Provides an International Reach

ALA’s mission is global. With 2,000 international members in 113 countries, ALA is committed to providing learning and networking opportunities for librarians, libraries, and others around the world.  Within ALA, the mission of the International Relations Office (IRO) is to increase ALA's presence in the global library community, to implement ALA policies concerning international librarianship, to promote greater understanding of international librarianship and international library issues within ALA and to manage international library activities on behalf of the ALA.

 “My uninterrupted membership in ALA dates back to my student years, and it has paid off quite well,” says Jesus Lau, Director, USBI Veracruz / Coordinator, Biblioteca Virtual, Universidad Vercruzana. “ALA has been the key to meeting some of the best American library leaders, and therefore the key to building an international network of colleagues, of tremendous benefit to me in my professional library positions.  ALA conferences have been also the venue for learning about the latest library technology, and above all, the leading trends in library management.”

View a short video of the International Members reception at ALA Annual Conference:



Ways for you to get involved

To accomplish its mission the International Relations Office coordinates ALA activities in support of official ALA delegations to international events such as book fairs and congresses; promotes international library exchanges and partnerships; recruits international librarians to become members of ALA and attend ALA conferences; responds to international inquiries concerning library issues and activities in the United States; serves as a point of contact for ALA's routine communication with international organizations to which ALA belongs, including IFLA; and provides support for the ALA International Relations Committee (IRC) and the International Relations Round Table (IRRT). international supplement - american libraries magazine

International members are invited to join a dedicated group at in ALA Connect at as well as the International Relations Round Table. You can immediately log in to Connect using your regular ALA Website username and password. Every committee, membership area and registered event has a group waiting for you to interact with—and in. It is the fastest way to put your membership goals into practice. 

Donations needed:

Haiti Library Relief Fund Donate to the Haiti Library Relief Fund or learn how you can volunteer to rebuild Haitian libraries.

IRRT's 60th Anniversary Contribute to the IRRT Endowment Campaign in honor of the 60th Anniversary.

Member committees focused on International issues:

International Relations Round Table

International Relations Committee

ALCTS International Relations Committee

ACRL International Relations Committee

LITA International Relations