1876-1899

1876

Working with people of all races and sexes has been a goal since early in ALA history.  Thirteen of the original members present at the founding of ALA were women.

1876

Melvil Dewey, Justin Winsor, C. A. Cutter, Samuel S. Green, James L. Whitney, Fred B. Perkins, and Thomas W. Bicknell issued a call to librarians to form a professional organization.  During the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, 103 librarians responded to a call for a "Convention of Librarians" to be held October 4-6 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

1879

ALA is officially incorporated under the laws of the state of Massachusetts.

1882

Caroline Hewins initiates the first story children's story hour at the Hartford (Conn.) Young Men's Institute, a private subscription association that was the predecessor to the Hartford Public Library. 

Caroline Hewins also initiated one of the first children's collection. She was the librarian in Hartford for fifty years from 1875 until 1926.

1890

The first children’s room in a library is established. The public Library of Brookline (Mass.) set aside an unused room in its basement for a children's reading-room.

1892

The ALA Council was first established in 1892 by a revision of the ALA Constitution. The Council consisted of 10 members who were elected by the membership and given authority for the creation of policy and new sections.