List of presidents of the American Library Association

The American Library Association, founded in 1876 and chartered in 1879, is the largest professional organization for librarians in the United States. The headquarters of the American Library Association is in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of ALA presidents

Image Name Years served Other ALA posts Other accomplishments
Justin Winsor 1876–1885 Also served as president July–Oct. 1897. President of the American Historical Association, 1887.
William Frederick Poole 1885–1887 President of the American Historical Association, 1888.
Charles Ammi Cutter 1887–1889
Frederick Morgan Crunden 1889–1890
Melvil Dewey 1890–July 1891 Also served as president 1892-1893; Served as treasurer, 1876-1877 and 1880-1881; Served as secretary 1879-1890 and 1897-1898. Developer of the Dewey Decimal System.
Samuel Swett Green July–Nov. 1891
Klas August Linderfelt October 16, 1891 – May 22, 1892 Councilor 1883-1891, vice president 1890-1891. Resigned following his arrest for embezzling from the Milwaukee Public Library and the executive board voted Fletcher the new president, retroactive to the beginning of the term. To this day, Linderfelt is absent from official ALA lists of its past presidents.[1][2] First librarian of the Milwaukee Public Library, 1880-1892
William Isaac Fletcher May 22, 1892 – 1892
Melvil Dewey 1892–1893 See above.
Josephus Nelson Larned 1893–1894
Henry Munson Utley 1894–1895
John Cotton Dana 1895–1896
William Howard Brett 1896–1897
Justin Winsor July–Oct. 1897 See above.
Rutherford P. Hayes Oct. 1897-Jan. 1898 Vice-President Hayes assumed the office of Acting President upon the death of Winsor without election by the executive board, despite the fact that it was unclear whether or not the ALA constitution allowed this. Putnam was elected President following a special election.[3]
Herbert Putnam Jan.–Aug. 1898 Also served as president 1903–1904. Librarian of Congress, 1899-1939.
William Coolidge Lane 1898–1899
Reuben Gold Thwaites 1899–1900
Henry James Carr 1900–1901 Also served as treasurer, 1886-1893; Served as secretary 1898-1900.
John Shaw Billings 1901–1902
James Kendall Hosmer 1902–1903
Herbert Putnam 1903–1904 See above.
Ernest Cushing Richardson 1904–1905
Frank Pierce Hill 1905–1906 Also served as secretary 1891-1895.
Clement Walker Andrews 1906–1907
Arthur Elmore Bostwick 1907–1908
Charles Henry Gould 1908–1909
Nathaniel Dana Carlile Hodges 1909–1910
James Ingersoll Wyer 1910–1911 Also served as secretary, 1902-1909
Theresa West Elmendorf 1911–1912 First woman to hold the office
Henry Eduard Legler 1912–1913
Edwin Hatfield Anderson 1913–1914 Also served as treasurer, 1895-1896
Hiller Crowell Wellman 1914–1915
Mary Wright Plummer 1915–1916
Walter Lewis Brown 1916–1917
Thomas Lynch Montgomery 1917–1918
William Warner Bishop 1918–1919
Chalmers Hadley 1919-1920 Also served as secretary, 1909-1911.
Alice S. Tyler 1920-1921
Azariah Smith Root 1921-1922
George Burwell Utley 1922-1923 Also served as secretary, 1911-1920.
Judson Toll Jennings 1923-1924
Herman H. B. Meyer 1924-1925
Charles F. D. Belden 1925-1926
George H. Locke 1926-1927
Carl B. Roden 1927-1928 Also served as treasurer, 1910-1920.
Linda A. Eastman 1928-1929
Andrew Keogh 1929-1930
Adam Strohm 1930-1931
Josephine Adams Rathbone 1931-1932
Harry Miller Lydenberg 1932-1933
Gratia A. Countryman 1933-1934
Charles H. Compton 1934-1935
Louis Round Wilson 1935-1936
Malcolm Glenn Wyer 1936-1937
Harrison Warwick Craver 1937-1938
Milton James Ferguson 1938-1939
Ralph Munn 1939-1940
Essae Martha Culver 1940-1941
Charles Harvey Brown 1941-1942
Keyes D. Metcalf 1942-1943
Althea H. Warren 1943-1944
Carl Vitz 1944-1945
Ralph A. Ulveling 1945-1946
Mary U. Rothrock 1946-1947
Paul North Rice 1947-1948
Errett Weir McDiarmid 1948-1949
Milton E. Lord 1949-1950
Clarence R. Graham 1950-1951
Loleta Dawson Fyan 1951-1952
Robert Bingham Downs 1952-1953
Flora Belle Ludington 1953-1954
L. Quincy Mumford 1954-1955 Librarian of Congress, 1954-1974.
John S. Richards 1955-1956
Ralph R. Shaw 1956-1957
Lucile M. Morsch 1957-1958
Emerson Greenaway 1958-1959
Benjamin E. Powell 1959-1960
Frances Lander Spain 1960-1961
Florrinell F. Morton 1961-1962
James E. Bryan 1962-1963
Frederick H. Wagman 1963-1964
Edwin Castagna 1964-1965
Robert Vosper 1965-1966
Mary V. Gaver 1966-1967
Foster E. Mohrhardt 1967-1968
Roger McDonough 1968-1969
William S. Dix 1969-1970
Lillian M. Bradshaw 1970-1971
Keith Doms 1971-1972
Katherine Laich 1972-1973
Jean E. Lowrie 1973-1974
Edward G. Holley 1974-1975
Allie Beth Martin 1975–Apr. 1976
Clara Stanton Jones 1976-1977 From Apr. 11- July 22, 1976, Jones was acting president.
Eric Moon 1977-1978
Russell Shank 1978-1979
Thomas J. Galvin 1979-1980
Peggy A. Sullivan 1980-1981
Elizabeth W. (Betty) Stone 1981-1982
Carol A. Nemeyer 1982-1983
Brooke E. Sheldon 1983-1984
E. J. Josey 1984-1985
Beverly P. Lynch 1985-1986
Regina Minudri 1986-1987
Margaret E. Chisholm 1987-1988
F. William Summers 1988-1989
Patricia Wilson Berger 1989-1990
Richard M. Dougherty 1990-1991
Patricia G. Schuman 1991-1992 Also served as treasurer, 1984-1988.
Marilyn L. Miller 1992-1993
Hardy R. Franklin 1993-1994
Arthur Curley 1994-1995
Betty J. Turock 1995-1996
Mary R. Somerville 1996-1997
Barbara J. Ford 1997-1998
Ann K. Symons 1998-1999 Also served as treasurer, 1992-1996.
Sarah Ann Long 1999–2000
Nancy C. Kranich 2000–2001
John W. Berry 2001–2002
Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman 2002–2003
Carla D. Hayden 2003–2004
Carol A. Brey-Casiano 2004–2005
Michael Gorman 2005–2006
Leslie B. Burger 2006–2007
Loriene Roy 2007–2008
James R. Rettig 2008–2009
Camila A. Alire 2009-2010
Roberta A. Stevens 2010-2011
Molly Raphael 2011-2012
Maureen Sullivan 2012-2013
Barbara Stripling 2013-2014
Courtney Young 2014-2015


  1. ^ Wiegand, Wayne A. (March 1977). "The Wayward Bookman: The Decline, Fall, and Historical Obliteration of an ALA President (Part I)". American Libraries 8 (3): 134–137. 
  2. ^ Wiegand, Wayne A. (April 1977). "The Wayward Bookman: The Decline, Fall, and Historical Obliteration of an ALA President (Part II)". American Libraries 8 (4): 197–200. 
  3. ^ Thomison, Dennis (October 1974). "The A.L.A. and its Missing Presidents". The Journal of Library History 9 (4): 362–366. 

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