The Public Library Association is empowered by ALA’s bylaws “to act for the ALA as a whole on any matter determined by Council to be the responsibility of the division.” (ALA Bylaws, Article VI, Section 2b). The authority for acting on behalf of PLA rests with the PLA Board of Directors. This includes but is not limited to the issuing of public statements on behalf of PLA or public libraries, entering into a commitment with financial liability, and endorsing or supporting projects or policies of other institutions or organizations.
All PLA units are responsible to the PLA Board of Directors which determines policies. The Board’s actions, however, may be overset by the membership. Therefore, ultimately the responsibility for the use of the Public Library Association name rests with the aggregate membership. In practice, the Board of Directors acts on its behalf. The Executive Committee acts for the Board between meetings. Units do not have the authority to speak for the Association unless this authority has been specifically delegated to the unit by the Board of Directors. Units, of course, have the authority to speak on behalf of the unit when communicating to members about association issues and activities.
Adopted by the PLA Board of Directors, ALA Annual Conference June 1991.