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Library Education, Office for | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Library Education, Office for

Historical Note:

The Office of Library Education (OLE) was formally established on September 1, 1966 as an office in the Library Education Division. The Office was established with the aid of a grant from the H.W. Wilson Foundation, Inc. in 1965 to support "an enlarged ALA program in library education and related fields." The Foundation grant of $75,000 was to be matched over a period of six years, after which time ALA would take over full support of the office (1).

The OLE was slow to solidify its mission and purpose due to an initially inadequate staff, but a Statement of Responsibility was eventually adopted in June, 1968. This statement defined the Office's goals as:

"To coordinate the Association's activities in the field of library education broadly defined; to study and review changing needs in library education and recommend new programs and courses of action to meet them; to carry out or stimulate programs of the Association and its membership units in this field; and to work with the appropriate ALA unit in such related fields as recruitment, accreditation, and manpower utilization where those matters touch upon library training and education at any level" (2).

In 1969 the H. W. Wilson Foundation, Inc. earmarked an additional $128,400 in supplemental grant money for the Library Education Division, specifically "to provide for additional needed staff in the Office for Library Education . . . to give full time to such pressing problems as the need for revision of standards, the development of procedures, and the exploration of more effective patterns of administrative organization for accreditation activities" (3). A second supplemental grant in 1970 provided funds in support of the OLE's project on the "Revision of the ALA Standards for Accreditation" (4).

In 1970 the Final Report of the Activities Committee on New Directions for ALA and Subcommittee Reports (ACONDA) was accepted by the Membership and Council. It recommended that ALA's existing staff activities relating to personal welfare, library education and training, and recruiting be combined into a new "Office of Library Manpower." The term "Personnel Resources" was subsequently substituted for the term "manpower" when the new office was finally established in 1973 (5). The former goals and duties of the Office for Library Education were met by this new office, therefore the OLE ceased to function as a separate entity.


1-Director's Office


1. Asheim, Lester. "The Office for Library Education," Report prepared for Division Orientation Meeting, November 6-7, 1968. ALA Archives, RS 8/1/6, Box 1.

2. Asheim, Lester. "OLE Statement of Responsibility," June, 1968. ALA Archives, RS 8/1/6, Box 1.

3. "Wilson Foundation Grant Supports LED Budget," The Lighthouse: News and Notes of the H.W. Wilson Company Spring, 1969. ALA Archives, RS 8/1/6, Box 3.

4. ALA Archives, RS 8/1/6, Box 3, Folder: OLE: H. W. Wilson Foundation Grant, Supplementary Grant II, 1970-1972.

5. OLPR Program Review, 1980.

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