The Public Library Association has specific responsibility for:
- Conducting and sponsoring research about how the public library can respond to changing social needs and technical developments.
- Developing and disseminating materials useful to public libraries in interpreting public library services and needs.
- Conducting continuing education for public librarians by programming at national and regional conferences, by publications such as the newsletter, and by other delivery means.
- Establishing, evaluating, and promoting goals, guidelines, and standards for public libraries.
- Maintaining liaison with relevant national agencies and organizations engaged in public administration and human services such as National Association of Counties, Municipal League, Commission on Post-Secondary Education.
- Maintaining liaisons with other divisions and units of ALA and other library organizations such as the Association of American Library Schools and the Urban Libraries Council.
- Defining the role of the public library in service to a wide range of user and potential user groups.
- Promoting and interpreting the public library to a changing society through legislative programs and other appropriate means.
- Identifying legislation to improve and to equalize support of public libraries.
—ALA Council (1978). Approved by the PLA Board of Directors, ALA Annual Conference 2002, Atlanta, Ga.