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Professional and Leadership Development, ALA staff Community

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ALA has identified three strategic areas as priorities for the next 3-5 years: advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development. As many of you may have seen, there is a general Connect group for ALA members to engage in the planning process for the strategic areas.

We are creating this ALA Connect group for ALA staff to get updates on some of the internal staff planning and to interact with and contribute to the Professional and Leadership Development area (led by Mary Ghikas and Mary Mackay). Please join us and help with the best possible plan—and be sure to let us know specific areas you feel you can be most helpful with so we don’t miss expertise, experience, and good ideas.

The starting-point document we shared with the board in late October to show our approach (rather than any final content) is available in the documents section of this community.

A Virtual Town Hall on the Professional and Leadership Development priority area will be hosted by Courtney Young on Thursday, December 11, where we hope for significant member input on the three questions being asked for all priority areas:

  • What would success look like? How will we know if we’re successful?
  • How do you think we might get there?
  • How might you/your community (division, round table, committee, chapter, affiliate) help us get there?

 All staff will get details about how to register closer to the date. 

Our ultimate goal is a sustainable, coherent ALA-based professional development path, but in the first instance, we need a high-level plan to share with the board at their spring 2015 meeting. What the plan will look like is still being formulated, but an initial small group (Kathryn Deiss, Charles Wilt, Amy Sargent, Miguel Figueroa, Ian Lashbrook, Kristin Lahurd, Lorelle Swader, Mary G. and Mary M.) is currently looking specifically at the taxonomy of topics as a starting point. Members of the group will change as makes sense for specific areas of investigation and planning. By spring 2015, we hope to:

  • Start answering questions such as: What is ALA the go-to place for when it comes to learning and professional development, now and in the future? What can or do we offer that others can’t/don’t?
  • Look at the CONTINUUM:  How do we help people make a coherent picture of continuing/ professional education, a lifetime approach?
  • Establish a taxonomy of learning and professional development topics that ALA currently offers and needs to offer to make sense of that continuum. 
  • Start to put together a COHERENT outline or ROADMAP that shapes the DESTINATION even if not providing all the content. The coherent structure (CURRICULUM)--categories, a taxonomy of content serving different purposes.
  • Look at the role the ALA member profile can play in mapping the journey/ building a coherent picture.
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