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Membership Committee | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Membership Committee

Historical Note:

The membership committee first met as a special committee in 1920 (1). In 1924 its status changed to a standing committee (2). At the February 1, 1955 Midwinter Meeting the Membership Committee voted to recommend that the Committee be dissolved and replaced with a Membership Board "with representatives of Divisions and of the ALA at large, with adequate staff and financial support." The purpose of this suggestion was to secure divisional cooperation and representation (3).

On June 21, 1956, the ALA Council created a new Membership Committee to replace the existing one. The goal of the new Membership Committee is to "establish general policies and procedures for the solicitation of new ALA members and be responsible for the implementation therof, including the coordination of similar activities of all units of the Association" (4). In 1957 the Committee extended its purpose to include making recommendations concerning membership dues (5). Later the Committee added "to serve the association as a sounding board on membership" (6).

The Membership Committee originally consisted of a general chair, twelve regional chairs, and ninety-two state, provincial, and local chairs (7). At the 1958 Annual Meeting the ALA Council approved a Membership Committee request that the Committee be enlarged to include a representative from each ALA division (8). The Committee proper now consists of the general chair and eleven regional chairs. The current seventy state and district representatives, eleven division representatives, and twelve round table representatives combine with the regional chairs to make up the Membership Promotion Task Force, whose members are "charged with promoting ALA membership within their respective units" (9).

Subcommittees of the Membership Committee include the Multi-Media Promotions Committee and the Committees to Promote Student Memberships, Consult on ALA Goals Award Project (10), Study Round Tables, Study the ALA Dues Structure, and Study the Structure and Mission of the ALA (11).




36-Membership Promotion Task Force


1. ALA Bulletin, September 1920, p. 379.

2. ALA Bulletin, September 1924, p. 415.

3. Membership Committee, Annual Report, September 1954-August 1955, pp. 1-2.

4. ALA Bulletin, December 1956, p. 717.

5. ALA Bulletin, December 1957, p. 874.

6. American Libraries, November 1972, p. 1049.

7. ALA Bulletin, December 1956, pp. 717-18.

8. ALA Council, Minutes, 1958 Annual Meeting, July 14-18, pp. 116-17.

9. ALA Handbook of Organization, 1986/87, p. 18.

10. American Libraries, November 1972, p. 1049.

11. ALA Bulletin, November 1968, p. 1197.

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