International cooperation

Innovative Users Group (IUG)

In 1998, ELNET joined the international Innovative Users Group (IUG) which comprises institutions and bodies who use the library system of the Innovative Interfaces Inc. The same year ELNET started to take part in IUG annual meetings. Since 2002, participants have shared their conference impressions and news at the Consortium’s summer seminars which take place each spring.

Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)

To support ELNET member libraries in cataloguing old books, the ELNET Consortium joined the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL) in 1999 as an associated member. As CERL associated members are only entitled to be informed of the organisation’s activities without having the right to access databases, the ELNET in 2003 inquired about the conditions of becoming a full member and possibilities of using the Heritage of the Printed Book Database. It was decided, however, that interested libraries take individual decisions regarding full membership as not all of the Consortium’s members need access to this database and thus it would not be practical for the Consortium to become full member.


EIFL (until 2010 is a NGO assembling library consortia from the so-called transitional countries.

EIFL is considered to have been born with the issue of a press release on 5 October 1999 about an unprecedented initiative “Electronic Information for Libraries” (EIFL Direct) that gave the libraries of 39 countries access to an abundant selection of electronic research journals. EIFL was initially funded by Open Society Institute but since 2003 it is an independent organisation whose primary mission is to ensure nonrestricted access to knowledge.

The main role of EIFL has been negotiating with publishers for more favourable access contracts. EIFL has also significantly contributed to raising awareness on open access and copyright as well as supporting innovation in the public libraries of developing countries.

EIFL network currently consists of library consortia from 38 African, Asian and European countries, projects partnered by EIFL involve libraries from an additional 15 countries. ELNET has been a member of EIFL since 1999.

Nordic IUG

To facilitate cooperation between Scandinavian libraries who use the same information system, a tradition of joint seminars was initiated. The seminars take place once every two years with a rotating host country – Estonia, Finland or Sweden. The first Nordic IUG seminar was held in 2006 in Helsinki.

In Finland, the software by Innovative is used in Helsinki City Library, in Sweden its users include a number of university and public libraries.

Scandinavian Virtual Union Catalogue (SVUC)

At the beginning of 2006, Scandinavian libraries concluded an agreement on using the shared catalogue SVUC.

Parties to this agreement were BIBSYS from Norway, Dansk Biblioteks Center from Denmark, Helsinki University Library from Finland, Kungliga biblioteket from Sweden, Landskerfi bókasafna and Nasjonalbiblioteket from Iceland and ELNET Consortium from Estonia which then consisted of 12 members.

The aim of this agreement was to provide mutual free access to bibliographic data for obtaining information and copy cataloguing. The following datasets were made accessible under the agreement: Bibsys, Danbib, Gegnir, Libris, Linda, Manda and Sambok, also the Tallinn and Tartu catalogues of ESTER. Negotiations were also held for the accession of Latvia and Lithuania. The most substantial output of the agreement was the free exchange of records, with more cooperation prospects in the future.

As data exchange increasingly focussed on public use, the agreement gradually lost its significance.


The statutory mission of the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) is lobbying for libraries and information institutions at the European Commission. The membership of EBLIDA mostly consists of library associations. During 2009-2014, Estonia was represented by the ELNET Consortium, since 2014 our country’s representative in EBLIDA is the Estonian Librarians Association.


In 2017, ELNET and Europeana Foundation (former EDL Foundation) concluded an agreement on the exchange of data. Under this agreement, the E-varamu portal is the aggregator for the Europeana portal on behalf of the Republic of Estonia.

In 2018/2019, ELNET together with the other Europeana aggregators took part in a joint project that aimed to improve the quality of data submitted for the Europeana portal and to better organise licensing information. The project application was funded from the Europeana Common Culture action.