June 18, 2020 – ATLANTA – Today the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) has launched “ASERL Ahead: Strategic Directions for 2020-2023,” an ambitious plan for continuing the organization’s work to serve its members and the profession through excellence in professional development, resource sharing, and member engagement. The new plan also includes an explicit focus on strengthening its work with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion issues, including recruitment and retention of more diverse library workforces and more equitable access to library information, services, programming, and spaces.
“For nearly two years we’ve engaged with our members and leaders in other research library consortia across North America to determine how ASERL could contribute in meaningful ways not just to our membership in the Southeast, but to the profession more broadly,” commented Jan Lewis, Director of Academic Library Services at East Carolina University and President of ASERL’s Board of Directors for 2020-2021. “We conducted extensive research to identify our strengths, gaps in services available from other organizations, and ways a small organization like ASERL can be of service both regionally and beyond. We think ASERL Ahead sets us on a strong path into the future, even with so many uncertainties in the world right now.”
ASERL Ahead divides ASERL’s work for 2020-2023 into four main areas:
- Innovation and High-Impact Programming
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Expanded Member Engagement
- Strengthening Infrastructure
ASERL Ahead also includes refined Mission, Vision, and Values statements for the organization.
“Even before the wording of the plan was finalized, ASERL members and staff began implementing this important work,” noted Tim Pyatt, Dean of ZSR Library at Wake Forest University and ASERL’s President-Elect. “Our members agreed to support hiring an additional staff person to expand ASERL’s highly-acclaimed Professional Development programming, and to develop new activities to support member’s needs around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Both areas are particularly important in today’s environment.”