In the Service of University Libraries
Who we are

IATUL is...

... a voluntary international non-governmental organisation of a group of libraries, represented by their library directors or senior managers, who have responsibility for information services and resources management.

IATUL was founded in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the International Association of Technological University Libraries in May 1955, as an international forum for the exchange of ideas relevant to librarianship in technological universities throughout the world.

The expanded name of IATUL was changed to the International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries at the 2009 General Assembly to reflect the broader range of institutions, which now make up the membership of the association. At the 2014 Annual Conference in Helsinki, the General Assembly of IATUL decided to extend its mandate to include all university libraries internationally, irrespective of their academic specialisation. This change reflects the membership profile of IATUL where the vast majority of institutions now belong to comprehensive universities. Therefore, its name was changed to be the International Association of University Libraries. Read more about the history of IATUL


The Association’s Structure

IATUL has more than 240 active members all over the world. They collaborate, create synergies and promote innovation with the support of their library association IATUL.

At the annual General Assembly all members come together to decide upon the directions for the work of the Board of Directors and raise matters of fundamental significance for the association.

A task of the General Assembly is to receive, discuss and approve the President’s annual report and the annual financial report. The General Assembly adopts rules for membership fees and elects the Executive Board.

The Executive Board consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The Secretary conducts the everyday business of the association. The Vice-President substitutes for the President in his/her absence. The Treasurer is responsible for all financial affairs.

The Executive Board is part of the Board of Directors, which has at least four additional members. The Board of Directors suggests the new Officers to the General Assembly.

The Board provides members with accurate and sufficient information when seeking their support for decisions and receives recommendations of the members.

All IATUL members and the IATUL Board receive organisational support from the IATUL Office, which is situated in Barsbüttel near Hamburg (Germany). The Office staff provides administrative support for membership fees, social media, the website and other duties. 

Further, the IATUL Special Interest Groups (SIG) are intended to provide a continuous opportunity to create new approaches to challenges in librarianship by joint international efforts. Each special interest group (SIG) will focus on a particular subject area and define its own terms of reference.

You can read more details about the purposes and tasks of all IATUL bodies in the IATUL Constitution.


Update of the constitution

In March 2023 an update of the constitution was approved by the General Assembly.

From now on, IATUL also welcomes membership applications from universities offering undergraduate degrees.