American Library Association HQ

aka ALA   |   Chicago, IL   |  http://www.ala.org

Mission

ALA plays a key role in the formulation of national and international policies and standards that affect library and information services. Its mission is "to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."

The ALA has approximately 58,000 members, including librarians, library trustees, and other interested people from every state and many nations. The Association serves public, state, school, and academic libraries, as well as special libraries for people working in government, commerce and industry, the arts, and the armed services or in hospitals, prisons, and other institutions.

Ruling year info

1952

Executive Director

Tracie D. Hall

Main address

225 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 1300

Chicago, IL 60601 USA

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EIN

36-2166947

NTEE code info

Professional Societies & Associations (B03)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Divisions

ALA is home to eleven membership divisions, each with a type-of-library or type-of-library-function specialization.   ALA divisions publish journals, books, newsletters, and other materials; provide continuing education in a variety of venues and formats; offer awards and scholarships; sponsor institutes and conferences; and maintain networks of affiliates, chapters, and other collaborative relationships.

ALA has incorporated specialized sections and divisions from its early existence, beginning with the college and reference librarians (1889), the trustees (1890) and catalogers (1900).

By policy, each division has a statement of responsibility developed by its members and approved by the ALA Council, a set of goals and objectives to drive its activities, an executive director and other personnel (as necessary), responsibility for generating revenue to carry out its programs, and a separate Board of Directors, elected by the members of the division. Each division is represented on the ALA Council and in the Planning and Budget Assembly. Please visit: http://www.ala.org/groups/divs

American Association of School Librarians (AASL): http://www.ala.org/aasl/

Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL): http://www.ala.org/acrl/

Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS): http://www.ala.org/alcts/

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC): http://www.ala.org/alsc/

Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA): http://www.ala.org/ascla/

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA): http://www.ala.org/lita/

Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA): http://www.ala.org/llama/

Public Library Association (PLA): http://www.ala.org/pla/

Reference & User Services Association (RUSA): http://www.ala.org/rusa/

United for Libraries. http://www.ala.org/united/

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA): http://www.ala.org/yalsa/

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Offices of the American Library Association are units that address broad interests and issues of concern to ALA members.  Offices do not have members but are advised by member advisory committees. ALA’s programmatically-focused offices can be seen as generally reflecting the member-determined priority areas of the Association, within which they track issues, and provide information, services and products for members and the general public. Offices maintain liaison relationships with ALA round tables, committees and external groups. Offices may be responsible for a functional support area. Please visit: http://www.ala.org/offices//

Chapter Relations Office
Communications & Marketing Office
Conference Services
Development
Governance
Human Resources
Information Technology
International Relations Office
Finance and Accounting
ALA Library
Member & Customer Service
Membership
Office for Accreditation
Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment
Office for Information Technology Policy
Office for Intellectual Freedom
Office of Government Relations
Public Policy and Advocacy Office
Public Programs Office
Public Information Office
Publishing
Staff Support Services

Population(s) Served
Adults

Round Tables are membership groups and may charge dues, develop programs, issue publications (with the approval of the ALA Publications Committee), and affiliate with regional, state or local groups with the same interests. Please visit: http://www.ala.org/groups/rts

Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange (EMIERT): http://www.ala.org/emiert/

Exhibits (ERT): http://www.ala.org/ert/

Federal and Armed Forces Libraries (FAFLRT): http://www.ala.org/faflrt/

Games and Gaming (GameRT): http://www.ala.org/gamert/

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBTRT) http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/

Government Documents (GODORT): http://www.ala.org/godort/

Intellectual Freedom (IFRT): http://www.ala.org/ifrt/

International Relations (IRRT): http://www.ala.org/irrt/

Learning Round Table (LearnRT): http://www.ala.org/learnrt/

Library History (LHRT): http://www.ala.org/lhrt/

Library Instruction (LIRT): http://www.ala.org/lirt/

Library Research (LRRT): http://www.ala.org/lrrt/

Library Support Staff Interests (LSSIRT): http://www.ala.org/llssirt/

Map and Geospatial (MAGIRT): http://www.ala.org/magirt/

New Members (NMRT): http://www.ala.org/nmrt/

Retired Members (RMRT): http://www.ala.org/rmrt/

Social Responsibilities (SRRT): http://www.ala.org/srrt/

Staff Organizations (SORT): http://www.ala.org/sort/

Sustain (SustainRT): http://www.ala.org/sustainrt/

Video (VRT): http://www.ala.org/vrt/

Population(s) Served
Adults

Each year, the American Library Association and its member units honor people and institutions through an awards program that recognizes distinguished service to libraries and librarianship.

ALA Awards and Grants: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goals of the Association, as outlined in the 2015 Strategic Plan, are as follows:

(1) ALA equips and leads advocates for libraries, library issues and the library profession, and plays a key role in formulating legislation, policies and standards that affect library and information services.
(2) ALA promotes excellence and diversity in the library field.
(3) ALA provides leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment.
(4) ALA provides an environment in which all members, regardless of location or position, have the opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from engagement in their association.
(5) ALA operates effectively, efficiently, creatively and in a socially responsible fashion to accomplish its mission.

In June, 2010, the American Library Association adopted a new strategic plan. ALA 2015 outlines strategic goals and objectives for the next five years, and sets priorities for the association that will strengthen libraries, the profession, and the public's access to information.

Thousands of members were involved in its development: In Spring 2009, 9,000 members participated in a survey, open to all members, which asked for members' thoughts on Association priorities and performance. Over the course of a year, over a thousand members and non members participated in forty forums held with Chapters and other affiliated groups. An environmental scan was also conducted, which gathered information on societal, technological, educational and economic trends that will impact libraries, librarians and the association over the next decade.

In September and October 2009, the ALA Executive Board met with division and round table leaders to craft a draft vision, goals and objectives for the next five years. Following these sessions, the draft plan was reviewed by ALA Council members, ALA, division and round table committees and boards, Chapters and affiliate groups. Their comments and suggestions were compiled and incorporated into a second draft, distributed to the membership in March 2010. Nearly a thousand members responded with comments and suggestions, which were incorporated in the draft reviewed by the ALA Executive Board in April 2010 and then adopted by ALA Council in June 2010. At each step, further modifications helped focus and refine the plan to its final version.

To see the full plan, including the objectives, key action areas, organizational values and envisioned future, go to: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/missionhistory/plan/strategic%20plan%202015%20documents/strategic_plan_2.pdf

Financials

American Library Association
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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American Library Association

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.

Patricia Wong

Santa Monica Public Library

Latrice Booker

Indiana University Northwest

Karen Schneider

Sonoma State University Library

Tamika Barnes

Georgia State University Library

Ed Garcia

Cranston Public Library

Maria McCauley

Cambridge Public Library

Eboni Henry

D.C. Public Schools

Alexandra Rivera

University of Michigan Library

Larry Neal

Clinton-Macomb Public Library

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes