May 17, 2022

Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) and the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) Endorse Multiple Big Ten Academic Alliance Authored Resource Sharing Documents

From a Joint Statement:

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) and the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) have jointly endorsed several statements developed by the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) to guide the development of future library resource sharing services and tools. The statements are publicly available on the BTAA website.

A Common Vision for Future Tools

Two of the reports endorsed by ASERL and WRLC are “Next Generation Discovery to Delivery: A Vision” and “Next Generation Resource Delivery: Management System and UX Functional Requirements.” These reports provide both high-level visionary statements for improving future technologies and details about specific functions and features that BTAA, ASERL and WRLC expect to be included in such tools and services. 

“Our colleagues in the Big Ten have provided excellent direction for our libraries and our vendor-partners as we seek new and better ways to share resources with our library partners and our users in a rapidly changing environment,” commented Anne Prestamo, Dean of Libraries at Florida International University and President of ASERL’s Board of Directors. “We will use the vision and requirements outlined in these reports as our yardstick to determine how resource sharing technologies measure up.”

“ASERL and WRLC members share the vision for a unified, simple, and streamlined user experience for discovering needed library items all the way through to having options for having the items delivered in an intuitive, efficient manner,” commented Geneva Henry, Dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation at George Washington University and Chair of the WRLC Library Directors Council.

Getting to “Maybe” with Loaning Specialized Collections

Additionally, ASERL and WRLC have endorsed BTAA’s “Principles and Protocols for Interlibrary Loan of Special Collections Materials.” Libraries have traditionally been very protective of the rare and specialized materials they have amassed in their collections, typically requiring remote users to travel to the home library rather than loaning the specialized items to another library as they would for non-specialized items. In April 2018, BTAA published a set of principles and protocols that would allow the loan of some specialized materials under controlled conditions – typically for supervised, in-library use, with specialized shipping and handling of materials between locations. 

“One of the factors that distinguishes a research library is the rare and unique materials it has collected over time,” commented John Burger, Executive Director of ASERL. “We consider it to be a prime directive for libraries: Enable as much use of the collections as we can. These principles and protocols represent an important new step in that direction.”

Direct to Big Ten Academic Alliance Library Initiatives

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.