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Strathclyde Business School Strathclyde Business School

Virtual resources for a lifelong learning journey

By Lorna McNally - Posted on 14 February 2019

In today's blog Business Faculty Librarian Lorna McNally explains how the library has successfully opened up resources for alumni.

At almost every Strathclyde Library induction session for students someone would ask, "Can we still access these library resources after we graduate?" Sadly, until recently, the answer was always no; with the exception of Business Source® Alumni being available to MBA alumni, the resources were off limits to alumni. Now however the library, working in collaboration with the Alumni & Development Office, is proud to present a suite of resources that are available online to all Strathclyde alumni.

Unfortunately not every database that the Library subscribes to is available to our alumni community. This is due to licence restrictions but we have worked with publishers to identify those resources that can be made available online.  We'll continue to work with publishers in the future to identify and make available new resources, where the licence permits such access.

So, which ones can alumni access? Here they are:

  • Business Source® Alumni
  • Credo
  • European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750
  • GreenFILE
  • Mass Observation Online
  • OpenDissertations
  • Teacher Reference Center
  • A selection of open access & freely available databases

How we did it

We've always known that students have a great relationship with the Library during their time at Strathclyde but we always felt that we lost touch with them after graduation. Alumni are of course welcome to join the Library as graduate members but that's not suitable for our thousands of alumni who live around the world. So in 2018 a project group was set up to investigate the possibility of making some of our resources available online.

Led by the Library, the project group set about identifying those resources that could be made available. Next we had to work out how to make them available securely and decide where they should be located. Staff from the Alumni & Development Office quickly offered the Strathclyde Online portal as a suitable home for the resources.

In November 2018 we wanted to gauge alumni interest in these resources and we sent a survey to all alumni. We were overwhelmed by the response and knew that such a service would definitely be a valuable resource for alumni. In December 2018 and January 2019 with the help of the Alumni & Development Office staff we created the Library Resources for Alumni page and contacted publishers for secure links to their resources. We launched the service at the end of January 2019 and again the response from alumni has been fantastic.

The results

First and foremost this is about providing an excellent service to our alumni community. It's about keeping the relationship with the Library after they graduate and supporting them on their lifelong learning journey: once a Strathclyder, always a Strathclyder.

It's also about getting best value for money. The Library spends a significant amount of money every year subscribing to databases and resources. If a licence to a particular resource permits alumni access, and we have a mechanism for making this available securely, then we want to make sure that we're exploiting it to the benefit of our alumni and also to make sure that we're getting a good result on investment.

In the three days following the launch of the service, the Alumni & Development Office processed over 1000 new alumni registrations for the Strathclyde Online Alumni Portal. We knew this project was worth pursuing and we're delighted that so many alumni will be able to make use of the resources.

Feedback from alumni

The feedback from alumni has been amazing and I'm delighted to share some of that here:

"This is a great initiative and certainly something I will make use of."

"It's a wonderful initiative and I'm very thankful and excited for the opportunity to get access to the resources."

"It encourages life-long learning, keeps a link to [the University] even after graduation...Plus it allows [you] to stay updated on current debates and research."

"Having such access really enriches one's life."

Find out more

If you didn't receive an email regarding the new Library Resources and would like to find out more, you can sign up via the Alumni Portal - what are you waiting for?

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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University of Strathclyde
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