The Library Association of Ireland was founded on 28th October 1928, at an Irish Library Conference held under the auspices of the Library Service Branch of the Irish Local Government Officials’ Union. At the Conference an Executive Board of twelve members was elected, and this Board met for the first time on 16th November 1928.
A Constitution for the Association was approved at a special meeting held on 19th November 1932. By this time the name of the Association had become “Cumann Leabharlann na hEireann, The Library Association of Ireland”, and two Sections of the Association, the County Libraries’ Section and the Library Assistants’ Section, had come into operation.
Twenty years later, in 1952, the Association was incorporated under the Companies Acts as a company limited by guarantee and having no share capital, and its organisation and operation was governed by a Memorandum and Articles of Association. The principal reason for this change in organisation was the Association’s intention of becoming involved in professional education for librarianship, and in setting up the courses, syllabus and examinations leading the Fellowship of the Library Association of Ireland. The first examinations were held in 1953, and the courses continued until 1976 when the last examinations were held.
The Memorandum and Articles of Association were revised in 1957, 1978, 1988 and again in 2012 but the organisational structure set up in 1952 continues in force.
Photograph above: LAI Conference Delegates, UCD June 1935. Courtesy The Irish Times