ALA opened a library for American military personnel in Paris during 1918. This library was later established (1920) as the American Library in Paris

In response to pressure from Americans in Paris, ALA agreed to leave the books and equipment, and to provide a $25,000 "endowment," to continue the wartime library in Paris.


The first ALA round table met to encourage library patron diversity, " ALA's Work with Negroes Round Table". The round table was began to examine the state of equitable access to library materials for African-Americans.  The round table continued for  two years before being disbanded. Tensions flared between librarians in the north and the south causing the ALA to suspend the round table.


Thomas Fountain Blue was the first African-American to head a public library system. In 1921, he became the first African-American to speak at an ALA program.

"The Reverend Thomas F. Blue, the nation’s first African-American to head a public library, was a respected leader in the civic, religious, and educational life of the Louisville black community.


Frederick G. Melcher, chairman of the Children's Book Week Committee, proposed a medal to be awarded to the author of a distinguished book for children published during the preceding year. He proposed that it be called the "John Newbery Medal".


By 1923 the Committee on Library Training recommended that ALA appoint a board or committee to review library training agencies and to define standards for evaluating or accrediting them. The Temporary Library Training Board was appointed. The same year, the Carnegie Corporation published Training for Library Service (Dr. Charles C. Williamson).


The second move for the headquarters in Chicago (third overall) was to the John Crerar Library at 86 E. Randolph Street, Chicago. 


 Five years after the last relocation,  the ALA headquarters relocated a couple of blocks away at 520 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago in 1929.