Professional Associations were late to emerge in Kerala because of the fact that qualified librarians were few and far between till the establishment of the Department of Library Science, University of Kerala in 1961. With the increase in number a strong feeling developed among professional librarians that an Association should be formed which should largely confine to professional and academic matters. As a result, Kerala Library Association (KLA) with membership restricted to professionally qualified persons was formed on 13.11.1972. Prof. K.A. Issac and Sri. P.V. Varghese were elected President and General Secretary respectively. The Association secured registration as a society under Charitable Societies Act on 8.12.1972 and became the first lawful body of professional librarians in Kerala.
Since its inception KLA has been able to represent the interests of the qualified librarians working in different libraries, always with due foresight and objectivity, keeping in view the proper development of the libraries and library services in the state. For creating necessary public opinion in matters of policy relating to library and library service in the state, the Association has so far held several seminars and conferences to help the Government discuss and formulate policies relating to different aspects of library service. The achievements of KLA spanning over a period of three decades of steady progress is well reflected in the developmental history of library movement in Kerala. The Association has played a pivotal role in the scientific management and quality improvement of Library and Information System (LIS) in the State.
The role played by KLA in various Reforms Committees and Commissions especially in the academic sector needs special mention, the most important among them being the VP Joy Committee Report on College libraries and School Libraries. The discussion held with the Commission on School Education in Kerala headed by Dr.U.R. Ananthamoorthy and proposals made by KLA were well understood and appreciated. A major programme launched by the Association in the recent past is the undertaking of Project works to re-organize and modernize libaries/library collections.