Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Why Alumni Access is Unavailable

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By Joseph Esposito

"On closer examination, however, it becomes clear that enabling libraries to become broader resellers of materials is not in the publishers’ interests. The reason for this is that however one defines the relationship between a library and its parent university, a library is not the center of the universe. (Whenever I talk to librarians about this relationship, I’m reminded of the incessant punning on “universe”/”university” in John Barth’s novel “Giles Goat-boy”.) Alumni go out in the world to take jobs at corporations like Merck, Microsoft, Fujitsu, and countless others, where publishers have assiduously developed markets for their materials. An undergraduate who gets access to Lexis-Nexis may go on to become a senior partner at a Wall Street law firm, where the fees paid to Lexis-Nexis are staggeringly high. If undergraduates carried their institutional access privileges with them through life, the markets for the sale of publications to the corporate and government sectors would collapse—and likely lead to a huge price increase to academic libraries to offset the loss. While some publishers, particularly those with little or nothing in the way of corporate or government sales, may eventually decide to grant alumni rights to libraries, this will at best be a solution with gaping holes. "

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