You are here

Illume Service Partner Benefits and Responsibilities

Updated August 2021


Resource sharing typically refers to the sharing of library resources among a group of participating libraries within a well-understood cooperative arrangement. It is historically a fundamental library service that sees participation at the local, national, and global levels. Resource sharing extends library collections and resources beyond the bounds of a single institution and delivers multiple benefits to all participants, including increased accessibility, diminished cost burdens, broader exposure to local or niche collections, and strengthened relationships among libraries.

Within this context, Illume, BC ELN’s resource sharing service, aims to strengthen the research cycle from discovery to delivery for partner libraries while remaining responsive to the constantly evolving national and global resource sharing environment. The service supports tools and processes that allow member libraries to leverage each other’s collections, fostering equitable, barrier free access between BC’s institutions for the provinces’ learners, educators and researchers. BC ELN’s role is to build critical service infrastructure and provide library staff with essential front-line assistance.

The BC ELN Illume service operates within a context of mutual respect and acknowledgement of the responsibilities agreed upon at a consortial level between partner libraries. The cooperation and goodwill of all libraries involved is necessary for the system to function at its highest level. The following outlines the benefits, requirements, and responsibilities of post-secondary libraries participating in the Illume resource sharing service.


Benefits to Learners, Educators, and Researchers

The Illume Service is an essential service that extends equitable and barrier free access between BC’s institutions for the provinces’ learners, educators and researchers.

  • Expanded Access: Access to over 10 million books, DVDs, musical recordings and more across partner library collections in BC.
  • Expedited Delivery: By sharing materials between institutions, users receive their material quicker than through regular purchasing channels.
  • Cost Savings: Illume delivers resources into the hands of learners, educators, and researchers, eliminating the need for individual library purchase.

Benefits for Partner Libraries

BC ELN coordination of the Illume service allows libraries to deliver superior resource sharing services in the most efficient way possible. Benefits for partner libraries include:

  • Low Cost Software: Provides access to an Illume license for interlibrary loan (ILL) management software at minimal cost to partner libraries.
  • Software Development Optimization: Situates partners in a province-wide system that advocates for system enhancements specifically targeted at BC ELN partner libraries’ needs.
  • Service Optimization: Optimizes ILL services amongst BC ELN libraries and public library system partners.
  • Dedicated Support: Streamlines support for Illume through the Administrative Support Centre.
  • Communications: Facilitates critical idea exchange and builds the community of practice through dedicated resource sharing listservs managed within BC ELN communications infrastructure.
  • Cost Sharing: Leverages participating partner library investments in collection budgets and efforts through collection sharing.
  • Oversight: Benefits from consortial oversight which, through best practices, aims to facilitate system efficiency.
  • Coordination: Consortial coordination helps partner libraries keep abreast of developments in resource sharing at the regional and national level.

Participating Library Requirements and Responsibilities

The following library requirements and responsibilities apply for all partner libraries participating in the Illume Service regardless of the software they use. 

  • Illume Best Practices: A commitment from each partner library to follow best practices when using the Illume service.
  • Load-Levelling: Meet load-levelling requirements to ensure equitable distribution of resource sharing across the system.
  • Fee: Pay the BC ELN Resource Sharing Fee annually.
  • Confidentiality: Protect user confidentiality and ensure that information collected about patrons is in accordance with the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection Act.
  • ILL Policies: Make interlibrary loan policies available online to all Illume participating libraries.
  • ISO Compliance: All libraries not using Illume (SHAREit) as their primary ILL management software must ensure their software is configured as an ISO-software target site to communicate directly with Illume.
  • Staff: Have adequate, dedicated, and trained library staffing levels to support an ILL service; this will be assessed in cooperation with the BC ELN Office.
  • Standards: Ensure library catalogues conform to generally accepted standards (e.g. MARC, OAI, RDA) for interoperability with Illume.
  • Collection of Individual Library Fees: Borrower library late fees and/or replacement costs are prescribed by Lender library policies and are collected by Lender libraries without the involvement of BC ELN.
  • Union Database: Maintain accurate and timely updates to the shared consortial BC Union Catalogue database.