Why can't alumni access the library's eresources?
We get this question a lot from alumni who would like to continue using the Library's resources after graduation, particularly our online resources.
When libraries subscribe to an online resource, one of the factors involved in the amount we pay is the number of students, staff and faculty at the institution. Quite simply, the larger the campus community, the higher the cost. Unlike public libraries, which subscribe to online resources on behalf of the community at large, our pricing models are determined by the size of our institution. If we were to include access from alumni, this would substantially increase the number of potential users, and pricing for our e-resources would increase to unsustainable levels.
Some universities have attempted to provide alumni access to a selection of their eresources for an additional fee - at the University of Toronto, the Digital Library for Alumni provides access to several large, online database products. The fees provided by alumni who subscribe to the service help to offset the additional financial costs. However, it does not provide access to all e-resources available at U of T Libraries.
Unfortunately, it is not financially feasible, at this time, to extend access to the library's e-resources to our alumni. If pricing models change in the future to make a service like this viable, we will certainly be interested to learn more.