2020 Strategic Plan (2015-2020)

Striving for Excellence:
CALA 2020 Strategic Plan (2015-2020)

Developed by the CALA 2020 Strategic Plan Task Force (2014-2016)
Approved by the CALA Board, November 5, 2015

            (History of Planning Process | PDF)

Built on the strengths, capabilities, and diligence of its members, the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) will continue to promote and fulfill its three main purposes:
1) to promote better communication among Chinese American librarians; 2) to serve as a forum for the discussion of mutual interests and professional concerns among Chinese American librarians; and 3) to promote the development of Chinese and American librarianship.

To make a difference in CALA and the greater Library and Information Science (LIS) field, CALA has developed Striving for Excellence: CALA 2020 Strategic Plan  based on the findings from five online town hall member meetings, the CALA Board Code of Conduct approved in November 2014, the research findings generated from the 2013 ALA Diversity Research Grant project entitled “The Role of Chinese American Librarians in Library and Information Science Diversity,” and CALA leadership experience and knowledge, among other sources. The five online town hall meetings, held from November 18, 2014 to January 14, 2015 and attended by 65 CALA members with two themes including “What CALA can do for you?” and "CALA’s Vision, Mission and Value Statements,” generated data that was analyzed and made available in a report (https://intranet.cala-web.org/node/3). The CALA 2020 strategic plan will focus on six strategic areas that maximize strengths, utilize expertise, sharpen skills, deliver high value to members, and heighten the association’s far-reaching impact on CALA and the LIS field:

1. Membership Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement
2. Leadership Training and Development
3. Local Chapter Development
4. Professional Development Opportunities through Training and Mentoring
5. Professional Networking through Cutting-edge Technologies
6. CALA’s Impact on Local, State, National, and International Levels

To effectively implement the strategic plan, CALA’s financial and operational practices will prioritize and support these six strategic areas. These strategic areas will also guide CALA to develop and launch quality programs and services that aim at inclusive member recruitment and engagement, leadership training and development, local chapter development, professional development opportunities, professional networking and connections, and advocacy.
Strategic thinking and planning is an ongoing process. First, approval and adoption of this plan by the CALA Board of Directors will ensure the general intent and direction articulated by the association’s mandates, core values, vision, mission, goals, and objectives. Then, the progress of this strategic plan will be assessed and evaluated annually in order that the association’s financial and operational practices are continually aligning with CALA’s mission and any changes in the environment. The plan will be updated regularly as the goals and objectives are achieved, and new needs and opportunities arise.


Mission Statement

To support the professional development of CALA members and enhance the leadership development of Chinese American librarians through training, mentoring, networking, and collaboration with colleagues in the United States and abroad. CALA’s work inspires Chinese American librarians to meet their professional goals and to make valuable contributions to the global library community.


Vision Statement

CALA is an inclusive, diverse, and member-driven community which provides members with the opportunities to share knowledge and achieve their professional aspirations. CALA members are key collaborators, contributors, and leaders advancing the field of librarianship globally.


Core Organizational Values

CALA is committed to:

•    professionalism
•    collaborative leadership
•    positive, open, and inclusive environments
•    transparency and integrity
•    service to members
•    continuous learning
•    effective communications
•    stewardship of resources
•    global perspectives



In order to maintain compliance and achieve success, as a registered non-profit organization in Illinois, CALA must adhere to mandates required by state (i.e., the Illinois Secretary of State and Attorney General) and federal laws (i.e., the IRS).


Five-Year Goals and Objectives

1.    Membership Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement

Goal: Identify and develop creative and innovative programs and services to recruit, retain, and engage members locally, nationally, and internationally.


1)    Continue to be an inclusive librarians association that welcomes and values diversity, and opens its membership to all library professionals who are interested in the mission and vision of CALA.
2)    Identify CALA's strengths and highlight CALA’s distinctiveness from other associations in mission and membership recruitment.

3)    Enhance communications among CALA members, using innovative technologies to recognize member achievements and share member expertise and resources.
4)    Focus on recruitment through a variety of channels to bring in library professionals and supporters from all types of libraries, LIS schools, and library related business organizations, including new generations of Chinese professionals, to showcase different types of librarianship.
5)    Connect members to develop a sense of belonging in CALA, regardless of age, experience, and background; engage members and provide services to develop a community in which members can obtain guidance and camaraderie for various professional needs.


2.    Leadership Training and Development

Goal: Develop and deliver effective leadership training and development programs through CALA’s Leadership Training Academy to sharpen members’ leadership skills in the 21st century.


1)    Provide leadership development opportunities tailored to the needs of CALA members.
2)    Identify, cultivate, coach, and train CALA members to become future leaders in the Library and Information Science field in the 21st Century, including associations such as the ALA, IFLA, and Library Society of China.
3)    Empower and encourage members to develop leadership skills in a diverse cultural environment by serving CALA members in leadership positions and working in different types of libraries and with a diverse team setting.
4)    Assess, evaluate, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of CALA committee operations and leadership management.
5)    Increase the role that CALA plays as an advocate and model for leadership training and development of librarians of color in achieving, evaluating, and measuring CALA program/initiative outcomes; and influence ALA leadership policies and practices toward a more inclusive system.


3.    Local Chapter Development

Goal: Enhance local chapter development through joint programming and funding, chapter leader training and support, and chapter member recognition.


1)  Invest more resources at the chapter level and provide funding support through national membership rebate programs, joint initiatives, membership recruitment and retention, and fundraising.
2)  Improve and maintain communication and training between the CALA national office and the chapter offices to improve chapter leadership skills, capacity, and accountability in order to lead and manage chapter business.
3)  Provide professional development opportunities and help members establish networking and mentorships within each chapter through channels such as online meetings, trainings, and social events at the chapter level.
4)  Strengthen connections between chapters and other associations at a national level.

•    Organize a Chapter President Club to enhance connections and strengthen collaboration and coordination between the local and national levels and among chapter presidents;
•    Brainstorm, share resources, and work together to have members more involved in various events.


4.    Professional Development Opportunities through Training and Mentoring

Goal: Serve as a significant professional development platform to meet its members’ dynamic professional needs and nurture growth.


1)  Leverage and expand existing professional training and mentoring programs within and beyond CALA.
2)  Develop and deliver responsive professional development programs that build skills and aptitude based on members’ specific needs.
3)  Continuously assess and improve all programs, including the mentoring program for new members and new leaders, as well as programs for returning members and leaders.
4)  Provide and share resources on professional development for the members.  


5.    Professional Networking through Cutting-Edge Technologies

Goal: Inspire CALA members to learn from each other, network, and connect on a large scale with a global perspective through cutting-edge technologies.


1)    Promote CALA as a “hub” for members to meet virtually and/or in person.
2)    Identify and support innovative technologies and partnerships that will enhance the professional networking and connection opportunities of CALA members.
3)    Connect CALA members with library colleagues in China and other regions.


6.    CALA’s Impact on the Local, State, National, and International Levels

Goal: Collaborate with members, leaders and other partners/organizations to increase CALA’s impact on the local, state, national, and international levels.


1)    Preserve and promote Chinese and Chinese American culture and librarianship in collaboration with professionals in China and other regions.
2)    Increase research that demonstrates the value of Chinese American librarians and the role of CALA members in the LIS field.
3)    Establish closer relationships and collaborations with other organizations, including the ALA ethnic affiliates and IFLA, to promote CALA nationally and internationally.
4)    Build a strong international profile and develop a global outreach strategy.


The CALA 2020 Strategic Plan Task Force (2014-2016):

Lian Ruan (Co-Chair) lruan@illinois.edu
Sha Li Zhang (Co-Chair) shali.zhang@mso.umt.edu
Qi Chen qi23@msn.com
Xiaoyu Duan zhizhe13@gmail.com
Yijun Gao ygao@dom.edu
Leping He Leping.He@asu.edu
Wenling Liu wliu@indiana.edu
Shu-Hua Liu shuhua2007@gmail.com
Chengzhi Wang cw2165@columbia.edu
Patty Wong Patty.Wong@yolocounty.org
Shengping Xia  dhxiashengp@hotmail.com
Ying Zhang Ying.Zhang@ucf.edu