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Applying for Associate Membership

BC ELN Associate Membership allows libraries to claim "affiliation" status with BC ELN (affiliation status does not extend to the host site, Simon Fraser University).

Associate Members may participate in licensing electronic resources available via BC ELN. With the exception of the Common Suite, all licences are optional and the decision to subscribe to a resource is at the discretion of the library. From June 2021 to May 2024 all BC ELN partner libraries, including Associate Members, must participate in the Common Suite. As such, Associate Members must pay annual Common Suite subscription costs in addition to annual membership fees.

Outside licensing, Associate Members may join any BC ELN service (Arca, AskAway, Illume, WriteAway) if the Associate Member meets all requirements listed for the respective service. Associate Members can choose to be members only and not participate in any of BC ELN’s optional services. However, membership is a requirement to participate in any of BC ELN’s services.

General Requirements

Associate Members must meet all the following requirements:

  • Embrace the vision, mission, values and principles of BC ELN.
  • Be a post-secondary institution.
  • Be operational in British Columbia. Satellite campuses of institutions that operate outside of BC are not eligible for membership.
  • Have consent to offer credentials by the Province of British Columbia through the Degree Quality Assessment Board or;
  • Have exemption status from the Degree Quality Assessment Board, or;
  • Have authority from the Government of BC to offer credentials (includes institutional charters passed by the BC Legislature).
  • Provide credible (accredited) full time equivalent (FTE) student numbers annually.
  • Have a library available to their BC students. The library must:
    • Have a physical location (a dedicated space within the institution);
    • Meet technical requirements for BC ELN participation; and
    • Have adequate, dedicated, and appropriately credentialed library staffing levels as mutually determined by BC ELN and the Institution. At least one staff member must have an MLIS degree.

Further, all BC ELN Associate Members must:

  • Meet all the requirements listed for the BC ELN services they participate in (members must comply with BC ELN service expectations and protocols).
  • Understand and comply with procedural requirements of any BC ELN product(s) or service area(s) the member participates in, including the automatic renewal approach to database licensing.
  • Comply with Terms and Conditions of licenses signed by BC ELN on the members' behalf.
  • Promptly pay invoices for BC ELN coordinated products and services.
  • Pay a membership fee annually as approved by the BC ELN Steering Committee.
  • Pay annual subscription costs for the Common Suite (a suite of databases subscribed to by all BC ELN partner libraries until May 2024).

Fee Requirements

Application Fee

  • Libraries applying for BC ELN Associate Membership are required to pay BC ELN an application fee of $500. The applicant is responsible for any travel expenses incurred by the BC ELN Office during the application process.
  • The application fee is non-refundable regardless of the decision of the BC ELN Steering Committee regarding the application.
  • The application fee is a one-time fee. If a library withdraws from BC ELN or becomes ineligible for membership and chooses to reapply, the application fee may be required again at the discretion of the BC ELN Director.

Annual Associate Membership Fee

All libraries accepted to be BC ELN Associate Members are required to pay the following:

  • a membership fee annually as approved by the BC ELN Steering Committee;
  • service-specific fees for any services subscribed to (e.g. AskAway, WriteAway, Illume);
  • all fees are outlined on the Associate Member Fee Schedule.

Common Suite Annual Subscription Fee

Until May 2024 all BC ELN partner libraries, including Associate Members, are obligated to participate in the Common Suite, a multi-year bundle of resources. As such, Associate Members must pay annual Common Suite subscription costs. For more information about Common Suite pricing, please contact the BC ELN Office.

Service Specific Requirements

Associate Members participating in the Licensing service must:

  • Agree to comply with the licenses negotiated by BC ELN including protecting appropriate access guidelines;
  • Pay for all vendor licensing costs for databases that they choose to subscribe to within the correct fiscal year;
  • Be able to provide accurate FTE counts;
  • Have IP addresses that are distinct to their institution;
  • Provide secure off-campus authenticated access for students;
  • Have technical support at a workable level so that BC ELN licensed databases can be accessed by users;
  • Have appropriate staffing levels so that instructional support to their institution's users is available for licensed databases.

Associate Members participating in additional BC ELN services (e.g. Arca, AskAway, Illume, WriteAway) must:

  • Commit to the service guidelines, policies, procedures, and requirements as outlined on the BC ELN website.
  • Provide professional staff time to service, as appropriate, and as defined on the website.
  • Promptly pay any Service Support Fees required for participation.

Associate Member Application Process

If all BC ELN membership requirements are met, institutions may apply for Associate Membership. The following steps outline the process:

  1. If you wish to initiate the application process, please fill out the Associate Member Application Form.
  2. The application form, along with relevant additional information, is brought forward to the Steering Committee Executive.
  3. A site visit may be made to the applicant site.
  4. The BC ELN Executive Director brings a recommendation to the Steering Committee on whether or not to grant Associate Membership to the applicant site.
  5. The BC ELN Steering Committee makes a decision.
  6. The applicant site is informed of the outcome.
  7. If Associate Membership is granted, the applicant site signs an Associate Member Letter of Agreement.

Note the process can take from 4-6 months to complete.