It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Better UFO research, Non-resident library cards and student access to databases

page: 1
7

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 11:13 AM
link   
Okay, I know that this thread probably has the most boring title I’ve yet posted on ATS – but I’m trying to create a useful thread rather than a sensational title that gets lots of flags…

In the course of a discussion relating to my Astronomers and UFOs project, a member of ATS (DetectiveT) observed in one post that “There is a lot of stuff that just doesn't pop up in general searches”. That remark got me thinking…

When I recently became a student again in my (limited…) spare time, I had access to numerous databases as part of my course fee. These databases included:

(1) Various archives of digital copies of newspapers – such as the one operated by newpaperarchive.com

(2) Numerous databases of scientific journals, with access to PDF copies of the full text of relevant articles.

Since finishing that degree, I’ve rather missed some of those resources – particularly since some of them could add material to projects I’m working on. I presume other members of ATS would benefit from such access as well in relation to some of their research.

So, what are the cheapest ways to get such access to a wide range of the best such databases?

Signing up for various commercial databases on an individual basis could quickly add up to a significant expense.



Option A : Student Access to databases



One option is to become a student again, with one of the many distance learning institutions that include access to such databases as part of the course. However, the institution I recently used (Open University) only allows such access during the period of the course and its courses are not cheap, so this would not be an option for many casual members of ATS.

Does anyone know of course providers that give access to such databases and (a) offer cheap courses and/or (b) allow alumni to continue to use the databases after the end of the courses???



Option B : Non-Resident Library cards



Alternatively, I’ve very recently come across library cards for various libraries in the USA that allow (or at least allowed until recently) people outside their area (i.e. non-residents) access from their homes to a wide range of relatively expensive databases for a relatively low annual fee (of, say, $60 or $100).

Several of those libraries in the USA offered such cards even to people in other countries and you could apply online or post (rather than have to attend the relevant physical library in the USA).

Unfortunately, it seems that very recently a number of these library offers have been restricted or abandoned.

Although I didn’t hear about them at the time, it seems that particularly popular (due to the databases included and/or access to videos/ebooks) non-resident library cards were offered to everyone by:

(a) New York Public Library, which seems to have been particularly popular due to its ebook collection until that scheme was discontinued:
www.mobileread.com...

(b) more to the point of this thread, the Mid-Continent Public Library in Missouri seems to have offered access to very good databases (including newspaperarchive.com) to non-resident library card holders – but looking at its website registering for

www.ehow.com...



How to Get Free Access to Subscription Newspaper Archives


3. **Check Your Really, Really Non-Local Libraries**
There are quite a number of libraries that offer borrowing privileges, including online database access, to non-residents. Details differ from one library to the next. Sometimes, you have to apply in person, while other times, you can apply online. There may or may not be a fee.
It can be tricky to find the details of non-resident library cards. When I travel, I make it a point to drop in to libraries and ask. I have a number of cards from across the US, and make wonderful use of a wide variety of databases that way.
One of my favorites is the Mid-Continent Public Library in Missouri, which has a terrific collection of databases, and offers a one-year non-resident card for a mere twenty dollars. Contact the library through their website for details.


However, looking at the current Mid-Continent Public Library FAQ, it seems this card is no longer available (at least to those living outside the USA):



• The following options are available to persons living outside of the Mid-Continent Public Library service area:
o Out-of-District card -- New Out-of-District cards can be issued at any of our 30 branch locations. New Out-of-District cards will be issued only to Missouri or Kansas residents living outside the MCPL service area. You must be present to register for an Out-of-District card. There is a fee of $60.00 and the card is valid for one year. Cards about to expire or expired can be renewed in person or by mail, phone, or email.
o Research card -- Research cards will be issued only at the Midwest Genealogy Center. Research cards can be issued to U.S. residents living outside the MCPL service area (but inside the U.S.). You must be present to register for a Research card. There is a fee of $30.00 and the card is valid for six months. Research cards are not able to be renewed. (You may apply for a new card after current card expires, but the same new card rules will apply.)



The website below lists various libraries that still offer (or at least recently offered) non-resident library cards available online, but that webpage focuses on ebook availability rather than the databases (if any) that can be accessed by holders of such cards:

bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com...



The Free Library of Philadelphia-- . Non-residents may apply by mail (using the printable registration form for a library card. The fee is $35/year. NOTE - You do not have to register in person. The first time that you want to remove "physical" material (books, movies, etc) you must show ID. Otherwise you can download audio books, e-books, music, movies, etc as soon as you get your library card.
As of August 2010 the collection includes 1546 epub and 652 pdf titles.

• Fairfax County VA-- See library web site for residency requirements. Non-residents can apply by mail for a library card; the current fee is $27/year. As of August 2010, the collection includes 879 epub, 269 mobi, and 1892 pdf titles.

• Charlotte-Mecklenburg County -- See library web site for residency requirements. Non-residents may apply and pay online for a library card; fee is currently $45/year. As of August 2010, collection contains 105 ePub, 59 mobi, and 177 pdf titles. ...

• New Orleans -- Nonresidents can apply by mail for $50 per year. ...

• Orange County Library System Florida-- See library web site for residency requirements. Non-residents may apply online for a library card; the fee is currently $125/year. ...


So, what are the best options still around for non-resident library cards (ideally available online and to overseas applicants…) with access to various commercial databases that would be useful for UFO research???

All the best,

Isaac
edit on 8-9-2011 by IsaacKoi because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 12:08 PM
link   
As a librarian I can speak to this. Most libraries in my state offer reciprocal borrowing privileges. If you live in a jurisdiction that provides free library cards, then you are eligible for a card from another library system. Some states have statewide cards. Ours is not one of them. The trend is for city-owned libraries to charge out-of-city residents and for county systems to offer reciprocal deals. Unfortunately, one of the issues is usually that you have to apply in person. Having said that, the larger libraries have the greater number of online databases. All you need is one good one to make this work. In my state of Washington King County is the card to get. They are one of the largest circulating libraries in the entire country and they have a plethora of databases available.

On the academic side, many universities offer library privileges to donors. You don't have to give them thousands of dollars. Donating at a more modest level can earn you library access. It's worth checking out.

Also, be sure to take a look at your own local public library. Mine is a fairly small one, but the number of databases is quite reasonable. Most any library has access to at least one general periodical database that covers the larger percentage of articles and newspapers. The bigger you get the more esoteric the databases can become.

Most database providers do allow for online access with a library card, but some do not. The genealogy databases, for example, do not allow remote access. Those guys want to soal the individual for a separate fee for online access. The same is true of auto repair manuals. Not that either of these matter in this case, but the point still stands.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 01:06 PM
link   
reply to post by IsaacKoi
 
This is a great idea for a thread. I am in limbo at the moment myself in terms of academic library access which is becoming awkward. I won't have full access to a local academic library until spring now.

The university of Manchester (one of the biggest in the UK) allows all alumni to borrow books from the library without charge and use the rest of the library for reference. Members of the public can use the library for reference 3 times without charge and can register for reference access at £30 or borrowing at £88. However, access to the e-journals and databases is on site only (I am not currently based in Manchester) and the level of access for non-staff/students is limited. The most recent papers tend to be abstract only. There are still huge numbers of paper journals archived in the library though which you can use and copy for research.

I haven't looked at the cost of courses but my guess is they won't be cheap without some kind of grant in the current climate.

I have been getting access via friends academic account which has now expired and I am in limbo until Spring next year. I guess if I'm not prepared to pay then I'll have to make do for now.

I might be bending my T&C here but... I'm not sure what other members think, but we should perhaps look at a multi user license type deal for those of us who are likely to use the papers for genuine research? This is where having funds from a new UFO research group would be good. Surely a well run website would generate funds via advertising revenue. (Sorry admin.)

EDIT: I have found it difficult to get the kind of access I want to newspaper archives. Local stuff is easiest to get by visiting the local library in person (time!). It does seem like a licensing issue but so many databases are only available inside the library (at least without a fee) when it comes to US and UK libraries.
edit on 8/9/11 by Pimander because: (no reason given)

2nd EDIT: Oh yes, Nottingham University has a similar arrangement to Manchester.
edit on 8/9/11 by Pimander because: (no reason given)

edit on 8/9/11 by Pimander because: grammer




posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:14 PM
link   
Hi Schuyler,

Thanks for your input.


Originally posted by schuyler
All you need is one good one to make this work.


Yes, it seems that a year or two ago New York Public Library and the Mid-Continent Public Library in Missouri were the non-resident library cards to get. It's just a shame that I didn't learn that until last week, a while after both schemes had changed...



On the academic side, many universities offer library privileges to donors. You don't have to give them thousands of dollars. Donating at a more modest level can earn you library access. It's worth checking out.


That's news to me. I'll look into this since I'd rather pay some money to a library that would benefit students than each of the companies running relevant databases.

My quick searches so far have found a few libraries, such as the one at the link below, that seem to offer donors (even ones that pay $50 for a year) access to the physical lending library - but not (as far as I've seen so far) to the electronic databases that students and (in this particular case) also alumni can use:
library.duke.edu...

A few more searches seem in order on this one...



Also, be sure to take a look at your own local public library.


I'd checked the online resources available though my local library in England in the last few days. There are a few databases available to members - but none of the relatively high cost, high quality commercial databases that some libraries in the USA offer to their members.

In my experience, our libraries in the UK seem to be lagging behind some of your libraries in the USA in this area.

All the best,

Isaac



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:32 PM
link   

Originally posted by Pimander
However, access to the e-journals and databases is on site only (I am not currently based in Manchester) and the level of access for non-staff/students is limited.


Unfortunately, this is also the case with my old university and also in relation to Open University.



I'm not sure what other members think, but we should perhaps look at a multi user license type deal for those of us who are likely to use the papers for genuine research? This is where having funds from a new UFO research group would be good. Surely a well run website would generate funds via advertising revenue.


I think this is probably a bit more than we can realistically hope for...

All the best,

Isaac
edit on 8-9-2011 by IsaacKoi because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 09:56 AM
link   
Hi Isaac,

it's not a boring title, it caught my attention


I have access to some (electronic/university/newspaper) libraries but it's limited in place and partially with regard to the subject. I may be however able to get some information about UFO related stuff but like I said before it's limited to Germany('s UFO cases) and that might not be of interest to you.

Kind regards!
edit on 14/9/11 by Dalbeck because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 07:57 AM
link   

Originally posted by IsaacKoi

Originally posted by schuyler
On the academic side, many universities offer library privileges to donors. You don't have to give them thousands of dollars. Donating at a more modest level can earn you library access. It's worth checking out.

...

My quick searches so far have found a few libraries, such as the one at the link below, that seem to offer donors (even ones that pay $50 for a year) access to the physical lending library - but not (as far as I've seen so far) to the electronic databases that students and (in this particular case) also alumni can use:
library.duke.edu...

A few more searches seem in order on this one...


I've done quite a few more searches and found quite a few university and public libraries which offer borrowing privileges (of physical books) in return for a donation/fee, but so far haven't found one offering access to remote users for the better commercial databases.

Details of relevant university library schemes etc seem to be helpfully summarised in the (rather long...) list below, so I'll have a look at this in more detail in the near future:

www.ncis.org...



Many independent scholars are unaware that their own public libraries and local colleges and universities offer the services they need for their research. Many large city libraries, such as the New York Public Library, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Chicago Public Library, and the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library offer on-site and remote access to major scholarly databases (including JSTOR and Project MUSE) and interlibrary loan from college and university collections. Local colleges and universities almost always offer some kind of access for unaffiliated scholars, be it a free courtesy card or a fee-based card. This list is but a small sampling of college and university libraries and their policies regarding access for independent scholars. Access usually includes a limited borrowing period for books, as well as access to journals and electronic databases subscribed to by the institution.

The most important thing in your quest for access to information is to always ask: ask your local public library, ask your main library, ask your local college or university. Librarians are in the business of spreading information and will be happy to help you. Some librarians are even able to offer waivers on restricted databases for legitimate independent scholars. Gaining access can be easy: just ask.

This list is intended to provide basic information on borrowing policies for non-affiliated scholars at colleges and universities within the United States. Information is correct at the time of publication (December 2010).


All the best,

Isaac




top topics



 
7

log in

join