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Association for Library Collections and Technical Services

The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) (pronounced uh-lex[1])is a division of the American Library Association (ALA). This division strives to be the premier authority within librarianship in the areas of technical services (acquisitions, cataloging and classification, and continuing resources), collection management and development, and preservation and reformatting. The membership of ALCTS represents over forty countries, and it comprises librarians, library support staff, students of library and information science, and commercial vendors whose professional interests lie within these areas of practice. Membership in ALCTS requires membership in the ALA. ALCTS meets the needs of its members through educational programming, publications, professional development opportunities and information exchange. ALCTS also promotes and has significant input into the development of standards and best practices within its focus areas, e.g., NISO standards, cataloging rules.[2]

Association for Library Collections and Technical Services
Formation 1957
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, United States
Website Association for Library Collections and Technical Services

The current executive director of ALCTS is Keri Cascio.[3]


History and organizational structureEdit

ALCTS was one of several ALA divisions created in 1957, upon the merger of several ALA units related to technical services. The division was originally known as the Resources and Technical Services Division (RTSD). The original four sections of the division were Acquisitions, Cataloging and Classification, Copying Methods, and Serials. The current name of the division is the result of a 1989 division membership vote.[4]

ALCTS consists of five sections:[5] Acquisitions; Cataloging and Metadata Management; Collection Management; Preservation and Reformatting; and Continuing Resources.

The current Acquisitions (AS) and Collection Management (CMS) Sections emerged over time from the original AS. The Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) has the longest history, having begun as a section of ALA in 1900. The Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) is a result of a 1994 merger of the Reproduction of Library Materials Section (which started as the Copying Methods Section) and the Preservation of Library Materials Section (which was created in 1980). The Continuing Resources Section (CRS) started as a round table of ALA in 1929, and was renamed in 2007.[4]

The work of these sections, as well as the entire division, is supported through regular committee meetings. ALCTS also makes available to its sections online options for communication and collaboration, including discussion lists, online communities, and wikis.

These sections are joined by the Affiliate Relations Committee (ARC) which replaced the Council of Regional Groups (CRG) in 2011.[6] The role of ARC is to maintain contact with groups similar to ALCTS that serve specific geographic regions, and they host an Affiliates Showcase at the ALA Annual conference.


ALCTS has created and maintains a wide variety of publications that provide guidelines and policies for the work of its constituents; serve as educational resources, and keep the membership informed of current developments and trends with the division and the profession.[7] The guidelines and policy documents are often used in an advisory role for technical services, collection development, and preservation decisions. These resources are generally available on the ALCTS website. The division also publishes a series of books (ALCTS Monographs). ALCTS publishes two serials – ALCTS News, which reports on the happenings of the division and the people within it; and Library Resources and Technical Services (LRTS), a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal.


At the ALA Annual Conference, ALCTS sponsors programming both at the division level and through its sections. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting, ALCTS hosts a forum on a major topic of interest to its constituency. At both annual events, ALCTS sponsors symposia and preconference workshops that get in depth on specific concepts. Both events also feature interest groups (many of which were formerly discussion groups). The IGs are not official programs, but they allow people working or interested in specific roles to gather for discussion and/or plan future programming. Outside of conferences, ALCTS also offers online educational opportunities and a series of online discussions via discussion groups.

In 2007, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, ALCTS held a special conference just prior to the ALA Annual Conference.[8]

ALCTS sponsors the annual Preservation Week program. ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what can be done, individually and together, to preserve personal and shared collections.[9]


Each year, ALCTS honors people in librarianship working in acquisitions, continuing resources, cataloging, collection development, and preservation through more than a dozen awards. Juries consisting mostly of ALCTS member volunteers (who are generally peers of potential recipients) select recipients of these awards:[10]

Writing/Publishing: Edward Swanson Memorial Best of LRTS Award; Outstanding Publication Award

Innovation: Outstanding Collaboration Citation; ProQuest Coutts Award for Innovation

Personal Achievement: Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award; Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award; Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award; George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Award; Esther J. Piercy Award; Margaret Mann Citation

Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award (acquisitions); Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award (continuing resources); Presidential Citation (special service to ALCTS)

Achievement for Newer Professionals: First Step Award

For Professionals in Developing Countries: Online Course Grant

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "About Us | Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
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  6. ^ "Affiliate Relations Committee | Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
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  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  9. ^ "About Preservation Week | Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
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