What is the Illinois Library Association?

A professional membership organization that represents Illinois libraries and the millions who depend on them. Founded in 1896, it is the third largest state library association and a chapter of the American Library Association. ILA's Origins, Presidents, and Executive Directors.

Who belongs to ILA?

Nearly 2,000 personal and more than 500 institutional members, made up of public, academic, school, and special libraries, as well as librarians, library staff, trustees, students, and library vendors belong to ILA, a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational and charitable organization.

Why join ILA?

Because libraries matter. ILA connects library professionals and supporters to each other and the important issues facing libraries today. From trends and innovation to advocacy and education, ILA is the place to strengthen your skills and deepen your knowledge.

What are our key activities?

  • Annual conference and workshops throughout the year, including workshops for trustees, a conference for support staff, industry exhibits, and more
  • Quarterly magazine, the ILA Reporter
  • Timely e-newsletter with job postings, links to libraries in the news, legislative alerts, and association activities
  • Publications on library law, trustee training, and other topics
  • iREAD, national summer reading program
  • Awards and recognition
  • Legislative advocacy in Springfield and Washington, DC
  • Group purchasing for libraries, including an insurance pool
  • Developing resources to help libraries innovate that range from Banned Books Week to programs for military families to a competition for self-published authors

How do we operate?

Leadership is provided by an Executive Director, reporting to an elected Executive Board, each member serving a three-year term. Members participate through an appointed committee structure and forums that are open to all members. A staff of six is headquartered in downtown Chicago.

ILA's Mission, Goals, Vision, and Strategic Plan

ILA Office Holiday Closures 

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »

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