Frequently Asked Questions from Authors and Publishers

Q. I've just written/published a book. How do I get it into libraries? Doesn't ALA tell libraries what books to get? Doesn't ALA distribute books to all the libraries?

A. Please be aware that individual libraries are responsible for their own book purchases and collections. Books are chosen according to the collection development policy of the library, which can call for a title to have been reviewed in an established book review periodical, like ALA's Booklist (see more below).

  • There is no one that chooses and distributes books to all libraries -- and that includes ALA.
  • Libraries usually purchase their books through such distributors as Baker & Taylor, Ingram Book Services, Emery-Pratt Company, and other book suppliers and wholesalers.


If you are a publisher wishing to donate books to libraries, please see ALA Library Fact Sheet 12, Sending Books to Needy Libraries: Book Donation Programs for groups and organizations that accept and distribute book donations to libraries and other recipients, as ALA does not provide this service.