ALA Message Book - IRO

Contact: Public Information Office


International Relations Office (IRO)


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.

To accomplish its mission the IRO coordinates ALA activities in support of official ALA delegations to international events such as book fairs and congresses; promotes international library exchanges and partnerships; recruits international librarians to become members of ALA and attend ALA conferences; responds to international inquiries concerning library issues and activities in the United States; serves as a point of contact for ALA's routine communication with international organizations to which ALA belongs, including IFLA; and provides support for the ALA International Relations Committee (IRC) and the International Relations Round Table (IRRT).

Initiatives, Projects & Highlights

  • Japan Library Relief Fund- This website provides information on how you can donate to help libraries and archives recover in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

  • Haiti Library Relief Fund - This website provides information on how to donate to help libraries and archives recover, as well as reports on damage to cultural institutions in Haiti, how to volunteer you expertise, and additional efforts of ALA and other organizations

  • AL International Supplement- Annual guide promoting ALA products and services. Given out at IFLA Conference and during international visits

  • Nominations for ALA Representatives to the Board of Trustees of the American Library in Paris - The ALA International Relations Committee announced a call for nominations for ALA Representative to the Board of Trustees of the American Library Association in Paris.

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

Professional Opportunities

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 ninth year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 23nd Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) from Nov 26 – November 30, 2011. For a list of exhibitors at the book fair, please visit the Guadalajara Book Fair site.

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.
  • Campaign for the World's Libraries - The Campaign for the World's Libraries is a public education campaign of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the American Library Association and libraries around the world to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. It is designed to showcase the unique and vital roles played by public, school, academic and special libraries worldwide. Join today!

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.
  • Wikis
    • 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

  • ALAWorld (IRRT) - The purpose of the ALAWorld Listserv is to foster international cooperation and understanding between libraries by providing a forum for sharing news, including educational and exchange opportunities, about libraries around the world and international entities affecting libraries.
  • 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)

Facebook, Twitter and Weblogs

Follow the International Relations Office on Facebook and for recent updates on Twitter.

****También puede seguirnos en nuestra página de Twitter en español.

  • IRRTBlogspot - Engage, Communicate, Participate!

  • ALA Weblog Service - This blog automatically aggregates all posts from all other ALA blogs. This allows you to easily track everything that is posted on this system.

  • Flickr - Take a look at some of the pictures that our members have taken throughout the years, including the International Librarians Reception and IRRT's 60th Anniversary Celebration.