An announcement on the future of ERA
Electronic Resources Australia (ERA) was established in 2007 in response to the Australian library community’s recognition that direct and immediate access to online information is fundamental to a well-informed, educated, and democratic society. ERA aimed to achieve access for Australians to quality electronic resources, with a key goal of working together towards national licences to deliver both quality and equity.
The National Library of Australia (NLA) has administered ERA on behalf of Australian libraries since its launch, after working closely with representatives from all library sectors on the National Licence Proposal initiative. Supported by the NLA, ERA has provided Australian libraries with options for collaborative purchasing for over five years. ERA subscriptions have provided millions of Australians with access to at least one quality online information resource.
One of the original objectives as outlined in the ERA Governance Framework was to achieve a financially self-sufficient consortium; the expectation was that achievement of national or sectoral licences would cover the service’s administrative costs. ERA has delivered a number of benefits for libraries and Australians, but despite a considerable effort by many, national or sectoral licences have not been achieved. In 2012 the NLA and the ERA Executive reluctantly concluded that such licences are not achievable in the foreseeable future.
In 2012 the ERA Executive Committee and the NLA endeavoured to identify a sustainable business model to support the ERA service. These efforts were not successful and as a result the NLA decided to discontinue support for the service in 2013. The ERA service has now ceased.The ERA Executive Committee and the NLA thanks all participating libraries and vendors for their support of ERA over the past five years.
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