About The Library Association

Our Story

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.


LAI Conference Delegates, UCD June 1935. Courtesy The Irish Times
LAI Conference Delegates, UCD June 1935. Courtesy The Irish Times


The Library Association of Ireland is a Company Limited by guarantee, and not having a share capital. The document which guides and governs the Association is the Constitution. The current Constitution was passed by at an AGM on 27th April 2021.

Constitution of Cumann Leabharlann na hÉireann


What We Do

Ensure Standards

Promote and develop high standards of librarianship and of library and information services in Ireland, and to secure greater co-operation between libraries.


We represent the profession of librarianship in Ireland, and promote the professional interests of members.

Shape Policy

We examine and assess any legislation affecting libraries and the profession in Ireland, and assist in the promotion of any legislation as may be considered necessary for the advancement and extension of libraries, and to act on behalf of the profession of librarianship in Ireland in dealing with the Government and other bodies.


To organise such conferences, social and other functions as may promote the interests of the Association.

Professional Development

To promote a high standard of education for librarianship in Ireland by evaluating and giving recognition to degrees, diplomas or other professional qualifications in librarianship, and by conducting courses of study, setting examinations to test the proficiency of candidates, and issuing diplomas.

Research & Education

To form, collect, collate and publish in the form of transactions, journals or otherwise, information of service or interest to the members of the Association, and to form a library of books, works, or manuscripts on librarianship and to promote and encourage bibliographical study and research.


Eileen Morrissey


John Shortall


Lorna Dodd


Elizabeth Keane

Honorary Secretary

Alan Carbery

Honorary Treasurer

The Council

Andrea Dillon

Blackrock College

Aoife Lawton

Health Service Executive

Brendan Teeling

Dublin City Libraries
Catherine Gallagher

Catherine Gallagher

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

Christoph Schmidt-Supprian

Trinity College Dublin

Damien Dullaghan

Tipperary County Libraries

David O’Brien

Cork City Libraries

Eimear McGinn

Offaly County Council

Elaine Harrington


Johanna Archbold

TUS Library

Josephine Vahey

Galway County Libraries

Kathleen Moran


Lara Musto

RDS Library

Mary Murphy

Meath Library Service

Michelle Breen

University of Limerick

Niall O’Brien

National Library of Ireland
Paul Fusco

Paul Fusco

South Dublin County Council

Shona Thoma

Cork County Library and Arts Service

Stefanie Havelka

University College Dublin

Stuart Hamilton


Policy and Guidelines

Seanad Elections Nomination Procedure

View the
Seanad Elections Nomination Procedure.

Adopted by the Executive Council 25 September 2015

Action Plan 2013-2016

Download the Action Plan 2013-2016.

Adopted by the Executive Council 14 February 2013

Code of Professional Practice

The Code provides a framework of values for LAI members and defines the values of librarianship as professionalism, impartiality and integrity. The Code was developed by the Professional Standards Committee.

Download the Code of Professional Practice.

Policy and guidelines re LAI Task Forces Policy

Task forces should be established in response to a perceived need, for example the need to revitalise the association’s website, or to update the association’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, or to respond to employment issues, or to advise on issues of professional interest.

Task forces may arise from:

A request from a section, group, committee or panel of the association
A response to an AGM motion
An initiative of the Executive Board
A request from government or other agency.

Task forces should be:

operate to agreed parameters
report to the Executive Board

Task forces must be ratified by the Executive Board.

They must agree terms of reference and schedules which must be approved by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board will appoint a chair to the task force. The chair will normally be a member of the Executive Board.

Task forces must report on an ongoing basis to the Executive Board.

The minutes and documentation (electronic or hardcopy) relating to the work of the task force are the property of the association; minutes should be transferred to the Hon. Secretary of the association on sign-off by the task force chair and other documentation must be transferred on completion of the task force’s term.

On completion of the work, the task force should present a written report which may include the following:

An introduction outlining the raison d’être of the task force, terms of reference, members, chair, number of meetings etc.
An executive summary of the work and a list of the main recommendations, together with a schedule for implementation of these, as appropriate.
Section dealing with the work of the task force, interviews, case studies.
Elaboration of recommendations.
Bibliography as appropriate.

The Executive Board, on receipt and acceptance of the report will decide on further action. This could include retention of the report as an internal working document and/or taking the report to the AGM of the association for consideration and approval, as appropriate, and/or publication of the document on the website or otherwise, as appropriate.


Task forces will produce different kinds of reports, depending on their focus. Some will be action driven, whilst others will be more theoretical. Some will be more time-specific than others. However, it is essential that the work which they produce is timely and relevant. For these reasons, it is advised that task forces should be relatively small, should operate on a short time line, should be task-specific and should report in a succinct and timely fashion. In general, task forces should be appointed and should report within the term of office of the Executive Board which appointed them. Exceptionally, a second term, or part thereof, may be required and this should be flagged to the Executive Board in advance of the association’s AGM.

Task forces may

co-opt additional members as needs arise;
or seek external advice or expertise, depending on the circumstances;
or propose interim recommendations or pilot studies.

However, if there are resourcing implications, financial or otherwise, Executive Board sanction will be required. It is a given that task forces should adhere to the principles of best practice, should be compliant with the Data Protection Acts and should operate in a manner which will reflect high standards of professional ethics.

Prepared by Siobhán Fitzpatrick, reviewed and adopted by the Executive Board, 17 June 2010 Issued: 24 June 2010

Task Force on Information Literacy Terms of Reference

To review findings of the Report of Working Group on Information Literacy
To prioritise its recommendations
To progress those recommendations that appear easily achievable
To propose an action plan for other recommendations
To identify resource requirements for future work

Adopted by the Executive Board 7 April 2010

Task Force on Memorandum and Articles of Association Terms of Reference

1. To review the current Memorandum and Articles of Association in terms of: The role, functions and procedures of the Association, including reviewing the following –

Membership (incl. categories)
Accreditation and education
Structure (panels, committees and task forces)
Formalisation of FLAI and ALAI
Relationship to fraternal and to sister organizations.

2. To seek expert advice, which may include legal advice, as may be required.

3. To compile a report with suggested amendments/additions/deletions as may be deemed necessary and to present this to an AGM/EGM for ratification.

Adopted by the Executive Board 10 September 2009

Task Force on Website Terms of Reference

The Task Force on the Website comprises members of the LAI Executive Board and reports directly to the LAI Executive Board.


To review existing LAI website and make long term and short term recommendations for the ongoing management and development of the site.
Consult with LAI members and other relevant stakeholders on the future development and use of the website.


The Task Force will:

Ensure that the web site is maintained and that content can be added in an orderly and reliable manner.
Ensure current guidelines for the creation of content for the web site are disseminated to and understood by LAI EB and the Sections and Groups.
Identify a core group of people who can be called on to add/modify content at short notice.
Audit current website content for accuracy and relevancy and make necessary changes.
Develop a questionnaire for LAI members and relevant stakeholders to inform future website development.
Examine the websites of similar professional associations, focussing in particular on member sections and facilities.
Examine the possibility of using the website as an archive of LAI Section and Groups documentation
Examine the possibility of hosting An Leabharlann, should an electronic version become available
Examinethe possibility of getting sponsorship to cover the costs of hosting the website
Assess the feasibility of developing new functions for the web site, in particular a directory of members and a members section. All proposed solutions should include an estimate of potential costs to the association.

Adopted by the Executive Board 26 November 2009

Task Force on Library Ireland Week Terms of Reference

Produce a short working document outlining what Library Ireland Week is about and identifying clear strategic goals to be reached by running the week in 2011
Provide guidelines to libraries on participation in LIW
Analyse activities of previous years to provide templates for successful activities, events, etc.
Determine how to use different types of media to market the week and raise awareness
Identify possible sponsors
Identify possible champions

Adopted by the Executive Board 17 June 2010

Task Force on Business Development Plan Terms of Reference

The establishment of a Framework document for the work of the Executive Board
The production of a Business Development Plan for the Executive Board of the Library Association of Ireland, covering the period 2011 – 2015, applying standard management methods and reporting before the end of 2010.

Adopted by the Executive Board 17 June 2010

Communications Committee 1 – Policy and Procedures Task Force Terms of Reference

The objective of the Communications Committee [CC hereafter] is to produce overarching policy that will offer a framework for the internal and external communications of the Library Association of Ireland.
Up to 7 members who are personal members of the LAI will form the Core Committee. Members should be drawn from all sectors where library and information professionals are employed. The Convenor will be nominated by the Executive Board,
At least 5 meetings during 2011-2012 will be held. E-work will be applied as much as possible for cost effective achievement.
In 2011-2012 the following areas are proposed as a focus for the Taskforce:

Examine best practice for application as relevant
Within the LAI
list all communications activities
source or produce if not available a map of internal communications paths [to assist groups and sections and individuals]
audit existing practice in written communications by
collecting or documenting where it is not available the objectives and procedures of existing EB based publications [1] journal [2] e-newsletter [c] Annual Report [d] annual accounts [e] occasional standalone publications
listing the extent and nature of publications of groups and sections and other committees of the LAI
source or produce if not available a guide for liaison with the media and develop a media list including but not limited to:

all national and EU politicians,
all Irish government departments, and related agencies e.g. HEA, HSE etc.,
relevant correspondents/ editors in all National and nationally distributed newspapers,
relevant presenters / producers of all TV current awareness / education/ business/ heritage programmes
editors of all regional newspapers,
newsrooms of all regional radio stations
NGOs that are potential allies, e.g. select trade unions, professional bodies, think tanks, interest groups
all library institutions on the island [a] members, [b] non members
international Library related institutions with which LAI should or already does liaise
determine a priority action plan in association with the EB
submit a draft policy document before the end of 2012

A priority is to communicate its work to all members of the LAI and to seek feedback on an ongoing basis in an appropriate way. Minutes of all meetings will be circulated to the CC members and to the Hon Sec of the Executive Board. Summary reports of the activities will be made available to LAI members on the LAI Website.

Education Committee: Professional Standards Terms of Reference

The Professional Standards Committee will be responsible for the various forms of accreditation offered by the LAI. This implies periodic reviews of:

the Associateship and Fellowship of the Association (including the modes of gaining Fellowship) and

the UCD School of Information and Librarianship diploma and degree curricula.

The Committee will manage the award of the Association’s Associateship and Fellowship to candidates who have met the requirements and the appropriate standards set by the Association.

The Committee will ensure that appropriate assessment boards and guidelines are in place for Associateship and Fellowship awards and will review the composition of said boards periodically.

1.2 The Committee will recognise CILIP-accredited courses and degrees and maintain up-to-date information relating to these on the website.

1.3 The Committee will liaise with appropriate bodies in Ireland with responsibility for the assessment and award of qualifications.

1.4 The Committee will liaise with analogous bodies internationally with a view to formalising mutual recognition of professional accreditation.

2.0 The Committee will review and articulate core competencies for professional librarians and information scientists.

3.0 The Association’s Code of Ethics will be reviewed for currency and re-posted on the website.

4.0 The Committee will review the regulatory framework in which various types of library operate and provide a checklist and information on the relevant statutory regulations and the legislative structures pertaining to libraries via the website.

5.0 Basic guidelines for new entrants to the field will be updated and placed on the website.

6.0 Building on the core competencies (2.0) and the articulation of professional standards, the Committee will endeavour to provide sufficient groundwork for the Association to advocate for the diverse and dynamic skill sets which professional library and information professionals can offer employers.

This will enable the compilation of demonstrator pieces etc. which, being more process-oriented, should form part of the remit of the Education Committee: CPD.

7.0 The Committee will articulate requirements for training of volunteers and interns, guidelines for review of their training and experience and provide a check-list of expected training outcomes for interns and volunteers.

Accepted by the Executive Board, 1 December 2011

Library Association of Ireland Taskforce to respond to the Department of Education and Skills’ Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life Report, 2011

The Taskforce will consist of no more than 6 members who are personal members of the LAI.
The members of the Taskforce should be drawn from a wide range of librarians working in the area of child literacy promotion and development.
The Taskforce shall be convened by a Chairperson who will be nominated by the Executive Board, Emer O’Brien.
The Taskforce shall hold at least 4 meetings during 2011-2012.
Minutes of all meetings will be circulated to the members of the Taskforce and to the Executive Board. Summary reports of the activities of the Taskforce will be made available to LAI members on the LAI Website.
In 2011-2012 the following areas are proposed as a focus for the Taskforce:

To create a clear picture of the family, children and school library services being provided by public library services across the country.
To extract a common list of services available in all area.
To assess the relationship between schools and/or their internal and external library services.
To examine how best to work with the teaching training colleges, the National Teacher Training Council and the regional teacher education training centres.
To assess the relationship between early childcare providers and committees and the public library service in Ireland.
To develop a line of dialogue with the Department of Education and Skill’s teacher inspector section, to explore how collaboration between schools and the public library service in Ireland can be standardised and formalised to deliver on the details of the objectives on pages 23-25 of the Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life report, 2011.

Accepted by the Executive Board 1 December 2011

Library Graduates in 2017
public libraries in Ireland
over0 million
visits made to public libraries each year
the number of years since the LAI was formed
Dublin City Council

Kevin St. Library

In a busy commercial and residential area five minutes’ walk from St Stephen’s Green, Kevin Street Library opened last month following a €3.7m renovation.

Originally built in 1904, when it closed in 2013, the building was leaking, cluttered, and creaking at the seams. Five years later it is more a reimagining of the very concept of a ‘library’ than a refurbishment.


  • Library Association Of Ireland: Privacy Statement
  • Collection of your personal information
  • How we use your Personal Information
  • Security of your personal information
  • Third party services
  • Updating your personal information
  • Website visitors
  • Use of Cookies
  • Changes to this statement
  • Contact Information

Library Association Of Ireland: Privacy Statement

The Library Association of Ireland (LAI) is committed to protecting your privacy. The information you share with us means you will be able to use the services we offer. We only collect the information that is necessary to carry out our business, provide the particular service you have requested and to keep you informed. Our privacy policy gives you details on when and why we collect your personal data and how we use it.

Collection of your personal information

The amount and type of information we collect from you depends on the nature of the interaction you have with us. For example, we ask members who wish to join to complete an application form. In each case, we only gather as much information as is necessary to fulfil the service request. But in general we collect the following personal information:

  • contact information including: home or work address, telephone number, qualifications and email address
  • affiliation and role
  • bank details if appropriate.

Information about your computer hardware and software is automatically collected by the LAI. This information can include your: IP address; browser type; domain name; access times; and referring website addresses.


How we use your Personal Information

The information we collect and hold on you will be used in a number of ways, including:

  • to fulfil membership requests
  • to fulfil bookings for attendance at events
  • provision of a LAI service,
  • provision of information to inform you of other products or services available from LAI and its affiliates
  • process payments, e.g. fees for attendance at events, payment of invoices, etc.
  • to facilitate discussion and sharing of knowledge through discussion lists and events
  • to contact you to conduct research about your opinion of current services or of potential new services that may be offered
  • when you use the LAI website.

The LAI will keep your information only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this privacy notice and to fulfil our legal obligations. We will not keep more information than we need. The retention period will vary according to the purpose the data is collated.

The LAI does not sell, rent or lease its customer lists to third parties. The LAI may, from time to time, contact you on behalf of external business partners about a particular offering that may be of interest to you. In those cases, your unique personally identifiable information (e-mail, name, address, telephone number) is not transferred to the third party.  In addition, the LAI may share data with trusted partners to help us process payments, perform statistical analysis, send you email or postal mail, provide customer support, member services or arrange for deliveries. All such third parties are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide these services to the LAI, and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information.

The LAI will disclose your personal information, without notice, only if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on the LAI or the site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of the LAI; and, (c) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of members of the LAI, or the public.

Security of your personal information

The LAI discloses personally-identifying information to its management committee, contractors and affiliates in order to provide services available from the LAI. Payment processing is an example of this. They will not use your data for anything other than the clearly defined purpose relating to the service that they are providing.

Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose personally identifiable information or personally sensitive data through LAI public message boards, this information may be collected and used by others. Note: the LAI does not read any of your private online communications.

The LAI secures your personal information from unauthorised access, use or disclosure. The LAI secures the personally identifiable information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorised access, use or disclosure. When personal information (such as a credit card number) is transmitted to other websites, it is protected through the use of encryption, and security protocols.

Third party services

The LAI utilises third party services to assist in the delivery of some of our services, e.g. Eventbrite. When you interact with these sites you may provide information about yourself to those third parties. The LAI is not responsible for how they collect, use and share your information. We encourage you to review the privacy statements of the websites you choose to link to from the LAI, so that you can understand how these websites collect, use and share your information.

Updating your personal information

The LAI will endeavour to ensure the data we hold on you is correct and up-to-date. If you wish us to amend or remove the personal information we hold on you, please contact us by email honsec@libraryassociation.ie or write to Library Association of Ireland, c/o 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.We will correct any inaccuracies or remove you from our databases as soon as practicable.

Website visitors

Like most websites, the LAI collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. We do this to maintain the quality of the service, to determine what LAI services are the most popular and to provide general statistics regarding use of the LAI website. The data may be gathered from our website hosts and Google Analytics.


Use of Cookies

The LAI website uses ‘cookies’ to help you personalise your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalise LAI pages, or register with the LAI site or services, a cookie helps the LAI to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information, such as billing addresses, shipping addresses, and so on. When you return to the same LAI website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the LAI features that you customised.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the LAI services or websites you visit.

Changes to this statement

The LAI will occasionally update this Statement of Privacy to reflect user feedback. The LAI encourages you to periodically review this statement to be informed of how the LAI is protecting your information.

This statement was last updated on 20th June 2018.

Contact Information

The LAI with review and update this Statement of Privacy. If you believe that the LAI has not adhered to this statement, please write the President, Library Association of Ireland, c/o 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy the problem.