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CILIP believes that we are part of a global profession, united by our common values and skills. As the UK library and information association, we are committed to playing an active and engaged role in the international community.

CILIP also has a large and growing community of members living and working outside the UK. We prize our international members as a vital source of insight and expertise about global issues. If you would like to find out more about joining as an international member, visit Become a member.

Presidential Commission on an International Strategy

2018 CILIP President Ayub Khan has announced a Presidential Commission to develop CILIP’s International Strategy, with the aim of strengthening our international role. Further information on this strategy will be published here in Q2 2019.

Working Internationally for Libraries

Working Internationally for Libraries is CILIP’s initiative to promote collaboration and partnership between libraries in England and their international counterparts.

The project is funded by Arts Council England and will run in partnership with the British Library, British Council, and Libraries Connected. In its first phase, the project will focus on English public libraries to develop successful international collaborations. This will be supported through a grants programme, travel bursaries, online resources, and an international conference.

We want to inspire librarians and support them in their efforts to gain international exposure. We believe that this will not only bring innovation and new practices into libraries, but will also establish librarians as leaders in building cultural relations globally. Together we can #BuildBridgesNotWalls.


CILIP is an active participant in and supporter of the work of IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations)

CILIP is a founder member of IFLA and continues to be actively involved. We represent the views and aspirations of UK library and information professionals at all levels, including on the Governing Board, Professional Committee, Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters and Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.

Travelling Librarian Award (currently closed)

Between 2008 and 2017, CILIP and the English Speaking Union ran the Travelling Librarian Award, which provided financial support for librarians and information professionals wishing to undertake professional study tours overseas. The Award is currently suspended pending review and fundraising. We hope to re-open for applications within the lifetime of our current strategy (by the end of 2020).

CILIP and the UK Blue Shield Committee

CILIP is a member of the UK Blue Shield Committee in a representative capacity on behalf of IFLA. We provide coverage of issues relating to libraries and information in a global context, with a particular interest in cultural property protection.

International recovery and relief efforts

CILIP is committed to supporting our colleagues overseas and to standing in solidarity when their services, collections or personal safety are put at risk through conflict, natural or man-made disaster.

In such cases, we will liaise with international organisations, agencies and Library Associations to provide support in whatever form is most practical and useful.

We can learn and innovate by following best practice and collaborating. We must also remember the role libraries and information services play in democracy and free society and encourage the growth of libraries as a way to support human rights & democracy globally.

Orla Kennelly, 2nd Air Division Memorial (American) Library, Norwich, UK
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