International Relations Committee (IRC)

Leading international relations initiatives, promoting global collaboration, advocating for library priorities, and representing ALA globally.
ALA American Library Association International Relations Committee logo

Our Mission

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.

History & 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.

Committee Roster

Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. (2022-2024)

Past Chair
Dr. Min Chou (2022-2023)

Full International Relations Committee Roster

(available to ALA members only)


Interested in an exchange in Germany? Learn more.

Guadalajara International Book Fair: Apply to be part of the largest Spanish-speaking book fair in the world!

Looking for a sister library? Join or see what libraries projects are taking place around the world.

Initiatives & Projects

ALA Task Force on United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

The American Library Association (ALA) has created a Task Force on the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to develop a multi-year strategic plan in the coming year to increase participation by libraries in efforts to achieve the Goals.

IFLA's 2023 Annual Congress

The 88th IFLA General Conference and Assembly is scheduled to take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, August 21-25, 2023. The ALA membership number to use for your IFLA Conference registration is US-0002.

Past Meeting Agendas

(.docx, 33.1 KB)
(.docx, 18.94 KB)
(.docx, 19.85 KB)
(.docx, 19.89 KB)
(.docx, 20.56 KB)
(.docx, 20.73 KB)
(.docx, 20.22 KB)
(.docx, 22.67 KB)

ALA Divisions with International Relations Committees

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


IRO on Facebook

Follow IRO on Facebook.

IRO on X

Follow IRO on X (formerly Twitter).

Staff Liaison

Michael Dowling, Director
International Relations Office
inside U.S. (800) 545-2433, ext. 3200
outside U.S. 312-280-3200

Contact IRC

International Relations Committee (IRC)
225 N. Michigan Ave; Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601-7757