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


Leslie Burger (2015 - 2016)
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,



Initiatives & Projects

Call for ALA Representative to U.S. National Commission of UNESCO - The International Relations Committee is seeking qualified individuals to serve as a representative to UNESCO for a two-year term (eligible for one term reappointment). The service term will be from September 1, 2016 to August 31, this critical role.


Nominations are being sought for an ALA Representative to the American Library in Paris - The International Relations Committee announces a call for nominations for ALA Representative to the Board of Trustees of the American Library in Paris. This two-year appointment would begin in June 2016. 


Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for International LibrarianshipThe award consists of a prize of $1,000 and a certificate. All nominations should include, as appropriate, personal history or curriculum vitae, with emphasis on achievements related to international librarianship; bibliography, critical reviews, articles, etc.; and letters seconding the nomination or other letters of commendation or appreciation. DEADLINE EXTENDED: January 31


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 ​82nd Annual Conference - The 82ndt IFLA General Conference and Assembly, will take place in Columbus, Ohio, USA, August 13-19, 2016. 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

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Related Sites

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