Organizational Excellence


"The Young Adult Services Division was formally established in June 1957, after a massive reorganization effort within ALA made substantive organizational changes, including the splitting of the Association of Young People's librarians (established in 1941) into the Children's Library Association and the Young Adult Services Division. Mildred Batchelder was the first Executive Secretary (1957--1965), serving both the Children's and Young Adult divisions from her ALA Office.


The first National Library Week occurred in 1958.

Read more about National Library Week at National Library Week History which includes lists of both the National Library Week Honorary Chairpersons and the National Library Week Themes, from 1958 to the present.


ALA organizes "Library-21" a futuristic exhibit, at the Seattle World's Fair.


ALA sponsors Library USA exhibit at the 1964 and 1965 New York World's Fair


The Office for Intellectual Freedom established.

"Social movements are used to change existing social patterns. Causes may be promoted through the actions of individual librarians or by the work of social institutions like the American Library Association.


First National Legislative Day, sponsored by the Washington Office.

National Library Legislative Day is an annual event.

Scenes from National Legislative Day 2012


In 1976, ALA saw its first African-American president. Clara Stanton Jones was elected president that year.

"Jones’s 26-year career at DPL [Detroit Public Library] culminated in a promotion to the directorship in 1970, where she served until her retirement in 1978. A renowned mentor to young professionals, Jones was ALA’s first African-American president, serving from 1976 to 1977.


The Library Instruction Round Table was started in 1977 with the intent to bring together librarians who provide library instruction across all types of libraries -- academic, public, school, and special libraries.

Information on LIRT History Anniversary celebrations

List of past LIRT Leadership

List of past LIRT publications


In 1981, ALA headquarters was expanded to provide more space for a growing organization. 50 E. Huron was connected to the adjacent building and the Huron plaza building was dedicated.


ALA Council approves establishment of the Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT); name changed to Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table in 1989.