I recently looked through ALA’s new strategic plan “American Library Association (ALA) Draft Strategic Plan (Version: December 2009)”. Here is the only reference to collaboration in the document: “10. How can ALA improve collaboration within itself?” Here is the only mention of cooperation: “28. How will ALA facilitate the improved cooperation among types of libraries to truly guarantee that libraries are central to lifelong learning?” The words “partner” or “partnership” don’t occur in the document.
Having been working on this blog for a year now, I feel that I can say with some confidence, that if ALA’s vision for collaboration is this narrowly drawn, they are missing a major trend in librarianship. Collaboration is about taking a deep breath and looking outside the confines of a narrow worldview. ALA’s draft plan asks the question: “How will ALA ensure the future relevance of libraries?” I would suggest that collaboration, partnerships, and a wider worldview should be a necessary part of the answer.
Collaborative Librarianship, News Editor