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E-RICH: Electronic Resource Service

What is E-RICH?

E-RICH is a program that assists ILLINET* member libraries in securing electronic information resources by providing Try-It! Illinois. By providing this experience, ILLINET member libraries will better serve their communities as they make informed decisions concerning future electronic resource purchases.

Beginning FY2013, the E-RICH Program discontinued subsidies and negotiated pricing for electronic resources, with the exception of FirstSearch base package databases. The Illinois State Library will continue to subsidize these OCLC FirstSearch databases, providing no charge access to all ILLINET member libraries.

*ILLINET member libraries are those academic, public, school and special libraries recognized as members in good standing by their regional library systems and the State Library. This compliance automatically makes them members of the Illinois Library and Information Network (ILLINET), a statewide consortium of more than 5,000 libraries.

What are electronic resources?

According to Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition, 2005 Update, an electronic resource is: "Material (data and/or program(s)) encoded for manipulation by a computerized device. This material may require the use of a peripheral directly connected to a computerized device (e.g., CD-ROM drive) or a connection to a computer network (e.g., the Internet)." This definition does not include electronic resources that do not require the use of a computer, for example, music compact discs and videodiscs.

What is the purpose of E-RICH?

By facilitating E-RICH, the State Library strives to enrich the lives of Illinois citizens by promoting the availability of electronic resources and access to information in Illinois libraries.

To assist in the selection of electronic resources, the State Library offers Try-It! Illinois, an annual statewide electronic resources trial from October 1−November 30. Try-It! Illinois will be celebrating its fourteenth year. The trial offers the 5,000+ ILLINET member libraries, their staffs and their communities, a wonderful opportunity to evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to the collaboration between the State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois.

Vendors should direct any questions about Try-It! Illinois to Gwen Harrison by calling 217-785-7334, or emailing

What services are offered through E-Rich?

As of FY2014, the focus of E-RICH will be to provide ILLINET member libraries real time experiences with relevant electronic resources via Try-It! Illinois.

The State Library will continue to provide at no charge to all ILLINET member libraries the OCLC FirstSearch base package. This resource will be totally subsidized by the State Library.

Philosophy: OCLC FirstSearch has broad appeal, possessing application to all ILLINET multi-type libraries. This resource serves to equal the playing field in the world of access to electronic information.

Which electronic resources are available through E-RICH in FY2014 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015)?

OCLC FirstSearch base package, which provides library staff and end users access to a valuable collection of resources. With FirstSearch, materials in your library's collection are highlighted in search results from an abundance of leading databases.

The State Library continues its 19th year of supporting FirstSearch access for all ILLINET member libraries. FY2014 databases available at no charge include:

Libraries currently subscribed to FirstSearch through the State Library's E-RICH program do not need to re-apply. Libraries wishing to subscribe to FirstSearch through E-RICH can sign up at any time. To purchase additional FirstSearch databases, visit the OCLC Service Center website.

Electronic Resource and Technical Support Contacts

Information about E-RICH will be announced in the State Library’s weekly electronic newsletter E-News from the ISL. Subscribe online.

For questions about subscription information and changes in access to these electronic resources, including new or expanded IP addresses, please call 217-785-7334 or email For technical questions pertaining to FirstSearch, please call 217-785-1533 or email

The Office of the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library makes no representations, guarantees, or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability of the Try-It! Illinois electronic resource offerings. The Office of the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library specifically disclaims any and all liability for any claims or damages that may result from the use of electronic resources included in the Try-It! Illinois offering. The responsibility for content rests with the organizations that are providing the information. The inclusion of links from this site does not imply endorsement by the Office of the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library.