What ALA Does for Chapters

ALA's Role

The American Library Association has affiliate relationships with state library associations (Chapters; (see What Chapters Are) in all fifty States, the District of Columbia,Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and regional library associations in the Mountain Plains, New England, Pacific Northwest, and Southeastern regions. See also The ALA and Chapters Partnership. See also Chapter Answers.

In return for payment of chapter dues, ALA provides:

The Chapter Relations Committee and the Chapter Relations Office work together to provide guidance and assistance to the ALA Chapters. See also Chapter Answers.

ALA's role with chapters is overseen by the Chapter Relations Committee, established by the ALA Council upon recommendation of the ALA Executive Board on January 11, 1967, and executed by the Chapter Relations Office, established by the Council in 1979. CRO is headed by a half-time director (also director of the International Relations Office) and staffed with a program officer.

Chapter Relations Committee

The Chapter Relations Committee (CRC):

  • Develops and recognizes Chapters as integral components of ALA (see What Chapters Are);
  • Encourages discussion, activities and programs that support the mutual interests of ALA and the Chapters;
  • Advises when requested on proposals and actions of other ALA units that may affect Chapters;
  • Provides a forum wherein Chapters can share ideas and concerns of common interest and identify common needs and goals;
  • Communicates these Chapter needs and goals to ALA and ALA goals, programs and priorities to the Chapters;
  • Encourages and maintains a cooperative and supportive relationship among ALA, its units, and the Chapters;
  • Formulates and reviews periodically requirements for Chapter status; and
  • Serves as an advisory committee to the Chapter Relations Office.
  • The CRC meets at each ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.
  • Presents the Chapter Leaders Forum each Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference
  • CRC members are subscribed to two CRO business e-lists, crc@lists.ala.org and alacro-l@lists.ala.org

Chapter Relations Office

The Chapter Relations Office (CRO):

CRO is also instrumental in assisting the Chapter Relations Committee in its work. The Office provides chapters with annual directories of chapter officers, executives, journal and newsletter editors, and an annual calendar of state and national conferences. Other information collected for the chapters has dealt with a comparison of chapter dues and information on state conference registration and exhibit fees. The Chapter Relations Office serves as the major conduit for ALA in fulfilling its obligations to chapters. Activities and benefits provided to chapters by the Chapter Relations Office include:

  • Fact sheets on ways that ALA and particular chapters are working together (see The ALA and Chapters Partnership);
  • Joint membership, marketing, and advocacy efforts;
  • Ongoing communication between ALA and the chapters (see Chapter Issues);
  • Forums for interaction and discussion of library topics by librarians throughout the country;
  • Opportunities for continuing education provided by ALA conferences and programs; and
  • Professional development opportunities provided by continuing education programs and by the committee and division structure that provide avenues for developing leadership and planning capabilities beyond the state association level.

Select Resources

From how ALA established Chapters, to a select group of links to ALA units related to or of interest to Chapters, or both, to select current and past resources.

About ALA

ALA Constitution, Bylaws, and Policy Manual: Chapters

Overview of Select ALA Resources for Chapters

Select Chapter Resources

Chapter Relations Office Website

Calendars and Conferences


Social Networking: ALA Connect and Facebook and Twitter

Facebook logo Twitter logo Find your ALA committees, round tables, other groups; start new communities. Take action for America's libraries. Partial map of USA links to state library advocacy

More Chapters social networking sites, including the ALA Connect, a centralized space where official ALA groups can work together online.

Programs and Activities

Certified Public Library Administrator program

This is a voluntary post-MLS certification program for public librarians with three years or more of supervisory experience. For more information, visit the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association.

Chapter Leaders Forum

  • The Chapter Leaders Forum, presented by the ALA Chapter Relations Committee at each ALA Midwinter and Annual, provides a great opportunity for Chapter Leaders (especially incoming leaders) to meet together and prepares them to lead their association. The program presents topics of interest to chapter leaders, including association management, advocacy, conference planning, social media, and membership development and retention.
  • The forum is a separate ticketed event at both the Midwinter Meeting and the Annual Conference. There is no on-site registration.
  • Presenters and attendees are subscribed to a CRO business e-list, chapterleadersforum@lists.ala.org


  • ALA currently provides support for all state chapters (and DC) to set up their own Engage Legislative Action Center and participate in the Engage affiliate program. (CQRC Engage is a comprehensive advocacy and engagement platform that continues to help ALA, chapters, and Ilovelibraries send constituent messages to congressional and state legislators.)
  • Chapter Engage contacts and others interested in the program are able to meet at each ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. (See Select ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference Schedule for Chapters)
  • To take action on federal legislation affecting libraries and to take action for libraries in your state via Engage, visit CRO’s Take Action for Libraries page. See also Save Libraries in Your State (CRO) and I Love Libraries.org.
  • Chapter Engage contacts will be subscribed to a CRO business e-list, engage@lists.ala.org

International Council of Library Association Executives (ICLAE)

Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week (includes instructions on how to subscribe to the official Money Smart Week e-list)


These are webinars conducted by the ALA Chapter Relations Office, listed in alphabetical order by topic. Check for current webinars and sign up! Webinars are always available after they are presented.