International Relations Office

225 N. Michigan Ave
Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601-7757

Telephone/Fax: +1 312-280-3201



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. More...


Initiatives, Projects & Highlights

Become a Sister Library! - ALA encourages U.S. libraries to form partnerships with libraries in other countries.  Developing a Sister Library relationship can be a great opportunity for each library to learn about the work and lives of librarians around the world. 

IRRT Free Links Project
An Emerging Leaders Project providing access to free professional development opportunities for ALA members around the world.

Subscribe to ALA's International e-newsletter
The ALA International e-newsletter focuses on ALA’s international members and those interested in international issues and trends, featuring news about libraries and librarians around the world.

Oversight Groups

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 25th year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 38th Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) from November 30 - December 4, 2024. For a list of exhibitors at the book fair, please visit the Guadalajara Book Fair site.

IFLA's 2024 Annual CongressThe 2024 IFLA Congress has been canceled. ALA membership number to use for your IFLA Conference registration is US-0002. 

Popular Resources

  • 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.

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)

Social Networking

ALA Connect

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. Learn more about ALA Connect.

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

International Discussion Lists - List of international discussion groups and listservs.


Weblogs and pictures

IRRTBlogspot - Engage, Communicate, Participate!

Flickr - Take a look at some of the pictures that our members have taken throughout the years, including the International Librarians Reception and the presentation of the ALA Presidential Innovative Awards.



Michael Dowling
Tel: 312.280.3200

Delin Guerra
Program Manager
Tel: 312.280.3201


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IRC works to promote the exchange of professional information, techniques and knowledge, as well as personnel and literature between and among...


Promotes interest in library issues; develops programs and activities; and provides hospitality and information to visitors from abroad.

Initiatives and Events

International Travels and Exchanges

Awards, Grants, & Scholarships

International Associations and Conferences

Internationally Engaged

Library Assistance Efforts

Social Networking and Resources

ALA en español

ALA Twitter: @ala_international

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