Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

Before You Begin

Library Consortia

A library consortium is any local, statewide, regional, or interstate cooperative association of libraries that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of schools, public, academic, and special libraries and information centers, for improving services to the clientele of such libraries.

For the purposes of the Schools and Libraries Program, references to “library” in program rules also refer to “library consortium."

Eligibility

A library consortium can apply as a library (if it fits the definition of library consortium above and meets the program requirements for a library) or as a consortium (if it does not fit the definition or if administrative authority over its members is not defined or otherwise unclear).

  • For the library consortium to be eligible for discounts, it must either contain public areas that are accessible to library patrons and/or meet the definition of a non-instructional facility. For example, a regional system can fit the definition of a library consortium.
  • Only the services for eligible consortium members and/or those services provided by the consortium directly to the public qualify for discounts. Cost allocations must be done if necessary to assure that discounts are requested only for the eligible entities.
  • A library consortium may also apply for discounts as a consortium of eligible entities. In this situation, the services used by the consortium itself are not eligible for discounts, but the eligible services used by the eligible members of the consortium may qualify for discounts. The consortium would be treated as having both eligible and ineligible members, and would do cost allocations and apply for funding only for the eligible members' services.

Computing a Discount

Situation 1. For services procured by and used by the library consortium at its own site or location, the library consortium calculates its discount using the student counts from the public school district in which the library consortium is located. (See the FCC Form 471 Instructions for calculating library discounts for specific information.) In this situation, the library consortium would check application type "Library" in Block 1, Item 5 of the FCC Form 471, and complete a library Block 4 worksheet.

Situation 2. For services procured on behalf of all of the eligible member libraries that are part of the consortium, each consortium member calculates its discount using the student counts from the public school district(s) in which the member (outlet or branch or system) is located. (See the FCC Form 471 Instructions for calculating library discounts for specific information.) In this situation, the library consortium would check application type "Consortium" in Block 1, Item 5 of the FCC Form 471, and complete a consortium Block 4 Worksheet along with a Block 4 Worksheet or worksheet entry for each member entity as needed.