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Learning Resource Introduction

There are many different resources that can be used to gain a greater understanding of the principles, programs. traditions, and history of AA. We have attempted to put together some of our insights of a body of resources in this section of our website. Hopefully, this will help you in the access of and insight into the richness of the AA experience.


First, let's bring to the forefront some terminology that is unique to AA with regards to resources. You will hear the term "Conference Approved" literature and, on the other hand, all other types of literature (by default not considered "conference approved").


What exactly does "Conference Approved" literature mean?
How do I tell if something is "Conference Approved"?


Conference approved literature consists of certain books, booklets, and pamphlets for publication by the General Service Office. Conference approved literature reflects the group conscience of the fellowship of A.A. and assures the literatures stays with underlying principles of the AA program. That doesn't mean that other literature cannot be used as a reference source, but you would not see it sold, used, or quoted as a basis for AA meetings and the practice of the original program principles.

So with that out of the way we, can now move into getting to some of the available resources we would like to share. The Big Book is used as the main source of direction when it comes to the principles and programs of AA. As such, we have dedicated a full page on this site for reference to the Big Book along with study aides such search engines, audio files of the readings, and audio discussion.


The main sources of Conference approved literature are:


  • Books

    • Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition (Big Book)

    • Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
      (Bill W's 24 essays on 12 Steps and 12 Traditions)

    • Experience, Strength and Hope
      (Fifty-six retired stories from the first three editions of the Big Book)

    • A.A. Comes of Age 
      (Bill W. tells how A.A. started and how the Steps
      and Traditions evolved)

    • As Bill Sees It 
      (Collection of Bill's writings as a daily source
      of comfort and inspiration)

    • Daily Reflections
      (Favorite quotations from A.A. literature and a reading for each day of the year)

    • Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers (The life story of the Fellowship's co-founder)

    • "Pass It On," The Story of Bill Wilson and How the A.A. Message
      Reached the World 
      (Biography of A.A.'s co-founder)

  • Booklets

    • A.A. in Prison: Inmate to Inmate
      (Stories that reflect the experience of A.A. members who found their way to the Fellowship while in prison)

    • Came to Believe
      (A 120-page collection of stories by A.A. members who write about what the phrase "spiritual awakening" means to them)

    • Living Sober 
      (92-page booklet demonstrates through simple examples-how A.A. throughout the world live and stay sober one day at a time)

  • Recovery Pamphlets

    • Small 5-6 page pamphlets for meetings and distribution covering a myriad of AA concepts including but not limited to

      • Is AA For You

      • Frequently Asked Questions

      • AA for Young People

      • AA for Women

      • Questions and Answers on Sponsorship

      • The Newcomer Asks

      • And many more!...


All of this material is available to you for purchase at our CSO office.

Conference-approved Literature

The term "Conference-approved" describes written or audiovisual material approved by the Conference for publication by General Service Office (G.S.O). This process assures that everything in such literature is in accord with A.A. principles. Conference-approved material always deals with the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous or with information about the A.A. Fellowship. The term has no relation to material not published by G.S.O. It does not imply Conference disapproval of other material about A.A. A great deal of literature helpful to alcoholics is published by others, and A.A. does not try to tell any individual member what he or she may or may not read. Conference approval assures us that a piece of literature represents solid A.A. experience. Any Conference-approved booklet or pamphlet goes through a lengthy and painstaking process, during which a variety of A.A.s from all over the United States and Canada read and express opinions at every stage of production. (taken from "Service Material Flyer #29" of G.S.O Office) Return to reading 

How To Tell What Is and What Is Not Conference-approved

Look for the statement on books, pamphlets and films "This is A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature". Not All A.A. Literature is Conference-approved. Central offices and intergroups do write and distribute pamphlets or booklets that are not Conference-approved. If such pieces meet the needs of the local membership, they may be legitimately classified as A.A. literature. There is no conflict between A.A. World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S. - publishers of Conference-approved literature), and central offices or intergroups - rather they complement each other. The Conference does not disapprove of such material. G.S.O. does develop some literature that does not have to be approved by the Conference, such as service material, guidelines, and bulletins.(taken from "Service Material Flyer #29" of G.S.O Office) 

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