Education

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.

1905

Starting in 1905, ALA began to issue recommendations for the education of librarians ensuring the highest standards within the profession.  That year ALA recommended that two to three years of college be a pre-requisite to library education. 

1923

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).

1951

In 1951 the new Standards for Accreditation were approved by ALA Council, stating that that the professional program should encompass a minimum of five years of study beyond secondary school and should lead to a master's degree.

1958

The first National Library Week occured in 1958.

"First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.

1972

ALA passes the Standards for Accreditation. These standards ensure that all librarians receive the necessary education for their profession.

1989

ALA Literacy Assembly established.

1998

In 1998 the ALA Council voted commitment to five Key Action Areas as guiding principles for directing the Association’s energies and resources: Diversity, Equity of Access, Education and Continuous Learning, Intellectual Freedom, and 21st Century Literacy.

1999

ALA convened the first Congress on Professional Education in 1999, focusing on initial preparation for librarianship.

2013

ALA continues to accredit library schools today under the 2008 Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies (PDF).  These education standards ensure that librarians meet the highest expectations of their profession.