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Benefits and Responsibilities for Members


BC ELN promotes collaboration among BC post-secondary libraries, helping individual partners achieve much more than they could independently. This translates into benefits on many levels.

Benefits for Learners, Educators, and Researchers

From Arca Digital Repository to collaborative licensing, BC ELN supports system-wide activities that benefit the entire province. Thanks to BC ELN, learners, educators, and researchers have access* to:

  • A core collection of databases through the BC ELN Common Suite
  • Electronic resources across the disciplines in a variety of formats: online journals, streaming videos, newspapers, and ebooks included (exact number depends on which products institutions choose to subscribe to);
  • 73 hours weekly of real-time chat-based reference services through AskAway
  • Online asynchronous assistance with writing assignments through WriteAway
  • A single search across digital assets uploaded by Arca participating institutions
  • 14.5 million+ items through the through the Illume Interlibrary Loans Resource Sharing Service

*Dependent on the BC ELN services institutions choose to participate in.

Financial Benefits for Partner Libraries

BC ELN-coordinated services and licenses save BC post-secondary libraries both time and money, allowing partner libraries to efficiently deliver superior library services. Financial benefits include:

  • The possibility of tapping into discounts on over 80 electronic resource licenses achieved through leveraging group purchasing power. Discounts average 30% versus direct purchasing saving partner libraries $4.3 million in 2022;
  • The ability to participate in collaborative services (e.g. Arca, AskAway, WriteAway) at a lower cost than if offering similar services individually;
  • Thousands of hours of staff time saved by obviating the need for each library to negotiate and manage license renewals, coordinate interlibrary loan transactions, and manage BC ELN services.

Administrative Benefits for Partner Libraries

Libraries receive additional benefits associated with the BC ELN Office:

  • Services of BC ELN Client Support Specialist for database troubleshooting, platform migrations, invoicing, and statistical analysis;
  • Ongoing training for BC ELN-supported products and services;
  • Participation in advocacy, lobbying, leadership, and collaborative efforts as taken on by BC ELN;
  • Allows libraries to claim 'affiliation' status with BC ELN (affiliation status is not extended to the host institution, Simon Fraser University).

Privileges for Partner Libraries: Participation in Governance and Strategic Planning

BC ELN depends on partner library participation in the governance of the consortium and in shaping its strategies and new initiatives.

  • All members participate directly or indirectly on the Steering Committee;
  • All members participate in Strategic Planning;
  • Full and Associate Members participate in the Resource Forum and Ranking Survey;
  • Members involved in BC ELN services (e.g. Arca, AskAway, WriteAway) participate directly or indirectly in advisory committees;
  • Members are asked to participate in occasional surveys, feedback instruments, task groups, and consultation, which help to shape policy and service development.

Member Requirements and Responsibilities

BC ELN successes are a direct result of effective collaboration amongst its partners. It is important that all members embrace the vision, mission, core values, and principles as outlined in the BC ELN Strategic Plan.

BC ELN members must:

  • Be operational in British Columbia (satellite campuses of institutions that operate outside of BC are not eligible for membership);
  • Be a post-secondary institution;
  • 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;
  • Be designated by the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills in BC, 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;
    • Have adequate and dedicated library staffing levels to be assessed in cooperation with the BC ELN Office. At least one staff member must have an MLIS degree;

Further, all BC ELN 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.

Fees for Membership

Application and Assessment Fee

  • There is no application or assessment fee for Full Members.
  • For more information on Associate Members application fees, please refer to the Associate Member Fee Schedule.

Membership Fee

  • There is no annual membership fee for Full Members. Infrastructure costs for the BC ELN Office are covered for Full Members by core funding from the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.
  • For information on membership fees for Associate Members, please refer to the Associate Member Fee Schedule.

Specific Services: Fees and Requirements

Most BC ELN services and initiatives operate on a financial partnership model, with stakeholders making monetary or in-kind contributions to cover costs. For example, databases are licensed on a cost recovery model with each participating library paying the cost of the databases they choose to license. Costs for each service and initiative are available on the appropriate page of the BC ELN website.

1. Partner Libraries participating in Electronic Resource licensing must:

  • Agree to comply with the licenses negotiated by BC ELN including protecting appropriate access guidelines;
  • Pay, by March 31 fiscal year end, all vendor licensing costs for databases that they choose to subscribe to;
  • Be able to provide accurate FTE counts;
  • Have IP addresses that are distinct to their institution;
  • Use secure authentication methods such as EZProxy or OpenAthens to provide off-campus access to resources;
  • Have technical support at a workable level so that BC ELN-licensed resources can be accessed by users;
  • Have appropriate staffing levels so that instructional support to their institution's users is available for licensed databases;
  • Designate one or more staff to have a profile in ConsortiaManager to manage their institution’s subscriptions and profile data.

2. Partner Libraries participating in additional BC ELN services (e.g. Arca, AskAway, 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.

Terms of Payment

See billings page: