Press Release

June 21, 2013

ASERL and WRLC Create Scholars Trust

Vast Archive and Enhanced Delivery Serves Libraries in Southeast & Mid-Atlantic States

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) and the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) have signed an agreement to create “Scholars Trust.” The Trust will combine the contents of their respective shared print journal collections under a single retention and access agreement. As a result, the combined title list exceeds 8,000 journal titles and more than 300,000 volumes, making Scholars Trust one of the largest shared print journal repositoriesin the United States. In conjunction with the formation of Scholars Trust, WRLC and ASERL libraries have agreed to extend reciprocal priority Inter-Library Loan (ILL) services across the group.

“We are thrilled to join forces in partnership with ASERL to make Scholars Trust a reality,” commented Mark Jacobs, Executive Director of the WRLC. “Through informal conversations, it became clear that we shared the same goals and long-term needs for the programs each consortium had under development. It made good sense to combine our efforts into Scholars Trust. The priority ILL service agreement isicing on the cake.”

“ASERL and WRLC are distinct organizations providing many unique and valuable services to their member libraries,” added Lynn Sutton, President of ASERL and Dean of Libraries at Wake Forest University. “These partnerships are wonderful examples of a new level of cooperation among libraries to provide cost-effective service to our users and also meet the operational needs of libraries in a rapidly changing environment.”

The Scholars Trust agreement requires the archived materials to be held until at least December 31, 2035, possibly longer. The materials archived by WRLC are housed in a central facility in suburban Maryland. The materials being archived by ASERL members are held at various locations across the Southeast. A large majority of the print archive contents is readily available online from many sources, so the need to access the archived items is expected to be quite low.

“Today’s library users expect access to content anytime and anywhere,” noted John Burger, ASERL’s Executive Director. “The libraries in ASERL and WRLC are continually expanding ways to deliver content to users quickly and easily. Scholars Trustis a fail-safe means of providing content when a researcher needs an original printed journal – an ‘artifact,’ if you will – should the digital surrogate be somehow insufficient for their needs, or not be available.”

About ASERL

Founded in 1956, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries is the largest regional research library cooperative in the country, with 40 members in 11 states. ASERL operates numerous projects designed to foster a high standard of library excellence through interinstitutional resource sharing and other collaborative efforts. By working together, ASERL members provide and maintain top quality resources and services for the students, faculty, and citizens of their respective communities. More information about ASERL can be found at www.aserl.org.

About WRLC

The Washington Research Library Consortium was established in 1987 to support and enhance the library and information services of universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Today, the WRLC enables the success of learning and scholarship among its nine partner universities by creating coordinated collections, creating a robust infrastructure for discovery and access, ensuring the long-term preservation of physical and digital information resources and sharing expertise. Learn more about the WRLC at www.wrlc.org.