International Relations Office (IRO)
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2795
International Phone: +1 312-280-3201
Inside USA: 1-800-545-2433 ext. 3201
Fax: +1 312-280-4392
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.
To accomplish its mission the IRO 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).
Initiatives, Projects & Highlights
Are you interested in being a mentor or mentee? The International Relations Committee and the International Relations Round Table are sponsoring this pilot program to provide librarians with resources to help them understand international librarianship; provide mentoring related for career development in international librarianship, library services in different regions of the world, and sister libraries among many others.
Sharjah International Book Fair/ALA Library Conference - The first Sharjah International Book Fair/ALA Library Conference is set to take place Nov. 11-13, 2014 at the Expo Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, during the 33rd Sharjah International Book Fair. The two-day library conference will offer free concurrent programs on a wide range of topics for librarians from public, academic, school, government and special libraries.
People to People delegation to India - You can experience India firsthand with your library and information services peers from India and around the world through vibrant professional exchanges, valuable networking, and meaningful discussions tailored to your focus and interests.
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.
ALA 2015 International Strategic Plan (PDF File) (Word File)- Adopted by the International Relations Committee (IRC) and the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) during ALA's Annual Conference in New Orleans.
IRRT Free Links Project - An Emerging Leaders Project providing access to free professional development opportunities for ALA members around the world. (opens in a new window)
International Relations Committee (Standing, Council) - IRC sets ALA priorities in the international area, promoting a global exchange of ideas, knowledge, personnel, and literature. Committee members represent Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Eurasia and Central Asia, Near East and South Asia, Europe and the Americas.
International Relations Round Table - IRRT is your link to ALA. Round table members organize international programs for ALA Conferences, sponsors international discussion lists, match sister libraries, and produce the quarterly International Leads newsletter.
International Events & Meetings
ALA-FIL Free Pass Program - ALA and the Guadalajara International Book Fair are partnering for the 15th year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 27th Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) from November 29 - December 7, 2014. For a list of exhibitors at the book fair, please visit the Guadalajara Book Fair site. (opens in a new window)
International Events and Conferences - Current list of events and conferences throughout the world. If you wish to include an international event, please send an email to email@example.com.
IFLA's 81st Annual Conference - The 81st IFLA General Conference and Assembly, will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, August 15-21, 2015. The ALA membership number to use for your IFLA Conference registration is US-0002. (opens a new window)
- International Associations and Organizations - List of library associations around the world.
- IFLA Website - The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.(opens a new window)
- International Donations & Shipment of Books - If you are interested in donating books to countries overseas, there are several organizations that distribute books to other countries.
- Campaign for the World's Libraries - The Campaign for the World's Libraries is a public education campaign of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the American Library Association and libraries around the world to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. It is designed to showcase the unique and vital roles played by public, school, academic and special libraries worldwide. Join today! (opens a new window)
ALA International Resolutions
International Resolutions - The American Library Association deplores the destruction of libraries, library collections and property, and the disruption of the educational process by that act, whether it be done by individuals or groups of individuals and whether it be in the name of honest dissent, the desire to control or limit thought or ideas, or for any other purpose. (ALA Policy 53.7 Intellectual Freedom- Destruction of Libraries)
ALA has replaced the old Online Communities service with ALA Connect, offers a virtual, collaborative, workspace online. Any member can create new communities (unofficial ALA groups) without any staff assistance, so the site will combine association work with communities of interest in one place.
Wikis (following pages will open in a new window)
- International Relations Round Table (IRRT) - This wiki is one tool that seems ideally suited to help the Executive Board and committee chairs share ideas, draft documents and collaborate without endless email exchanges. It is hoped that as members edit documents they will find this wiki a valuable forum where all can participate in a collegial atmosphere.
- Sister Libraries Initiative - To promote the concept of a global community of libraries, the American Library Association (ALA) is encouraging U.S. libraries to form partnerships with libraries in other countries.
Discussion Lists (following pages will open in a new window)
International Discussion Lists - List of international discussion groups and listservs.
ALAWorld (IRRT) - 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.
- Go to http://lists.ala.org (opens a new window)
- Click on “Login” (First time users will need to get a password)
- Click on "List of lists"
- Click on ALAWORLD
- Select “Subscribe”
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)
Facebook, Twitter, and Weblogs
****También puede seguirnos en nuestra página de Twitter en español. ****
IRRTBlogspot - Engage, Communicate, Participate! (opens a new window)
ALA Weblog Service - This blog automatically aggregates all posts from all other ALA blogs. This allows you to easily track everything that is posted on this system. (opens a new window)
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)
ALA International Mentoring Pilot Program 2014-2015
Are you interested in serving populations from different regions of the world?
Are you a subject librarian or would like to be one specializing in geographical regions of the world, multi-ethnic populations?
Are you interested in learning more about libraries in different regions of the world?
Are you an early career librarian interested in international librarianship?
Are you interested in learning more about the work of the ALA International Committees?
If your answer is yes to any of the above, the International Pilot Mentoring Program is for you.
The International Relations Committee and the International Relations Round Table are sponsoring this pilot to:
-Provide librarians with resources to help them understand international librarianship.
-Provide mentoring related to career development in international librarianship, library services in different regions of the world, and sister libraries among many others.
-Connect mentees with experts in one of the following:
• IRC geographical areas committees: Africa, Americas, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia, and Near East and South Asia.
• IRRT Sister Libraries Committee
• IRRT International Exchanges Committee
If you are interested in being a mentor or mentee, please submit a one-page expression of interest by November 15, 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mentors and mentees will be matched based on the information provided. Up to 25 mentees will be selected for this Pilot. Membership in ALA is required, and IRRT membership is strongly encouraged.
Mentors will be expected to initiate contact with the mentee at the start of the program with an introductory email. At the end of the program, mentors will be asked to give feedback to the Committee to help determine how the program can be improved. Mentors will receive a letter recognizing their service in this program for their files upon request. Members of the IRC and IRRT would be available to work with the mentors as needed.
Mentors will be expected to introduce themselves to mentees initially via email at the start of the program, at which point mentees will respond with an introduction of their own. At the end of the program, mentees will be asked to give feedback to the Committee to help determine how the program can be improved. Mentees will receive a letter recognizing their participation in this program for their files upon request. Members of the IRC and IRRT would be available to work with the mentors as needed.
Michael Dowling - Director
Tel: 312.280.3200 / 800.545.2433, ext. 3200
Delin Guerra - Program Officer
Tel: 312.280.3201 / 800.545.2433, ext. 3201