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

IFLA-Cape Town Book Project - The ALA-IRC Africa Subcommittee in partnership with the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) and the IFLA Section Libraries for Children and Young Adults, call for books to be gifted to Cape Town’s children and youth.  We are asking each delegate to either bring along a book, purchase a book upon arrival at a local book store or make an advance online purchase.


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.


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.


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.



ALA Divisions with International Relations Committees

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


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.



Related Sites

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