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Re: A question of licences and Alumni members

I don't want to debate whether libraries should be offering access to
alumni.  I will only state that there is a demand for us to do so.

Cornell is very interested in extending access to all library services to
our alumni, including access to electronic resources.  Part of our mission
is to support lifelong learning.

Ask any public services librarian the number of times alumni ask why they
do not have access to the collection even after they make a gift
contribution.  Sure, if "in-town," alumni may stop in and use the
collection on-site, but why limit their access to when they are "in-town?"  
Alumni are not satisfied with such limited access.  Would you be?

Yes, we are asking for something we haven't had the facility to do
before--to expand access to the collection.  Now that technology permits
these expanded services (and we can authorize and authenticate our
alumni), we need our contracts and licenses to support them (as well as
our staffing and financial resources.)

Should we pay extra to offer access to our alumni?  You bet!  How much?  
I don't know.  We need to see how much demand there would be for this
access and develop pricing models accordingly.  Rather than run from the
unknown, let's find out just how much demand there really is with the
understanding that once we begin to market these services to our alumni,
demand is likely to increase.  It is possible that we may be bringing
additional business to our information providers.  I can't believe that
any of them would turn away the chance for increased sales.

I have already begun the process of meeting with database providers.  
Most of them seem willing to extend resources to alumni, but want to take
a cautious approach.  Some of them have products marketed to corporate
customers and see expanded access to alumni through a library account as a
potential threat to that income stream.  It may not be easy, but we will
need to find the balance between the corporate market and the academic

Alumni want access and we want to give them access.

--Scott Wicks

   PH: 607 255-4960            FAX: 607 255-6110
                   Scott B. Wicks             ***
               Acquisitions Librarian       ***
             Cornell University Library   ***
                 110A Olin Library      ***
                     Ithaca, NY       ***
                     14853-5301     ***
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