Library-Related Acronyms and Initialisms

An alphabetical listing of library acronyms including ALA unit, division, roundtable and committee acronyms; ALA unit publications known by acronyms; acronyms for other library and related organizations; and abbreviations commonly used in library literature (e.g., AACR).

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.