Educational Institutions

American Library Association

  • Chicago, IL
  • http://www.ala.org

Mission Statement

ALA plays a key role in the formulation of national and international policies and standards that affect library and information services. Its mission is "to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."

The ALA has approximately 58,000 members, including librarians, library trustees, and other interested people from every state and many nations. The Association serves public, state, school, and academic libraries, as well as special libraries for people working in government, commerce and industry, the arts, and the armed services or in hospitals, prisons, and other institutions.

Main Programs

  1. Divisions
  2. Offices
  3. Round Tables
  4. Awards and Grants
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

The Association is working across all sectors of society to help advance our mission. We apply our eight key action areas to identify which relationships best align with our organizational core values, mission and highest priorities. For any private engagement, we ensure the project will deliver clear benefits to libraries with measurable outcomes and have a direct connection to ALA’s strategic priorities.

ruling year

1952

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mr. Keith Michael Fiels

Keywords

Self-reported

library, librarianship, library advocacy, diversity, literacy, democracy, reading, lifelong learning, learning

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Also Known As

ALA

EIN

36-2166947

 Number

5494602230

Physical Address

50 East Huron Street

Chicago, IL 60611 2795

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Professional Societies & Associations (B03)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The ALA Council voted commitment to five Key Action Areas as guiding principles for directing the Association's energies and resources: Diversity, Equity of Access, Education and Continuous Learning, Intellectual Freedom, and 21st Century Literacy. With the development of a series of strategic plans, beginning with ALA Goal 2000, ALAction2005 and ALA Ahead to 2010, these principles have expanded to eight Key Action Areas which are supplemented by ALA2015, the Association's current strategic plan.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Divisions

ALA is home to eleven membership divisions, each with a type-of-library or type-of-library-function specialization.   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.

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).

By policy, 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. Please visit: http://www.ala.org/groups/divs

American Association of School Librarians (AASL): http://www.ala.org/aasl/

Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL): http://www.ala.org/acrl/

Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS): http://www.ala.org/alcts/

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC): http://www.ala.org/alsc/

Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA): http://www.ala.org/ascla/

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA): http://www.ala.org/lita/

Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA): http://www.ala.org/llama/

Public Library Association (PLA): http://www.ala.org/pla/

Reference & User Services Association (RUSA): http://www.ala.org/rusa/

United for Libraries. http://www.ala.org/united/

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA): http://www.ala.org/yalsa/

Category

Library

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

None

None

Budget

Program 2

Offices

The Offices of the American Library Association are units that address broad interests and issues of concern to ALA members.  Offices do not have members but are advised by member advisory committees. ALA’s programmatically-focused offices can be seen as generally reflecting the member-determined priority areas of the Association, within which they track issues, and provide information, services and products for members and the general public. Offices maintain liaison relationships with ALA round tables, committees and external groups. Offices may be responsible for a functional support area. Please visit: http://www.ala.org/offices//

Chapter Relations Office
Conference Services
Development
Governance
Human Resources
Information Technology & Telecommunication Services
International Relations Office
Finance and Accounting
ALA Library
Member & Customer Service
Membership
Office for Accreditation
Office for Diversity
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment
Office for Information Technology Policy
Office for Intellectual Freedom
Office for Library Advocacy
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services
Office for Research & Statistics
Office of Government Relations
Public Programs Office
Public Information Office
Publishing)
Staff Support Services
Washington Office

Category

Library

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

None

None

Budget

Program 3

Round Tables

Round Tables are membership groups and may charge dues, develop programs, issue publications (with the approval of the ALA Publications Committee), and affiliate with regional, state or local groups with the same interests. Please visit: http://www.ala.org/groups/rts

Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange (EMIERT): http://www.ala.org/emiert/

Exhibits (ERT): http://www.ala.org/ert/

Federal and Armed Forces Libraries (FAFLRT): http://www.ala.org/faflrt/

Games and Gaming (GameRT): http://www.ala.org/gamert/

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBTRT) http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/

Government Documents (GODORT): http://www.ala.org/godort/

Intellectual Freedom (IFRT): http://www.ala.org/ifrt/

International Relations (IRRT): http://www.ala.org/irrt/

Learning Round Table (LearnRT): http://www.ala.org/learnrt/

Library History (LHRT): http://www.ala.org/lhrt/

Library Instruction (LIRT): http://www.ala.org/lirt/

Library Research (LRRT): http://www.ala.org/lrrt/

Library Support Staff Interests (LSSIRT): http://www.ala.org/llssirt/

Map and Geospatial (MAGIRT): http://www.ala.org/magirt/

New Members (NMRT): http://www.ala.org/nmrt/

Retired Members (RMRT): http://www.ala.org/rmrt/

Social Responsibilities (SRRT): http://www.ala.org/srrt/

Staff Organizations (SORT): http://www.ala.org/sort/

Sustain (SustainRT): http://www.ala.org/sustainrt/

Video (VRT): http://www.ala.org/vrt/

Category

Library

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

None

None

Budget

Program 4

Awards and Grants

Each year, the American Library Association and its member units honor people and institutions through an awards program that recognizes distinguished service to libraries and librarianship.

ALA Awards and Grants: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/

Category

Library

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

None

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The goals of the Association, as outlined in the 2015 Strategic Plan, are as follows:

    (1) ALA equips and leads advocates for libraries, library issues and the library profession, and plays a key role in formulating legislation, policies and standards that affect library and information services.
    (2) ALA promotes excellence and diversity in the library field.
    (3) ALA provides leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment.
    (4) ALA provides an environment in which all members, regardless of location or position, have the opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from engagement in their association.
    (5) ALA operates effectively, efficiently, creatively and in a socially responsible fashion to accomplish its mission.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    In June, 2010, the American Library Association adopted a new strategic plan. ALA 2015 outlines strategic goals and objectives for the next five years, and sets priorities for the association that will strengthen libraries, the profession, and the public's access to information.

    Thousands of members were involved in its development: In Spring 2009, 9,000 members participated in a survey, open to all members, which asked for members' thoughts on Association priorities and performance. Over the course of a year, over a thousand members and non members participated in forty forums held with Chapters and other affiliated groups. An environmental scan was also conducted, which gathered information on societal, technological, educational and economic trends that will impact libraries, librarians and the association over the next decade.

    In September and October 2009, the ALA Executive Board met with division and round table leaders to craft a draft vision, goals and objectives for the next five years. Following these sessions, the draft plan was reviewed by ALA Council members, ALA, division and round table committees and boards, Chapters and affiliate groups. Their comments and suggestions were compiled and incorporated into a second draft, distributed to the membership in March 2010. Nearly a thousand members responded with comments and suggestions, which were incorporated in the draft reviewed by the ALA Executive Board in April 2010 and then adopted by ALA Council in June 2010. At each step, further modifications helped focus and refine the plan to its final version.

    To see the full plan, including the objectives, key action areas, organizational values and envisioned future, go to: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/missionhistory/plan/strategic%20plan%202015%20documents/strategic_plan_2.pdf
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Not available.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Not available.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Not available.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

The Association is working across all sectors of society to help advance our mission. We apply our eight key action areas to identify which relationships best align with our organizational core values, mission and highest priorities. For any private engagement, we ensure the project will deliver clear benefits to libraries with measurable outcomes and have a direct connection to ALA’s strategic priorities.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

American Library Association

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mr. Keith Michael Fiels

BIO

Mr. Fiels has over 20 years of senior level administrative experience, including his previous position as the director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. He also has experience working in public and school libraries. Fiels has been a member of ALA since 1976, and is active in ALA committees and divisions, as well as various state library associations.

Fiels is the recipient of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) Leadership Achievement Award and the Library Public Relations Council Award. He was named to the ALA Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) National Advocacy Honor Roll in 2000. Fiels is a former president of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA). He holds a B.A. and an MLS from the State University of New York, Buffalo and did advanced studies at the University of Denver.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"The American Library Association (ALA) not only represents its membership, but the interests and needs of library patrons nationwide and internationally. A library's purpose is simple: belong to everyone. The American Library Association believes that every day that a library is open--the door of opportunity opens for someone's life to be changed. The uniqueness of ALA lies in its long-term commitment to invest in the individual through library innovations and leveraging private, public, and government collaborations to help people learn, work, create and connect.

Did you know?
>A 2012 poll conducted for ALA found that 94% of respondents agreed that public libraries plan an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed because they provide free access to materials and resources.
>58% of adults in the U.S. have public library cards.
>Americans go to school, public, and academic libraries more than three times more often than they go to movies.
>Research shows the highest achieving students attend schools with well-staffed and well-funded libraries.
>Patrons are discovering that today’s library connects them to information and resources they need to succeed in school, work and life.

Libraries are a window into their communities. Their collections, staff, programs and facilities are all a part of local fabrics of relationships, knowledge, needs, and support. As communities seek to strengthen those fabrics, libraries are emerging as meeting place and melting pot, as resource center and informal classroom, as lynchpin and connector. Strengthening libraries strengthens the communities they serve."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Sari Feldman

Cuyahoga County Public Library

Term: July 2015 - June 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?