American Archives Month: Tell Your Story

October is American Archives Month! But what does that mean for the American Library Association? The ALA Archives staff wants to encourage all ALA offices, divisions, committees, and round tables to start a conversation with the archives about depositing your records, both physical and digital.

We especially want to hear from ALA units that haven’t transferred their records to the archives yet. New committees, task forces, round tables, and sections can start by sending us their founding documents, including bylaws, charters, correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, and even selfies of the members!

This could be a photo of you and your librarian friends! But it’s not, it’s of the 1898 Pennsylvania Library Club.

Get started by consulting our Donate Materials page about the kinds of records we accept, detailed instructions on how to send records to the archives, and access to our transmittal form. For digital files, speak with us about various options that we offer to store and preserve these files, including our open access American Library Association Institutional Repository. And feel free to contact us if you have further questions, need help, have reference inquiries, or would like to notify us that you are sending records to us!

Why is this important? By sending in these records, you make the history of your ALA unit available to researchers, who contact and visit the archives from across the country and around the world. The archives is dependent upon you to send us materials, both physical and digital, so researchers (professors, students, librarians, and the general public) can continue to study the American Library Association and the history of librarianship. If the papers of your ALA unit isn’t in the archives, then your story and history are not being told.

Future ALA staff and members are also dependent on you to deposit. Many of our reference requests come from ALA staff and members, often trying to figure out when a unit was founded, when the requirements for an award changed, looking for meeting minutes and reports that document a specific event, and more.

Make sure your story isn’t being left out of the archives and start the conversation to deposit your ALA unit’s records with us today!