Strategic Plan

2016-2021 APALA Strategic Plan

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by members who were mostly first generation Americans of Asian descent who sought to support the work of librarians of Asian Pacific ancestry. It was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 1981 and became formally affiliated with the American Library Association in 1982. As an affiliate, APALA shares the same overall mission of the American Library Association: “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.”


Today, APALA promotes APA librarianship and support for those who serve APA communities.  Our membership is diverse, reflecting Asian Pacific and non-Asian heritages, and varied identities and communities.  In fact, we deeply recognize and celebrate the heterogeneity and inclusiveness of our membership as a core strength and character of our organization.


A strategic plan helps an organization articulate its core values, mission, vision of what it wants to be, and a set of goals to help guide its priorities for a specified period of time.  APALA’s core values are: leadership, social justice, diversity, advocacy, community and collaboration within the framework of librarianship generally, and Asian Pacific American librarianship specifically.  As an ethnic caucus affiliated with the largest library organization in the world, we are in a strategic position to support new APA library professionals and cultivate them as tomorrow’s leaders. We are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion, both in librarianship as well as in the world at-large.  We recognize the need to increase our visibility and stature as a vital voice of social justice in librarianship regionally, nationally, and globally.


The Strategic Planning Task Force, convened in August 2015, reviewed the existing plan, gathered samples, studied best practices, and created a plan for a transparent and participatory process.   We held in-person and virtual town hall meetings, conducted online surveys, and reported back to the Executive Board and the membership during the various stages of the process.  We are very grateful for the enthusiasm, support, and input from the membership, which was incorporated into the final version. We feel confident that the new plan represents APALA.


This strategic plan is intended to guide us through the next five years of APALA leadership and activities.  We have created SMART goals which we believe are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound within this five year period and plan to begin implementation in 2016-2017.  Some immediate plans include increased virtual participation and networking as well as increased visibility for APALA.  This is a living document and we are committed to using it intentionally as a blueprint for our future actions. Our association is constantly evolving and responsive to its membership as we strive to keep APALA relevant and at the forefront of APA issues and activities in the library world and beyond. Let’s work together to build a stronger APALA.




A profession that is diverse, inclusive, and social-justice oriented through advocacy, leadership, and collaboration.




APALA is a professional library organization dedicated to cultivating Asian Pacific American leadership through mentorship and professional engagement, advancing social justice, and providing opportunities for dialogue and networking  to promote the needs of APA professionals and those who serve APA communities.




  1. Cultivate APA leadership and engagement.a. Active mentoring of colleagues to become leaders,
    1. Raise visibility of APA library leadership through initiatives like APALA member highlights,
      Promote and facilitate professional development,
    2. Create presentation and publishing opportunities,
    3. Create networking opportunities at conferences and regional socials using available technologies as well as virtual opportunities,
    4. Recruit new LIS professionals through programs such as Spectrum Scholars and work with current LIS professionals on retention,
    5. Collaborate with international organizations, such as IRRT and IFLA.
    6. Promote and strengthen diversity and social justice.
  2. Identify potential allies with other social justice groups and work with other ethnic affiliates to strengthen our collective missions,
    1. Use APALA publications such as the newsletter and What’s Your Normal to highlight diversities within our APA communities and the profession,
    2. Continue to provide and support opportunities like Talk Story: Sharing stories, sharing culture grants to libraries and community organizations.
    3. Advocate for the interests and welfare of Asian Pacific Americans.
  3. Advocate for APA programming.
    1. Encourage projects that focus on APA histories, cultures, and literatures.
    2. Fund programs and the professional development of our membership.
    3. Respond to the needs of our local APA communities.
    4. Provide network of support for APA professionals working abroad.
    5. Increase the visibility of APALA to the library profession and APA communities.
  4. Expand social media reach and virtual networking,
    1. Sponsor and mentor ALA Emerging Leaders,
    2. Raise stature and awareness of APALA literature awards,
    3. Support and mentor diversity-related initiatives, such as Spectrum Scholars, ARL/SAA Mosaic Program, and others.
    4. Be an active affiliate in the American Library Association,
    5. Partner with APA community organizations across the nation to provide programming and marketing support for their endeavors.

Adopted August, 2016