ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects

The ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects began as an ALA Presidential initiative of Dr. Loriene Roy, ALA President in 2007-2008 and Notable IRRT Member. Citations are awarded each year by the ALA President at the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) International Librarians Reception during the ALA Annual Conference to recognize innovative contributions to international librarianship. IRRT is a Round Table of the American Library Association with a mission to develop the interests of librarians in activities and problems in the field of international library relations.

In 2010, IRRT was invited to collaborate with future ALA Presidents in the nomination and award process. At this time, a decision was made to change the previous title, ALA Presidential Citation for International Innovation to ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects.

Nomination Process:

Projects must be nominated by an ALA member or an individual with an IFLA affiliation. In an effort to recognize many diverse and worthy projects as possible, only one library project must be submitted by the nominator. To nominate a library project, nominators must complete the Nomination Form and submit it to the International Relations Office by e-mail or regular mail. Distinct projects by an individual, group or organization may be nominated separately in the same year. However, it is unlikely that the Citation will be awarded for more than one of the projects. Past recipients of the ALA Presidential Citation for International Innovation may be considered only for new innovative projects. Citations recognize innovative projects that result from the work of an individual, group or organization.

Guidelines for selection of a project:

  1. Nominations can be made by an ALA member or an individual with an IFLA affiliation. Nomination by a member of the Citation and Reception Committee would be considered a conflict of interest.
  2. Only one library nomination per Library can be submitted.
  3. Any projects that fall within the category of professional development for staff and librarians will not be considered. Beneficiaries of the projects must be library patrons only.

The following criteria will be used in selecting recipients:

  1. The recipient will have designed, initiated, and implemented a highly visible innovative library service(s) in a country outside of the United States and within the last three years. The recipient may not be affiliated with an U.S. institution/agency and may not have received U.S. funds in a direct or indirect manner.
  2. The project should be unique, original, and improve services to library users
  3. The project should draw attention to the potential of libraries to create positive change.
  4. The project must demonstrate a strong likelihood of sustainability and have potential to serve as a model for other libraries.
  5. The project must be current, that is, it must be in operation during the year that the Citation is awarded.

Call for Nominations:

The deadline for nominations has been extended to March 20th. Nominations are submitted to the ALA International Relations Office (e-mail: for review by the IRRT Reception Committee.

Citation Awarding Process:

Individuals submitting nominations will be notified by March 15th regarding the decision of the IRRT Reception Committee.

An invitation letter to attend the ALA International Librarians Reception and accept the citation will be issued to the successful nominations by the ALA International Relations Office.

Successful nominations will receive a framed citation from the current ALA President at the International Librarians Reception on the Monday evening of the ALA Annual Conference. The Citations will be announced in various ways including through an announcement on the IRRT website and its publication, International Leads.

Funding to attend the ALA Conference is not provided, nor is there a financial award with the Citation. However, recipients requiring assistance with letters of invitation or other documents related to conference attendance should contact the ALA International Relations Office.

Past Award Recipients

The 2023 Citations were awarded to: Open Lab Multimedia Center - National Central Library Taipei City, Taiwan; LikeSNU - Seoul National University Library, South Korea. (American Libraries, July 2023)

The 2022 Citations were awarded to: La Bulle - Annemasse, France; Calligraphy Connections - Run Run Shaw Library - City University of Hong Kong. (American Libraries, July 2022)

The 2021 Citations were awarded to: Caring Calls Project - South Shore Public Libraries, Nova Scotia, Canada; Lighthouse Heritage Research Connections - Run Run Shaw Library, City University of Hong Kong; VIRL Connect Team - Vancouver Island Regional Library; Virtual Library Info Lit Race Challenge - Nazarbayev University Library, Kazakhstan; Warm Up Week Initiative - Red River College Library, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (American Libraries, July 2021)

The 2020 Citations were awarded to: Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Indigenous Voices Initiative – Canada; Journey Around the World in Guangzhou Library- China; Smartphone? Yes, Please! – Face-to-Face Training for Seniors, Public Library “Fran Galović” Koprivnica, Croatia; Igniting the Public’s Passion for Reading: The Taiwan Reading Festival, National Central Library. (American Libraries, July 2020)

The 2019 Citations were awarded to: Biblioteca Pública Central Estatal for Sustainable Library, Mexico; Tor Browser in Toronto Public Library, Toronto Canada; Libraries without Borders/Bibliothéques Sans Frantiéres, Paris, France; Milton Public Liblrary, Ontario, Canada. (American Libraries, July 2019)

The 2018 Citations were awarded to: Darkht-e Danish Online Library for the Women of Afghanistan, Calgary Canada, Digital Center enters Mongolian Yurts, Inner Mongolia, China, La Biblioteca Movil, Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, Little Migratory Birds Project, Suzhou, China. (American Libraries, July 2018)

The 2017 Citations were awarded to: Rural Internet Hotspot Lending Programme, Welington County Library, Canada; Project FryskLab, Europe’s First Mobile Library, Leeuwarden, Netherlands; Augustana Human Library, Alberta, Canada. (American Libraries, July 2017)

The 2016 Citations were awarded to: The Cloud Service Project - Inner Mongolian Library; Nanaimo Correctional Centre Program; Vancouver Island and Regional Library - BC, Canada; Marroniers Library Application - International School of Geneva, Switzerland; Library @ orchard - National Library of Singapore; Librarians on the Radio - Vancouver Island Regional Library, BC, Canada. (American Libraries, July 2016)

The 2015 Citations were awarded to: NLB Mobile app by the National Library Board of Singapore - Establishment of Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies (TRCCS), Digital Literacy as a Core Service at Edmonton Public Library and The Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly-Operated Kiosks (STARBOOKS) Project in the Philippines.

The 2014 Citations were awarded to: The Jagodina Public Library in Serbia and its five village library branches, the In-House Library Training Program Supporting Roma People at the Public Library Fran Galovic,’Koprivnica in Croatia, the Topic Room iPad Application at the ZLB Library, Berlin in Germany, and the Edge, State Library of Queensland in Australia.

The 2013 Citations were awarded to: The AUN e-Library Project at the American University Library in Nigeria, the e-Books on Demand Project of the European Libraries Network, the OSU Children's Library Fund (OCLU) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The 2012 Citations were awarded to: The World is Just a Book Away (Projects in Indonesia), Chinese Medicine Digital Projects — Hong Kong Baptist University, Riecken Community Libraries (Projects in Guatemala and Honduras), The Urban Office — Helsinki City Library (Finland).

The 2011 Citations were awarded to: The RISE Videoconferencing Network Alberta, Canada, The National Library Board of Singapore "Quest" Library Reading Program, The E-Publicaton System Platform Project at the National Central Library in Taiwan and The Expanding Information Access for Visually Impaired People Project in Vietnam.

The 2010 Citations were awarded to: The Fondation Connaissance et Liberté / Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (FOKAL) Community Libraries Initiative, International Children’s Digital Library, Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University’s Box Library Extension (ABLE) , The Library Society of China’s National Library Volunteering Project ,World Digital Library

The 2009 Citations were awarded to: Hester J. Hodgdan Libraries for All Program, Lubuto Library Project, and the Tongji University Library Community Project

The 2008 Citations were awarded to: Asociación Mexicana de Bibliotecarios, A. C. (AMBAC), Dongguan Public Library in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province in China, Ethiopia Reads ? IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section, Library & Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA), Room to Read, Te Ropu Whakahau; Maori in Libraries and Information Management