Library-Related Acronyms and Initialisms

This alphabetical listing of library acronyms and initialisms includes:

  • ALA unit, division, office, roundtable and committee acronyms and initialisms
  • ALA unit publications known by acronyms
  • Acronyms for other library and related organizations
  • Abbreviations commonly used in library literature (e.g. AACR)

For additional terms not contained here, please see one of the following Glossaries:

  • Glossary of Library Terms, from Tools for Trustees: The Georgia Public Library Trustee Manual. (Several state library trustees manuals have glossaries, which may have different, state-specific terms defined.)
  • Multilingual Glossary database is a professionally generated signage tool designed for libraries by the Library of New South Wales. It contains common library phrases in 49 languages.
  • Multilingual Glossary of Terms, compiled by members of the Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee of the ACRL Instruction Section, with both a six-language table and a set of definitions.
  • ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science created by Joan M. Reitz, Associate Librarian for Instruction at the Ruth A. Haas Library, Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in Danbury, CT.
  • OCLC Glossary, a selection of commonly used terms from OCLC product/service glossaries. Many of the OCLC product/services support separate glossaries with context-specific information.



AA -- Affiliate Assembly (AASL)
AACR -- Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
AALL -- American Association of Law Libraries (ALA Affiliate)
AAM -- Asian & African Materials (ALCTS); American Alliance of Museums
AAMES-- Asian, African, & Middle Eastern Section (ACRL)
AAP -- Association of American Publishers
AASL -- American Association of School Librarians
AASLH-- American Association for State and Local History
AAUP -- Association of American University Presses
AAT -- Art and Architecture Thesaurus
ABOS -- Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ALA Affiliate)
ACA -- American Correctional Association
ACG -- Advocacy Coordinating Group
ACRL -- Association of College & Research Libraries
AECT -- Association for Educational Communications & Technology
AFAS -- African American Studies Librarians Section (ACRL)
AFL/CIO -- American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations
AIA -- American Institute of Architects
AILA -- American Indian Library Association  (ALA Affiliate)
AJL -- Association of Jewish Libraries (ALA Affiliate)
AL -- American Libraries
AL21C -- America's Libraries in the 21st Century Committee (OITP)
ALA -- American Library Association
ALA-APA -- ALA-Allied Professional Association
ALAIR -- ALA Institutional Repository
ALCTS -- Association for Library Collections & Technical Services
ALISE -- Association for Library & Information Science Education (ALA Affiliate)
ALSC -- Association for Library Service to Children
ALTAFF -- Obsolete: See UFL -  United for Libraries - [Formerly: Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations]
AMIA - Association of Moving Image Archivists
ANSI -- American National Standards Institute
ANSS -- Anthropology & Sociology Section (ACRL)
AP3 -- Accreditation Process Policies & Procedures
APA -- American Library Association-Allied Professional Association
APALA -- Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (ALA Affiliate)
ARC -- Advance Reading Copy
ARSC -- Association for Recorded Sound Collections
ARL -- Association of Research Libraries (ALA Affiliate)
ARLIS/NA -- Art Libraries Society of North America (ALA Affiliate)
ARSL -- Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ALA Affiliate)
ARTS -- Arts Section (ACRL)
AS -- Acquisitions Section (ALCTS)
ASCA -- American School Counselors Association
ASC -- Activity Sections Council (ACRL)
ASCAP -- American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
ASCLA -- Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies
ASIS&T -- American Society for Information Science and Technology (ALA Affiliate)
ATLA -- American Theological Library Association (ALA Affiliate)

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BARC -- Budget Analysis and Review Committee
BCALA -- Black Caucus of the American Library Association (ALA Affiliate)
BETA -- Beta Phi Mu (ALA Affiliate)
BES -- Buildings & Equipment Section (LLAMA)
BFYA -- Best Fiction for Young Adults
BIBCO -- Monographic Bibliographic Record Program (PCC)
BIBFRAME -- Bibliographic Framework Initiative
BIGWIG -- Blogs, Interactive Groupware & Wikis Interest Group (LITA - Obsolete)
BISAC -- Book Industry Standards and Communications
BRASS -- Business Reference & Services Section (RUSA)


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C&RL News -- College & Research Libraries News (periodical)
C&RL-- College & Research Libraries (journal)
CAEP -- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
CALA -- Chinese American Librarians Association (ALA Affiliate)
CALM -- Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums
CaMMS -- Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (ALCTS) - [formerly Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS)]
CATHLA -- Catholic Library Association (ALA Affiliate)
CBC -- Children’s Book Council
CC:AAM -- Committee on Cataloging: Asian and African Materials (ALCTS/CaMMS)
CC:DA -- Committee on Cataloging:Description & Access (ALCTS/CaMMS)
CCBC -- Cooperative Children's Book Center
CCC -- Copyright Clearance Center
CCF -- ALA Cultural Communities Fund
CCO -- Cataloging Cultural Objects (publication)
CCS -- Cataloging & Classification Section (ALCTS) - See CaMMS
CCSS -- Common Core State Standards
CIFNAL -- Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections, Center for Research Libraries
CJCLS -- Community & Junior College Libraries Section (ACRL)
CILIP -- Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals
CLA -- Canadian Library Association (ALA Affiliate)
CLENERT -- See LearnRT
CLIPP - College Library Information on Policy and Practice  (ACRL)
CLIR -- Council on Library and Information Resources
CLS -- College Libraries Section (ACRL)
CMS -- Collection Management Section (ALCTS) - [formerly Collection Management & Development Section (CMDS)]
COA -- Committee on Accreditation
COD -- Committee on Diversity
CODES -- Collection Development & Evaluation Section (RUSA)
COE -- Committee on Education
COL -- Committee on Legislation
COLA -- Committee on Library Advocacy
COLT -- Council on Library/Media Technicians (Inactive)
CONSER -- Cooperative Online Serials Program
CONTU -- (National) Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyright
COO -- Committee on Organization
COPE -- Committee on Professional Ethics
CORS -- Committee on Research & Statistics
COSLA -- Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
COSWL -- Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship. ALA
COUNTER -- Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources
CPLA -- Certified Public Library Administrator Program
CRC -- Chapter Relations Committee
CRG -- Council of Regional Groups (ALCTS)
CRL -- Center for Research Libraries
CRO -- Chapter Relations Office
CRS -- Continuing Resources Section (ALCTS) - [formerly the Serials Section (SS)]
CSO -- Conference Services Office
CUAC -- Cartographic Users Advisory Council

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DACS -- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
DCMA -- Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
DCRM --Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials
DCWG -- Digital Content Working Group
DEU -- Duplicates Exchange Union (ALCTS)
DLF -- Digital Library Federation
DLS -- Distance Learning Section (ACRL)
DOI -- Digital Object Identifier
DPLA -- Digital Public Library of America
DRM -- Digital Rights Management
DttP -- Documents to the People (GODORT publication)

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EAD -- Encoded Archival Description
EBSS -- Education & Behavioral Sciences Section (ACRL)
ECRR -- Every Child Ready to Read (ALSC & PLA)
EL -- Emerging Leaders Program
EMC -- Education Media Council
EMIERT -- Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table
ERIC -- Education Resources Information Center
ERT -- Exhibits Round Table
ESL -- English as a second-language 
ESLS -- Educators of School Librarians Section (AASL)
ESSA -- Every Student Succeeds Act
ETF -- Education Task Force (GODORT)
ETS -- Emerging Technologies Section (RUSA) [formerly MARS]

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F&A -- Finance & Audit Committee (ALA Executive Board)
FAFLRT -- Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table
FDTF -- Federal Documents Task Force (GODORT)
FINRA--Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
FLAG -- Federal Legislative Advocacy Group
FLLAN -- Federal Library Legislative and Advocacy Network (obsolete)
FOIA -- Freedom of Information Act
FOLUSA -- Friends of Libraries USA - Obsolete; now part of United for Libraries
FRBR -- Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
FRFDS -- Fundraising & Financial Development Section (LLAMA)
FTF -- Feminist Task Force (SRRT)
FTRF -- Freedom to Read Foundation

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GAMERT -- Games and Gaming Round Table

GIC -- Government Information for Children (GODORT Committee)

GLBTRT -- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table
GN MIG -- Graphic Novels & Comics Membership Initiative Group
GODORT -- Government Documents Round Table
GOV -- ALA Governance Office
GWLA -- Greater Western Library Alliance

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HRDR -- Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment
HRS -- Human Resources Section (LLAMA)
HS -- History Section (RUSA)
HTML -- Hypertext Markup Language

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IASSIST -- International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology
ICAN -- Interlibrary Cooperation & Networking (ASCLA, Obsolete)
ICLAE -- International Council of Library Association Executives
ICOLC -- International Coalition of Library Consortia
IDTF -- International Documents Task Force (GODORT)
IFC -- Intellectual Freedom Committee
IFLA -- International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
IFRT -- Intellectual Freedom Round Table
IG -- Interest Group
IGARD -- Alzheimer's & Related Dementias Interest Group (ASCLA)
IIDA -- International Interior Design Association
ILEX -- Independent Librarians Exchange Section (ASCLA, obsolete)
ILL -- Inter-Library Loan or Inter-Library Lending
ILS -- Integrated Library System
IMLS -- Institute of Museum and Library Services
IPEDS -- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
IRC -- International Relations Committee
IRO -- International Relations Office
IRRT -- International Relations Round Table
IS -- Instruction Section (ACRL)
ISBN -- International Standard Book Number
ISKME -- Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education
ISLD -- International Sustainable Library Development IG (IRRT)
ISO -- International Organization for Standardization
ISS -- Independent Schools Section (AASL)
ISSN -- International Standard Serial Number
ITAL -- Information Technology and Libraries (LITA)
ITTS -- Information Technology and Telecommunications Services (ALA unit)

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JCLC -- Joint Conference of Librarians of Color
JOYS -- Journal of Youth Services in Libraries (ALSC/YALSA) (Replaced in 2003 with Children & Libraries and Young Adult Library Services)
JSC-AACR -- Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (Obsolete)
JSC-RDA -- Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA

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KQ -- Knowledge Quest (division publication)

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LA&M -- see LL&M

LACONI - Library Administrators Council of Northern Illinois


LC -- Library of Congress

LCA -- Library Copyright Alliance

LCIG -- Library Consultants Interest Group (ASCLA)

LCRI -- Library of Congress Rule Interpretations

LCSH -- Library of Congress Subject Headings

LEARNRT -- Learning Round Table - [formerly Continuing Library Education Network & Exchange Round Table (CLENERT)]

LES -- Literatures in English Section (ACRL)

LHRT -- Library History Round Table

LIANZA - Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (ALA Affiliate)

LIRT -- Library Instruction Round Table

LITA -- Library & Information Technology Association

LL&M -- Library Leadership & Management (LLAMA division publication)


LLAMA -- Library Leadership & Management Association

LMPI -- Library Materials Price Index


LOMS -- Library Organization & Management Section (LLAMA)

LPSS -- Law & Political Science Section (ACRL)

LRC -- Learning Resource Center

LRRT -- Library Research Round Table

LRTS -- Library Resources & Technical Services (ALCTS publication)

LS -- Library School Events (listing in ALA conference program)

LSDF -- Library Service to the Deaf Forum (ASCLA, obsolete)

LSIEF -- Library Service to the Impaired Elderly Forum (ASCLA, obsolete)

LSPF -- Library Service to Prisoners Forum (ASCLA)

LSPVD -- Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print IG (ASCLA)

LSSC -- Library Support Staff Certification

LSSDDPMAG -- Library Service to Developmentally Disabled Persons Membership Activity Grp. (ASCLA)

LSSIRT -- Library Support Staff Interest Round Table

LSSPS -- Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (ASCLA, obsolete)


LSTA -- Library Services and Technology Act

LTA -- Library Technical Assistant


LTC -- Libraries Transforming Communities

LUTFCSUSTC -- Librarians United To Fight Costly, Silly and Unnecessary Serial Title Changes (ALCTS, obsolete)


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MAES -- Measurement, Assessment, & Evaluation Section (LLAMA)
MAGIRT -- Map and Geospatial Information Round Table - [formerly Map & Geography Round Table (MAGERT)]
MARBI -- MAchine Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (obsolete)
MARC -- MAchine Readable Cataloging
MARS -- MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (RUSA)  - [formerly Machine Assisted Reference Section]; obsolete--see ETS
MFLA -- Midwest Federation of Library Associations
MIG -- Membership Initiative Group; Metadata Interest Group (ALCTS)
MLA -- Medical Library Association (ALA Affiliate); Modern Language Association; Music Library Association (ALA Affiliate)
MOOC -- Massive Open Online Course
MOUSS -- Management and Operation of User Services Section (RUSA) - See STARS
MPS -- Member Programs and Services (ALA department)
MPLA -- Mountain Plains Library Association
MRGITF -- Machine Readable Government Information Task Force (GODORT)

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NABE -- National Association for Bilingual Education
NACO -- Name Authority Cooperative Program

NCAAL -- National Conference of African American Librarians

NCATE -- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (obsolete, see CAEP)
NCES -- National Center for Education Statistics
NCLIS -- National Commission on Libraries & Information Science (obsolete)
NEH -- National Endowment for the Humanities
NELA -- New England Library Association
NERL -- NorthEast Research Libraries
NGSS -- Next Generation Science Standards
NISO -- National Information Standards Organization
NLA -- National Librarians Association
NLM -- National Library of Medicine
NLW -- National Library Week
NMRT -- New Members Round Table
NSN -- National Storytelling Network (ALA Affiliate)
NPS -- New Professionals Section (LLAMA)

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OA -- Office for Accreditation, Open Access
OCLC -- OCLC - [formerly Online Computer Library Center]
ODLOS -- Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
OFD -- Office for Diversity - see ODLOS
OGR -- Office of Government Relations
OIF -- Office for Intellectual Freedom
OITP -- Office for Information Technology Policy
OLA -- Office for Library Advocacy
OLAC -- Online Audiovisual Catalogers (ALA Affiliate)
OLOS -- Office for Literacy and Outreach Services - see ODLOS
OLPR -- see HRDR
OPAC -- Online Public Access Catalog
ORS -- Office for Research & Statistics

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PAIG -- Preservation Administrators Interest Group (formerly PADG)
PAN -- Print Archive Network
PAO -- Public Awareness Office
PARS -- Preservation & Reformatting Section (ALCTS)
PBA - Planning & Budget Assembly
PCC -- Program for Cooperative Cataloging (LC)
PCPAC -- Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (ALA)
PELS -- Planning & Evaluation of Library Services Committee (LLAMA LOMS)
PIO -- Public Information Office (obsolete; replaced 2015 with Public Awareness Office)
PLA -- Public Library Association
PLDS -- Public Library Data Service (PLA)
PLIG -- Programming Librarian Interest Group
PNLA -- Pacific Northwest Library Association
PPO -- Public Programs Office
PRMS -- Public Relations and Marketing Section (LLAMA)
PROLIT -- Proliteracy Worldwide (ALA Affiliate)
PTRCA -- Patent and Trademark Resource Center Association (ALA Affiliate)

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RAILS -- Reaching Across Illinois Library System
RBB -- Reference Books Bulletin (a Booklist publication)
RBM -- RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage (ACRL publication)
RBMS -- Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (ACRL)
RDA -- Resource Description & Access
RDF -- Resources Description Framework
REFORMA -- The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (ALA Affiliate)
RFID -- Radio Frequency Identification Technology
RFP -- Request for Proposal
RIG -- Residency Interest Group (ACRL)
RMRT -- Retired Members Round Table
RNTLOAK -- Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee
RSS -- Reference Services Section (RUSA)
RUSA -- Reference and User Services Association
RUSQ -- Reference & User Services Quarterly (division publication)

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SAA -- Society of American Archivists
SAC -- Spectrum Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the Committee on Diversity; Subject Analysis Committee, ALCTS/CaMMS
SACO -- Subject Authority Cooperative Program (PCC)
SALALM -- Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (ALA Affiliate)
SASS -- Systems & Services Section (LLAMA)
SBPR -- La Sociedad de Bibliotecarios de Puerto Rico (ALA Affiliate)
SEES -- Slavic & East European Section (ACRL)
SELA -- Southeastern Library Association
SISAC -- Serials Industry Systems Advisory Committee
SLA -- Special Libraries Association
SLAS -- State Library Agency Section (ASCLA) (obsolete)
SLDTF -- State & Local Documents Task Force (GODORT)
SLMR -- School Library Media Research (online division publication)
SORT -- Staff Organizations Round Table
SPARC -- Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition
SPEC -- ARL Systems and Procedures Exchange Center
SPVS -- Supervisors Section (AASL)
SRRT -- Social Responsibilities Round Table
SS -- Serials Section (ALCTS) Obsolete, use CRS, Continuing Resources Section (ALCTS)
STARS -- Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (RUSA) [formerly Management and Operation of User Services Section]
STEAM -- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics
STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
STS -- Science & Technology Section (ACRL)
SUSTAINRT -- Sustainability Round Table
SXSW - South by Southwest®

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TESLA -- Technical Standards for Library Automation (obsolete)
TLA -- Theatre Library Association (ALA Affiliate)
TOLD -- Training, Orientation and Leadership Development Committee
TRAIL -- Technical Report Archive & Image Library

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UFL -- United for Libraries
ULC -- Urban Libraries Council (ALA Affiliate)
ULS -- University Libraries Section (ACRL)
UNO -- Unofficial Groups (used in conference program books)
USBBY -- United States Board on Books for Young People

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VRT -- Video Round Table
VSS -- Virtual Spring Symposium (PLA)

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WAI -- Web Accessibility Initiative

WESS -- Western European Studies Section (ACRL)

WEST -- Western Regional Storage Trust, California Digital Library

WGSS -- Women & Gender Studies Section (ACRL) - [formerly Women's Studies Section (WSS)]

WHCLIS -- White House Conference on Library & Information Services

WNBA - Women's National Book Association

WNDB -- We Need Diverse Books

WO -- Washington Office


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XML -- Extensible Markup Language

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YA -- Young Adult
YALSA -- Young Adult Library Services Association
YMA -- Youth Media Awards

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Last updated April 28, 2016; updates requested.