A little less than two years ago YALSA published the “Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” report. (Often referred to as the Futures Report.) At that time YALSA also started talking about how to help library staff working for and with teens to develop programs and services that align with the recommendations in that report. Some of the projects YALSA launched to support that work include futures-focused webinars on topics related to the recommendations made in the report, the Programming Guidelines and Programming HQ, and a wide-array materials for library staff to use to better understand and advocate for the library services discussed in the document.
Now, YALSA is taking the next step in supporting the future-focused ideas of the report and in helping library staff support the lives and needs of teens in 2015, 2016, and beyond. That next step is in the development of an up-to-date vision and plan for YALSA (the current strategic plan runs through the end of this year). It’s a great opportunity to think about all that YALSA does and make sure that the programs and services provided to members are those that will best help them support teens today. And in this latest round of planning, we’re doing much more than updating a document. We’re looking broadly at where YALSA is and where we want and need to go. That’s exciting because:
- There is a teens first focus. That means that YALSA is keying in on a strategic plan that makes sure the work the association does supports the needs of today’s teens as they prepare for college, careers, and life.
- The YALSA Board is looking at not just what is in the Futures Report, but is looking at the overall future for library services for and with teens. That means that the Futures Report provides a foundation for the work ahead, but the association knows that today’s future might not be the future of 2017. The strategic plan will strive to reflect that.
- Work on the new vision and organizational plan provides YALSA with an opportunity to integrate current best practices related to organizational development and assessment. Using a theory of change model and looking at outcomes and impacts helps YALSA to frame the work of the association in a new way that provides opportunities to think about exactly where the association is heading and how successful the work being done actually is. This will provide YALSA with a clear focus and path to achieving and measuring goals that previous strategic plan documents lacked.
And that’s just some of what’s so exciting about the organizational planning work that’s in progress. If you have questions or feedback about the planning process you can fill out YALSA’s feedback form. You can also join in on discussions about organizational planning during YALSA President Candice Mack’s Twitter Town Hall on November 30, 7:00 to 8:00pm EST. Use #yalsachat to participate. And, you can read other blog posts about YALSA’s current organizational planning work.