The Public Library Association is founded with the purpose to “advance public library interests and to cooperate in the promotion of library service in general.”

On Oct. 13, 1944 the American Library Association’s governing council approves the creation of a Division of Public Libraries. Original dues were established as 20 percent of the dues paid to ALA, not to exceed $2.00. Amy Winslow becomes the first president of PLA, with Julia Wright Merrill serving as the first executive secretary (now known as the executive director).

Left: Julia Wright Merrill, Right: Amy Winslow