piping up library feedback blog

Your feedback and our replies.

Access to Online Texts for Non-Students

Published by Dipa Barua

Q. I have invested in $35 charge for 4 month access to SFU library materials.  Several of the books recommended in history class are not available in hard book form, which I could sign out to read anywhere, but are available only as "full text online", which I can't access with my current library status.  I can appreciate the library is shifting more and more to digital access which is likely cheaper and provides more variety. But I feel that over time this disadvantages subscribers like me. So...couldn't you open up access to those "books" with full text online (that can magically disappear when our subscribing period ends!) to us. The library could continue to block our access to the journal and fancy reference databases ( Gale, handbooks, references etc.).  How about it? 

A. I'm sorry to report that the library is legally bound by our signed license agreements with publishers. We are unable to offer off-campus access to library patrons who do not fit the definition of an "Authorized User."  

An Authorized User is a current student, faculty or staff member at Simon Fraser University with valid SFU credentials.

However, the majority of our online resources are available to you when you visit one of our libraries in person so you should be able to access e-books when using a library computer. Some e-book platforms/publishers contain no digital rights management (DRM), so you can download an entire e-book for your own personal, educational use.  Other e-books will allow you to download or print only sections or chapters - and this varies by publisher/platform and can also vary by book title depending on the author's agreement with the publisher in question. 

A guide to your privileges as an external borrower of the SFU Library is listed here: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/about/overview/services-you/external

If you have further questions, please ask a Library staff member in person, by email or by phone at any of our campus libraries: (Bennett 778.782.3869, Belzberg 778.782.5050 or Fraser 778.782.7411).

Thank you for your question/comment. 

Sandra Wong
Electronic Resources Librarian, Collections