[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: A question of licences and Alumni members

you wrote:

>In the U.S., many students (and/or their parents) pay a phenomenal amount
>of money for their college educations, and they feel that they deserve
>good treatment in return, even after they graduate.
>Although in fact most of them will have paid only a portion of the actual
>cost of this education, the rest being picked up by state and federal
>taxes and university endowments.
>Colleges also cultivate their alumni so that they will be inspired to
>donate even more money to the college after they graduate.  So the alumni
>feel entitled, and the colleges have a great incentive to treat their
>alumni very well.  Colleges often give their alumni lifetime e-mail
>accounts, special alumni web pages, and free access to their library
>I would *love* to be able to use my alma mater's online library
>resources, and I bet the publishers would not suffer in the least.

****Whether in fact the publishers would suffer is a point where we
differ.  Some years ago I worked for a business school library.  Although
they allowed walk-in access to their collection, non-affiliates could
borrow materials only by paying a substantial fee, very substantial if the
use were for a company rather than personal.  One plus of this policy was
that spouses of MBA students had no trouble finding jobs, as they could
borrow without cost or restriction.  In my current situation, a largish
school with many thousands of living alumni scattered throughout the
world, I suspect there are many businesses and professional firms which
would elect simply to use the free access provided by the university and
avoid paying for library materials or access to online services.  In a
"poor" state where funding for small town public libraries has been hard
to come by, I suspect much of the support (including legislative support)
which we have enjoyed would disappear if the college educated members of
the community had free access to whatever they wanted through their alma
maters.  It would, at the least, be even more of an uphill fight.

As a sidelight, how effectively could access to these resources be
controlled once we opened the gates to alumni remote from campus?  I
suspect the end effect would be free access to almost anyone, alumnus or
not, as control would have to be through easily shared passwords.

Thomas R. Sanders
Cataloging Dept.
Auburn University Libraries
231 Mell St.
Auburn, AL 36849-5606