American Library Association facts for kids

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American Library Association
ALA Logo
Abbreviation ALA
Formation October 6, 1876; 142 years ago (1876-10-06)
Type Non-profit
Purpose/focus "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."
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Location Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C.
Region served United States
Membership 60,301
Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels
President James G. Neal
Budget $33.5 million
Staff approx. 300

The American Library Association (ALA) is an organization which does not receive money. It is in the United States. It helps libraries and library education all over the world. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world. It has more than 62,000 members. Justin Winsor, Charles Ammi Cutter, Samuel Swett Green, James L. Whitney, Melvil Dewey, Fred B. Perkins and Thomas W. Bicknell began the organization in 1876. It began in Philadelphia, but its head office is in Chicago now. Anybody can join, but most of its members are librarians. Most members live and work in the United States. Members from other countries make up about 3.5% of the members.


ALA membership is open to any person or organization, though most of its members are libraries or librarians. Most members live and work in the United States, with international members comprising 3.5% of total membership.

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American Library Association Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.