Organizational Excellence


The ALA Council was first established in 1892 by a revision of the ALA Constitution. The Council consisted of 10 members who were elected by the membership and given authority for the creation of policy and new sections. 


The ALA has produced a number of publications during its history.  The Booklist, a guide to current library materials, began publication in 1905. It continues to be published today. 


The location of ALA headquarters has moved several times since the 1876 conference.  The first office was established 1906 at 34 Newbury Street, Boston.  It closed at the end of the following year.


 In 1909 the council was enlarged to include the Executive Board, all ex-Presidents of ALA, and fifty additional members--half chosen by the Council, half by the membership. This new enlarged council took over the business affairs of ALA.  This year also saw the appointment of the first salaried executive secretary: Charles Hadley.


After the closure of the ALA headquarters in Boston, the first of the Chicago headquarters opened. The next headquarters were established in 1909 in space donated by the Chicago Public Library.  Headquarters were at that location until 1924.

The Chicago Cultural Center was the main public library building in Chicago at the time.


The ALA Executive Board appointed the Committee on Mobilization and War Service Plans (later the War Service Committee). ALA undertook to supply books and periodicals to military personnel, at home and overseas. The initial campaign raised $1M for camp libraries, as well as including a book drive.

This Committee accepted an invitation from the War Department's Commission on Training Camp Activities to provide library service to the U.S. soldiers and sailors in America, France, and other locations.