ALA has incorporated specialized sections and divisions from its early existence, beginning with the college and reference librarians (1889), the trustees (1890) and catalogers (1900). Today ALA is home to eleven membership divisions, each with a type-of-library or type-of-library-function specialization.
By policy See Policy 6.4.1, each division has a statement of responsibility developed by its members and approved by the ALA Council, a set of goals and objectives to drive its activities, an executive director and other personnel (as necessary), responsibility for generating revenue to carry out its programs, and a separate Board of Directors, elected by the members of the division. Each division is represented on the ALA Council and in the Planning and Budget Assembly.
ALA divisions publish journals, books, newsletters and other materials; provide continuing education in a variety of venues and formats; offer awards and scholarships; sponsor institutes and conferences; and, maintain networks of affiliates, chapters and other collaborative relationships.
Members of ALA divisions must first be members of the American Library Association. A majority of ALA members belong to one or more division. ALA and Division Membership Information
ALA divisions include: