In order to address TDL sustainability needs and more equitably share the cost of operating the consortium, the TDL Governing Board earlier this year approved changes to the TDL Membership Structure and fee schedule.
Effective for the 2024 Fiscal Year that begins September 1, these changes impact the Base (Tiered) Membership Fee for Regular Members in the higher education tiers. Please note that the full membership fee consists of the Base Membership plus Service Fees (e.g. DSpace hosting). These changes do not impact Service Fees or Affiliate Membership Fees.
The changes to the tiered membership structure include the following:
- The former “High Research Institutions: Non-ARL” category is split into two categories based on the Carnegie Classification system: (a) R1 institutions: Very High Research Activity Institutions and (b) R2 & Doctoral/Professional Universities.
- The new annual fees narrow the gap in the respective membership fees of ARL and R1 institutions, in order to more equitably share the responsibility of funding the consortium.
- The new fee structure updates Base Membership Fees for Independent Medical Libraries, Master’s Granting Institutions, Baccalaureate Granting Institutions, and Community Colleges.
The table below summarizes the changes to the membership categories and Base Membership Fees for Regular Members of TDL.
|Regular Membership Tiers||Old Base Membership Fees (FY23)||New Base Membership Fees (effective FY24)|
|Independent Medical Libraries||$15,000||$18,000|
TDL has begun implementing these changes in its contract renewals in the fiscal year beginning September 1, 2023. Additionally, all new member contracts will be developed using this fee structure starting September 1, 2023.
TDL will honor all current membership contracts through their termination date. No changes to membership fees are made for any member until the contract is renewed.
Additionally, TDL is using the following guidelines in implementing the fee changes:
- Membership dues for current ARL members will not decrease until those decreases are offset by gains elsewhere.
- If a member’s current contract ends August 31, 2023, and the increase in dues is 20% or greater, their new 3-year contract will have stair-step increases implemented over a minimum of 2 years. If a member’s current contract ends August 31, 2024, or later, and the increase in dues is 20% or more, the full increase will be implemented in the first year of the new contract.
- If the increase in membership dues is 10% or less, the full increase is implemented in the first year of a new contract regardless of the renewal year.
The changes to the Membership Structure and Fee Structure address sustainability needs of the consortium and move further towards a fee structure that shares the cost of the consortium equitably and adequately. Among the factors affecting the creation of the proposal are the following:
Equitable cost-sharing. TDL’s revenue from membership fees has been highly dependent on fee payments and in-kind support from its four founding ARL institutions; prior to these changes, nearly 50% of membership revenue (not counting service fees) has come from these four institutions collectively. These changes more equitably distribute the cost of operating the TDL Consortium among the full membership while still recognizing the greater responsibility and resources of ARL institutions.
Changes in membership composition. The number of R1 institutions and ARL libraries in Texas has grown in recent years. However, the current membership structure combines all doctoral-granting institutions (aside from those with ARL libraries) into a single category, despite significant differences between R1, R2, and Doctoral/Professional institutions.
High barrier to entry for ARL tier. The number of ARL libraries within the TDL consortium has grown, but the barrier to entry to the ARL category in the old membership structure was high. These changes pave the way for new ARL institutions to join TDL’s ARL tier.
Rising costs. Inflation and growth of hosted collections has impacted the cost of running the consortium.
No history of regular fee increases. TDL has not implemented regular fee increases, historically. This has been due, in part, to the existence of a sizable cash reserve, for which the Board adopted a plan to strategically invest.
The most recent changes to the membership fee structure were approved in 2017, and increases were phased in over a 3-year period. There have not been fee increases for nearly any member since 2020; and the 2017 change resulted in decreases for many members. Additionally, the 2017 fee restructuring resulted in an overall decrease in membership revenue for TDL with the membership at that time, and the consortium has made up the difference through membership growth and use of its cash reserve.
Please contact the TDL Executive Director Kristi Park at email@example.com.