Milestones of the Library Support Staff Movement

library support staff resource center


compiled by the participants of
"The Library Support Staff Movement:
Week 1--Milestones Workshop"
on LIBSUP-L, June 1995

Workshop developed and facilitated by Ed Gillen

(Links updated 4/07)


The Ohio College Online Library Center (OCLC) goes online. Many in the profession liken the emergence of library support staff to the emergence of automated library catalogs.


(Council on Library/Media Technicians) becomes an affiliate of the American Library Association. Affiliate status means that both organizations recognize each other's value to the library community.


The first statewide clerical conference in New York State is held at the State University of New York at SUNY Oswego.


COLT first provided assistance with the revision of the standards for the  S-1411 (Library Technician) series for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. COLT also provides input into the revisions of the  Occupational Outlook Handbook  published by the Department of Labor.


Lucy Schweers becomes the first paraprofessional to be elected vice-president/president elect of a statewide library association (Colorado Library Association). She served as president in 1986/87.


The New Jersey Association of Library Assistants (NJALA)   becomes the first independent statewide library assistant association.


On 10 June 1988, the  New York State Library Assistants' Association (NYSLAA) constitution was ratified. NYSLAA becomes the second independent statewide library assistants' association in the United States.


John Berry's editorial "The Other Librarians" appears in the July issue of Library Journal (114:4).

In July, the  North Carolina Library Paraprofessional Association is organized.

Library Mosaics , the magazine for support staff, begins publication.


On 13 January 1991, the Membership Initiative Group of the American Library Association--the forerunner of the ALA Support Staff Interest Round Table--conducts its initial meeting.

Larry Oberg's guest editorial "Paraprofessionals: Shaping the New Reality" appears in the January issue of College & Research Libraries.

The World Book/ALA Goal Award Project on Library Support Staff publishes the infamous ten  "Issue Papers". These papers are the result of nationwide focus groups which identify support staff issues and concerns.

COLT   becomes incorporated.

The first  National Directory of Library Paraprofessional Associations  is published in September.


In January, the  Oregon Library Association Library Support Staff Round Table is established.

Larry Oberg's article "The Emergence of the Paraprofessional in Academic Libraries: Perceptions and Realities" appears in the March issue of College & Research Libraries.

In May, "The Role, Status, and Working Conditions of Paraprofessionals: A National Survey of Academic Libraries" authored by Oberg, Mentges, McDermott, and Harusadangkul, appears in College & Research Libraries.

In September, LIBSUP-L, the discussion list for library support staff, is created.

In October, the  Washington Association of Library Employees (WALE), a division of the Washington Library Association, conducts its first statewide conference for library support staff.


The Support Staff Interests Round Table   of the American Library Association is officially formed.

On March 5, the  Southeastern Library Association (SELA)  Paraprofessional Round Table is formed.

Donetta Sheffold, a paraprofessional, is elected Secretary to Oregon Library Association Board.

Stephany Liptak, a paraprofessional, is elected President of the Colorado Library Association.


In July, the first issue of  ASSOCIATES: the Electronic Journal for Library Support Staff  is published.


In February, the first  Soaring to Excellence teleconference for support staff is broadcast by satellite around the world. Host site: College of DuPage, Illinois.

The winter 1995 issue of the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (36:1) is devoted entirely to library support staff.

In February,  NYSLAA implements its "Certificate of Achievement" Program.

The entire Spring 1995 issue of the Southeastern Librarian (45:1) was coordinated by the  SELA Paraprofessional Round Table.

During the entire month of June, a workshop entitled "The Library Support Staff Movement: the Milestones, the Vision and the Road Yet Travelled" was conducted online via LIBSUP-L.

The Library Support Staff Resource Center web site officially opens.


The second Soaring to Excellence teleconference is held.