Creating 
 Synergy with 
 Electronic 
 Services


FinELib Consortium — centralised acquisition of e-resources to Finnish higher education, research institutions and public libraries.

Arja Tuuliniemi
Head of Licensing, FinELib
The National Library of Finland


Arja Tuuliniemi
Downloads per student or staff member, university libraries, 2011.
Research Library Statistic Database
F
inELib Consortium has acquired electronic journals, databases and recently also e-books to Finnish libraries for over 10 years. FinELib was established during the economic crisis at the end of 20th century when libraries could not afford all journals they needed. Now the Consortium serves all Finnish universities, universities of applied sciences, public libraries and 40 research institutes or other publicly funded organisations.

The staff of the Consortium Service Unit negotiates license agreements centrally on behalf of the member organisations. The Service Unit is part of services provided to libraries by the National Library of Finland.

FinELib’s license agreements cover 35,000 scientific online journals, 340,000 e-books, 121 reference databases, as well as hundreds of reference works. In 2011, approximately 23 million electronic articles were downloaded.

Steering mechanism and strategy
The FinELib Consortium is one of the first programmes where different types of libraries are working closely together to exploit the synergetic benefits. Because the Consortium consists of different library sectors with different service needs, it was necessary to create a workable administrative structure and transparent decision-making process. The Consortium is steered by representatives of each of the four member library sectors, the Ministry of Education, the end-users of online resources, and the Consortium’s significant partners. The cooperative and decision-making bodies are FinELib’s Steering Group, Consortium Group and scientific specific Expert Groups.

FinELib’s strategic aims are: operations models will meet the needs of the Consortium members, services offered by the information society will match the needs of the Consortium and Consortium’s operations will be based on top expertise. The concrete yearly actions based on long-term strategic aims are defined in the annual Action Plans.

FinELib receives centralised funding from the Ministry of Education for the services provided to universities, universities of applied sciences and public libraries. Research institutions pay the Consortium service from their own budgets.

Services and principles
The FinELib Service Unit provides the Consortium’s member organisations with various services relating to the licensing and implementation of e-resources. The Service Unit concludes licensing agreements for e-resources on behalf of the Consortium’s member organisations. However, each member organisation decides for itself which electronic resources it subscribes to.

FinELib adheres to the licensing policy which is based on internationally approved licensing principles, with additions and adjustments made by the FinELib Consortium. In negotiations, FinELib pays special attention to contractual and access-related issues such as permitted uses, liability issues, the availability of usage statistics and perpetual access.
Member organisations have access to the Consortium’s administrative database for online resources. The database allows them to register as subscribers of the resources and monitor for example prices, user statistics, terms of usage and other contractual conditions of the e-resources they subscribe to.

The Service Unit arranges user training of the acquired resources jointly with publishers and organises national seminars and training sessions. Furthermore, it designs and carries out end user questionnaires for the use of the Consortium. As the Consortium’s representative, the Service Unit also aims to influence the development of the sector by participating in national and international cooperation.

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