Glossary of Terms in the Consortium Directory Online


Consortium – An organization usually consisting of a number of libraries, which may be of the same or different types, that have organised either formally or informally to undertake collective activities such as collective purchasing of online content or to share resources, training or a union catalogue.

Consortium Classification – Type of consortium, describing its basic structure for online content acquisition or other activities. Types of consortium classifications:

  • Cataloguing Consortium: An organisation where cataloguing and other technical services tasks may be accomplished centrally and possibly for a fee. Shared cataloguing practices and/or a joint online union catalogue, cataloguing may or may not tie in with Interlibrary Loan.
  • Interlibrary Loan Consortium: Systematic consortium-wide Interlibrary loan arrangements, with or without supporting a union catalogue.
  • Library Management System: Collaborative purchase of library management software and systems which may or may not be a shared system for the whole consortium. Often called an automation consortium. Often an automation consortium will have consortial licenses for other electronic resources and software, such as book reviews, readers advisory content, authentication software etc.
  • Licensing – Closed: A consortium which purchases content for all its members, providing all members with access to all licensed content. Procurement of information resources is not dependent on how the costs are apportioned, which is decided upon within the consortium, this is relayed to vendors in the cases where they are required to invoice institutions separately. While the closed consortium means that all members are included in a product purchase, it does not mean that new members cannot join the consortium. Sometimes libraries might organize around a single resource.
  • Licensing – Opt-In: A consortium which obtains special offers from vendors or publishers for their content, members may then choose whether to opt-in to the purchase or not.
  • Resource Sharing Consortium: May include the following activities: non-systemactic Interlibrary loan, a union catalogue, cooperative collection development, sharing of owned special collections, sharing staff time, joint storage of material.
  • Training: Consortia which provide library training and professional development programmes for all members and staff.

Consortium Member – A member of a consortium, although the active member is a library, the parent institution is considered to be a member.

Ringgold ID – A unique number (Ringgold Identifier) for each institution, to unambiguously identify each institution, consortium or vendor.

What is available in the PDF Profiles

  • Key Contacts: Key personnel within the library consortium, the director, manager or coordinator and/or those who negotiate with publishers and vendors to secure deals on online content.
  • National licenses: Online information products for which the consortium has obtained a national licence, e.g. everyone in that country with access to the internet can access the content.
  • Regional licenses: Online information products for which the consortium has obtained a regional, state-wide, or province-wide licence, e.g. everyone in the defined area with access to the internet can access the content.
  • Trials: Online information products that the consortium has trialled.
  • Vendors/Products Licensed: Supplying vendors or their online products licensed by the consortium for all or select members. It is limited to a listing of the vendor providing products to the consortium, including multiple databases rather than a listing of each individual database as information is not always available at a granular level. It is an indication of a relationship that exists between the consortium and the providing vendor. Sometimes the vendor is providing special pricing for members to opt-in.


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