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MISSION STATEMENT: COSLA is an independent organization of the chief officers of state and territorial agencies designated as the state library administrative agency and responsible for statewide library development. 

COSLA's mission is to provide leadership on issues of common concern and national interest, to further state library agency relationships with the federal government and national organizations, and to initiate, maintain and support cooperative action for the improvement of library services.

COSLA GOALS: The intent of COSLA's Mission Statement is to initiate, maintain and support cooperative action for the improvement of library services.

To accomplish our mission COSLA will: 

  • Facilitate communication and interpersonal networking of members
  • Identify and address national library issues and issues of mutual concern of its membership
  • Speak with a unified voice to influence national library issues
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships with allied organizations
  • Provide a forum for networking efforts both internally and externally
  • Develop and provide continuing education to meet the changing needs of the COSLA membership and state library staff


Each member of COSLA recognizes and respects the leadership status of other members and accommodates differences as well as commonalties to assure a collegial organization.

COSLA offers to its membership mutual support and the opportunity through group action to influence federal policy and national organizations. COSLA promotes its leadership role in the library community and with other organizations of state officials in order to affect policy of importance to library and information delivery. COSLA is a dynamic diverse organization, which encourages open discussion of issues.

In this organization we believe

  • Everyone has something to contribute and a responsibility to the group.
  • Everyone is open and honest with each other.
  • COSLA committee and liaison roles require active contributing chairs and members. It is appropriate to decline to serve.
  • Action must support talk.
  • Leadership is responsive to and communicates with membership.

Therefore, each of us as a Chief Officer has the responsibility to

  • Orient Chief Officers into the organizational culture.
  • Act in accordance with our key principles of mutual respect, openness, honesty, and acceptance/declination of committee and other responsibility.

COSLA as an organization

  • Requires a leadership that reflects COSLA's diversity.
  • Provides for issue-oriented committees, and for individuals as liaisons to other organizations.
  • Ensures social interaction and activities important to cohesion.
  • Provides information, education, and discussion on issues of mutual concern, which are essential for COSLA to determine policy.
  • Strives for consensus on issues, recognizing that action may proceed without 100% agreement, and at times the need for group action may supersede the concerns of some members.
  • Advances its formal positions aggressively.


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