I will not provide links to each division, but they each have separate sections on the ALA web site [the page I chose lists all the divisions with links].The "type of library" divisions (in alphabetical order, of course) are:
- American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
- Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
- Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)
- Public Library Association (PLA)
- Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)
- Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
- Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA)
[Merged with Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA) to form
Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations
(ALTAFF) edit 2/14/10)]
- Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA)
[Now called Library Leadership and Management Association LLAMA) edit 2/14/10)]
- Library Information Technology Association (LITA)
- Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
- Young Adult Services Association (YALSA)
Divisions have a great deal of autonomy. Each division has its own staff (although some of the smaller divisions share staff). They run programs, and create their own internal structure. They tend to have a governing board, and then sections to carry out the work of the division. Several years ago, the Public Library Association did away with its old structure of sections and went to the concept of "clusters."
Because a section is small, and generally consists of colleagues interested in the same topic or smaller focus on librarianship, it is usually easier to begin your activities in a section. Over the years, I have been involved with MARS (Machine Assisted Reference Services section of RUSA -- the newsletter always had Messages from MARS), BRASS (Business Reference and Service Section (also part of RUSA), and ICAN (Interlibrary Cooperation and Networking, a section of ASCLA).
Next will be Round Tables.