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DCLA History: Significant Dates 

June 15, 1894: Establishment of the Library Association of Washington City

October 24, 1894: First program meeting 

March 1901: Name changed to District of Columbia Library Association 

June 28, 1922: Becomes a chapter of American Library Association 

February 1927: Incorporated in District of Columbia 

October 1927: Dues increased to $1.50; life membership set at $25.00 

1929: Publication of periodical D.C. Libraries under editorship of Mary Lacy of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics 

March 5, 1931: By-laws amended to raise dues to $1.75 

December 17, 1935: By-laws amended to reduce dues to $1.50 

April 1, 1936: Eleanor Roosevelt at Carlton Hotel dinner speaks on "What Libraries Mean to the Nation” 

December 15, 1939: Reception in honor of the new Librarian of Congress, Archibald MacLeish co-sponsored with LC staff in the auditorium of the Department of Interior; 1,000 attendees 

October 24, 1940: Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish receives DCLA members 

May 1941: White House visit and garden party; 600 attendees 

January 26, 1942: Helen Keller speaks on “The Victory Book Campaign”

May 23, 1942: By-laws amended to provide for Assistant Treasurer position 

October 24, 1944: 50th anniversary celebration; includes review of past presidents and reminiscences; George Bowerman spoke as the ”dean” of past presidents 

October 26, 1945: Reception in honor of Luther Evans, new Librarian of Congress 

August 12, 1948: Joint DCLA/SLA reception for F. R. Ranganathan, President of the Indian Library Association, and Abdul Noneim Omar, Director of the Egyptian National Library 

December 16, 1948: Sidney Kramer auctioneer at book auction 

1952: Verner Clapp auctioneer at book auction co-sponsored with the Washington Chapter of SLA 

October 16, 1952: British Embassy event with 345 attendees 

1953: Change to letterpress printing and semi-scholarly articles for D.C. Libraries; advertising accepted 

January 14, 1954: DCLA officials invited to White House by Mamie Eisenhower and shown through the White House library 

March 18, 1954: Chancery of Indian Embassy event with large turnout 

June 2, 1954: 60th anniversary meeting with attendance by ten past presidents and greetings from eight others; President Kortendick announces that all retired past presidents made honorary members (Bishop, Browerman, Hackstraw, Herbert, Price, and Putnam) 

June 8, 1966: Shield device adopted as official emblem at Board meeting

July 1966: First issue of Clips and Quotes 

1967: First Joint Spring Workshop (before 1972[?], continuing education workshop) 

August 16, 1967: Fiscal year changed to July 1 through June 30 

May 27, 1969: 75th Anniversary Dinner with Alex Haley 

October 29, 1969: Whittall Pavilion reception at LC to commemorate 75th anniversary of first meeting; 250 attendees 

April 22, 1970: By-laws amended to increase dues to $10 

July 1971: First issue of Intercom under editorship of Joseph Judy (NAL) and Mary Feldman (Trinity College Library). This monthly publication replaced Clips and Quotes and D.C. Libraries 

November 9, 1978: Rosalyn Carter welcomes DCLA members to White House New Members Reception 

July 31, 1979: Tex-exempt status under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code 

May 18, 1983: By-laws change to increase dues to $15 

May 3, 1988: By-laws change to have new Board start in September; ALA chapter councilor becomes voting member of Board 

February 8, 1989: Presidents' Panel with incoming or past Presidents of ALA, ASIS, and SLA 
1990 Strategic Planning begins

1991-1992: By-laws change to allow student membership for those enrolled in an MLS program 

1994: 100th anniversary: 

  • Tree Plantings of Japanese Maples at Northeast and Washington Highlands Neighborhood Libraries (April 21, 1994); 
  • sold Centennial Mugs; published, in conjunction with the Center for the Book, Capital Libraries and Librarians: a Brief History of the District of Columbia Library Asociation 1894-1994, by John Y. Cole; 
  • published index to INTERCOM, prepared by Mary Feldman; 
  • travelling exhibit on the history of DCLA mounted by Kathryn Ray, funded by the DC Humanities Council; 
  • culmination with Centennial Gala held at the Washington Club on June 18, many attended in period attire.

May 1995: Strategic Plan 1995-1998 approved 

November 1995: Initiated DCLA-L, electronic information list 

December 1995: Intellectual Freedom Manual published 

April 1996: Washington Area Library Directory (2nd edition) published 

May 1997: By-laws change to adopt sliding scale dues structure: $30 basic; $40 supporting; $20 part-time, unemployed, student, continuing; and several categories of sustaining memberships 

September 1999: Launched, DCLA's official web site 

March 15, 2000: DCLA acquires telephone number: 202-872-1112

April 23, 2000: Ruth Fine, 1963/64 DCLA president, dies at the age of 92, leaving a significant bequest to DCLA to be used for student loans 

May 2000: By-laws change to adopt associate member category ($20); several categories of institutional memberships; and the ability to establish temporary classes of membership 

June 2000: 5 DCLA members named to the first-ever ALA/ALTA National Advocacy Honor Roll: Mary Feldman, Alice Hagemeyer, Virginia Moore, Elizabeth Stone, Lillian Wesley 

May 2002: First Lady Laura Bush accepts Honorary Member status in DCLA for 2002-2003. 

July 2002: Membership year starts July 1 not Sept. 1 per Bylaws change. 

April 7, 2003: Mrs. Laura Bush has National Library Week kick-off reception at White House for DCLA children's librarians.

June 1, 2004: Mr. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post is the featured guest speaker at DCLA's 125th Anniversary Banquet. An article on the event is included in American Libraries magazine.

2005: Credit card payments are first accepted using PayPal on to pay for programs and to charge 2005-2006 memberships.

2005: The Strategic Plan is revised and presented to the board.

2005: First Lady Laura Bush accepts her fourth honorary annual membership in DCLA.

2005: Frank Kurt Cylke receives the Newel Perry Award from the National Federation for the Blind.

2005: Richard Huffine receives the Member of the Year award from the DC Chapter of the Special Library Association.

2005: Bill Turner is elected to serve a two-year term as an ALA Council Representative to the Planning and Budget Assembly.

2005: DCLA's website debuts at the Fall Members Reception.

2006: DCLA's newsletter, Intercom, is offered for the first time in paper and electronic formats.

2006: Roberta Stevens is elected to serve on the ALA Executive Board.

2006: Noted journalist Helen Thomas is the guest speaker at the annual DCLA banquet.

2006: John D. Byrum receives the Melvil Dewey Medal, ALA's award for distinguished service to the profession of librarianship.

2006: Henriette Avram, a pioneer of library automation and leader of the MARC pilot project that led to the MARC format, passes away.

2006: DCLA members join hundreds of ALA members in two days of service projects on behalf of New Orleans libraries struck by Hurricane Katrina.

2006: Ruth Fine Memorial Student Loans increase to three awards per year. The first award was made in 2002.

2006: DCLA takes the lead in developing local library projects for volunteer service during the 2007 ALA Annual Conference held at the Washington Convention Center.

2007: DCLA along with Catholic University and District of Columbia Public Schools wins a significant grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support MLS education for school librarians in the DC system.

2007: DCLA holds a membership contest for a new name for its newsletter. Capital Librarian is selected and the publication moves to a bimonthly schedule.

2007 : Megan Sheils is named to participate in ALA's Emerging Leaders Program.

2008: Camila Alire, PhD, ALA's incoming President-Elect, is the guest speaker at DCLA's annual banquet.

2008: Joint Spring Workshop celebrates its 40th anniversary of delivering continuing education through one-day workshops co-sponsored by DCLA and two other local library associations.

2009: DCLA celebrates 115 years of service to the library community, 1894-2009.

2009: DCLA launches its redesigned website, providing on-line payment for membership and events and a Members Only area.

2009: Roberta Stevens declares her candidacy for the ALA presidency and wins.

2012: The new 2012-2014 DCLA Strategic Plan is adopted.

2013: Beacher Wiggins is named the recipient of the Melvil Dewey Medal, ALA's highest award for distinguished service to the profession of librarianship.

2013: Christina Bailey and Ana Elisa de Campos Salles are selected to participate in ALA's Emerging Leaders Program.

2013: DCLA establishes a bundled membership allowing members to join ALA and DCLA in single transaction.

2013: DCLA website is redesigned by members of a Catholic University LIS class and the winning design is introduced at the annual banquet.

2013: DCLA introduces a new award for members to honor leadership service to the association, the Elizabeth W. Stone Award.

2013: DCLA initiates reciprocal member privileges for Virginia Library Association members to participate in one another's events and conferences at membership rates.  DCLA confirmed its reciprocal agreement with the Maryland Library Association.

2020: Past President, Julius J. Jefferson was elected as President of the American Library Association for the 2020-2021 term    

DCLA Device


The device of the District of Columbia Library Association, adopted in 1965, is based on the George Washington family shield as adapted by James Thackara and John Vallance and first imprinted on a map of the City of Washington engraved in 1792. The device, as illustrated above, was reproduced from a copy of the map located in the Map Division, Library of Congress.

From the purpose of the Association the shield and book were redrawn to secure better definition of the line; "Rights of Man" was replaced by "DCLA"; and at the base of the shield was added "1894", the date of the founding of the District of Columbia Library Association.

Source: D.C. Libraries, v.40,
Fall 1969: 62.

Mailing Address:
DC Library Association
 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE
 Unit #: 1653
Washington, DC 20013
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