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Chapters Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet: ALA Chapters

57 Chapters

The American Library Association has affiliate relationships with state library associations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and regional library associations in the Mountain Plains, New England, Pacific Northwest, and Southeast regions. Each state chapter is represented by an elected chapter councilor with full voting rights in ALA’s governing assembly. The interests of chapters are represented within the association by the Chapter Relations Office and the Chapter Relations Committee. For more information on each chapter, please visit our website,

Chapter Profiles

The following descriptive information about ALA chapters is taken from a 2003 survey, with 24 of 57 chapters responding.


  • The five largest chapters and their respective membership totals are: Texas (7,310), Ohio (3,691), New York (3,000), Illinois (2,925), Indiana (2,706).
  • Additional chapters with over 1,000 members include: Michigan (2,250), California (2,225), Wisconsin (1,836), Kentucky (1,655), Iowa (1,486), Virginia (1,058), Maryland (1,000).
  • Chapters with 500 to 1,000 members include: New England (980), Mountain Plains (850), Washington (850), Maine (750), Missouri (703), Montana (670), West Virginia (514).
  • Chapters with fewer than 500 members include: Alaska (434), South Dakota (410), Wyoming (410), Rhode Island (339), District of Columbia (309).


All chapters responding to the survey, except District of Columbia, report having an annual conference.

Conferences with registration of:

  • 3000 or more: Texas
  • 2500-3000: (none reported)
  • 2000-2500: California
  • 1500-2000: Illinois
  • 1000-1500: Michigan, New York, Wisconsin
  • 500-1000: Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, New England, Ohio, Virginia, Washington
  • less than 500: Alaska, Missouri, Mountain Plains, Montana, Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming

Dues Structure

The overwhelming majority of chapters have progressive dues structures, tied to salary levels. Only District of Columbia reported a flat dues structure.

  • The low end of the salaried dues range varies from $10 (Montana) to $50 (Michigan) annually.
  • The high end varies between $40 (Montana, Rhode Island, West Virginia) and $195 (Illinois).
  • Several chapters offer sustaining membership at higher levels. Dues often include membership in one or more sections or roundtables.


  • Sixteen chapters have paid staff equivalent to at least one full-time employee (FTE), with Texas reporting 13, Ohio reporting 9, and New York reporting 7 FTEs.
  • Washington reported paid position at 80% time, plus 3 contracted employees.
  • Seven chapters report having no paid staff (Alaska, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maine, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia).
  • The remaining chapters reported between one and 5 FTEs.

Organizational Structure/Legislative Activity

  • Approximately 75% of chapters responding (19) pay for lobbying on behalf of the association; most have contracted for this service. New York and Ohio have regular staff that lobby for the association.
  • The amount each chapter spends annually on lobbying ranges from $5,000 (Wyoming) to $90,000 (Ohio).
  • All chapters have a variety of units (i.e. divisions, sections, roundtables, interest groups) and committees. The number of committees per chapter ranges from 31 (Texas) to 6 (Maryland and New England). The number of units ranges from 33 (Ohio) to 0 (Rhode Island).


Annual revenues for chapters:

  • Less than $50,000: (none reported)
  • $50-100,000: Wyoming
  • $100-500,000: Missouri
  • $500-1,000,000: Illinois
  • Over $1,000,000: Ohio

Unrestricted net assets:

  • Less than $10,000: Wyoming
  • $10-50,000: (none reported)
  • $50-100,000: Missouri
  • $100-500,000: Illinois
  • Over $500,000: Ohio


  • All chapters report having at least one official publication, typically either a newsletter or journal. Frequency of publication is divided, with 1 semi-annual, 9 quarterly publications, 9 bimonthlies, and 5 publications appearing 10 - 12x per year.
  • All responding chapters have home pages under construction or mounted.

For more information contact:
Michael Dowling
Director, ALA Chapter Relations Office
50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
(800) 545-2433, ext. 3200
Fax: (312) 280-4392

Chapters responding to this survey include: Alaska, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Mountain Plains, New England, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.


50 E. Huron Chicago, IL 60611 Call Us Toll Free 1-800-545-2433

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Fact sheet compiled from data collected in a 2003 survey of ALA Chapters