The National Book Access Association (NBAA) Steering Committee has approved a 5-year Strategic Plan: a comprehensive blueprint designed to bolster the practice of providing free book access across the United States. Our plan anticipates a future where every individual, irrespective of their location or circumstance, has easy access to own books, thereby nurturing a nation of readers and informed citizens. We aim to do this by offering services to professionalize and build capacity within the extensive book access network of local and regional providers.
The Initial Two Years: Building a Strong Foundation
In the first two years, we will lay the groundwork for NBAA. Our focus will be on developing a comprehensive operational plan, conducting a baseline needs survey from people who actively distribute books for free to a variety of populations, and implementing the logistical membership and sound financial management systems, together with our fiscal sponsor, First Book. We will work tirelessly to build awareness for our shared cause and the services we will offer to members, and establish a robust online presence through our website, social media, and an online forum for knowledge sharing. To engage our members and supporters, we will introduce a series of professional development webinars, virtual conferences, and introductory happy hours with topics such as book sorting, volunteer management, and program evaluation. A methodical fundraising strategy focusing on grants and sponsorship will drive our initial growth and ensure we deliver on our commitment to providing a suite of attractive membership benefits.
Middle Years: Expanding Our Reach and Building Capacity
Years 3 and 4 will be dedicated to strengthening our network by expanding our membership base and establishing a research and data-sharing platform. We will work towards the creation of a national database of organizations with details of practices and summative evaluations, and develop comprehensive standards for book distribution programs. In these years, we will leverage research-informed studies to refine our approach and offer training for new topics, such as family literacy supports and e-book distribution. Our commitment to recognizing excellence will manifest in annual member awards that celebrate outstanding contributions to the field.
The 5-Year Horizon: Maximizing Impact and Achieving Stability
By the end of year five, we envision NBAA as a unifying platform enrolling a significant number of memberships from across the field. Our focus will be on developing a comprehensive policy agenda, establishing a grant program available only to members, and creating a system to track and report our collective impact. We aspire to elevate book distribution to the level of a recognized professional field. To this end, we are committed to achieving long-term financial stability through securing funding, partnerships, and growing our reserve fund.
Our inaugural Strategic Plan is a living document. It mirrors our commitment to flexibility and adaptation, given the ever-evolving nature of the mission we have undertaken. We hope that it inspires you to join us as a member or supporter, so that you can play your part to help strengthen the future of books and readers inclusive of everyone.