ALA and Council Committee Associates Program

The ALA and Council Committee Associate Program provides an opportunity for newer library workers to become familiar with ALA structure, in particular its committees; to network with peers and library leaders from around the country; and to participate in a service learning activity. Official Associate Guidelines, which govern the program were established by the ALA Council. For additional information, please reference the ALA and Council Committee Associate Guidelines. (Learn more about the Associate Program from a recent Twitter Chat)

Who can be an Associate?

  • The Associate Program is open to any ALA member who has never been appointed to a position on a Committee of the Association or a Committee of Council, nor held an elected office within the American Library Association or any unit of the Association (including its Divisions, Round Tables, etc.).
  • Associates are appointed by the ALA President-Elect. The President –Elect solicits suggestions from throughout the association as part of the overall committee volunteer and appointment process.
  • Historical feeder programs for Associate selection have been: Spectrum Scholars, ALA Scholarship recipients, Emerging Leaders, ALA Student Chapter Associations, the Divisions, Roundtables, Chapters and Ethnic Caucuses of the Association.

Why should I apply to be an Associate?

The ALA Associate program offers the possibility to connect, to learn, to succeed, to advance, and to lead! 

  • Connect: Engage with library leaders through committee service, organized networking events and participate in an Associate cohort group designed to inspire and support you throughout your tenure as an Associate and provide an in-depth introduction to ALA leadership.
  • Learn:  Participate in experiential programming designed to introduce members with leadership potential to the complex structures of the Association and prepare them for active roles within their respective Council or Committees. Resources are provided.
  • Succeed: Follow in the footsteps of successful former Associates that have graduated to larger roles within the association.
  • Advance: Climb the leadership ladder to positions of responsibility within the Association. 
  • Lead: Strengthen leadership abilities through active committee and council participation and contribute to the overall advancement of the Association.

What does an Associate do?

Each committee chair will determine the most appropriate duties for the Associate on a specific committee, depending in large part on the nature of the work of a particular committee. Please find below a brief sample of roles and responsibilities held by previous Council and Committee Associates:

  • Associates provide assistance planning and presenting committee programs and events.
  • Associates perform administrative duties to facilitate committee/association processes.
  • Associates assist the ALA staff liaison and/or the committee chair in posting announcements to ALA Connect and maintain general committee correspondence.
  • Associates may author the official committee report, with input from the committee chair.

What is expected of an Associate?

  • Associates are expected to participate in all virtual and in-person committee meetings. In most cases, this requires at a minimum attendance at both the ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences.
  • All Associates are expected to actively participate in the work of the committee to which they are appointed.
  • All Associates will be expected to serve a two-year appointment. 

How can I learn more about the program? 

Please contact Kimberly Redd, Staff Liaison of the Associate Program with any questions regarding the program at klredd@ala.org.  In the interim, you may also learn more about the benefits and responsibilities of serving as an Associate (formerly known as Intern) by viewing this  recorded presentation. Please note that the presentation begins after the first presenter's picture.)

This page was created under the direction of the ALA Training, Orientation  and Leadership Development Committee (TOLD).  For additional assistance, comments or questions please contact the committee's staff liaison, Lorelle Swader, Associate Executive Director, ALA Offices & Member Relations at lswader@ala.org.