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LEGISLATION (standing, Council)

History: Originally established in 1923 by Council as the Committee on Federal and State Relations “to consider all matters involving legislative or governmental action affecting libraries, and to represent the Association in legislative or governmental hearings and negotiations.” Functions enlarged in 1931 and name changed to Federal Relations Committee. In 1945, the functions of the then Book Post Committee were transferred to this group. Also in 1923, Council established a Library Legislation Committee, “to keep itself and the Association informed on current American Library legislation, state and federal, and to prepare a digest of all library laws, of more than local import, enacted during the years.” This committee's functions were redefined in 1931 and in 1942 “to keep members and boards and committees informed about library legislation; to advise members and boards and committees in such legislative matters as are not under the jurisdiction of the executive officers or other boards or committees, and to compile or cooperate in the compilation of library laws.” The functions of both these committees were transferred to the Library Administration Division with the 1957 reorganization.

Reestablished as a standing ALA committee, upon the recommendation of the Library Administration Division and the Committee on Organization, by action of Council in July, 1961.

To have full responsibility for the Association's total legislative program on all levels – federal, state, and local – and to recommend general policy on all legislative matters. To set up, in cooperation with ALA divisions, subcommittees to study specific legislative needs for definite areas such as schools, colleges, and universities, institutions, etc. In order to provide close coordination between the subcommittees and the parent committee, it is suggested that the chairperson of each subcommittee sit with, but not necessarily be a member of, the ALA Legislation Committee. To consider all libraries and librarians; to recommend legislation and take steps to secure favorable action on approved measures; to protest any undesirable legislation bearing on libraries introduced in the Congress; to seek rulings and interpretations of federal laws and regulations which affect libraries and to represent the ALA before the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal Government.


Charge: To have full responsibility for the Association's total legislative program on all levels – federal, state, and local. To recommend legislative policy and programs for Council approval and to take the necessary steps for implementation. To protest any legislation of executive policy adversely affecting libraries. To seek rulings and interpretations of laws and regulations affecting the welfare and development of libraries. To represent the ALA before executive and legislative branches of government as required at all levels. To provide a forum within ALA to gather information about needed legislation and to keep all units of the Association informed of the ALA legislative program. To direct the activities of all units of the Association in matters relating to legislation.

Legislation Committee Members


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Legislation Committee
Legislation Committee