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VIVA: VIVA Memorandum of Understanding

Virginia's Academic Library Consortium

This guide has variable layouts and houses the majority of the "sub" pages for VIVA's website.


Key Governance Documents

Memorandum of Understanding

(Approved by the VIVA Steering Committee on September 14, 2000 and approved by the SCHEV Library Advisory Council on October 30, 2000)


I. Purpose & Definitions

This Memorandum of Understanding articulates the governance, participating institutions, coordination and support, and amendment and review of these for VIVA. This Memorandum is effective November 1, 2000.

II. Mission

VIVA's mission is to provide, in an equitable, cooperative and cost effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia's non-profit academic libraries serving the higher education community.

III. Vision

VIVA exists to advance library services for all participants through

  • sharing group purchasing power for licensing digital resources
  • sharing commitment to provide the framework for strengthening resources, expertise, and negotiating position
  • sharing library resources
  • sharing staff expertise

VIVA is more than a buying consortium. Rather, VIVA is a sharing consortium managed for the benefit of educational institutions and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The investment of the Commonwealth in VIVA creates permanent lasting benefit for the Commonwealth in building a sustainable infrastructure for library sharing at all levels. Membership in VIVA brings obligations and responsibilities for contributing to library sharing arrangements in addition to benefiting from arrangements for shared licensing.

IV. Membership

The 39 State-assisted academic colleges and universities in Virginia are charter members of VIVA by legislative action. These include the 6 public doctoral institutions; 9 comprehensive institutions; and 24 community colleges and two-year branch campuses. In addition, the private non-profit institutions of higher education comprising the Virginia Independent College and University Library Association (VICULA) have participated as charter members from the inception of VIVA. The Library of Virginia, as a State library agency with educational and research mission, also participates as a member of VIVA.

The Commonwealth of Virginia funds VIVA initiatives for State-assisted institutions by appropriations of the General Assembly through the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) and its Library Advisory Committee (LAC). Funding for participation by private institutions of higher education is by assessment through VICULA and by allocations from the Commonwealth. In addition, VIVA participants may elect from time to time to assess fees from the membership for specific initiatives or needs.

V. Requirements for Membership

  1. Membership in VIVA is open only to academic libraries serving the non-profit higher education community in the Commonwealth of Virginia as defined by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia.
  2. Each member consents to this Memorandum of Understanding. Members assume prescribed fiscal responsibility for support of VIVA. Such fiscal responsibility may include annual payments, proportional costs of any joint projects, and other assessments as shall be properly authorized by the VIVA Steering Committee and ratified by the Library Advisory Committee.
  3. Members may withdraw from VIVA participation at any time. The parent organization of the withdrawing member or the withdrawing member itself should notify the Chair of the VIVA Steering Committee of a decision to withdraw from VIVA.
  4. Private non-profit members must sign a matching funds agreement with VIVA at the beginning of each biennium funding cycle. Withdrawal from VIVA during the biennium does not relieve the financial obligation of the matching funds agreement for the biennium.

VI. Membership obligations, responsibilities, and privileges

  1. VIVA members provide free and open access to all VIVA resources for all users of their libraries. For the purpose of VIVA access, any person on the physical premises of a member library is considered a VIVA user.
  2. VIVA members commit to free, equitable, and enhanced support for interlibrary loan (ILL) among members of the consortium. Resource sharing as represented by ILL arrangements is a core value of VIVA and includes both cost and opportunity elements. VIVA recognizes these elements in its annual funding and assessment requests. ILL arrangements are articulated in the Interlibrary Loan Guidelines for VIVA, adopted August 2000, and revised in 2004. The Guidelines are included in Appendix 1, Addendum of Current Practice, and also appear at
  3. VIVA members contribute staff expertise for the advancement and management of VIVA through participation in VIVA initiatives. Staff members of VIVA institutions comprise committees, task forces, and work groups which provide nearly all the human resource for VIVA-related work. VIVA members share a commitment to encourage staff to participate in VIVA-related tasks through both formal and informal mechanisms.
  4. VIVA members share a responsibility to protect licenses negotiated by VIVA through appropriate access guidelines. VIVA members also share responsibility for selecting digital resources for licensing by VIVA.

VII. Governance

The governance structure and operation of VIVA are set forth in Appendix 1, Addendum of Current Practice. Decisions of VIVA are implemented by VIVA institutions through staff resources that include dedicated staffing and staffing from VIVA institutions.

1. Coordination

VIVA Director: Under the general direction of the VIVA Steering Committee and working closely with its Chairperson, the VIVA Director manages consortium-wide services, projects and activities of VIVA. The Director is operationally responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating VIVA's overall program, projects, and activities. These include, but are not limited to the following: providing administrative and programmatic support for VIVA's committees and task forces; proposing new products and services and negotiating licenses and other contracts with vendors; performing cost-benefit analyses for online resources and other VIVA programs; managing procurement of resources; developing proposals for funding; and promoting and representing VIVA to the higher education community in the Commonwealth of Virginia and to other organizations regionally, nationally, and internationally.
The VIVA Director shall maintain the VIVA archives.

2. Staff

VIVA shall access such staff as may be necessary to support the goals of the consortium.

a. Staff at participating institutions. The selection, salary, and conditions of appointment of these staff are set within the framework governing professional and support appointments at host institutions.

b. Temporary Staff. VIVA may access temporary project staff as appropriate to pursue funded projects. Member institutions may also assign staff as appropriate for projects that must be underway.

c. Permanent staff. VIVA shall recruit and support a Director for overall coordination of the VIVA operations.

d. Additional Staff. The VIVA Steering Committee may approve plans, terms, and conditions for hiring additional permanent staff as the need arises.

3. Other Support

Upon agreement by the VIVA Steering Committee, any participant may serve VIVA by housing projects, supplying services, or serving as a contract negotiator.

VIII. Amendment and review

This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended by unanimous approval of the participants in good standing represented on the Steering Committee.
The Addendum of Current Practice sets forth current operating procedures and financial arrangements. It shall be revised annually by the Steering Committee.

IX. Duration and termination

This Memorandum shall continue in force until terminated. This Memorandum may be terminated upon the mutual agreement in writing of all participants in good standing