The West Tennessee Academic Library Consortium is an information network having a formal organization and communication capability to serve the scholarly and research communities of the member libraries. Networking capability and resource sharing are of paramount importance to our institutions and to West Tennessee. The myriad forms of information today oftentimes make it most difficult for persons to retrieve the information and data which is needed. Therefore with this goal of resource sharing formalized, we member institutions do approve the establishment of this Consortium.


Academic librarians in West Tennessee have met informally since 1965 to promote cooperation in building research and instructional resources, and to make more readily available the existing collections to their several constituencies. In 1988 eight of the institutions entered into a formal organization as a cooperative consortium. The consortium promotes the general cooperation among the member libraries in the West Tennessee area. It works toward the establishment of coordinated policy that will foster the long term growth and development of its member institutions. It also cooperates with other institutions and organizations to further its purposes.

Currently, the membership of the West Tennessee Academic Library Consortium includes all of the following institutions. Those marked with an asterisk are the founding members.

Burroughs Learning Center
Bethel College*


Plough Library
Christian Brothers University


J.W. and Dorothy Bell Library
Crichton College


Dyersburg State Community College Learning Resource Center
Dyersburg State Community College*


Loden-Daniel Library
Freed-Hardeman University*


Jackson State Community College Library
Jackson State Community College*


Luther L. Gobbel Library
Lambuth University*

J. K. Daniels Library
Lane College*


Hollis F. Price Library
LeMoyne-Owen College


Rhodes College

Burrow Library


Paul Meek Library
University of Tennessee at Martin*


Emma Waters Summar Library
Union University*


University of Memphis Libraries
University of Memphis


Health Sciences Library and Biocommunications Center
University of Tennessee at Memphis


Article I. Name, Intent, & Status

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the West Tennessee Academic Library Consortium. The acronym WeTALC shall be used to denote the consortium.

Section 2. This Consortium is intended to serve the scholarly and research communities of the member libraries.

Section 3. The status of the Consortium will be that of an unincorporated body.

Article II. Purposes

Section 1. The purpose of this consortium shall be:

a. To develop and improve cooperation among the member libraries.

b. To work toward a coordinated policy for long-range library growth and development with provision for efficient systems, rapid communication among the membership, shared resources, cooperative and coordinated purchasing, and exploration of other areas of cooperation.

c. To cooperate with other educational, library, and research institutions and organizations within and without the geographical area so as to further the purposes of the consortium.

Section 2. In pursuit of its purposes this organization shall:


a. Undertake research studies, projects, and programs which lead to a knowledge of available resources and services.


b. Support the implementation of systems and techniques that will facilitate increased interlibrary cooperation among the member institutions.

Article III. Membership

Section 1. The charter members are the libraries of the following institutions: Bethel College, Dyersburg State Community College, Freed-Hardeman University, Jackson State Community College, Lambuth University, Lane College, University of Tennessee at Martin, Union University.

Section 2. Other academic institutions in the region, with similar undergraduate, graduate and research programs and with potentials for reciprocity, may be considered for full membership upon application and may become full members by three-fourths majority vote of the full member institutions.

Section 3. Other libraries in the region may be considered for associate membership upon application and may become associate members by three-fourths majority vote of the full member institutions. Associate members may participate in any of the activities of the organization with the exception of the governing board.

Article IV. Contributions

Section 1. Contributions, grants, or gifts may be accepted by the Consortium for the advancement of the purposes of the Consortium as set forth in Article II of this Constitution.

Section 2. All funds received shall be deposited in an account within the institution of the Boardís choosing and will be under the control of the officers of the consortium.

Article V. Administration

Section 1. The administration of the affairs of the Consortium shall be vested in a Board of Directors which is empowered to take whatever actions deemed necessary to accomplish the purpose of the organization.

Section 2. The Board of Directors shall:

a. manage and control the affairs of the Consortium,

b. annually elect the Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and two At-large Representatives from among the members of the Board,

c. approve all planning, funding, development programs, grant proposals, projects, joint ventures, workshops, seminars, and networking capabilities by the Consortium,

d. initiate institutional ratification for any action requiring such high level approval,

e. and assess the effectiveness of the Consortium regularly through the compilation of statistics, the administration of surveys, or other means of assessment it decides are warranted.

Section 3. The Board of Directors of the Consortium will consist of the Chief Librarian of each member institution or his/her designate.

Section 4. The Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, At-large Representatives, and the immediate past Chair shall serve as an Executive Committee.

Section 5. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to act on behalf of the Board in order to conduct the ongoing business of the organization.

Article VI. Meetings

Section 1. The Board of Directors shall hold at least two meetings a year in order to carry on the business of the Consortium. The last meeting of the academic year will be an annual meeting at which officers for the following year will be elected.

Section 2. Meetings of the Board and Executive Committee shall be scheduled by the Chair in consultation with the other members. The members will be notified of time, place, and nature of the business to be transacted not less than five (5) days prior to the date of a meeting.

Section 3. Additional meetings of the Executive Committee may be called at the discretion of the Chair or upon request of a member of the Board.

Section 4. Unless a member of the full Board or Executive Committee makes an objection to the Chair, the business of the full Board or Executive Committee may be transacted by mail, telephone, or electronic communications.

Section 5. There will be two scheduled meetings per year of the full membership of the West Tennessee Academic Library Consortium where staffs of the individual institutions are invited to participate. Other meetings may be convened at the discretion of the Board.

Article VII. Voting

Section 1. Each member institution shall be entitled to one vote. The Chief Librarian or his/her designee will cast the vote for the institution.

Section 2. A quorum required for the transaction of business shall be a majority of the Board or Executive Committee members.

Section 3. A majority vote at a meeting of the Board shall be binding upon the Consortium subject to such conditions and exceptions as are provided elsewhere in the Constitution & By-Laws.

ArticleVIII. Elections.

Section 1. Officers shall be elected annually at the spring meeting of the Board.

Section 2. Two at-large representatives of the Board shall be elected annually at the spring meeting of the Board to serve on the Executive Committee.

Article IX. Amendments

Section 1. The Constitution & By-Laws may be amended by a three-fourths majority vote of the member institutions at any meeting of the Board, provided that written notice of any proposed change or the substance thereof be sent to the entire membership not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of this meeting.

Article I. Special Operational Procedures

Section 1. Bylaws may be adopted, amended, suspended, or rescinded by a majority vote of the entire Board after 30 days notice.

Section 2. The Board shall have sole authority to appoint committees or task forces it deems necessary for the furtherance of the consortium purpose. The charge and make-up of any committee or task force will be at the discretion of the Board.

Section 3. The Board shall support the creation of functional groups as a means of encouraging staff development by assigning Board members to serve as liaisons to these groups.

Section 4. Chairs of all committees, task forces, and functional groups shall be appointed annually by the Board at the spring meeting or at the time of creation.

Section 5. The responsibilities of the officers and at-large representatives of the Board shall be as follows.

a. The Chair shall:

       have power to call a meeting of the Board or Executive Committee,

       preside over all meetings of the Board and Executive Committee,

       create the agenda for all meetings of the Board and Executive Committee after seeking appropriate input from the participants,

       and keep the Vice-Chair informed of all matters relative to the organizationís operation.

b. The Vice-Chair shall:

       preside a meeting of the Board or Executive Committee in the absence of the Chair,

       immediately assume, as Chair Elect, the responsibilities of the office of Chair in the event of a vacancy,

       coordinate the development of programs for the two regular fall and spring meetings,

c. The Secretary-Treasurer shall:

       record the minutes of all meetings of the Board and Executive Committee,

       distribute minutes to all Board members within two weeks following any meeting,

       collect and distribute any institutional reports presented at the meetings of the organization,

       send the minutes to the website administrator for posting on the web after their approval,

       issue notices of upcoming meetings in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair,

       maintain the official list of member institutions and provide this to the website administrator,

       maintain a list of all committees and their membership,

       make arrangements with the institution acting as the organizationís financial agent for deposits to and payments from the WeTALC accounts,

       prepare a financial report of WeTALC accounts for distribution at the annual meeting,

       And arrange for the annual audit of the organizationís accounting books.

d. The At-large Representatives shall:

       serve as the Boardís liaison to assigned functional groups,

       and assist the Secretary-Treasurer with preparation and distribution of reports.

e. The Past Chair shall:

       offer advice and counsel to the Chair when needed,

       provide a sense of continuity for the Board and Executive Committee.

Article II. Agreement on Resource Sharing

Section 1. Changing academic programs, expanding electronic resources, requirements of accrediting bodies and faculty/student expectations all place increasing demands on library resources. To help member libraries to meet these demands, the Consortium establishes agreements and takes other initiatives for the advancement of resource sharing between member libraries.

Section 2. Agreements

a. Libraries should utilize the most expedient means for delivery of materials to other campuses.

b. Every member institution of the consortium agrees to the use of its collection by the faculty, staff, and students in good standing of other member institutions. Such institutional use is governed by the policies and regulations of the host institution. Each member institution agrees to support the policies and regulations of the host library in such cases. Furthermore, each member institution agrees to cooperate with host libraries in recovering costs due to loss or damage. In the event costs cannot be recovered from a user, the guest institution agrees to bear such costs including replacement and processing fees. Similarly, each member institution agrees that as a host library it will inform the guest library of user delinquency at least thirty days prior to billing.

c. Institutions must assume primary costs for area interlibrary loan requests and transfers, but libraries must be free to make small charges for services to constrain requests and to cover incidental costs for communication and transportation.

d. Cooperative relationships under formal agreements must not be used by institutions to avoid responsibility for providing their own adequate and accessible library resources and services.

e. Cooperative projects for the development of library technology and resources may be pursued from public and private funding sources but participation in such projects will be dependent upon the institutional policy and eligibility requirements of each individual institution.

f. An institution's own faculty and students must be given priority consideration in access to all materials and services. Materials not currently in use and not on reference, reserve, in special collections, or restricted by licensing should be made available to others for reasonable periods of time.

g. All photocopying of periodical articles or excerpts from books for the purpose of resource sharing between the member institutions shall follow the legal requirements of current copyright law.

h. Microforms, audiovisuals, or periodicals borrowed by a library should normally be used only within the borrowing libraryís building and should be returned to the lending library promptly.

Section 3. Affirmative Action

No person on the grounds of handicap, race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, will be excluded from participation in or be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in the performance of this Agreement. Notices of non-discrimination shall be posted in conspicuous places at each institution.

Section 4. Disclaimer

a. Member institutions and their personnel and the State of Tennessee shall be blameless from any liability from claims, damages and actions of any nature arising from this agreement or use of the materials furnished, provided that such liability is not attributable to negligence on the part of the member institution.

b. Any and all claims against public institutions or the State of Tennessee arising from negligence in performance of duties under this Agreement shall be submitted to the Board of Claims or the Claims Commission of the State of Tennessee, whichever is applicable. Damages recoverable against the public institutions or the State of Tennessee will be limited to claims paid by the Board of Claims or the Claims Commission of the State of Tennessee, whichever is applicable.

Revision of constitution and by-laws approved on March 29, 2003.