Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation, Inc.



          Around 1980, academic, school, public and special libraries across the Upper Peninsula began investigating plans for a shared automated bibliographic database that could be utilized by all libraries.  The Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation (UPRLC) was established in 1984 for the purpose of developing systems for facilitating the sharing of resources between multi-type libraries in the Upper Peninsula.  As automated systems came online in the late 1990s, the UPRLC contracted with the Superiorland Library Cooperative (SLC) to operate the automated system for the remaining 80 libraries.

Authority and Purpose

UPRLC is a Michigan 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. UPRLC files annual independent single audits with the Michigan Department of Treasury. UPRLC is a multi-type membership organization; there are currently around 100 members including public, K-12 school, academic, special, and tribal libraries. 

Purpose from the UPRLC, Inc. Articles of Incorporation: 

  1. To facilitate the sharing of information resources among the libraries in northern Michigan;
  2. To promote cost-effective practices and procedures as may be possible through interlibrary cooperation;
    C. To assist libraries in providing informational and educational services in northern Michigan by providing a forum for advocacy and professional exchange;
    D. To facilitate northern Michigan libraries’ access to regional and national electronic information systems; 
    E. To manage and operate the regional library automated system for the benefit of libraries in northern Michigan.

Bylaws and Governance

UPRLC’s bylaws are posted on the website at:  https://uprlc.org/uprlc-bylaws/.

UPRLC is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of nine people elected by the general membership at the Annual Meeting in September.  At least one trustee must be from an academic library and at least one must be from a public library. “Board of Trustees” is the name used in the bylaws; this body has traditionally been referred to as the “Executive Council.”  Volunteer Executive Council members serve 3-year terms; officers serve 1-year terms.   

Section 3.12 of the bylaws gives the Executive Council the authority to conduct all business for the organization, including the exclusive right to enter into contracts on behalf of UPRLC. 

The UPRLC treasurer is responsible for financial management of the UPRLC administration fund and the Automated Library Services (ALS) User Council fund.  The treasurer also is responsible for the annual audit and has the authority to disperse payments for UPRLC and the ALS User Council.

UPRLC has a State of Michigan License to Solicit Charitable Contributions[1].  UPRLC participates in the Amazon Smile program.

UPRLC’s official address is the office of the UPRLC treasurer and resident agent (1615 Presque Isle Avenue; Marquette, MI  49855).

The Executive Council has developed administrative policies; contact the UPRLC treasurer, Pamela Malmsten (pmalmsten@superiorlandlibrary.org) for more information. 

UPRLC User Councils

UPRLC permits members to form User Councils for a specific purpose or service.  The only User Council currently is the Automated Library Services Council.  ALS bylaws are posted on the website at: https://uprlc.org/als-bylaws/.  The UPRLC Executive Council and the ALS User Council have also adopted a User Council Grievance Policy, which is posted on UPRLC’s website. 

The ALS User Council is made up of one representative of each participating library in the shared integrated library system.  The ALS Council selects the system vendor(s), sets policies for the automated system, and develops a budget in February for the October - September fiscal year.  The ALS Council also determines the annual fees members pay and must notify each member before March 1st to give members time to withdraw from the system with 6 months’ notice prior to the start of UPRLC fiscal year.  Although the members select the system vendor and develop an annual budget, the ALS Council does not have the authority to enter into contracts and does not have budgetary authority.

The UPRLC Executive Council retains control over User Council contracts and budgets.

  • The Executive Council must approve the ALS User Council budget prior to the start of a fiscal year. The ALS Council is responsible for approving a balanced budget.
  • The UPRLC Contract Committee approves and signs all contracts. Executive Council officers make up the Contract Committee.
  • Each member of the ALS User Council has a contract with UPRLC for service.
  • UPRLC has contracted with Superiorland Library Cooperative since 1987 for office space and personnel who manage the automated system. UPRLC has no employees. The UPRLC – SLC management contract is posted on the UPRLC website at:  https://uprlc.org/uprlc-slc-management-contract/.   

UPRLC Management

The UPRLC treasurer maintains separate fund accounts for the UPRLC “parent” administration and for the Automated Library System User Council.  Two complete sets of monthly and year-to-date financial reports are posted on the website.  All budgets and financial reports for UPRLC administration are approved by the Executive Council; all budgets and financial reports for ALS are approved by the ALS User Council and the Executive Council.  UPRLC’s annual independent audit includes UPRLC and ALS User Council activities in one report; however, the audit shows separate fund balances for the UPRLC “parent” and the ALS User Council.  The ALS fund balance is restricted to use by the ALS User Council.     

Building Operations

Each year the UPRLC treasurer allocates building operation costs primarily based on the percentage of staff time allocated to UPRLC activities. 


The Superiorland Library Cooperative and UPRLC control expenses by sharing salary and benefit costs for some SLC staff members.  Employee expenses charged to each organization are a percentage based on job duties. 

  • 100% of the expense for the ILS System Administrator is charged to the ALS User Council.
  • Since programs and needs change from year to year, there has always been some flexibility in charge-back for the other SLC personnel, including the director, the assistant director for finance, and other staff members who provide technical and ILS support. Contact Pamela Malmsten pmalmsten@superiorlandlibrary.org) for cost allocation documentation.

UPRLC Contracts and Contract Management

UPRLC contracts with the following providers for long-term services: 

  • SirsiDynix integrated library system for 85 libraries
  • UPRLC and Superiorland Library Cooperative have a management contract for personnel and management of the integrated library system.

The UPRLC Contract Committee approves and signs all contracts.  Executive Council officers make up the Contract Committee.

[1] UPRLC began filing for the license when the U.P. Library for the Blind & Handicapped was a United Way organization.  United Way required a recipient agency to be a 501(c)(3) and so the LBPH joined under the UPRLC umbrella.  United Way also required proof of a License to Solicit Charitable Contributions.