Alumni Access to St. Thomas Library Databases
Staff members of St. Thomas’ libraries frequently are asked if alumni can continue remote access to the databases that they used as students, after graduation.
The libraries subscribe to more than 200 databases from several vendors. In most cases, the prices that the university pays (totaling more than $1 million per year) are negotiated based on a variety of factors, including bundled packages of titles and numbers of possible users. Licenses to these subscriptions include the limitation that the content be provided only to current students and employees of the university.
Some universities have negotiated access to certain databases for alumni. Each vendor negotiates a price for its service, with the key variable being the number of possible users. In the case of St. Thomas alumni, this is a very large number. Unfortunately, this makes it cost-prohibitive to for the university to provide continued remote access to library databases to alumni after graduation.
St. Thomas will continue to consider providing such access, but given current budgetary conditions, the priority must be to provide access to these resources to the university’s primary users – currently registered students and currently employed faculty and staff members.
There are valuable library resources that are available to alumni, however. St. Thomas has developed a Web page
that describes the library services that are available to alumni. It includes a link to the Electronic Library of Minnesota
, which is available to all residents of the state. The ELM lists about 50 databases in the arts, business, education, health, science and the social sciences, and it is a valuable source of information for Minnesota residents.
All St. Thomas alumni are welcome to visit a university library in person and access resources there, to use the online catalog to find resources, and to call a reference librarian at (651) 962-5001 to ask what is the best option to find needed information.