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About Consortia Canada

Consortia Canada is an informal group of library consortia representing all library types (public, post-secondary, health, special, and K-12 schools) working together to license electronic resources that are useful and relevant to members across the country. With a “made in Canada” approach, Consortia Canada’s primary goal is to contribute to the collection and organization of information and knowledge in digital form for the benefit of all Canadians.

History of Consortia Canada

In 1998 a group of Canadian consortia representatives met during the Denver meeting of the International Consortium of Library Consortia (ICOLC). Spurred on by examples from the United States and other countries, the group saw there were many advantages to acting collaboratively at the national level. Numerous reasons exist for adopting a “made in Canada” approach, many of which remain true today:

  • A geo-political structure that makes Canada unique, and doesn’t readily lend itself to US modes of operation;
  • Aggregating numbers across smaller Canadian consortia provides opportunities to obtain maximum benefits in consortial deals;
  • Collectively, the group can argue for specific requirements not available in the US (e.g. copyright provisions specific to Canadian legislation);
  • Collectively, the group can provide a larger market share for any one vendor and thus potentially influence the pricing structure used;
  • Finally, working Canada-wide provides libraries with an opportunity to create something new, and in a Canadian way.

Named Consortia Canada, the group focused its attention on procuring a national site license for the Canadian public that would provide electronic journals and related databases of relevance to Canada.

For further background, see ConCan's foundational document.

Today, Consortia Canada is made up of 20 consortia across the country.