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Friends of Libraries USA | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Friends of Libraries USA

Historical Note:

The Friends of Libraries Committee was originally created as a standby committee in 1929 to mobilize community support for libraries. It was a part of the Special Membership Committee, Library Administration Division from 1929 (1) and was transferred to the Public Relations Section (2) of the Library Administration Division in 1957 (3). It remained a committee of the Public Relations Section of the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA) until 1980 when it became a separate affiliate organization of ALA under the current name (4).

The organizational goals are to encourage and assist the formation and development of Friends of the Library groups in the United States, to provide a means for Friends of the Library groups to have access to information and ideas that will prove useful to them in the operation of their organizations, and to make the public aware of the existence of Friends of the Library groups and of the services they perform (5).

The Board consists of an Executive Director, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, a board of 32 members, and 4 liaisons. A representative of this organization is on the Board of LAMA (6).

The publications produced quarterly by this organization are Friends of the Library USA National Notebook and Idea Bank. These are availalble only to members. Previous publications included "Friends Make a Difference," Six Fact Sheets and Friends of the Library Groups (7).

Membership is open to all Friends of the Library groups and individuals in the United States. In 1985, the membership was 600,000 in over 2,300 groups (8).

On February 1, 2009, Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) joined forces to become an expanded division of ALA known as the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, now United for Libraries.

1. ALA Bulletin, Handbook v. 27, no. 14, 1933, p. H-29.

2. ALA Bulletin, ALA Organization and Library Information, 1958-59, p. 854.

3. Ibid., p. 851-854 and ALA Handbook, 1929, v. 23, no. 11, p. 463.

4. ALA Handbook of Organization, 1980/81, p. 192.

5. ALA Handbook of Organization, 1992/93, p. 167.

6. Ibid.

7. ALA Yearbook 1987, p. 143 and ALA Bulletin, v. 33, no. 12, 0. H-465.

8. ALA Yearbook, 1987, p. 143.

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