Friday, January 3, 2014

Library Privileges

Inspired by Maybelle's misery of last fall.  I hope you're doing well, or at least better, Maybelle!

I just noticed that the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at my institution offers a university i.d., email address, and library privileges (including offsite database access, I'm assuming, since our gateway uses email username and password as credentials) as membership benefits. Membership isn't cheap (just under $400 a year, probably a bit less than traveling to a modest regional conference), but, given the strength of our library's resources, I'd consider it a good deal (certainly a viable alternative to adjuncting mostly for the library privileges, which is one of the very few reasons -- perhaps, in fact, the only reason -- I'd consider adjuncting again).  Also, despite the fact that the Institutes are targeted at "older adults," there's no age limit for ours (it looks like rules at the local institutes vary, so you'd need to check yours).   I also don't see any geographical limit, so it might be worth checking out multiple ones (though, once again, rules and benefits may vary, and you'd certainly need to double-check exactly what you were getting).  Finally, although I don't think this use of OLLI membership is quite what the founders had in mind, it's not exactly out of keeping with their goals, either.  And if you wanted to give back, you could also teach a class for them (for free, to people who actually want to be there -- also not a bad alternative to adjuncting in some circumstances, e.g. that you love teaching. There's a certain purity to being an actual, recognized volunteer). 

Other suggestions for library privilege workarounds, accounts of experiences (good and bad) with OLLIs, reflections on whether one should teach for love, money and/or library privileges, to students who are attending for love, money and/or [what? probably not library privileges], etc., etc. are welcome in the comments. 


  1. That's encouraging to find out. If I DO end up quitting academia, I don't have to rely on using my friends' usernames and passwords to login to REAL libraries. :)

  2. Are the library privileges full? Do they get interlibrary loan? What's the limit on borrowing? If they're good enough, I certainly would consider an unpaid research year if I could swing it financially. Face it, publications are more important than one year adjuncting when it comes to getting hired. Do you have something else that could bring in money at a more reasonable hourly rate?

  3. Where did the Nando post go?

    ^ Above link to the thing I copypasted.

    1. I assumed it was posted in error since it was about issues not associated with our community.

  4. I'm late to the conversation, but has anyone confirmed database access? My institution has borrowing privileges for some community members and trades those privileges with other academic libraries, but does not extend online database access to community members or nearby libraries. My partner's former institution had membership with borrowing privileged for alumni, but not database access.