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American Library Association

American Library Association

Postby adserver » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:18 am

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American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for members, librarians, and library users.

Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

Key Action Areas

In 1998 the ALA Council voted commitment to five Key Action Areas as guiding principles for directing the Association’s energies and resources: Diversity, Equity of Access, Education and Continuous Learning, Intellectual Freedom, and 21st Century Literacy. With the development of a series of strategic plans, beginning with ALA Goal 2000, ALAction2005 and ALA Ahead to 2010, these principles have expanded to eight Key Action Areas which are supplemented by ALA2015, the Association’s current strategic plan.

* Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
The association actively works to increase public awareness of the crucial value of libraries and librarians, to promote state and national legislation beneficial to libraries and library users, and to supply the resources, training and support networks needed by local advocates seeking to increase support for libraries of all types.

* Diversity
Diversity is a fundamental value of the association and its members, and is reflected in its commitment to recruiting people of color and people with disabilities to the profession and to the promotion and development of library collections and services for all people.

* Education and Lifelong Learning
The association provides opportunities for the professional development and education of all library staff members and trustees; it promotes continuous, lifelong learning for all people through library and information services of every type.

* Equitable Access to Information and Library Services
The Association advocates funding and policies that support libraries as great democratic institutions, serving people of every age, income level, location, ethnicity, or physical ability, and providing the full range of information resources needed to live, learn, govern, and work.

* Intellectual Freedom
Intellectual freedom is a basic right in a democratic society and a core value of the library profession. The American Library Association actively defends the right of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

* Literacy
The American Library Association assists and promotes libraries in helping children and adults develop the skills they need-the ability to read and use computers-understanding that the ability to seek and effectively utilize information resources is essential in a global information society.

* Organizational Excellence
The association is inclusive, effective and responsive to the needs of ALA members.

* Transforming Libraries
ALA provides leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment.


Strategic Plan

Guided by our Key Action Areas, we have created ALA2015, our current strategic plan which consists of 5 goals developed to move the organization toward the realization of our envisioned future. In this future.

The goals of the Association, as outlined in the plan, are as follows:

* ALA equips and leads advocates for libraries, library issues and the library profession, and plays a key role in formulating legislation, policies and standards that affect library and information services.
* ALA promotes excellence and diversity in the library field.
* ALA provides leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment.
* ALA provides an environment in which all members, regardless of location or position, have the opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from engagement in their association.
* ALA operates effectively, efficiently, creatively and in a socially responsible fashion to accomplish its mission.

ALA builds a world where libraries, both physical and virtual, are central to lifelong discovery and learning and where everyone is a library user.

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