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International Relations Round Table (IRRT) | The American Library Association Archives

Name: International Relations Round Table (IRRT)

Historical Note:

The ALA Council established the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) in January 1949 (1). The IRRT adopted its constitution in January 1950 (2). Originally named the ALA Round Table on Library Service Abroad, the group changed its name in 1956 (3).

In 1958, the Round Table's stated purpose was "to develop the interests of librarians and friends of librarians in activities and problems in the field of international library relations" (4). The IRRT also seeks to serve as a channel of communications and counsel between the International Relations Committee and the members of ALA (5). The members of the IRRT also help to provide hospitality and information to visitors from abroad (6). The Round Table is concerned with the development of libraries in other countries and has worked to foster international understanding and cooperation (7).

The IRRT distributed a mimeographed newsletter before beginning to published the quarterly "Leads" in 1959 (8).


1-Board of Directors

2-Publication (Leads)



40-Area Chairpersons

45-Latin America


1. ALA Bulletin, December 1959, p. 861.

2. ALA Bulletin, November 1950, p. 427.

3. ALA Bulletin, December 1956, p. 751.

4. ALA Bulletin, December 1958, p. 861.

5. ALA Handbook of Organization 1979-1980, p. 66.

6. Ibid.

7. The ALA Yearbook 1979, p. 146.

8. ALA Bulletin, May 1950, pp. 192-193; ALA Bulletin, December 1950, pp. 606-607; although several issues were issued in 1958, formal numbering of the publication did not begin until 1959.

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