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American Library Association facts for kids

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American Library Association
ALA Logo
Abbreviation ALA
Formation October 6, 1876; 143 years ago (1876-10-06)
Type Non-profit
NGO
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Location Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C.
Region served United States
Membership 57,000
Budget $33.5 million
Staff approx. 300

The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members.

Founded by Justin Winsor, Charles Ammi Cutter, Samuel S. Green, James L. Whitney, Melvil Dewey (Melvil Dui), Fred B. Perkins, Charles Evans, and Thomas W. Bicknell on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and chartered in 1879 in Massachusetts, its head office is now in Chicago.

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.

The ALA supports efforts to amend the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and urges the courts to restore the balance in copyright law, ensure fair use and protect and extend the public domain.

The official purpose of the association is "to promote library service and librarianship." Members may join one or more of eleven membership divisions that deal with specialized topics such as academic, school, or public libraries, technical or reference services, and library administration.

The ALA annually gives numerous book and media awards, primarily through its children's and young adult divisions.

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