To kick off ALA Civics Class, I talked to Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels (aka, The Big Kahuna) about our mission. ALA does so much that sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what’s at the heart of the organization and why we do what we do. ALA has to align its services to its mission, just as libraries do, so it’s important to understand the scope of ALA’s mission.
I also asked Keith what the mission means in action and how he evaluates whether an initiative aligns with said mission.
Honestly, I hadn’t read ALA’s mission statement since I started working there. Given the professional debate, it’s interesting that there’s no mention of reading or books in it, concentrating instead on learning and information. Personally I like that focus because it includes books, technology, physical space, literacy, instruction, and everything else we do.
One of my goals for Civics Class is to help you figure out where you want to contribute to that mission and how. So what does ALA’s mission mean to you?