CRL Board Announcement on Strengthening Global Collections

Monday, November 13, 2023
Kevin Merriman -

On behalf of the CRL Board of Directors, we write with an update on the current initiative to strengthen CRL’s global programs.   

On October 27, the CRL Board met at the newly enhanced CRL facility in Chicago for our autumn meeting. The Board had a productive discussion on reinvesting and reinvigorating CRL’s global collections activities, framed by the months of community-engagement and, in particular, the Sustainability Model for CRL global collections, the topic of the recent community convening on September 28th.  

After thoughtful consideration, the CRL Board of Directors unanimously approved the recommendations from the community-generated Sustainability Model to address mission alignment, fiscal management, and clear governance, by establishing the Global Collections Divisions to collectively build and steward global collections at CRL. 

The CRL Board of Directors, by approving the recommended sustainability models, affirm that: 

  • The implementation of the Sustainability Model demonstrates the organization’s commitment to global collections and services on behalf of the CRL membership community, scholarship, and the research enterprise. 
  • The Global Collections Divisions will serve as professional communities of practice committed to building and sharing CRL’s unique collective collections of global resources.  
  • The new Divisions will offer an opportunity to broaden and diversify participation in CRL’s global collections activities across the full institutional breadth of CRL’s membership. 
  • The long-standing practice of charging a separate fee for participation in the CRL Global Collections Divisions will continue, while the Board conducts ongoing assessment of the sustainability models for alignment with the general CRL membership model.  
  • We will next establish a task force to implement the administrative changes needed to make this model a reality by June 30, 2024. 

The CRL Board of Directors acknowledges and applauds the longstanding collection activities of librarians and archivists participating in CRL’s global collections programs, and sees the new Global Collections Divisions as an opportunity to scale these grassroots, project-based efforts for maximum impact on behalf of research and scholarship. 

Thank you to all who have engaged in this year’s process to strengthen CRL’s global collections efforts, from attending community-wide convenings to participating on sprint team groups to sharing feedback and comments on draft models along the way.  

More information about the implementation plan will be forthcoming. Please follow the Strengthening CRL Global Collections page for the latest updates on the process and timeline.  


On behalf of the CRL Board of Directors,  

Denise Stephens 
Chair, Center for Research Libraries Board of Directors  
Dean of University Libraries, University of Oklahoma 

Larry P. Alford 
Vice Chair, Center for Research Libraries Board of Directors  
University Chief Librarian, University of Toronto 

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