Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships Committee – January–June 2023 Report

The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The committee is currently focusing on ways to support public library staff who might be dealing with book challenges in their area by creating a list of Intellectual Freedom resources most beneficial to public libraries. The goal is to determine the best way to distribute this list and the best format for this type of resource list.

This project supports 3 of the current strategic goals: Advocacy, Transformation, and Professional Growth. It enables library workers and libraries to better advocate for Intellectual Freedom, recognizes the changes happening in library communities, and focuses on ensuring that all levels of library staff can access these resources and have a better understanding of how it might affect them and actions they can take.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
There is likely way to integrate the strategic goal of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice by reviewing how these challenges may be different in certain areas of the country depending on demographics. Certain communities and even library staff might need more or different types of support.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
And extension of the resource list we are creating could include some sort of instructions or tool kit on how to assist libraries and library staff in creating their own list of local resources. When discussing certain areas such as training or partnerships, we realized there was a trend of "find your local [insert org here]".

There was also discussion of public libraries and emergency services which may be something to look at in the future considering increased extreme weather, etc.

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
The Office for Intellectual Freedom, and any other similar groups, would be useful as we do not want to repeat work already being done and want to make sure we have the most up-to-date information.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
I think it's an interesting committee which has the potential to go a lot of different directions depending on what is needed.

Submitted by Maureen Langley on 06/05/2023