Washington, D.C.--The Board of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) today voted to merge the Digital Library Federation (DLF) into CLIR as a program of the Council, starting July 1, 2009. The vote follows recommendations by a DLF Review Committee in March 2009 to merge the two organizations, and a unanimous vote of consent by the DLF Board on April 8.
With the merger, DLF's current members will become "charter sponsors" of the DLF program at CLIR. CLIR will hire a program officer to lead DLF initiatives. CLIR will continue to convene forums and will also convene special thematic sessions, with a goal of more in-depth exploration of collaborative activities.
A transition committee drawn from the CLIR and DLF boards will guide the initial stages of the merger; the DLF Board will also nominate two members to serve on the CLIR Board. The new members' terms will start in July; they will run for three years and are subject to renewal.
Founded by 16 institutions in 1995 as a project of CLIR, DLF's mission has been to "enable new research and scholarship of its members, students, scholars, lifelong learners, and the general public by developing an international network of digital libraries." Membership has since grown to 42, including several international institutions. In 2005, DLF became an independent organization but continued to work closely with CLIR.
In recommending the merger, the Review Committee cited a maturing of the digital landscape, as well as the economic efficiencies of consolidating the two organizations and the potential added value of leveraging the programmatic strengths of each.
"While we do not believe an independent, governance-based organizational model is still viable, our assessment has underscored the continued value in the [DLF] Forum and the potential for catalyzing our community. Dissolving the Digital Library Federation and re-conceiving the program agenda within CLIR offers considerable promise," noted the Review Committee.
Underscoring the potential of the organizational merger, CLIR President Charles Henry said, "The Digital Library Federation is distinguished by its ongoing advocacy for collaboration, its deep pool of talent, and its tradition of innovation. CLIR is committed to build upon these strengths, and will work programmatically with the DLF institutions, conducting research that is pertinent to their advancement, reaching out to international projects and programs for collaborative opportunities, and securing stronger ties to funding agencies on behalf of the DLF. We are also excited about opening up DLF engagement to other institutions, as the challenges facing libraries and higher education today are pervasive, complex, and require a broadly conceived coalition to resolve."
For information about DLF programs and membership, contact Barrie Howard at email@example.com, or 202-939-4769.
CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good. Through publications, projects, and programs, CLIR works to maintain and improve access to information for generations to come. In partnership with other institutions, CLIR helps create services that expand the concept of "library" and supports the providers and preservers of information. Details about CLIR and its work are available at www.clir.org.