1.1 In accordance with the Swiss Civil Code (Art.60 et seq), an international association called the "Association of European Research Libraries" (hereinafter referred to as LIBER – Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche) was established in 1971 for an indefinite period, having its seat at the domicile of its Secretaroat.
1.2 These Statutes amend the original Statutes of 1971, and subsequent revisions.
CHAPTER 2 – AIM AND MISSION OF THE ASSOCIATION
2.1 LIBER is a non-governmental association of the research libraries of Europe, formed under the auspices of the Council of Europe and having the status of a consultative body with that Council.
2.2 LIBER represents and promotes the interests of research libraries of Europe. The general aim of LIBER is to assist research libraries in Europe to become a functional network across national boundaries in order to ensure the preservation of the European cultural heritage, to improve access to collections in European research libraries and to provide more efficient information services in Europe.
3.1 To achieve this aim, among other activities, LIBER:
(i) represents the interests of European research libraries (national and university libraries in particular) when and where needed;
(ii) seeks to identify and define the needs for common effort and initiates activities in these areas, either alone or in co-operation with other organisations, governmental or non-governmental, national or international;
(iii) supports the improvement of professional skills in research libraries through meetings, seminars, working groups, publications. It supports special projects and development schemes and seeks to achieve close contact between libraries and individual professionals in Europe;
(iv) promotes standardisation in areas vital for co-operation between libraries, such as library automation;
(v) plays an active role in shaping long-term visions for the development of the European research library network while representing the collective expertise of its member libraries.
3.2 In order to fulfil these tasks LIBER actively encourages its membership to support the work by making available the expertise within individual libraries.
CHAPTER 3 – MEMBERSHIP
Article 4 – Categories of Membership
4.1 Membership shall be granted by the decision of the Executive Board.
4.2 LIBER has the following categories of member:
Institutional, Associate, Individual and Honorary
4.3 (i) Institution:research libraries in countries that are Members or Associate Members of the Council of Europe and which, for this purpose, are defined as:
- National libraries
- University libraries
- Libraries of institutions conducting teaching or research at a post-graduate level
- Public libraries with major research collections
- National archives
(ii) Organisation: library organisations in countries that are Members or Associate Members of the Council of Europe consisting of national libraries and/or the libraries of institutions of higher education granting awards up to and including PhD level. In countries where no organisation of research libraries exists, membership in the Organisation category may be obtained by a more general library organisation. Organisations consisting principally of personal members (e.g. associations of librarians) are not normally eligible unless there is no other library organisation in the country.
(iii) Associate: companies or consortia supplying services to research libraries, and library organisations in countries that are not Members or Associate Members of the Council of Europe.
(iv) Individual: professional librarians who work or have worked in research libraries.
(v) Honorary membership can be granted by special resolution of the Executive Board with the approval of the General Assembly.
Article 5 – Rights of membership
5.1 Members in the Institution and Organisation cetegories only shall be entitled to vote at the General Assembly, to be eligible for the elections to the Executive Board, and to nominate candidates for election. Staff of these Members are eligible for election to the Executive Board.
5.2 Members in all categories are entitled to receive such LIBER publications free of extra charge as the Executive Board shall from time to time approve.
Article 6 – Annual Fees
6.1 The annual membership fee shall be set by the General Assembly.
Article 7 – Termination of membership
7. Membership shall be terminated:
7.1 On resignation which shall be tendered for the end of a year subject to six months' notice and payment of all moneys owing to the Association;
7.2 On cancellation of membership by the Executive Board in the case, inter alia, of a member which, in spite of formal notice, has not fulfilled its obligation for over a year. Appeal against the decision may be made to the General Assembly provided due notice is lodged with the Executive Board one week in advance.
CHAPTER 4 – ADMINISTRATION AND OPERATION
LIBER shall organise its work through the General Assembly, the Executive Board and the Professional Divisions. It shall establish a Secretariat which shall be located and staffed as shall be determined from time to time by the Executive Board.
Article 9 – The General Assembly
9.1 The General Assembly shall be composed of all members of LIBER in the Institution and Organisation categories.
9.2 A single membership fee entitles the institution to be represented in the General Assembly by not more than one named delegate who shall carry the voting rights for that institution or organisation. Any other delegates from an institution or organisation present at the Assembly shall have observer status.
9.3 An institution or organisation not able to be present at the General Assembly may delegate its right to vote to another member acting as proxy or to the Chairman acting as proxy. It shall notify the General Secretary not less than 24 hours before the General Assembly of its intention to delegate its vote and shall name the proxy in writing to the General Secretary.
Article 10 – Responsibilities of the General Assembly
10.1 The General Assembly shall be the governing body of the Association.
10.2 It shall be the appeal authority in any dispute between members and the Executive Board.
10.3 It shall receive and approve the Annual Report of the Executive Board.
10.4 It shall receive and approve the Annual Report of the Treasurer.
10.5 It shall receive and approve the Annual Report of the Auditors and shall appoint auditors for the following year’s accounts.(Amended by AGA 2006)
10.6 It shall elect the President, Vice President, Chairmen of the Divisions and the Members of the Executive Board.
10.7 It shall set the annual membership fee.
10.8 It shall receive reports from the Divisions, their Committees of Experts and from the Standing Committees of the Executive Board.
10.9 It shall receive and approve the annual budget of LIBER.
10.10 It shall have the power to amend the Constitution and to dissolve the Association.
Article 11 – Meetings of the General Assembly
11.1 The Assembly shall meet once each year and whenever convened by the Executive Board, or at the request of one fifth of the sum of the members in the Institution and Organisation categories.
11.2 The General Secretary shall ensure that announcements relating to the conduct of the business of the General Assembly shall be sent to the members according to the following rules:
11.3 Announcements of the Annual General Assembly and the Agenda for the Assembly shall be distributed to members at least one month before the date of the meeting of the Assembly;
11.4 Announcements calling for nominations to the Executive Board, to Divisional Committees, and to Expert Committees shall be sent to members not later than the last day of February of the year of the election. Nominations for election shall be returned in writing to the General Secretary not later than two weeks before the opening of the General Assembly;
11.5 The General Secretary shall announce the candidates for election at the beginning of the General Assembly. Voting shall be by those members preent at the General Assembly or by their designated proxy. In the event of a tie in the voting, a second round of voting will take place, with the candidates being those who have received an equal number of votes in the first round.
Article 12 – The Executive Board
12.1 LIBER shall be administered by an Executive Board which shall consist of the following 11 members, all drawn from institutions or organisations in membership of LIBER. Their term of office starts, unless otherwise decided by the General Assembly, on 1 January of the year following the date of election.
(i) A President elected by the General Assembly to serve for a period of TWO YEARS, after which the President may be re-elected for one further term of office of TWO YEARS;
(ii) An Immediate Past President, who shall serve normally for a period of TWO YEARS following upon his retirement from the office of President, or until the election of a new President;
(iii) A Vice-President elected by the General Assembly for a period of not more than TWO YEARS, after which the Vice President may be re-elected for one further term of office of not more than TWO YEARS;
(iv) The four Chairmen of the Divisions ex officio.
(v) Four members elected by the General Assembly for a period of not more than TWO YEARS; each member may be re-elected for one or two further terms of office of not more than TWO YEARS.
12.2 The Board may fill provisionally any vacancies which may occur between elections by co-option until the next election.
12.3 The Board shall have power to co-opt up to two persons to be additional members of the Board, who shall, subject to the decision of the Board to re-co-opt, serve for the same periods as elected members of the Board. The Board shall also have the power to co-opt up to two persons to act as Advisers to the Board. Such Advisers shall not have voting powers on the Board but shall have observer status. (Amended by AGA 2006)
12.4 The Board shall be chaired by the President, or in his absence by the Vice President. It shall elect from within its number its General Secretary and its Treasurer who shall serve for a period determined by the period of their election as ordinary members of the Board.
12.5 The Board shall, within the limitations imposed by these Statutes, establish its own procedures for meetings, and shall have the power to delegate particular responsibilities to the officers of LIBER and to elected members of the Board.
Article 13 – Responsibilities of the Board
13.1 The Executive Board shall be entrusted with the direction of all activities within the sphere of work of the Association.
13.2 It shall decide and supervise the publications' policy of LIBER.
13.3 It shall give its ruling on all matters concerning the administration of LIBER.
13.4 Minutes shall be kept of all of its meetings.
13.5 The General Secretary of the Board shall provide an annual report of the Board's activities to the General Assembly.
Article 14 – Meetings of the Executive Board
14.1 The Board shall meet whenever it is convened by the President, or at the request of two of its members.
14.2 At least six members of the Board, one of whom must be the President or the Vice-President, shall constitute a quorum.
Article 15 – Standing Committees of the Board
15.1 The Board may establish such Standing Committees as it thinks appropriate for the conduct of the affairs of the Association.
15.2 It may co-opt for the general membership of LIBER to the Standing Committees but each Standing Committee shall be chaired by a member of the Executive Board.
15.3 The Standing Committee shall report to the full Executive Board.
Article 16 – Task Forces
16.1 The Board may establish such Task Forces as it requires to further the work of LIBER.
16.2 The Board may nominate to membership of a Task Force any person it wishes, but the Task Force will be convened by the representative of a member of LIBER in the Institution or Organisation category.
16.3 Each Task Force shall report to the Executive Board and shall only remain in being for a period specifically set by the Board to complete its work.
Article 17 – The Professional Divisions
17.1 LIBER shall have such Professional Divisions as shall be determined from time to time by the General Assembly on the advice of the Executive Board.
17.2 Each Professional Division shall be responsible to the General Assembly for the development of professional programmes of work, for the organisation of meetings of members and of experts, and for forwarding and developing LIBER's objectives within the specific area of its remit.
17.3 Each Professional Division shall be administered by a Divisional Committee comprising not less than three persons and not more than six, all of whom shall be representatives of members of LIBER in the Institution or Organisation category. Each shall serve for a period of FOUR years, and shall be eligible for re-election for a further period of TWO years.
17.4 The Divisional Committee shall propose to the General Assembly a Chairman from among its members. The Chairman shall for a period of FOUR years, and shall be eligible for re-election for a further period of TWO years.
17.5 Elections shall be held for the Divisional Committees during the Annual General Assembly.
17.6 Each Divisional Committee shall prepare for the Executive Board an annual budget to support its expenditure. It shall produce a programme of work, including that of any Expert Committees, for submission to the Annual General Assembly and shall present to the Annual General Assembly a report of its activity and that of any Expert Committees during the year.
Article 18 – Expert Committees
18.1 Each Division may establish Expert Committees to assist with its work.
18.2 An Expert Committee may only be established upon the formal recommendation by the Division to the LIBER Executive Board, and the Executive Board's approval.
18.3 Each Expert Committee shall consist of a minimum of three persons, of whom a majority shall be representatives of members of LIBER in the Institution or Organisation category. The Expert Committee shall propose a Chairman from among the members who shall be appointed by the Executive Board on the recommendation of the Divisional Committee. The members of the Expert Committees shall normally serve for a period of TWO YEARS but shall be eligible for re-appointment by the Divisional Committee for a further period of TWO years.
18.4 The Committee shall be responsible for drawing up the programme of work for the Expert Committee. Each Expert Committee shall submit a programme of work to the Divisional Committee for approval. It shall work to the remit established by the Division and shall not undertake any other activities or make any public announcements without the prior approval of the Executive Board expressed through the Divisional Chairman.
18.5 The Expert Committee may organise open meetings, seminars, conferences and working visits to libraries. It may also publish guides and standards, and information sheets, but it shall submit all proposals for activities to the Divisional Chairman for approval.
CHAPTER 5 – FINANCE
19.1 The Finances of LIBER shall consist of:
(i) members' fees
(ii) proceeds from the sale of publications;
(iii) subsidies, gifts and bequests;
(iv) ad hoc grants.
(v) other sources of income, as determined from time to time by the Executive Board.
19.2 The accounts shall be closed on 31 December. They shall be drawn up in the currency of the domicile of the LIBER Secretariat.
20.1 Revision of the Statutes and the dissolution of LIBER may be decided by two-thirds of the voting members present or represented at the General Assembly or by two-thirds of the votes cast by all members in the Institution or Organisation categories of LIBER in a postal ballot.
20.2 Notice of intention to revise the Statutes or dissolve LIBER shall be sent to members not later than the last day of February of the year of the General Assembly, and normally at least four months' notice shall be given.
20.3 In the event of dissolution, the General Assembly shall decide how the assets are to be used, in the light of the aims of LIBER.
All matters not covered by these Statutes shall be governed by custom, under the General Assembly's guarantee.
These Statutes were adopted by LIBER on 7th July 1994.
This is the revised version of the Statutes as approved by the LIBER Annual General Assembly in Warsaw on 6 July 2007.