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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 the SCHEV Library Advisory Council on October 30, 2000; revised, then approved by the VIVA Steering Committee on September 9, 2021 and the SCHEV Library Advisory Council on December 10, 2021; revised, then approved by the VIVA Steering Committee on September 23, 2022 and the SCHEV Library Advisory Council on October 11, 2022.)


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 October 11, 2022.

II. Mission

As Virginia’s academic library consortium, VIVA builds an equitable, accessible, and robust infrastructure of library resources and services for Virginia higher education students and faculty.

III. Vision

VIVA seeks to create permanent, lasting benefit for the Commonwealth by building sustainable infrastructure for library cooperation; amplifying the Virginia academic library voice; and serving as a catalyst for improved and innovative library services and technologies.

IV. Values

VIVA works cooperatively for the common good by:

  • Enabling equitable access to resources and services across institution type and size.
  • Maximizing the return on investment by the state and member institutions through the creation of shared collections, programs, and services.
  • Building community and capacity through networking, training, and sharing expertise.
  • Supporting statewide student and faculty success.
  • Empowering academic freedom, diversity of thought and ideas, and inclusivity by providing a broad spectrum of resources.
  • Advancing the active contributions of its member libraries.

V. Membership

The 39 State-assisted academic colleges and universities in Virginia are charter members of VIVA by legislative action. These include the 8 public doctoral institutions; 7 comprehensive institutions; and 24 community colleges and two-year branch campuses. Private non-profit institutions of higher education have participated from the inception of VIVA; eligibility for private, non-profit institutions to participate in VIVA is determined by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) and is based on factors including nonprofit status, accreditation, location of operations, TAG eligibility, and certification or exemption from certification. 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 allocation from the Commonwealth, which the participating private, non-profit institutions are required to match as a group. In addition, VIVA participants may elect from time to time to assess fees from the membership for specific initiatives or needs.

VI. 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 VIVA Director of a decision to withdraw from VIVA. Withdrawal from VIVA during the fiscal year does not relieve the financial obligation of the institution for that fiscal year.

VII. Membership obligations, responsibilities, and privileges

  1. As a state-funded program, VIVA is mission-driven to provide access to information for Virginia residents and other members of the public.  This includes providing free and open access to VIVA resources to all users of its member libraries, including walk-in users, consistent with institutional policies.

  2. 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.

  3. 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, included in Appendix 1, Addendum of Current Practice.

  4. 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.

VIII. 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.

IX. Amendment and review

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

X. 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