• To serve as a source of information on recommended ethnic collections, services, and programs.
  • To organize task forces, institutes, and workshops to carry out the functions of the Round Table as defined in the petition.
  • To develop for Annual conferences forums and symposia programs that deal with the key issues of ethnicity and librarianship.
  • To maintain a liaison with the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services and cooperate with other ALA units, including the ethnic affiliates, in joint projects for the betterment of outreach services.
  • To disseminate the work of the Round Table through a program of presentations and/or publications.


EMIERT's Founding


The Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Task Force (EMIE) of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) was elevated to the status of Round Table at the 1982 American Library Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The decision by the Committee on Organization (COO) was regarded by EMIE members attending ALA Philadelphia as a step towards upgrading future EMIE programs in cooperation with other agencies interested in library work, with and for the benefit of ethnic groups all over the country. The petition to COO had been presented by David Cohen, past EMIE coordinator, and was supported by the Council Committee on Minority Concerns and the Advisory Committee to the Office of Library Outreach Services. Approval by ALA Council came in January 1983. Notes: David Cohen passed away on February 5, 2015. His obituary is available at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=174089982


At the Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., on June 29, 1998, EMIE changed its name to Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) to reflect the more encompassing tasks now undertaken by this Round Table.

Precursors of EMIERT


The American Association of School Librarians (ASSL) organized an Ad Hoc Committee on Treatment of Minorities in Library Materials with David Cohen as the Coordinator (Chair) for the years 1967-1972.


Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) founded with co-coordinators David Cohen and the Clearinghouse for Reference and Acquisition Information on Minorities (SRRT).


If you are already a member of the American Library Association, please consider adding membership in EMIERT when renewing your membership. Annual dues for the Round Table are $20.00 (individual membership), $10.00 (student membership), or $25.00 (organizational membership). You can download an EMIERT membership brochure here. If you are interested in joining ALA and the Round Table for the first time, please see the ALA Membership page for additional information.

EMIERT People and Leadership

Executive Board and Committee Roster

Initiatives and Projects

Coretta Scott King Book Awards

EMIERT Multicultural Awards

Volunteer Form

If you would like to volunteer to be on a committee, please fill out the ALA Volunteer Form.