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American Library Association

American Library Association


The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world.Founded in 1876, our mission is to share our vision of the importance of libraries, literacy and free access to information.ALA offers professional services and publications to members and nonmembers, including online news stories from American Libraries and analysis of crucial issues from our Washington Office. Our main office is located in the heart of Chicago's Gold Coast, right off of Michigan Ave, with satellite offices in Washington, DC, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.


ALA is an exciting place to be these days — and for good reason. Thanks to ever-improving improved programming, a focus on advocacy, professional and leadership development, and information policy, combined with exciting online courses, and our interactive membership community, ALAConnect , members are involved, making a difference for their libraries and their careers. ALA membership instantly connects you to a network of dedicated library professionals. 


ALA Membership helps you:

• Increase your ability to reach and serve your community

• Meet, connect, and network with professionals from all areas of library work

• Strengthen libraries and the profession 

• Enhance your library’s effectiveness

• Build and share your knowledge

• Engage in the latest trends and issues

• Discover new technologies and innovations

• Develop leadership skills

• Support and advocate for the public’s access to information

• Make an impact on related legislative issues

• Change the world for the better through libraries


Diversity Counts

Diversity Counts is a comprehensive study of gender, race and age in the library profession, originally conducted in 2006 and released in 2007.


The study was updated in 2012 using 2009-2010 American Community Survey analyses. The new data reveals a small gain – from 11 percent in 2000 to 12 percent in 2009-2010 – in the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities working as credentialed librarians in the nation’s public, academic and school libraries.  While credentialed librarians remain predominantly female and white, this new data provides a fuller picture of diversity within the profession today.

  • Diversity Counts: Introduction 2012
  • Diversity Counts 2012 Tables


“Although the findings show some improvement in the diversity of the library workforce, we clearly have a long way to go,” stated Maureen Sullivan, ALA president.  “To continue to serve the nation’s increasingly diverse communities, our libraries and the profession must reflect this diversity. We must continue to offer initiatives like ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program to recruit and educate librarians of color. We also must do the research necessary to discover effective ways to increase the numbers. This is a matter of urgency for all of us.”


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POSTED: 2018-03-07
TERMS: Nonprofit Charities


CITY: Chicago