Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

Timeline History of the Iowa Library Association

1888-1894, Mary H. Miller

Mary H. Miller, First ILA President 1890-1892

The Iowa Library Association was founded on September 2, 1890, at the State Library in the Capitol building, as the Iowa Library Society. Ada North, Librarian at the State University of Iowa at Iowa City, initiated the first meeting with the help of four other organizers including Mary Miller, State Librarian; T.S. Parvin, Iowa Masonic Library; Clara M. Smith, Burlington Public Library; and Clara C. Dwight, Dubuque Y.M. Library.

The five organizers were joined by twelve other librarians who borrowed bylaws which had been adopted by the New York Library Association on July 11th of that year. Iowa became the second state to have a library association, with Mary H. Miller as the first president. The bylaws called for dues of one dollar per year, and called for an annual meeting at the State Library during the week of the State Fair.

The timeline on the following pages covers the highlights of ILA's history from its founding until 2015. It is being presented in celebration of the Iowa Library Association's 125th anniversary of its founding.

The information from this timeline came from issues of  ILA's The Catalyst and the booklet published  by the Iowa Library Association in 1990 entitled A Century of Iowa Libraries in Association: A History of the Iowa Library Association 1890-1990 by William M. Cochran.