ASERL Membership Criteria

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The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) is organized exclusively for educational purposes.  Membership in the Association shall be open to libraries of educational institutions with doctoral degree programs and governmental agencies holding and maintaining significant research collections and satisfying the membership requirements.

Membership in ASERL is limited to libraries of educational institutions with doctoral degree programs or of governmental agencies in the southeastern region of the United States of America (i.e., Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia).  The ASERL Board can, at its option, invite institutions outside the Southeast to apply for membership.

All ASERL members must meet the membership criteria below and whose parent institution/agency qualifies under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or as a governmental agency. Membership is institutional; the director of each member library (or his or her designee) shall represent that library as a member of this Association. Each member library shall be entitled to one representative at business meetings and one vote on Association business matters. The representative shall be the member library’s Director (Dean, University Librarian) or his/her designee. The representative shall have full privileges of the floor. Member libraries may have as many observers present at meetings as deemed necessary, but only one representative and one vote. Observers may be granted floor privileges at the discretion of the Board President or the membership present.

Consonant with the purposes of the Association and the requirements of research and graduate education, only those libraries holding and maintaining significant research collections and services will be considered for membership.  The membership has approved the criteria, and authority to make changes in the criteria shall reside in the membership. A two-thirds majority of the total membership is required to alter the criteria. Currently, the criteria include:

  1. Location in the Southeastern region.
  2. Adherence to purposes and goals of the Association.
  3. Qualification of the parent institution under 501(c)(3)of the Internal Revenue Code, or as a governmental agency.
  4. Educational institutions must confer the doctorate degree in one or more fields and and fund their libraries commensurate with other ASERL institutions.  Each library must meet at least two of the following:
    (i)         Annually spend on their libraries annually a minimum of one-half (½) the median expenditure of member educational institution libraries for Total Library Expenditures, derived after eliminating the single highest and the single lowest value.
    (ii)        Actively participate in two or more majors programming efforts offered by ASERL (e.g., Kudzu, shared print retention, and/or others that are implemented by a significant portion of ASERL’s membership) and otherwise support ASERL’s collaborative goals and spirit;
    (iii)       The library possesses unique and extraordinary qualifications as part of a research institution that bring important strategic benefits to ASERL members (Please contact ASERL’s Executive Director for current expenditure data.)
  5. Applicants for new membership in the Association must meet this threshold for the three years prior to the date of application and must continue to meet the expenditure threshold for the first five years of membership.  Failure to meet this threshold during the initial five years of membership may result in the library being placed on probation by the Board of Directors.
  6. Because the programs and services of the State Library Agencies (SLAs) complement and support the mission and services of research libraries in the Southeast, all state library agencies of the states covered by ASERL shall be eligible for ASERL membership, contingent upon payment of annual dues. Federal libraries must support comprehensive collections or research materials on a permanent basis.

Membership Options for Research Libraries Outside the Southeast