The History of the Alabama Association
of College & Research Libraries
The Alabama Association of College and Research Libraries is one of
42 state and regional chapters of the Association of College and Research
Libraries, itself a division of the American Library Association. AACRL
is a professional association of academic librarians and others interested
in improving the ability of academic librarians and information professionals
to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to
improve learning, teaching and research.
AACRL serves the needs of a variety of academic institutions including
four-year colleges and universities, two-year community colleges, technical
colleges, and other research institutions.
In 1986 the College, University, and Special Libraries (CUS) division
of the Alabama Library Association voted to establish an Alabama chapter
of the national ACRL. Dr. Sue Medina, Director of the Network of Alabama
Academic Libraries (NAAL) and also CUS Member-at-Large, took steps to implement
this plan. She convened an organizational meeting (with Heleni Pedersoli
and Barbara Dekle) at the Hoover Public Library on November 14, 1986 at
which those present read proposed bylaws and nominated and then elected
a slate of officers. The new organization was known as the Alabama Association
of College and Research Librarians and held its first Executive Board meeting
on May 29, 1987. AACRL's first Executive Board consisted of Chair Brantley
Parsley (Mobile College), Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Lee Ketcham (Samford University),
Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Dekle (Auburn University in Montgomery), and
Member-at-Large Martha Merrill (Jacksonville State University).
A tradition of cooperation and overlapping membership between
AACRL and the CUS (College, University, and Special Libraries) division
of the Alabama Library Association continues to the present. Until proposed
changes to the bylaws were made at the April 30, 1992 AACRL annual business
meeting, AACRL members were required to also be members of CUS. The Association
of College and Research Librarians changed its name to the Association
of College and Research Libraries on this date. While no longer requiring
AACRL members to also be members of CUS, the two groups still have close
ties and occasionally join together in organizing workshops and annual
meeting programs. Ever since the Spring of 1990, AACRL has published a
quarterly newsletter. Barbara Bishop of Auburn University was the first
AACRL has hosted a number of workshops and annual programs over
the years, starting with "Library Accreditation in the Next Decade" on
April 3, 1987 (before even holding its first Executive Board meeting).
AACRL normally hosts a professional workshop every other year and a special
guest speaker every year at the annual business meeting/dinner that is
scheduled to coincide with the annual convention of the Alabama Library
Association. Ever since 1995, Craig Beard of the University of Alabama
in Birmingham has maintained the AACRL listserv (send message "Subscribe
AACRL" to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UAB.EDU).
As early as 1987 the national ACRL expressed an interest in getting
state and regional chapters to either merge with their state or regional
library association or to incorporate as separate non-profit organizations.
The purpose of this directive was to ensure that, in the unlikely event
someone decided to bring a lawsuit against a state or regional chapter,
the national ACRL would be protected. However, pressure to merge or incorporate
was not really brought to bear until around 1996 when the deadline of December
31, 2000 was set. The AACRL Executive Board investigated the options and
the membership voted in 1999 to incorporate as a separate non-profit organization
not affiliated with Alabama Library Association. The Executive Board took
action over the next two years to fulfill the mandate set by the national
ACRL and the Alabama chapter (AACRL) was officially incorporated on October
23, 2000. Federal tax-exempt status as a Section 501 ( c ) (6) organization
was officially recognized by the Internal Revenue Service on September
17, 2001 and state tax-exempt status was recognized by the Alabama Department
of Revenue on November 9, 2001.
This page is maintained by Steven Turner.
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Last Modified: 04/24/2008
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