The Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (formerly known as the Philippine Library Association) is the only nationally accredited professional organization of librarians in the Philippines to date. At present, it serves as the umbrella organization for all library groups in the country.
The association was founded on October 22, 1923 by a group of six professional librarians who had studied library science in the United States under government scholarships. Its first set of officers were: vaunted scholar Dr. Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera as President; his assistant, Mr. Jose Zurbito, as Vice-President; Mr. Cirilo B. Perez, an assistant librarian of the Bureau of Science, as secretary; and Mrs. Rosa Abriol, librarian of the American Circulating Library of the Philippine Library Museum, as treasurer. On October 8, 1925, the association was officially registered as a non-stock, nonprofit corporation. On May 5, 1989, it was renamed Philippine Librarians Association, Inc., for purposes of accreditation with the Professional Regulation Commission. Then in 1990, RA 6966, the law professionalizing librarianship in the country, was passed. With that, PLAI became the only accredited organization of professional librarians in the Philippines. In December 2008, after its corporate life expired in late November, the association was re-incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission, under new Articles of Incorporation and ByLaws.
Since starting out with a membership of 28 Filipinos and 5 Americans, the association’s ranks have grown to include about 1,000 professional licensed librarians. Of the 40 presidents who have led the association to date, all except one American have been Filipinos. As of November 2006, it has about 300 life members, but could have as many as 5000 members if Congress passes the law requiring automatic membership for librarians.