Subject File, 1904, 1921-22, 1927-86, 1999
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Brief Description: Subject file of Executive Directors, contains correspondence, minutes, annual reports, publications, memoranda, articles, newspaper clippings, press releases and proposals, includes annual conferences (1951-63), midwinter conferences (1946- 60), nominations and elections (1951-58), presidents (1945-50, 1964-84), Operation Library Project (1956-60), Public Libraries (1945-58, 1977-79), the PLD Reporter (1954-61, 1975-79), goals and standards (1956-58, 1965-79), committee files (1947-84), history (1943-59), special projects, work with allied organizations (1944-57) and section activities including the Adult Education Section (1946-56), Alternative Education Programs Section (1979-84), Armed Forces Librarians Section (1944-84), County and Regional Libraries Section (1927-56), Library Extension Section (1944-57), Reference Section (1944-58), Metropolitan Library Section (1977-84), Public Library Systems Section (1980-84), and Small and Medium-Sized Libraries Section (1977-84). Committee files (1952-82) include correspondence relating to Audiovisual Committee (1969-78), Book of the Month (Fisher) Award Committee (1959-66), Foreign Book Selection Committee (1953-68), Interlibrary Cooperation Committee (1961-79), the Metropolitan Areas Libraries Committee (1963-69), Goals, Guidelines and Standards Committee (1961-79) and the Strategies for Public Library Change Committee (1971-78). Note: the series also includes material concerning evaluation of services, surveys and statistics of public libraries, the Measurement of Effectiveness of Public Library Service project (1967-75, 1980), White House Conferences on Aging, Children and Youth, and Families, education of public librarians, legislation affecting public libraries, and awards.
Held at:
The American Library Association Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61802
Phone: 217 333 0798
Fax: 217 244 2868
Email: ala-archives [at]
Record Series Number: 29/2/6
Created by: Public Library Association (PLA)
Volume: 18.3 Cubic Feet
Acquired: 04/26/1974. 2/15/1977, 12/10/1982, 3/17/1988, 5/14/1999, 3/2/2000, 5/1/2002, 9/3/2013
More information is available at
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by subject title and chronologically by event date
Biographical Note for Public Library Association (PLA) :

The Public Library Association is interested in the general improvement and expansion of public library services to all ages in various types of communities. PLA has specific responsibility for:

1. Planning of programs of study and service for the public library as a total institution.

2. Establishment, evaluation, and promotion of standards in the public library field.

3. Review of and bringing together the activities of all unites within the ALA that have a bearing on public library service.

4. Representation and interpretation of public libraries in contacts outside the profession.

5. Stimulation of the development of public librarians and trustees, and stimulation of participation by PLD members in appropriate type-of-activity divisions.

6. Conduct of activities and projects for improvement and expansion of service in this type of library, when such projects are beyond the scope of type-of-activity divisions, after specific approval by the ALA Council.

The Public Library Division was formed by the merger, in August 1950, of the Division of Public Libraries, the Library Extension Division, and the Trustees Division. Bylaws were adopted June 1951 (1).

The Division of Public Libraries was approved by vote of Council in March and October, 1944, following organization meetings, filing of petitions by nearly 1200 members, and preparation of a tentative draft of a constitution and bylaws.

The purpose of the division was to advance public library interests and to cooperate in the promotion of library services in general. The name of the division was changed to the Public Library Association (PLA) in 1958 (2).

Subject Index
Adult Education Section
Afghanistan - Public Libraries
Alternative Education Section
Armed forces Library Program
Armed forces Library Section
Army Libraries
Audio-Visual Committee, Pla
Book Selection
Born, Gerald
County and Regional Libraries Section
Education for Librarianship
Ferguson, Eleanor
Fisher, Dorothy C.
Fry, Helen
Interlibrary Cooperation Committee
Martin, Allie B.
Measurement and Evaluation of Services
Metropolitan Library Section
Operation Library Project
Public Librarians
Public Libraries, Statistics
Public Library Association (PLA)
Reference Section
Small and Medium Sized Libraries Section
Weiss, Egon
White House Conference on Aging
White House Conference on Children and Youth
White House Conference on Families
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Finding Aid Revisions: 02/02/2023 - fixed finding aid format;