The 10-Minute International Librarian #28: Find Out Which International Organisations are Present in Your Country

The work of international organisations can sometimes seem very distant.

But it doesn’t need to be!

Rather than the big meetings and conferences, the main work of these organisations is often rather what happens on the ground, through support to governments, projects, and outreach.

All of the biggest organisations tend to have regional structures, in order better to manage this work. They are often present on the ground through regional and even national offices.

These can be useful potential contacts. IFLA has done a lot of work to support libraries to engage around the Sustainable Development Goals. Regional and national offices of UN institutions will likely be interested in forming partnerships around this.

But there can be many other areas where there can be interest in working with libraries.

So for our 28th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, find out which international organisations are present in your country.

Many countries have a United Nations office (see the list of UN country teams), which can also host other organisations, such as UNESCO or the United Nations Development Programme.

Most countries also have UNESCO National Commissions, which provide a liaison between UNESCO as a whole and the national context.  And there are 59 UN Information Centres around the world.

Collect this information, together with information you can gather about the priorities of each of these offices. It can be a great contact list for your work, as we will discuss in next week’s post.

Share your stories of successful collaborations with national or regional offices of international organisations in the chat below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! 1.2 Build a strong presence in international organizations and meetings as a valued partner.

You can view all of our ideas using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.