Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Library Workers Association, 1920

In my collection I have Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Journal of The Library Workers Association which is dated May, 1920. The Library Workers Association had its first organizational meeting on April 30, 1920 in Atlantic City, NJ. The purpose of the Association was "to promote the well-being of library workers who have not enjoyed the benefits of library school training". Most of the charter members were from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The Association's journal made note of those things the Association was not about. It was not a labor or trade union. It would not depress standards of library work. It would not duplicate work performed "in an adequate manner" by the American Library Association. Although the primary purpose of the Association was to improve the benefits of non-library school trained library workers, the Association argued that this would also lead to an increase in the benefits of library school trained library workers. At the same time the Library Workers Association was formed the American Library Association was looking at the possibility of national certification of librarians. The Library Workers Association opposed those efforts. The Association sought affiliation with the American Library Association but ALA denied that status until the Library Workers Association could more fully demonstrate its ability to meet the criteria for affiliation. A casual search of the Internet failed to provide much information about the eventual fate of the Library Workers Association.

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