by Mary-Michelle Moore, Head Editor, INALJ Vermont
Professional Organizations: Diversity in ALA
This is part two of a three part series on professional organizations.
Part one was published on June 14, and part three will be available on June 28.
Librarians serve many different groups and interests – within the ALA there are several divisions focused on the needs of specific ethnic groups across library backgrounds. School, academic, public and special librarians who serve specific groups may want to look into one of these divisions to find their niche at ALA. This is just an overview of the few, of many, you can join!
The American Indian Library Association is a membership group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Cultural and informational services in public, school and research libraries can benefit from the work done by this group. Part of their mission is to disseminate information about the issues facing American Indians and Alaska Natives throughout the broader profession and population.
APALA or the Asian and Pacific American Library Association strives to meet the needs of those who serve this population. One of their goals is to provide a forum for the discussion of problems facing APA librarians and the exchange of ideas between this population of librarians and others in the profession. They present the Aasian/Pacific American Awards for literature to individuals who portray Asian/Pacific American heritages in their work.
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves “as an advocate for the development, promotion and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community.” They have several regional or state affiliate chapters as well as offering literary awards and scholarships. Their national conference is coming up in August.
REFORMA “established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community.” REFORM hosts events at ALA Annual.
(REFORMA info added by Naomi House)