International Relations Committee (IRC)


To have full responsibility for the association's international relations programs and initiatives; to work with the international relations round table, division international relations committees, and other units of the association in promoting the exchange of professional information, techniques and knowledge, as well as personnel and literature between and among libraries and individuals throughout the world; to advocate the recognition of the international aspects of the library profession and its priority within ALA; to recommend international relations policy for council approval and to take the necessary steps for implementation; to make recommendations to the ALA executive board for appointments or nominations to international organizations (IFLA, etc.) And other agencies concerned with international library and information services (IREX, etc.); to administer programs of the association focused on international relations (awards, recognition, exchanges); to promote program and publication activities on international relations by the association and its divisions and committees; to maintain communication, when appropriate, with other library and information service organizations concerned with international relations; to represent the association's view to organizations and agencies outside the ALA that are concerned with international relations of libraries; to encourage active participation by U.S. librarians in the work of international organizations.


Dr. Karen E. Downing (ALA Executive Board Liaison to IRC, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018)
Ms. Leslie B. Burger (Chair, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018)
Mr. Mustafa Abdelwahid (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Vivian Bordeaux (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Ms. Leslie B. Burger (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
June M. Garcia (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
Ms. Valerie J. Gross (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
Mr. Brian D. Hart (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Robin Kear (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
Mr. Allan Martin Kleiman (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Mr. Haipeng Li (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Alexandra P. Rivera (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Mrs. Joan S. Weeks (Member, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
Janice D. Welburn (Member, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Dr. Clem Guthro (ACRL Representative, July 31, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
Kenya S. Flash (Intern, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)
Ben M. Himmelfarb (Intern, July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019)
Michael Dowling (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2025)

Displaying active committee roster as of 06/24/2018. Last retrieved on 06/24/2018. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

News, Initiatives and Projects

ALA Ahead 2015 - In June, 2010, the American Library Association adopted a new strategic plan. ALA 2015 outlines strategic goals and objectives for the next five years, and sets priorities for the association that will strengthen libraries, the profession, and the public’s access to information.


IFLA's 83rd Annual Conference - The 83rd IFLA General Conference and Assembly, will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, August 19-25, 2018. The ALA membership number to use for your IFLA Conference registration is US-0002.


Subscribe to International AL Direct! International AL Direct focuses on ALA’s international members and those interested in international issues and trends, featuring news about libraries and librarians around the world.




Created in 1923. Functions approved by Council in 1931. Made a Board Committee in 1942 and continued as a standing committee under the reorganization of 1956. Became a Council Committee in 1972. Charge revised June 1993. Size changed from 8 members to 12 members, June 1993. Committee composed of 11 members with two-year staggered terms, with chair appointed annually.

ALA Divisions with International Relations Committees

  • ACRL - Academic Library Services to International Students Interest Group
  • ALCTS - International Relations Committee



International Relations Committee Documents

Social Networking

SYMPA-ALA Mailing List Service - This server provides you access to ALA's mailing lists.  You can perform subscription options, unsubscription, archives, and list management. (First time users will need to get a password) Opens in a new window.

Follow the International Relations Office on Facebook and for recent updates on Twitter. (opens a new window)

****También puede seguirnos en nuestra página de Twitter en español. ****


Flickr - Take a look at some of the pictures that our members have taken throughout the years, including the International Librarians Reception and IRRT's 60th Anniversary Celebration. (opens a new window)



Related Sites




Get Involved

The ALA International Relations Committee encourages all ALA members to serve on a committee. If you are interested in volunteering, please go to the Committee Volunteer Form (you will need your ALA login). For membership questions or having problems login in, please call the ALA Customer Service Office 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5) for more information.



Staff Liaison

Michael Dowling, Director, International Relations Office, inside U.S inside U.S. (800) 545-2433, ext. 3200, outside U.S. 312-280-3200, Fax: (312) 280-4392,