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Armed Forces Librarians Section (1962-1972) | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Armed Forces Librarians Section (1962-1972)

Historical Note:

As one of the original sections of the Division of Public Libraries (DPL), the Armed Forces Librarians Section (AFLS) was created in 1944 as the Service Librarians Section (SLS) (1).

The purpose of the AFLS has been "to promote quality library service to the Armed Forces community; to promote armed forces libraries in the military services, within ALA, and to nonmilitary libraries and library organizations; and to promote professional growth by providing continuing education and information to personnel who staff armed forces libraries" (2).

By 1950, the section had been renamed the Armed Forces Librarians Section which it remained through changes in the name and structure of the DPL into the Public Library Division (PLD) and finally the Public Library Association (PLA). Proposed Bylaws of the Armed Forces Librarians Section were approved at the ALA conference in New York City in 1952 (3). Until 1990, the AFLS was the only section to continually exist through the history of the PLA (4).

In 1990 after a request for a change in status while retaining the same purpose, the AFLS became the Armed Forces Library Round Table. The change was approved first by the ALA Committee on Organization and subsequently by the ALA Council at the Annual Conference (5).

The Section (and now the Round Table) present three annual awards: the Armed Forces Library Certificate of Merit and the Armed Forces Library Newsbank Scholarship Award (6).


1. ALA Bulletin 15 December 1944, p. H-48.

2. ALA Handbook on Organization 1989-90 (Chicago: ALA, 1989), p. 134.

3. ALA Bulletin 52, April 1958, 281-283.

4. ALA Bulletin November 1950, p. 426.

5. American Libraries March 1990, p. 259; American Libraries July/August 1990, p. 672.

6. ALA Handbook of Organizations 1990-91 (Chicago: ALA, 1990), p. 208.

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