MEMP Bylaws

November 1987
Amended November 1991, 1993, 2002, 2013

Purpose and Geographic Scope of MEMP

The purpose of the Middle East Materials Project (MEMP) is to provide access to unique, scarce, rare, or unusually bulky and expensive research material in all formats pertaining to the field of Middle Eastern studies using proven technologies through cooperative acquisition and/or preservation.

The geographic coverage of MEMP includes materials from or about the Arab world, Israel, Turkey, Iran, and other related areas not covered by other cooperative preservation projects.


  • MEMP membership consists of institutions interested in the Middle East, which agree to abide by the MEMP bylaws.
  • MEMP is governed by a committee composed of one representative from each member institution.
    • Each member institution is responsible for naming its representative to the MEMP Committee and communicating the name of that individual to the Chairperson of the MEMP Executive Board.
    • Each member institution is entitled to one vote on all questions put by mail ballot. Mail voting shall be decided by a simple majority of all ballots returned by the stated deadline.
    • Each member institution is entitled to one vote on all questions put to a vote at any time.  Voting shall be decided  by a simple majority vote of all votes returned by the stated deadline.
  • The MEMP Committee elects an Executive Board to implement the wishes of the membership.
  • MEMP is administered by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), which also houses the materials.


  • All materials produced and purchased by the project will become the property of CRL with restrictions on their use during the life of the project.

The MEMP Committee

  • Work of the MEMP Committee
    • The MEMP Committee meets yearly, normally in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Middle East Librarians’ Association (MELA).
    • The MEMP Committee considers and formulates the policies and procedures governing the project.
    • The MEMP Committee considers and makes decisions on the financial status of the project as represented in the financial report presented by CRL.
    • The MEMP Committee suggests materials to be added to the collection, both original preservation projects and commercial and noncommercial purchases. The MEMP Committee also reviews and votes on purchases costing more than $5,000 per title or project.
    • The MEMP Committee elects an Executive Board that will act according to the guidelines in the bylaws.
  • Fees
    • The MEMP Committee decides and votes upon a schedule of membership fees based on the recommendation of the Executive Board in consultation with CRL.
  • Membership privileges
    • Member institutions participate in elections to the Executive Board, and their representatives may stand for election to the MEMP Executive Board.
    • Member institutions participate in decisions taken regarding the acquisition of new materials.
  • Borrowing privileges
    • Member institutions may borrow all MEMP owned material, provided all membership fees are paid up.
    • Institutions that are CRL members, but are not members of MEMP may borrow MEMP-owned materials limited to three items per calendar year. MEMP members may not borrow on behalf of nonmember institutions.
    • Members outside the continental United States and Canada may borrow MEMP material, provided that the institution opens a deposit account with CRL to cover outgoing air mail postage, and agrees to return the material by air.
    • All borrowers must agree to pay insurance fees on the value of the material.
  • All member institutions may purchase positive copies of MEMP-owned negative microforms, if not otherwise restricted. This purchase will be at at CRL member rates.
  • All member institutions may suggest suitable titles for original imaging or purchase from commercial or noncommercial sources to the MEMP Committee for consideration.
  • Any member institution that donates materials from its own collection for imaging by MEMP will be entitled to receive, free of charge, one copy.
  • Member institutions may request that MEMP acquire “on demand” any appropriate item costing not more than $600. These requests must be directed to the MEMP Chairperson for consideration. The Chairperson forwards the request to the MEMP administrator at CRL for processing.
  • All member institutions receive each MEMP routine communication.
  • Member institutions may suggest amendments to the MEMP bylaws, and vote on bylaw changes.

The Executive Board

  • Meetings

    The MEMP Executive Board meets once a year, normally in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Middle East Librarians' Assocation (MELA). It may also meet a second time during the year at the discretion of the Chairperson.  A telephone or video conference may be substituted for an in-person meeting.  Members of the MEMP Executive Board make arrangements to cover the expenses of attendance at the annual meeting with their own institutions.  The expenses of Executive Board members for attendance at a second meeting can be reimbursed by the Executive Board in consultation with the CRL Representative.  In arriving at the amount of reimbursement the Executive Board will take into consideration support from one's home institution, travel distance to the second meeting, and any other special circumstances.

  • Composition

    The MEMP Executive Board is composed of both elected and ex-officio members, each of whom has one vote, except for the CRL Representative. Members or their designated substitutes must be present at Executive Board meetings in order to vote.

    • Elected members of the Executive Board are: six (6) representatives of member institutions.
    • Ex-officio members of the Executive Board include: a representative designated by CRL, the Head of the Library of Congress Near East Section or a proxy, and the current President of the Middle East Librarians’ Association.
    • Ex-officio members of the Executive Board who are also elected members shall have only one vote.  The MEMP Chairperson may appoint a temporary member for the duration of the period caused by this circumstance.
    • The Executive Board elects from among its members a Chairperson and a Secretary, each to serve a one-year term, with re-election permitted.
  • Term of Office
    • The term of office for elected members is three years. Re-election is permitted.
    • Should a member of the Executive Board be unable to serve out the term, the Chairperson will appoint a replacement to serve until the next election. Should the Chairperson be unable to complete the term, the Executive Board will appoint a replacement member, if one is needed, and will elect a new Chairperson. Should the Secretary be unable to complete the term, the same procedure will be followed.
  • Election of the Executive Board
    • Executive Board elections are held once a year for the two vacant positions. Positions become vacant on a staggered basis.
    • Nominees for the MEMP Executive Board must come from member institutions.
    • The Chairperson of the MEMP Executive Board appoints a Nominating Committee at least sixty days prior to the annual meeting of MEMP.
    • The Nominating Committee composes a slate of candidates, and obtains their agreement to serve.  Nominations from the membership, including self-nominations, will be accepted without second and added to the slate of candidates.  The Nominating Committee forwards the slate to the Chairperson.
    • At least one month prior to the annual meeting, the Chairperson announces the slate of candidates and the ballot is circulated for voting by the MEMP membership.
    • Those candidates receiving the highest number of votes are elected. If there is a tie for the any vacancy, the MEMP Committee votes again, following the procedures above, only for those candidates who tied.
    • The Chairperson announces the results of the voting at the annual meeting.
    • Elected members begin their term of office immediately following the annual meeting.
  • Duties of the Executive Board
    • The Executive Board discusses and decides issues as directed by the membership and advises the Chairperson on the agenda and other matters.
    • The Executive Board considers proposed amendments to the MEMP bylaws and presents its recommendations to the MEMP Committee.
    • The Executive Board arranges for periodic membership drives and provides CRL with the appropriate publicity materials.
    • The Executive Board reviews and votes upon materials to be added to the collection, both original imaging projects and commercial and noncommercial purchases, up to a value of $5,000 per title or project. Balloting for purchases over that amount will be sent to all member institutions for voting.
  • Duties of the Chairperson
    • The Chairperson undertakes correspondence for the MEMP Committee, and reports upon responses received, including gathering of information on availability of materials proposed for acquisition.
    • The Chairperson handles “on demand” purchase requests from member institutions for items costing up to $600.
    • The Chairperson arranges for the time and place of the annual meeting of the MEMP Committee and additional meetings of the Executive Board. The Chairperson prepares an agenda, chairs the meetings, and ensures that minutes are taken and distributed to the members.
    • The Chairperson appoints a Nominating Committee.
  • Duties of the Secretary
    • The Secretary attends all the meetings of the MEMP Committee and the MEMP Executive Board and records the minutes for the membership.
    • The Secretary distributes copies of the minutes to all MEMP members. Copies of the minutes are also distributed to MELA Notes.

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

  • A CRL representative attends annual meetings of the MEMP Committee at the expense of the project and serves as an ex-officio member of the MEMP Executive Board.  The CRL Representative serves without a vote.
  • CRL bills and receives membership fees for MEMP.
  • CRL arranges for imaging of materials (preservation and user copies) in accordance with the bylaws of the project and the decisions of the MEMP Committee.
  • CRL arranges for the timely processing of all materials received and provides an accessions list at least once a year.
  • CRL pays all authorized expenses of MEMP from the MEMP account. Only MEMP expenses may be charged to the account.
  • CRL reports on the financial status of MEMP at the annual MEMP meeting and at any additional meetings of the Executive Board.
  • CRL accepts and processes “on demand” purchases in accordance with current MEMP Committee policy.
  • CRL undertakes all routine MEMP communications as requested by the Chairperson, which may include agendas, minutes, purchase ballots, financial statements, accessions lists, and publicity materials. In addition, CRL maintains the MEMP mailing list. Ownership of the MEMP mailing list remains with MEMP.
  • At the direction of the MEMP Committee, CRL produces and disseminates the bibliographic data for MEMP-owned materials.
  • At the recommendation of the MEMP Executive Board, CRL undertakes mailings for periodic membership drives.

Amendment of the MEMP Bylaws

  • Representatives of member institutions may submit written copies of proposed amendments to the MEMP bylaws to the MEMP Executive Board.
  • The MEMP Executive Board discusses any proposed amendment and makes plans to place it before all members of the MEMP Committee with or without a recommendation.
  • A copy of the proposed amendment(s) is distributed to the MEMP membership 30 days prior to the annual meeting.
  • The MEMP Committee considers the proposed amendment(s) and hears the Executive Board's recommendation, if any. The MEMP Committee votes on the proposed amendment(s) after the annual meeting. A proposed amendment is considered adopted if a simple majority the MEMP Committee members vote in the affirmative.
  • Amendments receiving an affirmative majority of votes take effect immediately, unless otherwise provided for on the ballot.
  • The Chairperson and the Secretary arrange to add the adopted amendment to the official copies of the bylaws.

November 17, 1964 edition of Le Journal de Teheran

MEMP has microfilmed several years of the French-language newspaper Le Journal de Teheran, published during the reign of the last Shah of Iran. Issues from 1949–56, 1960–62, and 1964–67 are now available for borrowing by CRL members.