A.8 ALA Publications (Old Number 10)


A.8.1 Responsibility for Content of ALA Publications (Old Number 10.1)

As a publisher, the American Library Association and its member units establish goals and set policies for publication programs. The purpose and scope for each major publication will be clearly specified.

It is the responsibility of each member unit to communicate to its membership and its editors the purpose of the publication, its specific format, and to identify the audience for which it is intended.

Consistent with ALA’s traditional dedication to the freedom of expression, free flow of ideas, and policies on intellectual freedom and ethics, all member units shall endorse and apply the principles of freedom of the press to their publication program.

It is the responsibility of each member unit to appoint editors with experience or training in editorial theory and practice. Such editors, whether headquarters staff, contractors, or volunteers, shall be responsible for determining the content and style of the publication consistent with the goals and policies of the sponsoring unit. The decision as to appropriate material for inclusion in the publication shall rest with the editor guided by the ALA Constitution, its Bylaws, and relevant policies as adopted by the ALA Council and the unit which sponsors the publication.

(See Policy Reference File: 1989-90 CD#47.1. - PDF, 6 pgs)


A.8.1.1 Definition of an ALA Publication (Old Number 10.1.1)

The term ‘‘ALA publication’’ means an information product or other discrete set of information, regardless of medium:

That is created or compiled by ALA staff in the course of their duties on behalf of ALA or one of its units; or through a contractual relationship between the creator and ALA or one of its units; or by ALA members in the course of fulfilling their volunteer duties as members of an ALA committee, division, or round table; and that presents in an organized form information about a discrete topic: that can be and is intended to be distributed to multiple users; that has an element of originality in its intellectual content and organization of that content; that is not of an ephemeral nature; that is organized through purposeful design rather than by circumstance (e.g., a list); and that is distributed through a channel operated by the American Library Association (e.g., through the ALA Publishing Services Department, through a division’s publications committee, through an ALA-operated server.) 


A.8.1.2 Archiving of Electronic Publications (Old Number 10.1.2)

The ALA will regularly archive all ALA electronic publications; and, that the ALA archiving program for electronic publications will adhere to best practice as the science of archiving electronic publications matures and evolves.


A.8.2 American Libraries: Editorial Policy (Old Number 10.2)

The American Library Association is the publisher of the magazine, American Libraries. Because American Libraries is the official organ of the ALA, the editor has a particular responsibility to convey to the membership and other readers full and accurate information about the activities, purposes, and goals of the Association. In order to carry out this responsibility, the editor may have access to privileged information. The editor must assume an obligation to represent the best interests of the Association and its units fairly and as fully as possible within the scope of the journal and with due regard to the editor’s prerogatives in producing a balanced and readable publication.

ALA encourages publication in the news columns of American Libraries of news about all matters of import to libraries and librarians. The editor is guaranteed independence in gathering, reporting, and publishing news according to the principles of the Association’s policies on intellectual freedom.

Statements of official ALA positions on any matters shall be clearly identified as such when published in American Libraries. The editor must be free to analyze and interpret such matters as his or her judgment dictates, and such analysis and interpretation should appear over the editor’s signature.

News and views have their place in American Libraries, and every opportunity shall be assured for expression of diverse views when members believe such views run counter to their own, or when news is considered to be inaccurately or not fully reported. Signed interpretative comment shall be encouraged. Columns of American Libraries shall be kept scrupulously and faithfully open to expression of all viewpoints of interest and concern to the library profession.


A.8.3 Sex-Stereotyping Terminology (Old Number 10.3)

Publications and official documents of the American Library Association shall avoid terminology which perpetuates sex stereotypes. Existing publications and official documents, as they are revised, shall be changed to avoid such terminology.

ALA will establish guidelines for editing all future publications and official documents and for review of all future advertising copy to insure that discriminatory remarks and sex-stereotyping terminology of any kind are eliminated.


A.8.4 Reproduction of Articles (Old Number 10.4)

The American Library Association may enter into agreements with various organizations engaged in the business of providing copies of copyrighted articles to persons requesting them. The copies are sometimes available in magnetic tape, in microform, and in hard copy.

ALA has developed criteria by which the agreements may be evaluated so as to assure uniform and nondiscriminatory treatment by ALA and the protection of the interests of ALA in its journals and publications and their contents. Any agreements made in accordance with these criteria do not imply any restriction on the use of copyrighted materials in ALA journals and publications for the noncommercial purpose of scientific or educational advancement. ALA Publishing Services has the responsibility for administering this policy and for securing approval of appropriate ALA units.

(See ‘‘Policy Reference File’’ for full text and statement of criteria. - PDF, 3 pgs)