International Relations Office

Library Fellows

The highly successful Library Fellows program, funded by the United State Information Agency and administered by the American Library Association, was initiated in 1986 and ran through 1998. The purpose of the program was:

  • to increase international understanding through the establishment of professional and personal relationships and the accomplishment of mutual goals;
  • to promote international sharing of resources and to establish enduring professional and institutional linkages;
  • to develop and enhance the fellows' professional expertise to benefit both their home institutions and the development of librarianship in the host countries; and
  • to reinforce the concept of libraries as essential democratic institutions.

Over the course of the eleven years of the program 118 U.S. librarians provided expertise and assistance to colleagues in 83 countries while serving as emissaries of American culture, society, and technology. In addition, 41 international librarians from 35 countries had the opportunity to participate in an exchange opportunity in the United States, to learn first-hand how libraries in the United States function and to take back knowledge acquired to help improve library service in their institution and in their country.

The last two fellowship reports can be found online at the links below.



For further information about the program please contact the ALA International Relations Office at