Texas Library Association

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: November 1, 1995

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The Texas Library Association is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Austin that seeks to promote quality library service in the state by improving libraries and stimulating the professional development of library staff. The TLA was organized in Austin on June 9, 1902, under the sponsorship of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs and the University of Texas. Thirty-eight charter members elected University of Texas president William L. Prather as the organization's first president. The association was instrumental in the establishment of the Texas State Library and Historical Commission in 1909 and the passage of the County Library Law in 1917; it also financed a survey of the State Library and organized the People's Library Movement. Another objective, the University of Texas Library School (now the Graduate School of Library and Information Science), was realized in 1948. Among early leaders were Phineas L. Windsor, Lillian Gunter, Elizabeth Howard West, Ernest W. Winkler, Julia B. Ideson, and Maud Durlin Sullivan. In 1953 the association's executive committee authorized the first full-time staff post, administrative secretary. By the early 1990s TLA had five full-time and one part-time staff members. The organization is divided into four branches, the college and universities libraries division, the public libraries division, the special libraries division, and the Texas Association of School Librarians. TLA officers are elected by the general membership and include a president, president-elect, past president, treasurer, ALA chapter councilor, and five representatives-at-large. An executive board serves as the central management body, directing business matters. The TLA Council is the policy making and chief governing body. The organization hosts an annual conference each spring and an annual assembly, or working conference, in the summer, as well as a number of district meetings. It publishes the Texas Library Journal quarterly and a newsletter, the TLA/Cast, which is distributed nine times per year. Other publications include the annual TLA Directory for Members and various reports and reference works. In 1993 the membership was over 5,000, making it the largest state library association in the United States.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Christopher Long, “Texas Library Association,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 18, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-library-association.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1995