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What exactly is TLA? The Texas Library Association is a 501(C )3 educational charitable non-profit. TLA is a professional organization established in 1902 to promote library services in Texas. See the Association’s mission/ value statement.

Who is a member of TLA? TLA has almost 7000 members. Our membership is made up of librarians and library workers from academic, public, school, and special libraries, as well as lay supporters, educators, and other people who join TLA simply because they love libraries, reading, and literacy. Individual libraries also represent a portion of the membership. See the membership page.

How is it structured? TLA is governed by its membership through an elected Council and Board of Directors.

  • The Council, which consists of about 50 representatives from all TLA divisions, districts, round tables, special interest groups, and committees, decides the major policies for the Association, sets priorities, and approves the Association’s annual budget. Councilors for each unit are designated as such by their respective units. Every year, Council meets twice at annual assembly and twice at annual conference. See a list of all TLA Units.
  • The Board of Directors is determined by an association-wide election and is composed of 11 positions: president, past-president, president-elect, treasurer, ALA councilor (TLA is an independent state chapter of the American Library Association), five representatives-at-large (i.e., from school, public, special, and academic libraries), and the executive director (who serves in an ex officio role). Each Board member serves a term of three years. The Board makes recommendations to Council with respect to matters of policy and operations is also responsible for hiring of the executive director, who manages the association, works with TLA units, oversees the headquarters, and manages staff.

TLA Units makes general reference to all TLA member groups. There are six different units:

  • Divisions: Four divisions representing the various library types: College and University Libraries Division; Public Libraries Division; Special Libraries Division; and the Texas Association of School Librarians.
  • Round Tables (RT) and Interest Groups (IG): These units are created by TLA members to address particular interests, e.g., Acquisitions and Collection Development Round Table or the Digital Libraries Round. Each RT or must develop its own bylaws, elect its own officers, and establish any internal committees or working groups that it desires. The difference between an IG and an RT is that an IG is the “transitional” organization. An RT is formed when an IG has been in operation for three years and maintained at least 60 members each year. After that time, an IG becomes an official RT. For more information, see TLA Bylaws.
  • TLA Standing Committees: Members of TLA standing (i.e., permanent) committees are appointed by the president-elect to begin serving when that person’s presidential term begins. Committees address specific needs of TLA, usually needs that cut across library types, such as the Legislative Committee or the Professional Rights & Responsibilities Committee; or perform specific activities, such as the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committees.
  • TLA Task Forces: Each president may appoint as many task forces as are necessary to achieve her or his particular goals for the presidential year. Task forces terminate when their charge is achieved, usually around the end of the presidential year of appointment.
  • Conference Committees: The two appointed committees oversee the planning of annual conference: the Conference Program Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee. Both dissolve at the end of the relevant conference.
  • Districts: TLA is divided into 10 regional districts and members may create new districts or join different district. Every member of TLA is automatically a member of her or his district.
  • TLA staff works to fulfill the association’s strategic plan and ongoing operations. Hired and managed exclusively by the executive director, TLA staff work in various areas of association activities, including advocacy, continuing education, conference, technology, publications, public relations, and other functions. TLA currently employs 14 staff members. See TLA Staff.

Where is TLA headquartered? TLA maintains an office complex in Austin, Texas. The physical address is 3355 Bee Cave Road, Ste. 401, Austin, TX 78746. The office has three meeting rooms that are available to all association units for small meetings. See the TLA Office page.

How do I get involved? The first step is to become familiar with TLA activities, groups, and resources. Plan to attend conference, district meetings, and other activities. Check out the website for resources and information.

The one important thing to remember is that TLA is an open, friendly and welcoming organization. If you want to serve on a TLA committee or volunteer, just let us know! You can contact the TLA President by filling out the volunteer form, or you can email the executive director. If you want to be part of a round table or unit, just sign up for it on your membership form or add it at any time of the year. You can also volunteer to serve as an officer for any of the units you belong to – just let the chairperson know! Believe us: we want you to be an active member of TLA.

If you are new to TLA and/ or the profession, by all means, consider joining the New Members’ Round Table. You’ll meet a lot of folks in a group created to help new members make the most of TLA.

Need more information?
Send your question to TLA's Membership Coordinator by using the comment feature below:

Created on Oct 15, 2013 | Last updated March 14, 2018


2016/2017 Master List

Can a publisher recommend or suggest one of its own
titles be included on the Master List?

Master List Suggestions

Yes; suggestions may come from young readers, teachers, librarians, parents, authors, and also publishers.

Texas Lone Star Reading List

Where can I buy spine labels for the Texas Lone Star Reading List?

Lone Star Labels

TLA Store

Thanks for asking. Your email is very timely as we're actually in the process of making those reading list supplies easier to locate.