Voting Membership


North American not-for-profit academic or research institutions are eligible to become voting members of CRL. Up to two representatives of Voting Member institutions can attend the annual Council Meeting to consider new and ongoing CRL initiatives, elect Board members, and vote on the annual budget for the coming fiscal year.

Applying for Voting Membership

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. Prospective members must submit a membership application letter to the President of CRL, containing the following elements:

  • Acknowledgment that the institution’s authorizing official has read CRL’s bylaws and agrees to honor the membership terms detailed in the bylaws
  • A proposed start date
  • Indication of whether the institution chooses to enroll through the new member incentive program (see below)
  • Indication of campus branches to be covered in the membership
  • A list of key contacts
  • The signature of the institution’s authorizing official. Preferably this will be an academic dean or provost, since CRL resources will be accessible to the entire institution, but it may also be the library director.

Annual Cost Share

Libraries support CRL activities and services by paying an annual "means based" cost share rather than a membership fee. The cost share is based on rolling, five-year average of the institution’s annual library materials expenditures. The cost share rate is just over one-half of one percent. (A library with a five-year average AME of $1,000,000 would pay an annual cost share of $5,200.) The minimum cost share for voting members is $1,200, and the maximum is $78,000.

CRL defines library annual materials expenditures (AME) 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 library units [branches] included in the CRL membership and eligible for service by CRL.”

New Member Incentive Program

If an institution has not been a member of CRL previously (or during the past five years), it qualifies for the New Member Incentive program with a three-year membership commitment. This is designed to give new voting members a chance to “ramp up” to full usage.

For the first year of membership, the new member institution pays only 1/3 of its normal cost-share amount; the second year, it pays 2/3 of the cost-share amount; and in the third year the library pays the full cost-share. The reduced cost share applies to the first two full years of a membership even for institutions joining during CRL’s fiscal year.

For more information and membership application forms, please contact