There are many organizations, both Kentucky-based and national, that support the trustees, directors, and staff of public libraries in fulfilling their mission of providing high-quality library services, materials, and facilities. Briefly, these organizations are available to assist in various ways as outlined below.
The American Library Association (ALA)
The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for members, librarians, and library users. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA 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. This organization provides many services, conferences, and resources for all types of libraries and librarians. Please see their website for access to tools, documents, and information that will assist you in your job of providing public library services.
Friends of Kentucky Libraries (FKL)
The Friends of Kentucky Libraries Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of volunteers supporting public libraries across Kentucky. Their mission is two-fold: to advocate for libraries on the national, state, and local levels; and to provide support for the formation and success of local Friends chapters. Check out their website for more information regarding their history, initiatives, and membership.
Kentucky Library Association (KLA)
Kentucky Library Association is a chapter of the American Library Association and provides a fall conference with the focus on general library issues. The mission of the Kentucky Library Association (KLA) is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance and ensure access to information for all. Go to the KLA website for more information on the various sections and roundtables, conferences, news, publications, and membership.
Kentucky Public Library Association (KPLA)
The Kentucky Public Library Association is a part of the Kentucky Library Association and membership is available through KLA. Librarians, library staff, library trustees, supporters, and others interested in the efforts of Kentucky’s public libraries to serve people of all ages across the Commonwealth are encouraged to join. Each year in the spring, KPLA sponsors a conference that provides pre-conference workshops, educational sessions, and access to vendors who serve public libraries. For information on the various committees, awards, conferences, and resources provided by KPLA, visit their website.
Public Library Association (PLA)
The Public Library Association enhances the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services. The goal of the organization is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. PLA provides a national conference bi-annually to address the interest and needs of public librarians and trustees. In addition, PLA provides online courses and helpful tools to help public librarians and trustees fulfill their mission in serving their community.
United for Libraries
United for Libraries is a national network of enthusiastic library supporters whose mission is to support citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for all types of libraries. No one has a stronger voice for libraries than those who use them, raise money for them, and govern them. By uniting these voices, library supporters everywhere will be a real force to be reckoned with at the local, state, and national levels. 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, now United for Libraries. The United for Libraries website provides resources and information on advocating, training and consulting, conferences, awards and grants and more.