The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. CRL is governed by its member organizations in accordance with its bylaws.

Designated representatives of member organizations comprise the CRL Council of Voting Members, which meets annually to elect the Board of Directors, approve CRL’s proposed budget, and vote on proposed changes to the bylaws. Member representatives can also nominate and decide on major CRL acquisitions.