development opportunities and create new pathways for member leadership in the association.
- Align leadership development and continuing education with best thinking about the changing information environment and ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries.
- Create an assessment and evaluation process to measure the effect of the strategic initiatives.
- Review governance structure (including committees and round tables) to identify changes to address the strategic initiatives.
- Review staff structure and compensation to ensure focus on strategic initiatives.
- Build a more robust public communication and public relations/marketing capacity.
- Identify revenue streams and fundraising opportunities to support the strategic initiatives.
- Engage division leaders and staff to define their role and contribution to the strategic initiatives.
- Build a sustainable technological infrastructure that enables ALA to advance the strategic initiatives.
- Align ALA publishing and conferences to support the strategic initiatives.
- Strengthen pathways for member involvement/engagement in strategic initiatives.