Libraries support CRL activities and services by paying an annual cost share, rather than a membership fee. CRL employs a “means-based” approach to distributing the cost of its operations across its membership. For institutions located in continental North America, the annual cost share is based on the most recent five-year average of the institution’s annual library materials expenditures.
Annual library materials expenditures are defined as “aggregate expenditures for acquisitions and binding (books, periodicals, microforms, and all other library materials including electronic media, regardless of source of funding) for all the library units [branches] included in the CRL membership and eligible for service by CRL.” The cost share rate for North American members for FY2016 was 0.52%, with the minimum annual cost share being $1,200 and a maximum of $73,000.
Global members (institutions located outside North America) pay an annual fee, determined by the CRL Board of Directors. Global membership cost shares range from a minimum of US$2,000 to a maximum of US$18,000 annually. The membership calculation is based on an average of an institution’s annual library expenditure figures (see definition below) for the most recent five years and requires a minimum three-year membership commitment.
CRL’s annual membership year runs from July 1 through June 30. However, libraries may join on the first day of any month on a pro-rated basis. To enroll, prospective members must submit a letter of application to CRL for approval by the Board.