The Combined Regions (TCR) is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. It is also a subscription organisation whose members are regional or national library organisations.
Apart from the British Library, each member organisation represents a region of England (the boundaries of which are co-terminus with regional Government Offices) or one of the other nations of the British Isles. It operates through three committees, each of which meet twice a year.
The principal decision-making body is the TCR Council. Each member of TCR can send up to two representatives to TCR Council. These meetings are can be likened to the shareholders' meetings of commercial companies: all important decisions regarding TCR must be made at a Council meeting. Council usually meets in May and November, with the latter meeting being the company's Annual General Meeting.
Council delegates its strategic and management decisions to the TCR Management Board. This Board is made up of the Directors and Officers of TCR, plus named member representatives appointed at the Annual General Meeting. It performs a similar function to the Board of Directors in a commercial organisation. It usually meets in February and September.
TCR also has an operational arm in the form of the Conarls Working Group. This group provides operational support for library resource discovery and sharing in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and professional support to TCR in resource and discovery matters. TCR members send a single representative to Conarls Working Group meetings, though not always the same one each time. In addition, the Group co-opts organisations outside TCR to send representatives.
Current co-opted members include
- the Forum for Interlending and Information delivery (FIL)
- the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres, UK and Ireland Branch (IAML [UK & Ireland])
- the Library Council (An Chomhairle Leabharlanna).
The Conarls Working Group maintains a Guide to the Joint Fiction Reserves and operates the Inter-Regional Unit (IRU) Cost Scheme, commonly known as the ‘Conarls rate’ for inter-library loans. The Group meets in May and November.