American Library Association
Mission: The ALA, the American Library Association,provides 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.
Executive Director: Keith Michael Fiels
Year founded: 1876
- Enrolled more than 64,600 members
- Organized into eleven membership divisions that deal with specialized topics such as academic, school, or public libraries, technical or reference services, and library administration.
The organization is affiliated with regional, state, and student chapters across the country. The organization advocates positions on United States political issues that it believes are related to libraries and librarianship. For court cases that touch on issues about which the organization holds positions, the ALA often files amicus briefs. It lobbies Congress issues relating to libraries, information and communication. It also provides materials to libraries that may include information on how to apply for grants, how to comply with the law, and how to oppose a law.
In addition to political advocacy, the ALA organizes conferences, participates in library standards development, and publishes a number of books and periodicals. The organization publishes American Libraries and Booklist magazines. It confers several prestigious annual book and media awards, including the Caldecott Medal (children's picture books), the Dartmouth Medal (reference works), the Newbery Medal (children's books), the Michael L. Printz Award (young adult literature), and the Stonewall Book Award (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature).
YALSA, Young Adult Library Services Association, is the organization's YA division. It sponsors Teen Read Week,the third week of October, and Teen Tech Week, the second week of March.
To become more involved, visit the organization's Take Action! page.
–Huntington W. Sharp, Editor, Red Room
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