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List of presidents of the American Library Association

The American Library Association, founded in 1876 and chartered in 1879, is the largest professional organization for librarians in the United States. The headquarters of the American Library Association is in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of ALA presidentsEdit

Image Name Years served Other ALA posts Other accomplishments
  Justin Winsor 1876–1885 Also served as president July–Oct. 1897. President of the American Historical Association, 1887.
  William Frederick Poole 1885–1887 President of the American Historical Association, 1888.
  Charles Ammi Cutter 1887–1889

Developed the Cutter Expansive Classification system which became the basis for the top categories of the Library of Congress Classification.

  Frederick Morgan Crunden 1889–1890 First president of the Missouri State Library Association.
  Melvil Dewey 1890–July 1891 Also served as president 1892-1893; Served as treasurer, 1876-1877 and 1880-1881; Served as secretary 1879-1890 and 1897-1898. Developer of the Dewey Decimal System.
  Samuel Swett Green July–Nov. 1891
  Klas August Linderfelt October 16, 1891 – May 22, 1892 Councilor 1883-1891, vice president 1890-1891. Resigned following his arrest for embezzling from the Milwaukee Public Library and the executive board voted Fletcher the new president, retroactive to the beginning of the term. To this day, Linderfelt is absent from official ALA lists of its past presidents.[1][2] First librarian of the Milwaukee Public Library, 1880-1892
  William Isaac Fletcher May 22, 1892 – 1892 Editor of ALA Index to General Literature.
Melvil Dewey 1892–1893 See above.
  Josephus Nelson Larned 1893–1894
  Henry Munson Utley 1894–1895
  John Cotton Dana 1895–1896 Founder of the Newark Museum, 1909.
  William Howard Brett 1896–1897 Developed the library school program at Western Reserve University. Dean, 1903.
Justin Winsor July–Oct. 1897 See above.
  Rutherford P. Hayes Oct. 1897-Jan. 1898 Vice-President Hayes (son of US President Rutherford B. Hayes) assumed the office of Acting President upon the death of Winsor without election by the executive board, despite the fact that it was unclear whether or not the ALA constitution allowed this. Putnam was elected President following a special election.[3]
  Herbert Putnam Jan.–Aug. 1898 Also served as president 1903–1904. Librarian of Congress, 1899-1939.
  William Coolidge Lane 1898–1899 Served as ALA secretary and treasurer for fourteen years and as chairman of its publishing board.
  Reuben Gold Thwaites 1899–1900 President of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, 1910.
  Henry James Carr 1900–1901 Also served as treasurer, 1886-1893; Served as secretary 1898-1900.
  John Shaw Billings 1901–1902 First director of the New York Public Library.
  James Kendall Hosmer 1902–1903
Herbert Putnam 1903–1904 See above.
  Ernest Cushing Richardson 1904–1905
  Frank Pierce Hill 1905–1906 Also served as secretary 1891-1895. First director of the Newark Public Library, 1889.
  Clement Walker Andrews 1906–1907 President of the American Library Institute from 1922-1924.
  Arthur Elmore Bostwick 1907–1908
  Charles Henry Gould 1908–1909 First university librarian at McGill University, 1892.
  Nathaniel Dana Carlile Hodges 1909–1910 Named to notable Ohio Librarians Hall of Fame, 1980.
James Ingersoll Wyer 1910–1911 Also served as secretary, 1902-1909. From 1916 to 1920, chaired Library War Service Committee.
Theresa West Elmendorf 1911–1912 She was the ALA's first female president.
Henry Eduard Legler 1912–1913
Edwin Hatfield Anderson 1913–1914 Also served as treasurer, 1895-1896
Hiller Crowell Wellman 1914–1915
  Mary Wright Plummer 1915–1916 Member of the first class taught by Melvil Dewey at the School of Library Economy, 1887.
  Walter Lewis Brown 1916–1917 Created the ALA War Service Committee, 1917.
  Thomas Lynch Montgomery 1917–1918 Founded the Pennsylvania Library Club, 1890.

Established the first branch of the Philadelphia Free Library, 1892.

William Warner Bishop 1918–1919
  Chalmers Hadley 1919-1920 Also served as secretary, 1909-1911.
  Alice S. Tyler 1920-1921
  Azariah Smith Root 1921-1922 Founding member of the ALA College Library Section, 1899. Founding member of the Bibliographical Society of America.
  George Burwell Utley 1922-1923 Also served as secretary, 1911-1920. First director of the first tax supported public library in the state of Florida, Jacksonville Public Library, 1905.
  Judson Toll Jennings 1923-1924
  Herman H. B. Meyer 1924-1925 Initiated the Library of Congress services for the blind.
  Charles F. D. Belden 1925-1926
George H. Locke 1926-1927
  Carl B. Roden 1927-1928 Also served as treasurer, 1910-1920.
  Linda A. Eastman 1928-1929 Founding member and later president of the Ohio Library Association.
  Andrew Keogh 1929-1930
  Adam Strohm 1930-1931
  Josephine Adams Rathbone 1931-1932
  Harry Miller Lydenberg 1932-1933
  Gratia A. Countryman 1933-1934
Charles H. Compton 1934-1935
  Louis Round Wilson 1935-1936
  Malcolm Glenn Wyer 1936-1937
  Harrison Warwick Craver 1937-1938
  Milton James Ferguson 1938-1939
  Ralph Munn 1939-1940
  Essae Martha Culver 1940-1941
  Charles Harvey Brown 1941-1942
  Keyes D. Metcalf 1942-1943
  Althea H. Warren 1943-1944
  Carl Vitz 1944-1945
Ralph A. Ulveling 1945-1946
  Mary U. Rothrock 1946-1947
Paul North Rice 1947-1948
  Errett Weir McDiarmid 1948-1949
  Milton E. Lord 1949-1950
Clarence R. Graham 1950-1951
Loleta Dawson Fyan 1951-1952
  Robert Bingham Downs 1952-1953
  Flora Belle Ludington 1953-1954
  L. Quincy Mumford 1954-1955 Librarian of Congress, 1954-1974.
John S. Richards 1955-1956
  Ralph R. Shaw 1956-1957
Lucile M. Morsch 1957-1958
  Emerson Greenaway 1958-1959
  Benjamin E. Powell 1959-1960
Frances Lander Spain 1960-1961
Florrinell F. Morton 1961-1962
James E. Bryan 1962-1963
Frederick H. Wagman 1963-1964
Edwin Castagna 1964-1965
  Robert Vosper 1965-1966
Mary V. Gaver 1966-1967
  Foster E. Mohrhardt 1967-1968
Roger McDonough 1968-1969
William S. Dix 1969-1970
  Lillian M. Bradshaw 1970-1971
Keith Doms 1971-1972
Katherine Laich 1972-1973
Jean E. Lowrie 1973-1974
Edward G. Holley 1974-1975
  Allie Beth Martin 1975–Apr. 1976
  Clara Stanton Jones 1976-1977 She was the ALA's first African-American president, serving as its acting president from April 11 to July 22 in 1976 and then its president from July 22, 1976 to 1977.[4]
Eric Moon 1977-1978
  Russell Shank 1978-1979
Thomas J. Galvin 1979-1980
Peggy A. Sullivan 1980-1981
Elizabeth W. (Betty) Stone 1981-1982
Carol A. Nemeyer 1982-1983
Brooke E. Sheldon 1983-1984
E. J. Josey 1984-1985
Beverly P. Lynch 1985-1986
Regina Minudri 1986-1987
Margaret E. Chisholm 1987-1988
F. William Summers 1988-1989
Patricia Wilson Berger 1989-1990
Richard M. Dougherty 1990-1991
Patricia G. Schuman 1991-1992 Also served as treasurer, 1984-1988.
Marilyn L. Miller 1992-1993
Hardy R. Franklin 1993-1994
  Arthur Curley 1994-1995
Betty J. Turock 1995-1996
Mary R. Somerville 1996-1997
Barbara J. Ford 1997-1998
Ann K. Symons 1998-1999 Also served as treasurer, 1992-1996.
Sarah Ann Long 1999–2000
  Nancy C. Kranich 2000–2001
John W. Berry 2001–2002
Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman 2002–2003
  Carla D. Hayden 2003–2004 Librarian of Congress (2016-Present)
Carol A. Brey-Casiano 2004–2005
Michael Gorman 2005–2006
  Leslie Burger 2006–2007
  Loriene Roy 2007–2008 She was the ALA's first Native American president.[5][6]
  James R. Rettig 2008–2009
  Camila A. Alire 2009-2010
Roberta A. Stevens 2010-2011
Molly Raphael 2011-2012
  Maureen Sullivan 2012-2013
  Barbara Stripling 2013-2014
  Courtney Young 2014-2015
Sari Feldman 2015-2016
Julie Todaro 2016-2017
James G. Neal
  Loida Garcia-Febo 2018-2019
  Wanda Kay Brown (President Elect) 2019-2020


  1. ^ Wiegand, Wayne A. (March 1977). "The Wayward Bookman: The Decline, Fall, and Historical Obliteration of an ALA President (Part I)". American Libraries. 8 (3): 134–137. JSTOR 25620999.
  2. ^ Wiegand, Wayne A. (April 1977). "The Wayward Bookman: The Decline, Fall, and Historical Obliteration of an ALA President (Part II)". American Libraries. 8 (4): 197–200. JSTOR 25621033.
  3. ^ Thomison, Dennis (October 1974). "The A.L.A. and its Missing Presidents". The Journal of Library History. 9 (4): 362–366. JSTOR 25540591.
  4. ^ "ALA's Past Presidents | About ALA". Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  5. ^ "ALA - Loriene Roy elected ALA president for 2007-2008". 5 June 2006.
  6. ^ "The American Indian Experience - A full-text digital resource - EBSCO".
  7. ^ Albanese, Andrew (29 April 2016). "Jim Neal Elected ALA President for 2017-2018". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2 July 2016.

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