Massachusetts Library Association
PredecessorMassachusetts Library Club
FormationOctober 22, 1890; 133 years ago (1890-10-22)
FounderCharles Ammi Cutter
Parent organization
American Library Association

The Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) is the Massachusetts, United States professional library association that "advocates for libraries, librarians, and library staff, defends intellectual freedom, and provides a forum for leadership, communication, professional development, and networking to keep libraries vital." MLA publishes standards for library services to Massachusetts children and young adults. MLA sponsors an annual conference, as well as continuing education programs and organizational reports of interest. The current President of MLA is Esme Green, Director of the Goodnow Library in Sudbury.[1]


MLA was founded in 1890 as the "Massachusetts Library Club".[2] The gavel that has been passed down from president to president is said to be made from the wood of the USS Constitution.[3][4] The MLA had a committee called The Art Club that created sets of photographs for travelling art exhibits that would rotate through Massachusetts member and associate libraries as early as 1900.[5]

In 1962 MLA's Intellectual Freedom Committee gave testimony before the Massachusetts Obscene Literature Control Commission opposing the suppression of Henry Miller's book Tropic of Cancer supporting Massachusetts residents' freedom to read.[6][7]


MLA has acted as both a publisher of authors such as Robert Frost as well as an author on many state standards for library services to different populations.



Affiliated organizations


  1. ^ "Executive Board, Massachusetts Library Association". 2017.
  2. ^ State of Rhode Island, Office of Library and Information Services. "Glossary of Library Terms and Acronyms" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  3. ^ "Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Annual Meeting @ Annual Conference" (PDF). 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2018-04-26. The gavel and block of wood were presented to the Massachusetts Library Club in 1929. The wood is from the USS Constitution.
  4. ^ "USS Constitution Gavel". Western Illinois Museum. Retrieved 2018-04-26. Other locations that have a USS Constitution gavel include: the Governor's office of Massachusetts, the Maine Maritime Museum, Bath Maine, the Daytona Beach, Florida American Legion, the Rochester, New Hampshire chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the president of the Massachusetts Library Association, the Osterville Men's Club of Osterville Massachusetts and the Masonic Lodge of Kinston, North Carolina.
  5. ^ Annual Report. Watertown, MA: Watertown Free Public Library. 1901.
  6. ^ McCoy, Ralph Edward (1968). Freedom of the Press: An Annotated Bibliography. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0-8093-0335-3.
  7. ^ Robbins, Louise (1996). Censorship and the American Library. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-313-29644-8.
  8. ^ Frost, Robers; Edward Weeks (1936). Books We Like: Sixty-two Answers to the Question. Boston: Massachusetts Library Association.
  9. ^ Massachusetts Library Association Ad Hoc Committee on Children's Standards. Standards for Public Library Services to Children in Massachusetts. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
  10. ^ Massachusetts Library Association, Children’s Issues Section. "Standards for Public Library Services to Young Adults in Massachusetts". Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
  11. ^ ilove "Get involved". Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  12. ^ Vermont Library Association. "Library Use Value Calculator". Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  13. ^ Maine State Library. "Library Use Value Calculator". Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  14. ^ Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. "Economic Impact of Libraries". Archived from the original on 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  15. ^ Robert Hayes. "Massachusetts Friends of Libraries". (December 18, 2017).