American Library Association

Rating: 4.33 stars   9 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Education

Location: 50 East Huron Street Chicago IL 60611 USA

Mission: ALA plays a key role in the formulation of national and international policies and standards that affect library and information services. It''s mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. Through the generous support of members and friends, ALA is able to fulfill its role as the leading advocate for the public''s right to a free and open information society.
Programs: ALA is home to eleven membership divisions, each with a type-of-library or type-of-library-function specialization.   ALA divisions publish journals, books, newsletters, and other materials; provide continuing education in a variety of venues and formats; offer awards and scholarships; sponsor institutes and conferences; and maintain networks of affiliates, chapters, and other collaborative relationships.ALA has incorporated specialized sections and divisions from its early existence, beginning with the college and reference librarians (1889), the trustees (1890) and catalogers (1900). By policy, each division has a statement of responsibility developed by its members and approved by the ALA Council, a set of goals and objectives to drive its activities, an executive director and other personnel (as necessary), responsibility for generating revenue to carry out its programs, and a separate Board of Directors, elected by the members of the division. Each division is represented on the ALA Council and in the Planning and Budget Assembly. American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends & Foundations (ALTAFF) Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) Library and Information Technology Assn. (LITA) Library Leadership & Management Assn. (LLAMA) Public Library Assn. (PLA) Reference & User Services Assn. (RUSA) The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As an employee, I was treated very shabbily by the ALA. I am sorry that I ever accepted employment there.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Somewhat badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

ASCLA has given programs, advice, materials, and resources to serve people with disabilities. Thank you for a fine organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

great friendships.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

keep it going.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

ASCLA has helped me make connections with consortia staff around the country. Sharing information is critical during these hard economic times; and I’ve learned a lot through my ASCLA contacts, especially in the 'delivery' area. Thanks, ASCLA!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

expanding my professional contacts

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Do what it is planning on doing - streamline bylaws and flatten organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

ASCLA membership is essential for my professional work. I would be lost without the access to expertise that they provide on issues and problems confronting our communities.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Taking a continuing ed course from ASCLA was very rewarding.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Do more to increase membership.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

ASCLA has been a great help to me as a librarian. I always learn something frm the colleagues I connect with in person or on line. ASCLA was instrumental in providing support at The Child's Place for Children with Special Needs at thhe Brooklyn Public Liblrary reached out to the 13 juvenile detention facilities in our community for the first time. In addition, I refer other librarians and library staff to the exciting toolkit for assisting library patrons with disabilities. This easy to use overview provides basic ideas and support to get people started in their own libraries. ASCLA has helped me and many other librarians reach people in hard to reach communities to provided library services and literacy support.
Carrie Banks, Supervising Librarian
The Child's Place for Children with Special Needs/Kidsmobile
Brooklyn Public Library
2065 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11234
718.253.4948 voice; 718.253.5034 tty; 718.252.1520 fax

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Being able to refer people to their toolkits on servinv people with disabiltities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it larger.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I think of ASCLA as the Division whose members are the librarian's librarians. It's key units are state and regional library staff who provide assistance to other libraries; independent consultants helping librarians solve problems; and experts in serving people with disabilities. I've been a member of ASCLA all my library career and particulalry enjoy the forums that take a mega-view of library issues.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Consulting.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Recruit more members to take advantage of its benefits!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I joined the ASCLA division of ALA 13 years ago when a job change suddenly landed me in the world of library consortia. While there are many opportunities to network with other libraries, ASCLA is the one place where I can network with other consortia leaders. The forums they provide have sparked ideas for new services and suggested solutions to problems. Thanks to ASCLA, when I need advice, I have a community of wonderful librarians to draw upon.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the services my organization can provide to its member libraries.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more members!

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Rating: 5 stars  

ASCLA, a division of the American Library Association, has provided me with incredible networking and professional development opportunities to learn from experts and colleagues across the country . My membership dues are worth every penny and more.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My everyday work. Information and resources provided by ASCLA are critical to my work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Urge the organization leadership to keep moving forward, as they have been, in offering relevant and critical services that meet the needs of ASCLA and ALA members.

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As the only librarian in the state with a focus on serving people with disabilities, I needed a network to help me make the best use of the taxpayer dollars that supported my library. The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association came to the rescue. The organization introduced me to a range people with expertise that I knew I could consult, and it provided me with professional development opportunities to stay on top of my field. Without ASCLA, a lot of time would have been wasted trying to locate specialized information that was sought. ASCLA truly helped my library impact the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the network of experts and the professional development opportunities that they provided that greatly enhanced my ability to provide quality information services.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ask them to provide more online professional development opportunities to reach a wider audience with their expertise.

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