Membership Initiative Groups



A membership initiative group (MIG) is a short-term organizational vehicle that provides for prompt, organized membership activities on topical issues of mutual interest.

While possibly overlapping with other ALA units for brief times, a MIG may not assume any of the delegated responsibilities of said units that are currently being carried out by said units, nor may a MIG speak for the Association.


A group of ALA members, having identified their common concern for some aspect of librarianship, shall present the following information to the ALA Committee on Organization:

  1. A statement of purpose.

  2. A petition signed by at least 100 ALA members in good standing.

  3. The signatures and addresses of designated organizers.

The COO chair shall acknowledge receipt of the required documentation, with a copy to the ALA Member Programs and Services.  After verification of the signatures on the petition, ALA COO shall approve or disapprove the establishment of the MIG. This action shall be reported to Council in the COO report at the next conference.

The ALA Conference Arrangements Office shall acknowledge receipt of notification and make every effort to accommodate the space/time/place needs of the group.

A membership initiative group may function in ALA for a maximum of three years, and may have meetings and programs. During this time, the Association shall provide meeting space, a listing in the Handbook of Organization, inclusion in conference schedules, and a contact person at Headquarters designated by the Executive Director to provide parliamentary counseling. In addition, the MIG may request small support items, either from Headquarters or as budgetary requests to BARC. All other MIG activities will be handled by the group.


At the end of its first three years of existence, a membership initiative group may request renewal for one additional three-year term by providing a petition for that purpose signed by at least 100 ALA members in good standing to the ALA Committee on Organization, may request another place within the ALA structure by following the procedures for establishing that type of group, or may request the ALA COO to disband it.


A membership initiative group shall provide an annual report of activities to the ALA Committee on Organization by August 1 of each year or more often if requested. 

Contact Danielle Alderson,, Member Programs and Services, ALA Headquarters.


Diversity Membership Initiative Group

This open forum would be an organizational home for persons interested in fostering an improved climate for diversity within the American Library Association as a means to positively impact services to the increasingly diverse populations who utilize our libraries on a daily basis.  In addition, it would provide a base for conference programming, formal contacts, e-lists, etc. It would raise issues of concern with the Office for Diversity, Committee on Diversity and other formal ALA communities (Divisions, Committees, Round Tables, etc.).  Staff Liaison: Michelle Harrell Washington  

Entrepreneurship and Maker Spaces Member Interest Group

More and more, libraries are becoming places of active, connected learning. The mission of the Entrepreneurship and Maker Spaces Member Interest Group is:

  1. to provide a community within ALA for members interested in discussing new ways that libraries can encourage and support community makers and builders, be they businesses and businesspeople from startup through growth-stage, or creators of objects or content,
  2. providing a pan-libraries forum for the support of libraries engaged in building or renovating entrepreneurship and maker spaces in their libraries.

Our goal is to furnish space for librarians and library staff to brainstorm, develop, and share ideas for fundraising, friendraising, programming, publications, and publicity.

Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries

To provide a method for engagement and networking among ALA members interested in comic books and graphic novels. To collaborate with ALA units to support the inclusion of comic books and graphic novels in library initiatives and programs across the Association. To advocate for wider incorporation and acceptance by the profession and the Association for comic books and graphic novels in library services, programming, and collections. This group is open to all members, and encourages participation from members from all library types and members who serve various library user demographics.

Information Commons

To provide a mechanism for sharing experiences with promoting, developing and sustaining commons. To provide a base for conference programming, formal contacts, e-lists, etc. To encourage participation in efforts and partnerships to help promote, build and sustain information commons. This group includes librarians from all types of libraries who are eager to learn about and share their experiences with developing and preserving commonly shared resources, as well as understanding and promoting the concept of the commons. Staff liaison, Mary W. Ghikas,

Librarians Build Communities

To provide library workers with information about skills-based volunteering so that they can plan and carry out volunteer programs benefiting libraries and other social service organizations in communities that can benefit from organized, targeted volunteer events.  Skills can include the skills that library workers exercise every day in their jobs (e.g., short-term cataloging projects, book repair, technology projects, story hours) as well as other skills such as painting, basic home/school/library building repair and improvement, carpentry, gardening and yard work etc.  Assistance includes, but is not necessarily limited to advice and tool kits on how to develop a relationship with a library or community agency that can host an event and how to plan, organize, manage, recruit volunteers, obtain needed supplies or equipment, evaluate results, and share lessons learned with the library community so volunteer initiatives can grow and become a viral form of library advocacy.  Skills-based volunteering can, literally, be grass roots advocacy.

For additional information about this group's genesis from an Emerging Leaders project and information about its ambitions for the future, see Staff liaison, Don Wood,

Libraries Foster Community Engagement

(formerly Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement)

Libraries Foster Community Engagement provides an ALA organizational home for members interested in the work of library-led community engagement. It is a community of practice where participants share experiences facilitating public forums, fostering community and civic engagement, and leading change in communities. Participants also hear about professional development opportunities and library experiences related to convening, dialogue facilitation, forum moderation, deliberative dialogue and local partnerships to help communities understand issues of concern and solve problems together.  Staff liaison, Mary W. Ghikas,  

LibraryLab / Library Boing Boing

(formerly the Library Boing Boing Member Interest Group)

To bring librarians and Boing Boing readers (aka, Happy Mutants) together to generate support for and raise interest in libraries via projects at local libraries.


  • Help find and propose content about libraries that could be posted to Boing Boing.

  • Provide active ways for Happy Mutants to support and get involved with their local libraries (eg, toolkits, best practices, ideas for local projects).

  • Create dynamic programming at library conferences that Library Boing Boingers can then take outside of the library community to promote libraries (eg, SxSW, local community events, etc.).

  • Work together to help Happy Mutants advance our shared interests (eg, copyright reform, net neutrality, game culture, digital divide issues, open government, etc.).

  • Coordinate an international community of librarians working with their own Happy Mutant groups.

 How to submit a story to Boing Boing

Programming Librarian Interest Group (PLIG)

To bring together all types of librarians interested in public programming for their patrons. Programming is an intrinsically essential library service. The Programming Librarian Interest Group will help librarians advocate for programming at their own institutions, share program ideas and successful strategies, and provide a space for professional development by librarians who do programming officially and unofficially as part of their job duties. The group will also be a vehicle for ALA members to connect more dynamically with ALA’s Public Programs Office.

Virtual Communities and Libraries

To provide a group within ALA for members interested in fostering the practice of library work, the visibility of libraries and library workers, and the extension of library services within online social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. To provide a mechanism for sharing experiences and practices in-person or virtually through programming or asynchronous communications. To encourage wider participation by the profession and the association in virtual worlds. To establish a forum across all types of libraries and at all levels of library employment concerned with the development of library services in emerging social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. This group is open to all members. Staff liaison, Tina Coleman,