The Mid-America Law School Library Consortium is an incorporated association of eighteen academic law libraries formed in 1980 to promote cooperation among its members. The organization includes libraries in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Within the framework of the organization's by-laws, the group engages in such varied cooperative activities as telefacsimile document delivery, collection development, staff exchanges, and union listing. The union list of periodicals on OCLC was authorized by the Consortium directors in June 1982. (Two libraries opted not to participate in the OCLC union list project, leaving sixteen involved.) The four-letter symbol chosen to identify the union list online is MAUL.
Off-line union listing was an early activity of the Mid-America Consortium that helped fulfill its resource-sharing goals. A printed union list of microforms and one of looseleaf services have been produced, and a Canadian/Australian list is under development. In early 1982, the library directors of the Consortium became interested in the possibility of using the OCLC union listing capability to create a union list of periodicals. In order to do this, the Consortium had to select a single network through which to join. Eileen Searls, Director of the Saint Louis University Law Library and President of the Consortium, investigated the packages offered by the networks to which the various libraries belonged. Four net-works were possible choices: Amigos, BCR, ILLINET, and MIDLNET. At the Consortium meeting in Detroit in June 1982, the Board of Directors voted to join through Amigos. The Consortium's initial contract with Amigos included one-time costs of $1,500 for training agents at two sites and $34 per hour for profiling. These costs were prorated. The Consortium pays the annual membership fee, which was $739 for sixteen libraries in 1983/84. Each library is billed for the charges associated with local data records directly by its own network. This venture was the first cross-network OCLC union list.
Marilyn K. Nicely; Kaye Stoppel; Richard Amelung, MAUL: An OCLC Union List of Legal Periodicals, 76 Law Library Journal 394-401 (1983).