Headquartered in Chicago, the ALA is governed by an elected Council, which is its policy-making body, and an Executive Board, which acts for the Council in the administration of established policies and programs. In this context, the Executive Board is the body that manages the affairs of the Association, delegating management of the Association’s day-to-day operation to the executive director. The ALA also has 37 standing committees, designated as committees of the Association or of the Council. The Association’s operations are directed by the executive director and implemented by staff through a structure of programmatic offices and support units.
The ALA is home to 11 membership divisions, each focused on a type of library or library function, and 19 round tables for members who share interests that lie outside the scope of any of the divisions. A network of affiliates, chapters, and other organizations enables the ALA to reach a broad audience.