ODLOS and Affiliate Collaborations

What is an affiliate? 

While the American Library Association collaborates with 27 affiliates, the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) works closely with 8 groups. These affiliate groups are created based on ethnicity, geographical locations, and interests. Affiliate groups are not governed by ALA nor are they within ALA's many divisions, but their mission and work often align with ALA's. ALA staff members attend affiliate meetings, promote their programming, and attend annual conferences if possible.

Why does ODLOS work with only 8 affiliates? 

ODLOS collaborates with 8 specific affiliates because they meet ODLOS' mission in serving marginalized voices and communities. These are affiliates that work with immigrants, historically disadvantaged ethnic groups, and those who are geographically isolated. 

What do affiliates do? 

Affiliates operate separately from the American Library Association. Affiliates are responsible for their own funding, programming, moderating their listservs, selecting and coordinating awards, and updating agendas. Affiliates also have their own bylaws and constitutions that should align with ALA's overall mission. These groups serve to provide resources for their members, brainstorm on current topics, and improve the library sciences field in relation to their interests. 

What are the benefits of joining an affiliate?

Affiliates provide a space for members to collaborate and share resources. These are great communities to get together and create resources for other libraries and members have the opportunity to attend affiliate conferences. By becoming an affiliate of ALA, affiliates will receive the support of the ALA and space to meet and present at ALA Annual and ALA Midwinter. 

Why should I join an affiliate? 

If you are looking for specific resources related to your library, you may consider browsing ALA's Listing of Current Affiliates. Affiliates are intimate groups where members can discuss challenges, create resources, and there are opportunities to network with fellow library workers.  

How do I learn more about joining an affiliate? 

Each affiliate has a website that you can access. You'll have the option to email a representative or pay for membership online. Typically, affiliates have membership fees range from $10 to $100 per year. 

Can you tell me more about the affiliates ODLOS collaborates with?

American Indian Library Association (AILA)

The American Indian Library Association is a membership action group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Members are individuals and institutions interested in the development of programs to improve Indian library, cultural, and informational services in school, public, and research libraries on reservations. AILA is also committed to disseminating information about Indian cultures, languages, values, and information needs to the library community. 

Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)

APALA, and AALC before it, were organized and founded by librarians of diverse Asian and Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian Pacific American (APA) librarians and those who serve Asian Pacific American communities.

Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA)

CALA is the only professional organization in North America that promotes better communication among Chinese American librarians,  serves as a forum for the discussion of mutual problems and professional concerns among Chinese American librarians, and promotes the development of Chinese and American librarianship with scholarships and grants.

REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking

REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos.

Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS)

The mission of the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services is to support and encourage government officials, library administrators, trustees, and staff in the provision of quality bookmobile and outreach services to meet diverse community information and programming needs.​

Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL)

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries, Inc. is a network of persons throughout the country dedicated to the positive growth and development of libraries.  ARSL believes in the value of rural and small libraries and strives to create resources and services that address national, state, and local priorities for libraries situated in rural communities.

Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC)

Coming together through JCLC Inc. are the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking. JCLC Inc.’s purpose statement is: “To promote librarianship within communities of color, support literacy, and the preservation of history and cultural heritage, collaborate on common issues, and to host the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color every four to five years.”

Who do I contact if I have additional questions? 

You can email ODLOS at diversity@ala.org with any further questions on the above affiliates.