We are dedicated to

  • Developing an understanding of the place that libraries should take in advancing the educational, cultural, and economic life of the state.
  • Promoting the expansion and improvement of library service.
  • Fostering activities towards these ends.

About GLA and its Membership

The Georgia Library Association was founded in 1897 to facilitate partnership among Georgia’s librarians, many of whom had previously found themselves isolated in their work. With the advent of this professional network, librarians and library staff could work cooperatively with their peers to develop library services throughout the state.

Since its founding, the Georgia Library Association has been a leader in library innovation and professional librarianship. The Georgia Library Association builds on this tradition by continuing to work diligently, advocating for funding for public and school libraries, promoting and providing opportunities for librarians’ professional development, and supporting the development of technology and systems in libraries.

GLA’s strength has always been its dedicated membership, the people who are willing to give their time, hard work, and talents to provide advocacy and leadership in shaping the future of Georgia’s libraries. Members come together to discuss common interests and to meet the challenges facing libraries today. Currently GLA has more than 800 members – librarians, trustees, paraprofessionals, friends, students, and others – representing libraries of all sizes and types, such as school, public, academic, and special! GLA welcomes new members, who enrich the association with fresh ideas, new energy, and diverse library experience and voices!

Read more about the milestones of GLA history

GLA Events and Activities

GLA holds its Annual Conference and preconference workshops in October. There is also a Planning/Leadership Workshop every year, as well as a Legislative Day with coordination at the local, state, and national levels. Divisions and Interest Groups sponsor continuing education workshops throughout the year at various locations.

The GLA Member Listserv is intended to provide an ongoing forum for members to share ideas, learn quickly of developments in the state, and keep up with association news and business. GLA’s quarterly journal focuses on themes of importance to the membership.

GLA annually presents the Hubbard and Beard scholarships to two outstanding graduate students in Library and Information Science who in turn agree to take professional positions in Georgia for at least one year after graduation. A number of former Hubbard and Beard recipients have remained beyond that time, a welcome addition to the ranks of Georgia librarians and GLA members. In 1997, an additional Centennial Scholarship was also awarded.

GLA regularly honors notable achievers in Georgia librarianship through the Georgia Library Trustees’ Award, the McJenkin-Rheay Award, and the Nix-Jones Award.

Milestones in Georgia Library History


Carnegie funds the construction and expansion of 26 Georgia public and academic libraries.


The Free Public Library for Negroes opens in Savannah, paid for by city funds and subscription fees.


The Georgia Library Commission is funded and moves to the state capitol.


The Auburn Branch of Carnegie Library opens in Atlanta to serve African-Americans, later to be joined by the University Homes Reading Room and West Hunter Branch.


The (Julius) Rosenwald Fund established nationally to provide library books for black schools; significant grants made to schools in Georgia.


“County Library Law” passes, allowing counties to support public libraries, extend services countywide.


Law passes for certification of librarians in Georgia.


Georgia’s 1st regional library systems form.


Georgia Constitution allows taxation by counties for public libraries.


Integration of Carnegie Library in Albany, after initially closing to prevent desegregation.


Library Services and Construction Act passes, providing funds for construction, land, equipment. Matching funds at state/local level required. The Georgia Librarian, precursor to Georgia Library Quarterly, official journal of GLA, begins.


Georgia Constitutional Amendment allows sale of bonds to fund public library buildings. Revision of Georgia library law allows public libraries to be tax-exempt.


Georgia Council of Media Organizations forms.


First Georgia COMO conference.


GALILEO (Georgia Library Learning Online) begins.


PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services), an automation and lending network for public libraries, starts. GALILEO available at all public libraries.


Carterette educational webinar series begins.