Terms of reference
The purpose of the Outreach Committee is to offer and provide assistance both to individuals and to music libraries, archives and documentation centres facing significant economic challenges. The Committee is keen to identify institutions and colleagues not only in countries already represented in IAML but also in others which do not yet have a IAML representative. The Outreach perspective aims also to encourage institutions and colleagues to participate in an international professional network for mutual benefit, looking for new ways to help and support. The Committee should have between five and eight members, representing the diversity of the Association. It also works closely with the Advocacy and Membership Committees.

What is outreach?

IAML has an honourable history of members assisting colleagues in less fortunate circumstances. 

Assistance may take several forms:

  • Giving advice and assistance, or suggesting sources of advice and assistance, on professional matters, such as cataloguing, classification, collection development and electronic resources in music, and setting up new services.
  • Providing financial support to enable music librarians to attend international IAML congresses.
  • Donating library materials to institutions in particular need or to libraries which have been affected by disasters.

Donation of library material

In many countries libraries have very little money to buy stock, and there is a great need for printed and recorded music and for music text books. IAML funding was first set aside in 1993 to assist with postage costs when a Branch or individual member sends a collection of donated materials to an institution in another country.

Guidelines for applicants wishing to donate materials

  1. IAML national Branches or individual members may apply to the fund for a grant for postage if their own institution is unable to support the costs involved. Please note that the fund cannot be used to buy materials.
  2. Send a request for assistance to the IAML Treasurer, giving the following information:
    • the library which will receive the donated material;
    • quantity and type of material involved;
    • estimated cost of mailing;
    • estimate of any customs duty the recipient may incur;
    • details of any other funding which has been promised for the mailing.
  3. Applications will be considered by the IAML Treasurer and one elected member of the IAML Board, and applicants will be notified of the decision as soon as possible.
  4. Please note that requests will only be considered for the transport of donated music materials to bona fide music libraries in economically disadvantaged countries. These may include countries where libraries have been affected by disasters.
  5. Once an application has been approved, please provide the IAML Treasurer with official receipts for all mailing and customs charges incurred, so that you can be reimbursed as agreed.
  6. IAML reserves the right to refuse applications which fall outside the criteria noted above.

Support for attendance at IAML congresses

Funding was set up in 1998 to assist music librarians from economically disadvantaged countries to attend the annual IAML congresses.  The amount available for congress support varies from year to year. The Treasurer confirms the total amount available for each congress and this sum is administered by the current congress organising committee. Additional funding is available from donations made by other delegates specifically for this purpose. Guidelines for organising committees will be provided by the Secretary General.

Guidelines for applicants for congress attendance support

The application form (editable PDF) can be found here. Please note:

  1. Applications to the fund may be made by librarians in economically disadvantaged countries whose institutions cannot fund them or who have sought funding elsewhere without success. You should contact one of the following:
    • The national Branch organising the congress.
      If you are speaking at the congress, contact the Chair of the relevant Institutional Section, group, commission or committee.
      A member of the IAML Board.
  2. The congress organisers will send copies of the preliminary programme and an application form to enquirers, giving a realistic deadline for applications to allow discussion and allocation to take place. Ideally, applications should be received by the organising committee 4 months before the first day of the congress. Application forms may also be obtained from members of the Outreach Committee.
  3. You should try to obtain at least some support in your own country, for example from embassies or cultural organisations. Please include the following information with your application:
    • Have you applied for funding from other organisations in your own country?
    • Has this been successful?
    • If so, what elements of the costs will be covered? (travel, accommodation, conference fee, subsistence)
  4. Depending on the total budget available, you may be offered either full or partial funding. An offer will be made as soon as possible, and a deadline for acceptance will be given. Some flexibility may be possible where there are difficulties in securing part funding or visas; in these cases it is very important to stay in touch with the organisers.
  5. If you are successful in obtaining IAML support, you should try to publish a report of the congress in a relevant journal in your own country.

How can you help?


The need for outreach support is always far greater than the money available. Donations are always welcome and can be made in several ways:

  • The congress booking form always includes a space for donations. These are specifically used to support attendance at that particular congress and can make a real difference to the number of people who can be supported. The names of contributors are listed in the congress programme.
  • Contributions are welcome at any time during the year; perhaps you would like to make a donation in memory of a friend or colleague.
  • No-one likes to think of such things, but you may wish to leave something in your will to support outreach work.

Donations to the general outreach fund should be sent to the IAML Treasurer. Cheques should be made payable to IAML.


Many libraries throughout the world have very little or no resources to buy stock. Very often the staff are enthusiastic and resourceful in providing services, but the stock is old and dated. Help can come from several sources:

  • Withdrawn library stock. Printed music, books about music and CDs are always in demand, especially if they are in good condition. If you are able to make a list of what is available, this will help the Outreach Committee to suggest a suitable home for the material. Otherwise, please give an idea of the type and amount of items available to a member of the Committee.
  • Remaindered or donated new items. If your library is given collections by local organisations and you do not require all the items, consider donating the rest to a library in need of help.
  • Bequests. You may be approached by library members who wish to give music or books to a good cause maybe a set of encyclopedias or a complete edition. Suggest that they could make a real difference to a library by making a specific donation.

For help in selecting suitable recipients, or if you know of a library which is in need of help, contact a member of the Outreach Committee.


Colleagues trying to develop their services often need advice, for example in cataloguing, stock acquisition or planning a library. If you have skills which can be used to support colleagues in other countries, please contact a member of the Outreach Committee. Don't forget that help and advice is a two-way process: librarians in countries normally receiving support can often contribute expertise and information which is hard to come by in other countries.


This committee is made up of members who, between them, can communicate in several languages. Please contact one of the following people if you need more information:

Past officers: 

2014 - 2018:
Jon Bagüés, Spain (chair)

2014 - 2010:
Martie Severt, Netherlands (chair)

2010 - 2007
Aurika Gergeleziu, Estonia (chair)

2007 - 2002: 
Ruth Hellen, UK (chair)

Materials presented in the sessions


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