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Publishing Committee | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Publishing Committee
Variant Name: Publishing Board; Editorial Committee

Historical Note:

The Publishing Committee was organized in 1886 as the Publishing Board to further cooperation among libraries in preparing and publishing bibliographies, indexes, and special catalogs. In 1900, the work was placed in the charge of a Publishing Board of five members, appointed by the Executive Committee (1). By 1921, the Publishing Board was called the Editorial Committee, with the same organizational structure (2).

At the 1974 Annual Conference, the ALA Council voted to establish a Publishing Committee, to replace the Publishing Board and Editorial Committee (3). The first annual forum of the Publishing Committee on publishing issues of interest to official units was held at the 1981 Annual Conference (4).

As a standing Council committee in 1985, the Publishing Committee's main objectives were:

To set the framework within which ALA publishing operates. To recommend publishing policies for the approval of Council; to advise and assist all units of the Association in their publishing activities; to give counsel and guidance on the administration of publishing services. To oversee publishing budget preparation and make recommendations on budgeting matters to COPES or other appropriate units. The committee shall control the use of the ALA INT (5).

Its subcommittees were Booklist Editorial Advisory Board, Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board, Annual Cumulation Subject Indexing, Conference Program Planning, Manual, and Omnibus Reviews (6).

The Publishing Committee administers two awards - the first is the Carnegie Reading List Award, funded by a 1902 endowment from Andrew Carnegie. The award is granted to ALA units for the purpose of "enhancing reader knowledge and the use of library materials" (7). The second is the Whitney-Carnegie Award, merged in 1983. It is awarded to individuals to be used "for the preparation of bibliographical aids for research" (8).


1-"Booklist" Editorial Advisory Board


3-Library Service to Patients

4-List of Periodicals for Schools, K-12, Supplements

6-ALA Rules for Filing Catalog Cards, Subcommittee on

7-ALA Periodical Cards

8-Publications, Subcommittee on Carnegie Reading List and Whitney-Carnegie Grants (subcommittee)

Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board (subcommittee)


1. ALA Bulletin, January 1909, p. 65.

2. ALA Bulletin, September 1921, p. 278.

3. ALA Council, Minutes, Annual Conference, 1974, p. 191.

4. The ALA Yearbook, 1982, p. 223.

5. ALA Handbook of Organization. 1985-86, p. 21.

6. Ibid.

7. ALA Handbook of Organization and Membership Directory, 1984-85, pp. 184-85.

8. Ibid.

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