Access to licensed Library subscription resources

The Temple University Libraries purchase at significant annual cost exceeding $5 million a wide array of subscription materials including databases, certain software programs, and online electronic journals and books. We negotiate these annual costs in order to minimize the expense to Temple University. In most cases the costs for these licenses have been based on Temple’s full-time equivalent enrollment although some are based on the number of simultaneous users allowed.

While we would very much like to offer alumni access from home or work to our subscription databases, online journals and ebooks, it is economically infeasible. When we negotiate and pay for licenses based on Temples 34,000 FTE enrollment, we are then contractually obligated to ensure that only current Temple students, faculty, and staff have access to the resource. If we were to allow the 200,000+ Temple alumni access to our licensed resources, library costs would increase an estimated five-fold.

We therefore regularly review with Computing Services staff the protocols such as the Temple Portal by which we together ensure that only current students, faculty and staff are able to access these restricted licensed resources and that alumni and others are excluded. On Tuesday April 10 such a review resulted in resetting access in order to properly exclude from off-campus access alumni with Temple email accounts. A handful of Temple alumni who had earlier been able to get into some of our restricted resources will as a result now encounter turnaways in keeping with our license restrictions.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. As always, alumni and other guests are welcome to come to campus and access these resources from within the library where we are allowed by contract to offer on-site access to these resources. As of April 11, we are making provisions for Temple alumni currently enrolled as students in the Senior Scholars program to continue to have access as current students.

Jonathan LeBreton
Senior Associate University Librarian

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