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Frequently Asked Questions - Library Consortium Management FAQ's

A consortium is a collective group of libraries that can accomplish more together than they could on their own. The consortium membership can encompass libraries of a single type or of different types and sizes, and the consortium may be local, regional or national in scope.

The benefits the consortium provides will depend upon the specific programmes and services that the consortium chooses to offer. Typical benefits include:

  • Reductions in costs through group purchasing (e.g., of electronic resources)
  • Increasing the ability through collaboration to advocate for the value and needs of libraries
  • Improving the capacity and expertise of the members by providing professional development programs for library staff
  • Encouraging the sharing of resources among members (including content, technology, expertise, and funding)
  • Creating opportunities for joint advocacy, marketing, and fundraising for libraries
  • Undertaking special initiatives of importance to the members of the group, such as digitization, technology implementation, information sharing, or creation of a union catalog

The members of a consortium are libraries as organizations. The members of library associations in most country are individual library staff members.

EIFL is a global network of sustainable national library consortia. This network is accommodating the needs of its partner countries, and constitutes a powerful community that can interact effectively.

Through this network of consortia we can enable partner countries to achieve important goals: lower the financial barriers and increasing the access to electronic information; enhance the professional growth of librarians; increase the capacity of libraries to employ technology effectively; expand knowledge about emerging trends in information and technology; accelerate the ability to advocate for effective intellectual property laws, and expand access to and visibility of locally created content held in open access repositories.

Ordinarily, there may only be one member consortium per country. Within the country, however, there may be multiple consortia that come together under an umbrella country consortium.

EIFL has developed a consortium road map that provides guidance and resources from the planning stage to managing and sustaining a successful consortium. We will work with you to implement all the steps, from the planning stage of consortium development to managing a sustainable consortium, after you join EIFL.

EIFL’s strengthens libraries through the power of collaboration. We promote sustainable access and exchange of knowledge through global leadership of libraries to improve the development of society and economy in developing and transition countries.

The benefits of joining EIFL are:

  • Access to a wide range of commercial e-resources at greatly reduced or no cost.
  • Eligibility for grant opportunities to support the development of library services.
  • Free consortium website hosting.
  • Invitation to attend the EIFL General Assembly, an annual learning and knowledge sharing event.
  • Gain expertise in creating and managing an effective and sustainable library consortium.
  • Training, consultation, and participation in important library areas including e-resource negotiations and licensing, open access, copyright, and open source tools.
  • Enhancement of professional knowledge and sharing best practices about emerging trends in information policy and technology
  • Become an effective advocate for libraries and benefit from opportunities to participate internationally in policy making.
  • Gain access to up-to-date information and specialized resources via EIFL’s mailing lists and members’ only website.
  • Raise your institution’s visibility by becoming part of a global network.

An application form for new countries [DOC]. Please contact us for more information at info [at]

Partner consortia pay an annual fee to partake in the programs and services of EIFL. This fee is calculated according to three main factors: GDP (Gross Domestic Product), GNI (Gross National Income) and the Education Index. The fee structure is reviewed every three years. There is a minimal annual participation fee of €690 and a maximum of €6570.

Yes. If a group of libraries is in the process of forming of a consortium and is seeking EIFL’s assistance, that country provisionally can become a partner prior to the establishment of the consortium. This entails a mutual commitment that EIFL will provide all services that are available to regular partner consortia; the fledgling country consortium in turn will demonstrate by the end of the year significant progress to establish an operational consortium.

No. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to accommodate individual library requirements. If your library is interested in the services of EIFL, please get in touch with your country consortium to discuss membership.