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Licensing Overview

Lead Consortium Model

When investigating a resource, one consortium acts as the lead, working with the vendor and coordinating efforts of the other consortia behind the scenes. Each consortium that chooses to participate coordinates communications with its own members. Consortia share the responsibilities of taking the lead.

Model License

Click on the link to view the Consortia Canada Model License, revised in 2021.

Guidelines and Operating Principles

Goals of Consortia Canada

  1. To provide affordable, universally accessible digital information to licensed content
  2. To promote the economical and efficient provision of information to all participating Canadian libraries and their clientele
  3. To increase the return on public investment in libraries, by increasing the availability and use of digital content through inter-institutional cooperative licensing
  4. To encourage the development of new forms of information delivery, dissemination, and communication through library consortia expertise, as well as experimentation in the development of digital library services
  5. To help libraries aggregate their buying power and influence, providing a “level playing field” for all types of libraries and all regions in Canada


The following types of content will be the focus:

  • Resources that have a wide appeal across all library sectors
  • Resources with Canadian content
  • Resources that may not be affordable locally without the advantage of aggregated buying power
  • Resources with high demand across the country; so that efforts may be pooled and not duplicated

Resources may be identified by any consortia member and presented at a Consortia Canada meeting or through the Consortia Canada listserv to see if there is interest/support amongst the consortia in pursuing a license.

Vendor Relations

  • The lead negotiating consortium will adopt a negotiations strategy and process that retains flexibility, so as best to position Canadian libraries in the information marketplace.
  • Implementation of national site licenses will be based on open, sound and ethical procurement practices.
  • Negotiations and implementation of national site licenses will adhere to emerging international standards and principles for licensing and accessing digital information resources, wherever possible.
  • Once a national site license product has been identified, participating library consortia agree to suspend any individual negotiations with vendors until the end of the process.  There may be exceptions to this when necessary, such as when provincial licenses are under consideration but in such cases the lead consortia negotiating shall be contacted.
  • It is not a requirement that all members of any consortium participate in the licensing initiative.