Membership in the Boston Library Consortium

Membership Criteria

The members of the corporation shall be institutions concerned with higher education and research, each acting through its principal library.

A new member must:
  1. Demonstrate that it provides and maintains library services and collections at an appropriate level, addressed to the needs of graduate study and/or research or scholarly pursuits, which will
    1. add to the breadth and depth of library resources available to Consortium members, and
    2. contribute to the support of programs of graduate study and/or research being offered by the present membership (as determined by an ad hoc visiting committee of the Consortium), and
    3. be accessible to the constituents of the present membership, on terms agreed upon for access to their collections by the present membership.
  2. Affirm the mission and values of the BLC, adhere to the Consortium's bylaws, and contribute staff expertise to the overall effectiveness of the Consortium.
  3. Have the institutional financial support necessary to participate actively in Consortium programs.

Approved by the Board of Directors of the Boston Library Consortium, June 24, 2002

New Member Process


The Board of the Boston Library Consortium will determine at its June meeting if new member applications will be accepted or not.  If the decision is affirmative, the Boston Library Consortium will accept formal letters of request for membership from library deans and directors between October 1 and October 31.  In general, the Consortium will not consider more than one new member in a year.  All inquiries are reported to the Board as soon as they are received. Institutions requesting membership information outside the application period will be directed to the BLC’s Membership Criteria and Application Procedures located on the BLC’s website. In respect to applicants, Board members have the responsibility to identify any concerns early in the process so that they receive due consideration and can be addressed during the process.

  1. Potential applicants should contact the Executive Director of the Boston Library Consortium, who will review the criteria and process.
  2. The Executive Director will inform the Board of all potential applicants.
  3. Applicant(s) will send a short letter to the Executive Director to initiate the new member process indicating how they meet the BLC’s criteria, what benefits and strengths they will bring to the consortium, the library’s latest 5 years of statistical information and the latest annual report of the library.
  4. The Executive Director acknowledges the interest of the applicant by letter and distributes the letter of interest to Management Council and the Board.
  5. Management Council determines if applicant meets membership criteria at its November meeting and makes its recommendation regarding the application(s) to the Board at its December meeting.
  6. The BLC Board at its December meeting decides whether or not the Consortium should consider the application. If the decision is to continue, the applicant is asked to complete the application process. If the decision is negative, the applicant is so notified.
  7. The Executive Director will send a letter to the applicant that indicates the Board’s decision.
  8. If the applicant meets the criteria, the applicant is mailed an application packet.
  9. The applicant sends one copy of the completed application  to the Executive Director by January 3.
  10. The Executive Director prepares impact statement.
  11. The BLC Treasurer prepares financial impact statement
  12. The BLC Office distributes copies of application letter, impact statements, and completed application to the BLC Board.
  13. Management Council appoints application Review Committee at its January meeting.
    • BLC Board President or designee (who serves as Chair of the Committee)
    • Management Council (1 representative)
    • Finance Committee (1 representative)
    • Board of Directors (1 representative from a peer institution or has served previously on a visiting committee)
    • Executive Director (ex officio)
  14. Review Committee determines whether or not to proceed with review.
    • If Committee decides to continue with review:
      • The BLC Board is informed by the Review Committee Chair.
      • The chair of the Review Committee requests from the library dean or director a letter of support from the institution's highest-ranking academic officer.
    • If Committee decides not to continue with Review:
      • The BLC Board is informed of the decision by the Review Committee Chair.
      • The Review Committee Chair writes a letter to the library’s dean or director.
  15. Review Committee schedules visit with institution’s highest ranking academic officer and senior library administrators where the Committee discusses
    • New Member Criteria
    • New Member Process
    • Benefits of BLC membership
    • What benefits applicant will bring to the consortium
    • BLC Goals
    • BLC Task Forces and Communities of Interest
    • Organizational structure and annual timetable
    • BLC Programs and services
    • Cooperation
    • Integration
    • Finances
    • Staff and time expenditures
    • Staff commitment
  16. Review Committee prepares recommendation and summary report.
  17. Review Committee conveys to Board via e-mail a summary report and a recommendation whether or not to accept the applicant.
  18. Board votes on applicant’s membership by email or at its June meeting.
  19. Board President conveys Board’s decision to applicant.
Approved by the Boston Library Consortium Board of Directors December 21, 2000; revised December 3, 2002

BLC Staff