Prospective Members

Founded in 1970, the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) focuses on resource sharing, professional development, collaboration and advocacy among 19 public and private academic universities, liberal arts colleges, special research libraries, and one state library in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

In addition to the BLC's commitment to providing high-quality and cost-effective sharing of print and digital content, the consortium serves as a forum for a wide range of library practice areas and an incubator for projects and initiatives relevant to academic and research libraries across New England.

Download a summary of the BLC’s strategic initiatives, programs, and services available to member libraries.

Membership Tiers

Full Members are required to participate in the BLC’s inter-library loan and resource sharing services and may participate in all other initiatives, programs, and services.

Affiliate Members may participate in all initiatives, programs, and services except inter-library loan and resource sharing services.

Full members pay an annual membership assessment based on FTE as well as charges associated with inter-library loan and resource sharing activities, currently including Ex Libris RapidR/ILL/o and UPS delivery services. Supplemental subscriptions, memberships, and services are billed at cost to participating libraries. Affiliate members pay a reduced annual membership assessment.

All BLC members are represented on the Board of Directors by their chief librarian. Affiliate members do not have voting rights on inter-library loan and resource sharing items.

New member libraries are required to make a one-time nonrefundable contribution to the BLC’s Reserve Funds to sustain collaborative projects that advance the consortium’s strategic priorities. 

Membership Criteria

Interested libraries must:

  • be located in the northeastern region of the United States, preferably within New England;
  • adhere to the purpose and goals of the consortium;
  • qualify as an educational institution under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or as a governmental agency; and,
  • demonstrate the institutional and financial support necessary to actively participate in the consortium’s programs.

All BLC member libraries must:

  • participate fully in the sharing of print, electronic, and digital content with other BLC member libraries at no cost to those libraries utilizing the current infrastructure of the consortium (full members only);
  • adhere to the BLC’s Resource Sharing Best Practices and inter-library loan agreement (full members only);
  • appoint an institutional representative to any standing committee (full members only);
  • engage with at least two initiatives and programs offered by the consortium (at least one, if affiliate members);
  • encourage staff participation in the BLC’s Communities;
  • attend membership meetings and encourage staff to participate in professional development other sponsored events;
  • pay the annual membership assessment as well as other fees associated with the services in which the library chooses to participate; and,
  • support the BLC’s collaborative goals and spirit.

To qualify as a Full Member, interested libraries must possess unique and extraordinary collections or other resources that bring important strategic benefit to the BLC member libraries. 

Membership Process

Applications are welcome from interested libraries at any time and are considered by the BLC’s Board of Directors at their quarterly business meetings. If the initial application is approved, a Working Group will be appointed to further consider the application, consisting of the Executive Director, Treasurer, and President or their designee. The Working Group will coordinate a site visit for libraries seeking full membership, and either a site visit or videoconference call for libraries seeking affiliate membership.

The Working Group will make a recommendation to the BLC Board of Directors as to whether the application should be accepted. Recommendations should be made no later than 60 days following the date of the board meeting at which the initial application was considered. If appropriate, the recommendation will include an indication of any financial or other impact derived from adding the prospective member. 

If the recommendation is made to offer the library membership, the BLC Board of Directors will vote on the recommendation at its next scheduled meeting or via electronic vote. The Executive Director will notify the applicant about the outcome of their application.

Application Forms

Full Membership

Affiliate Membership