ALA Annual 2023

Introducing the 2023-2026 ALSC Strategic Plan! #alaac23

At the ALSC Membership Meeting on the Monday morning of ALA Annual Conference, it was my pleasure to share with ALSC members in the room the first peek at the upcoming ALSC 2023-2026 Strategic Plan. (Get more Membership Meeting info in this great blog post recap from ALSC Board Member Jaime Eastman!)

ALSC’s Areas of Strategic Focus

Our plan is built around five areas that are both pillars of the work we do as an association as well as integral to how we do our work:

  • Literacy
  • Media Evaluation
  • Connection
  • EDI
  • Organizational Excellence
ALSC will implement our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan through an interwoven combination of overarching commitments, strategic initiatives, and member-driven work.

ALSC’s Overarching Commitments

These four commitments describe the type of association we are building. These commitments are always in progress–and it is imperative that all our work is guided by our commitments to being an association in which:

  • All association work includes an EDI goal and/or lens
  • Committee work and charges are evaluated and prioritized regularly
  • ALSC has sustainable, diverse revenue streams
  • Opportunities for engagement are multi-modal

ALSC’s 2023-2026 Strategic Initiatives

This new plan includes six big strategic initiatives. While work on these initiatives will begin this year, these are big, chewy initiatives that will take time and intention to accomplish well–which means our work in these areas will span our entire three-year plan. These six strategic initiatives (in no particular order) are:

  • Committees are culturally diverse, supported by diverse appointments advisory committees and transparency about the appointments process
  • Strong relationships with professional organizations (including building on existing relationships with our cousin organizations like REFORMA, AILA, and CSK)
  • Identifying and implementing strong communication practices across the association
  • A mentorship program that supports members across different career levels and library types, with connections across shared experiences
  • Strong cultural competency training and support, in particular related to media evaluation
  • Every Child Learning to Read (producing and publishing a landmark guide for libraries to support emerging readers using evidence-based strategies)

Upcoming Member-Driven Work

While all of our association work will connect with our five areas of strategic focus, lots of member work over the next three years will happen through our process committees beyond the initiatives I noted above. Process committee work is the lifeblood of ALSC–the projects and toolkits that support youth library workers in their work for their communities. In this coming year, the work plans that ALSC process committees receive will outline details for committees to focus on:

  • Intentional collaborations with state associations, library schools, and other organizations supporting students who will become part of the ecosystem of children and literacy
  • Evaluating and reducing barriers to our professional awards
  • Toolkits supporting library service to underserved groups
  • Exploring intentional utilization of ALSC endowments
  • Launch the next cohort of the Equity Fellowship
  • Update Día branding and merchandise
  • Update Babies Need Words Every Day
  • Intellectual freedom infographic
  • Member needs survey to inform ALSC’s continuing education offerings
  • Member/practitioner affinity groups
  • Leadership skills training
  • Publishing an early literacy rhyme booklet

What’s next?

There’s a lot of great work coming up in the next few years with the launch of the 2023-2026 ALSC Strategic Plan–work that will be challenging and with meaningful results, both for the communities we serve and the members who will build their skills through contributing their time and talents to ALSC work. Do you see an opportunity that you’re particularly passionate about? Fill out a volunteer form and/or send an email to ALSC leadership to indicate your interest and where you feel you can contribute! (Members will need to be signed in on the ALSC website to complete the volunteer form and view ALSC leader contact information.)

This 2023-2026 ALSC Strategic Plan will officially take effect on September 1, 2023 (the start of the ALA and ALSC fiscal year). In the meantime, the Board will work with ALSC and ALA staff to finalize the visual design of the plan. I can’t wait until that final design is ready to share as well!

I’m so incredibly proud of our Board of Directors, our ALSC members, and our friends and colleagues across the children’s library world for their active work in the creation of this plan. While the plan was just finalized and approved by the ALSC Board in the first few days of the ALA Annual Conference, the entire strategic planning process started last summer–and it included lots of community information gathering, including affinity conversations with members and potential members as well as committee and member input. This new plan is built on member needs and major issues in our profession, and I am so excited to embark on this work with all of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *