Annie Diggs, Kansas State Librarian, circa 1900? (Courtesy of The Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka)

    Annie LaPorte Diggs invited a group of citizens to discuss library matters. On May 17, 1900 this group called a meeting for the purpose of organizing a state library association. The organizational meeting was held in the offices of the state librarian on Dec. 27-28, 1900, with 23 librarians in attendance. James L. King of Topeka was elected the first president. Dues were set at 50 cents.

    An earlier organization by the same name had been hastily organized in 1891 for the purpose of meeting a trainload of distinguished ALA leaders, including R.R. Bowker and Charles Cutter. The membership consisted of four Topekans and disbanded after 48 hours.

    The association has met annually with the exception of 1918, when the nationwide flu epidemic caused a cancellation and 1943, when wartime travel restrictions caused KLA to forgo a meeting.

    Sections and roundtables have been a part of KLA since at least 1911, when two sectional meetings were held: one for college and reference librarians, the other for public librarians. Other sections or round tables organized included the Junior Members (1936), catalogers (1941), children’s librarians (1948), and special librarians (1952).

    KLA Presidents since 1900