Click here for a list of ALSC Presidents - 1969-Present
President Morton Schindel, Weston Woods with Local Arrangements Chair Betty Fast and Augusta Baker, Children's Services Division Local Arrangements Chair, of the New York Public Library on a personal tour of Weston Woods.
A BRIEF HISTORY
of the Association for Library Service to Children
According to the "ALA Handbook 1948 (with 1949 copyright)":
"The Division for Children and Young People was organized and adopted its constitution and by-laws in June 1941. On June 24, 1941, the division was approved by A.L.A. Council. The division is made up of the American Association of School Librarians (formerly the School Libraries Section which had its first meeting in 1915), the Children's Library Association (formerly the Section for Library Work with Children, which had its first meeting in 1901) and the Young People's Reading Round Table which first met in 1930."
There was restructuring of ALA in the mid-1950s. The results of this were reported as follows:
The October 1956 "Top of the News" journal, which came out of the Division of Libraries for Children and Young People, bore this announcement from its president, Margaret C. Scoggin:
"On December 31, 1956, the Division of Libraries for Children and Young People goes out of existence, its programs and goals passing on to its two successors, the Children's Library Association and the Association of Young People's Librarians. Its duties this fall have been and continue to be those of sustaining essential activities, concluding its affairs in orderly fashion, and aiding the two new divisions-to-be in all ways possible."
Very shortly, the March 1958 "Top of the News" journal announced:
"On January 28 at the evening membership meeting of the Children's Library Association, that organization was transformed, by adoption of its new Bylaws, into a new organization with a new name. It is now the Children's Services Division of the American Library Association, and has responsibility to speak for the ALA on those matters which concern children's books and other library materials and their use in libraries in any type which serve children."
Nearly twenty years later, in the Fall 1976 issue of "Top of the News," then president Peggy Sullivan spoke of CSD board discussions at that year's ALA Annual Conference to change the name from Children's Services Division to the Association for Library Service to Children. The name change was approved at the 1977 Annual Conference; coverage of the event in the July/August 1977 "American Libraries" magazine announces:
"New name, same game: ALSC now stands for what was formerly known as CSD, the Children's Services Division."
More historical background:
The "Papers and Proceedings of the Twenty-Third General Meeting of the American Library Association held at Waukesha, Wisconsin July 4-10, 1901," announces:
"At the A. L. A. conference in Montreal in 1900 an informal meeting was held for the purpose of personal acquaintance and cooperation among those actively engaged in library work with children.
"As a result of this meeting an organization was formed, to be known as the Club of Children's Librarians, of which Miss A. C. Moore was made chairman, and Miss M. E. Dousman secretary... The secretary of the club was instructed to inform the secretary of the American Library Association of the formation of the club and to offer its services in the making of the program for future sessions on library work with children, if desired.
"The result of this proposition was that at a meeting of the executive board of the A. L A. it was voted that a section for library work with children be established, providing such section be acceptable to the officers of the Club of Children's Librarians. The section was accepted, and the program for the same was submitted by the officers of the club to the program committee of the A. L. A....
"In view of the establishment of the Section for Children's Librarians, which makes possible the thorough treatment of children's library work, it seems desirable that the Club of Children's Librarians be no longer continued, its special purpose being accomplished; at the present meeting of the section it is hoped to perfect its organization and outline its plans for the coming year."
The "Papers and Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth General Meeting of the American Library Association held at Boston and Magnolia, Mass. June 14-20, 1902" contain the definition for membership in the group:
"BASIS OF SECTION MEMBERSHIP was defined as follows:
"Active members shall consist of children's librarians and those library assistants whose entire time is given to work with children in libraries and schools.
"Associate members shall consist of : I. Assistants, a part of whose time is given to work with children in libraries and schools. 2. Librarians and others who wish to identify themselves with the work of children's librarians."
Special thanks to Valerie Hawkins, ALA Library, for compiling this brief history of ALSC.