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International Cooperation and Advisory Service on EU and External Funding

International Cooperation in the Network of Excellence for Libraries

The division International Cooperation of the German Library Association e.V. (Federal Office) facilitates international knowledge transfer and fosters innovation in Germany’s libraries by

  • participating in international advocacy for libraries
  • communicating relevant current information about strategic developments and topics
  • securing the German presence in international committees 
  • promoting international cooperation
  • participating in implementing the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
  • supporting library engagement for the global knowledge economy within the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA
  • coordinating the work of the IFLA National Committee Germany

News from the world of libraries

Under the heading “Bibliotheken International” (Libraries – International), the Library Portal (Bibliotheksportal) collates news on global library topics, country reports, international library strategies and legislation as well as event dates.

In the free German Library Association’s newsletter, the division International Cooperation informs fortnightly about the latest developments in the international world of libraries, about the work of the individual committees and about examples of best practice in other countries.

Going abroad –

International exchange programme for library professionals

Throughout their professional life, library professionals have many opportunities to go abroad in order to gain new experience for their work, including:

  • Work placements during their vocational training
  • ‘Librarian in Residence’ programmes
  • Study trips
  • Job offers abroad
  • Global engagement through voluntary work for library staff  

Through the library portal, the division International Cooperation provides information and gives practical tips on how to prepare and realise a professionally motivated stay abroad under the menu item ‘Bibliotheken International’ (Libraries – International).

Work in international bodies

The Network of Excellence for Libraries coordinates the involvement of German representatives in international expert committees and is in charge of the IFLA National Committee Germany secretariat.

Host country Germany

It can be extremely beneficial for a person’s own area of work to welcome and include colleagues from abroad. The competency network’s division International Cooperation provides support to place library professionals interested in coming to Germany and is happy to pass on enquiries.

Advice on EU and External Funding in the Network of Excellence for Libraries

The Advisory Service EU and External funding proposes international cooperation projects for the library sector by informing about EU funding programmes via the Library Portal and by offering tailored advisory services about the opportunities of EU funding for individual libraries.

The advisory service

  • helps to choose suitable EU or international funding programmes
  • advises on how to apply for funding
  • helps finding international cooperation partners
  • advises on project management and project initiation measures

The relevant EU funding programmes for libraries include the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, the EU programme Erasmus+ for education, training, youth and sport, Creative Europe as the European Commission’s Framework Programme for Support to the Culture and Media Sectors, as well as measures that promote access to digital contents and support the member states’ information and communications policies. At a regional level, libraries can apply to the EU Structural Funds for financial support.

In addition, this advisory service provides libraries with general information about ways to acquire external funds and to identify other sources of funding at a national, regional and local level.

Moreover, news about calls for tender launched by the EU and other organisations are published fortnightly in the free newsletter distributed by the German Library Association.

Benefits of international cooperation

Nowadays, current topics relating to libraries such as free access to information, legal regulations with relevance for libraries such as copyright and data protection, or the social and cultural functions of libraries are all discussed at an international level. The challenges of a globally networked knowledge society call for close transnational cooperation. At the same time, this form of cooperation opens up new perspectives for the work of library professionals, promotes innovation in German libraries and - not least - identifies additional funding opportunities.

The decisions of multilateral institutions such as the European Commission or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) also have far-reaching consequences for libraries in Germany – in terms of their development, their services and their role in society. Advocacy at an international level is essential in this context. The knb’s division for International Cooperation actively supports these advocacy activities.


International Cooperation
Hella Klauser

EU Funding Advisory Service
Carina Böttcher