APALA = Asian Pacific American Librarians Association

Download our brochure (pdf) to learn more about APALA!


Founded in 1980, the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was incorporated in Illinois in 1981 and formally affiliated with the American Library Association (ALA) in 1982. A predecessor of APALA, the Asian American Librarians Caucus (AALC) was organized in 1975 as a discussion group of the ALA Office for Library Outreach Services reflecting the interest in library services to minority communities and professional support of librarians of minority ancestry during the 1960s and 1970s.

APALA, and AALC before it, were organized and founded by librarians of diverse Asian and Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian Pacific American communities.

For more information about the history of APALA and its founders, please read the article, “Asian Pacific American Librarians Association: A History of APALA and Its Founders,” by Kenneth A. Yamashita.


The purpose of APALA is:

  • To provide a forum for discussing problems of APA librarians.
  • To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas by APA librarians with other librarians.
  • To support and encourage library services to APA communities.
  • To recruit and mentor APA librarians in the library/information science professions.
  • To seek funding for scholarships in library and information science masters programs for APAs.
  • To provide a vehicle whereby APA librarians can cooperate with other associations and organizations having similar or allied interests.

APALA s is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to APALA are tax deductible and supports our work for library services, programs, and awards related to library services Asian/Pacific Americans and Asian/Pacific American librarians.