About Sister Libraries

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Libraries build community, but today's community is a global one.  Many of today's library users have immigrated from other countries.  Many routinely travel for pleasure and conduct business abroad.  Becoming a Sister Library is an opportunity to build relationships with libraries in other cultures that can help us learn, understand and better serve our own community.

Sarah Ann Long

President, 1999-2000

American Library Association

In 1999, Sarah Ann Long, then president of the ALA, initiated a Sister Libraries program through ALA’s International Relations Round Table (IRRT). Long’s vision for the Sister Libraries program was that any library in the United States could establish a relationship with a library in another country. 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. 

Each Sister Library relationship is unique.  Once two libraries decide to partner, they establish the level of commitment that they are both comfortable with; the partnership can be as formal or informal as desired. 

We have lots of ideas and information to get you started!  Explore our website to find out more: