International Relations Committee (IRC)

International Relations Committee (IRC)
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2795

History and Composition

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.


To have full responsibility for the Association's international relations programs and initiatives; to work with the International Relations Round Table (IRRT), 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 US librarians in the work of international organizations.



Committee Roster


Robin Kear (2018-2019)
University of Pittsburgh


Leslie Burger (Past Chair)
Library Development Solutions

International Relations Committee Roster - Full committee roster (ALA members only)

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,



IRC Agendas

All files open in MS Word.

Annual | Midwinter

Annual | Midwinter

Annual | Midwinter

Annual | Midwinter


Initiatives & Projects

EBSCO ALA Annual Conference International Sponsorship
EBSCO is offering a $2,500 award to a librarian living outside of the U.S. to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 20-25, 2019. Deadline: January 1.

IRRT Mission Enhancement Grant
A $1,000 Endowment grant will be used to fund member-initiated proposals for international activities and initiatives which contribute to ALA’s role in international librarianship. Goals for the funding are to provide support for international projects or partnerships; promote a global dialogue about librarianship; increase visibility of international opportunities for U.S. and international librarians, and encourage international collaboration in librarianship. Deadline: January 10.

ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects
The ALA International Relations Round Table (IRRT) invites you to nominate innovative international library projects that qualify for the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Deadline: January 10.

Applications Sought for the Bogle Pratt International Library Travel Fund
The American Library Association is accepting applications for the 2019 Bogle Pratt International Library Travel Fund. An award of $1,000 is given to an ALA personal member to attend their first international conference. Deadline: January 10.

Nominations Sought for Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for International Librarianship
The American Library Association is accepting nominations for the 2019 John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for International Librarianship. The award consists of a prize of $1,000 and a plaque. The award is given to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. Deadline: January 10.

Donate to ALA's Library Relief Efforts
ALA Urges Library Supporters to Help Libraries Rebuild after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as the earthquake in Mexico City. ALA is partnering with REFORMA on an Adopt a Library Program to match damaged or destroyed libraries in the region with libraries in the United States and elsewhere that would like to assist in their recovery.  

Libraries=Strong Communities
Loida Garcia-Febo Presidential efforts to contribute to ALA’s existing work in the area of International Relations
IFLA's 85th Annual Conference
The 85th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, will take place in Athens, Greece, August 24-30, 2019. The ALA membership number to use for your IFLA Conference registration is US-0002.

ALA Divisions with International Relations Committees

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


Social Networking

ALAWorld - The purpose of the ALAWorld Listserv is to foster international cooperation and understanding between libraries by providing a forum for sharing news, including educational and exchange opportunities, about libraries around the world and international entities affecting libraries.


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)


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If you have any comments or questions about this page, please contact the International Relations Office at