Health library consortia in Canada

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State Library of Victoria, La Trobe
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See also Canadian Virtual Health Library | CHLA/ABSC (Canada) 800px-Flag of Canada.svg.png | Consumer health libraries in Canada | Information needs of users | PubMed - MEDLINE

"...consortium is a Latin word, meaning 'partnership, association or society' and derives from consors 'partner', itself from con- 'together' and sors 'fate', meaning owner of means or comrade." – Wikipedia entry on Consortium

Health library consortia in Canada is a list of health library consortia in Canada. Consortial agreements are part of a long tradition of collaboration and resource-sharing in libraries that date back to the early 20th century. Canadian academic libraries have enjoyed such a rich history of cooperation and partnership because of the benefits it brings to their user groups. The nature of national consortia is such that they enable libraries to make a shift from print to a blended print and electronic resource model. The most significant difference is that librarians and groups of libraries learn to pool their resources and negotiate better user licenses for access to health information. Health and hospital libraries, as well as their parent institutions and health authorities, aim to work together to negotiate licensing agreements at lower costs. All health professionals benefit from the increased variety of resources and shared expertise in consortia. In consortia where access to similar resources is provided, libraries share teaching materials, handouts and expertise - and occasionally staffing.

Canadian health library consortia

British Columbia

  • e-HLbc: Electronic Health Library of BC: "The vision of the e-HLbc is to provide the entire British Columbia academic and health care community with province-wide, consistent, high quality, cost-effective, equitable, and easily accessible health library resources that will support and improve practice, education, and research."

Health professionals, students, teachers and researchers of member organizations have unrestricted access to e-HLbc resources. Member organizations include all post-secondary institutions providing health education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, all Health Authorities, and the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Alberta Alberta flag.png

  • The Health Knowledge Network (HKN) has licensed health information on behalf of the health and post-secondary sectors in Alberta since 1994 and in Saskatchewan since 1999. HKN continues to investigate different ways to license health information in a multi-library type environment.
  • Health Information Network, Calgary Region is an integrated knowledge service for health practitioners, patients and their families. Its members are the Health Sciences Library, University of Calgary and Calgary Health Region. The HSL at UofC and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre also combined
  • Other resources/services: CARNA (the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta) provides access to CINAHL as well as document delivery and librarian consultation.


  • SHIRP - Saskatchewan Health Information Resources Program: University of Saskatchewan Library is a program of the University Library that licences a sub-set of the University Library's health sciences e-resources for access by Saskatchewan's licensed health care practitioners. SHIRP provides reimbursement funding for some library staffing and operations for the province's regional health authorities with hospital libraries (Regina Qu'Appelle, Saskatoon and Prince Albert Parkland).




  • The Government of Quebec has four university networks called Réseau universitaire intégré de santé – RUIS. RUIS includes McGill University, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke and l’Université Laval, and offers specialized, tertiary care, instruction and research support to medical faculties, affiliated teaching hospitals and university health centres.
  • The Electronic Resources Consortium of the RUISUM (Université de Montréal Réseau universitaire intégré de santé) and the Faculty of Medicine have a consortium to provide electronic health resources. It provides 40% of the province’s health services, and includes six health and social service agencies serving 3 million people. The online library enables health professionals to access resources such as MEDLINE, EMBASE, EBM Reviews, CINAHL and ejournals. Training is offered through the University Health Library.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Health Knowledge Information Network (NLHKIN) - is a project of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Health Sciences Library and the Faculty of Medicine." The goal of NLHKIN is to deliver the health knowledge information resources needed by physicians, nurses and health professionals across the province.

Maritimes (New Brunswick New brunswick flag.png, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)

Health Library Consortia in the US, UK and Australia

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