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Indian Library Association (ILA)

1. Introduction: In 1933 some of the government of India Librarians, especially those in Calcutta, under the leadership of K. M. Asadullah organized the first All India Library Conference. Dr M O Thomas was the first president of the Indian Library Association (ILA). It was at this conference that the Indian Library Association was founded on 12 September, 1933. The ILA Headquarters is in Delhi.

2. Organization: The Council of the Association is the main governing body of the ILA. The representatives elected by and from among personal members (patrons, honorary members, life members and ordinary members, excepting associate members) at the rate of one representative for every 100 members or part thereof, subject to a maximum of 20. Out of permissible number of council members, there shall be reservation of one council member for seven zones that are obtained by grouping the India into seven.

All persons and institutions, who subscribe to the objectives of the Association and fulfil other prescribed conditions, are eligible for membership of the Association. ILA has different membership provisions like Patron, Life Member, Library Association, Institution, Ordinary, Overseas (Individuals), Individual from SAARC Member Countries (excluding India), Institutional Member from SAARC Countries (excluding India), Institutional Member from Foreign Countries (excluding SAARC) and Associate Member.

3. Objectives: ILA was formed with three fold objectives. In 1935 two more objectives were added. An amendment to the constitution of the ILA in 1970 added another four objectives. Another amendment in 1987 added three more objectives. Some of the objectives of ILA are:
i) Promoting library movement in the country,
ii) Developing Library and Information Science education,
iii) Training and research, improvement of library personnel,
iv) Cooperation at the national and international levels,
v) Promotion of standards, norms, services and guidelines, and
vi) Providing a forum for professionals and publication of materials.

4. Functions and Activities: The Council of the association acts as the governing body. The executive committee is constituted by the council in its very first meeting. The functions and activities that are performed by the ILA can be grouped into the following categories

a) Act as a Driving Force: ILA takes up with the state governments the issue of enacting library legislation in order to develop the public library system.

b) Development of the Profession: ILA has been pursuing with the government, University Grants Commission and other concerned bodies at all levels on matter relating to better salary, grades, service condition and status of the library professionals.

c) Undertaking of Projects: ILA undertook compilation of “Union catalogue of Periodicals in the Libraries of South Asia”. Two other projects were allocated to ILA by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). They are “Rendering of Asian Names” and “Directory of Asian Periodicals”.

d) Publication: Library Bulleting (1942-46), Journal of Indian Library Association (1955-64), ILA Bulletin, ILA Newsletter, etc some of the publications of ILA. ABGILA (1949-52) was another publication, which was an intionym, a confluence of three journals in one periodical that is Annals, Bulletin, Granthalaya of ILA. As of 2016, ILA is publishing ILA Journal (Journal of Indian Library Association), ILA News Letter and Conf. Proceedings.

e) Seminars, Conferences, Workshops and Training: ILA holds All India Library Conference Annually; in 1995 Regional Conferences were started. Besides, the Association also arranges lectures, round table discussion etc. mostly in Delhi. Several training programmes in computer application (in Delhi from 2-7th June 1986), use of CDS/ISIS software etc were also organized with support of NISSAT.

f) Fellowships, Funds and Grants: ILA Kaula Best Librarian Award (every year) ILA Vendanaikee Fellowship for MLISc students; ILA C. D. Sharma Award for authors, ILA A.G. Motiwale Award for young author, ILA P.V. Verghese Award for the best article contribution to ILA Bulletin, ILA Dr K Padma Umapathy and KS Umapathy Fellowship In Lib & Info Sc for the student, etc are some of the fellowship and award programmes of ILA for promoting librarianship.

g) Cooperation: The ILA has cooperation with international organizations such as International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Commonwealth Library Association (COMLA), etc. It has also been playing an important role in the Joint Council of Library Associations of India (JOCLAI), Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF), Good Office Committee (GOC), National Book Trust (NBC), etc.

5. Conclusion: The Indian Library Association is the national association which represents those who work in or advocate for Indian libraries. ILA members work in college, university, public, special (corporate, non-profit and government) and school libraries. For initial 12 years, the office of ILA was housed in the Imperial Library at Calcutta. It was shifted to Delhi in 1946 and remained there till September 1953 in the University of Delhi and thereafter it shifted back to Calcutta. In August 1964 the office moved to Delhi again and was housed in Delhi Public Library. An extraordinary General Body Meeting held on May 24, 1970 made a change in the constitution to make Delhi/New Delhi as the permanent headquarter of the Association. Now the office of the Association is housed in its own one room flat located in a commercial building in north Delhi which was purchased way back in 1978. The office was finally moved to the present building in April, 1982.

How to Cite this Article?
APA Citation, 7th Ed.:  Barman, B. (2020). A comprehensive book on Library and Information Science. New Publications.
Chicago 16th Ed.:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. Guwahati: New Publications, 2020.
MLA Citation 8th Ed:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. New Publications, 2020.

Badan BarmanDr. Badan Barman at present working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University, Guwahati-781014, Assam, India. He is the creator of the LIS Links ( - India’s most popular social networking website for Library and Information Science professionals. He also created the Open Access Journals Search Engine (OAJSE) (, UGC NET Guide (, Assam Archive ( and LIS Study ( website.

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