About the University of Tennessee Library Council
The UTLC is a coordinating body that acts through consensus around issues of common interest to all UT campus libraries. In this spirit, we wish to provide answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) that our libraries receive on how to access library resources and services, and where to get help when in need. The answers listed below to the most common FAQs are consistent for every library and campus in the UT system.
Please do not hesitate to contact your campus library for follow up questions or additional assistance. Although the UT campuses do not share access to the same electronic resources across the system, all campuses do each employ a cadre of motivated and knowledgeable librarians who stand ready to help and can often find other ways to access the material you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Accessing UT Library Online Resources
I am a UT student, staff, or faculty member on one of the campuses. Why can’t I remotely access the online resources of the other UT campus libraries, after all, we’re just one big system?
Although the libraries in the UT system do jointly license many resources, vendor license and contractual agreements often prohibit remote access to library resources to
anyone other than current faculty, staff, and students on a particular UT campus (restricted by UT NET ID). Further, differing budgets as well as research and/or curricular emphases also mean that not every resource will be affordable or necessary for every campus. If you have a question about access on your campus, contact your campus library
I am a graduate of UT. Why can’t I remotely access the online resources of the UT Library on my campus (or the other ones)?
The UT Libraries often receive requests from UTHSC alumni for access to our licensed online journals and databases, which are restricted to only current faculty, staff, and students of that particular campus. To date, it has been prohibitively expensive to get vendors to include all alumni at little or no additional cost for access to our licensed databases and online journals.
I am a state employee and citizen of TN. Why can’t I remotely access the online resources of the UT Libraries?
Unfortunately, vendor license and contractual agreements prohibit remote access to library resources to anyone other than current faculty, staff, and students of that UT campus (restricted by UT NET ID). All citizens of Tennessee are welcome to visit any UT Library, and can access many (but not all) licensed online journals and databases from library computers. The great State of Tennessee provides free access to many library databases for the general citizenry through the State Library and Archives via the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL).
I’m a current UT faculty member (or student or staff) on a UT campus but can’t remotely access the library resources of my campus. Why?
If you are a current faculty, student or staff member, your name should appear in the online directory for that campus. If not, we recommend that you call the respective campus IT Help Desk for assistance. They can assist you with your NET ID, which is required to access library resources.
I am not employed at UT but I work with UT students and faculty in my work setting (and I am a State of TN employee). Why can’t I access the same library resources that the UT students do?
Unfortunately, once again, vendor license and contractual agreements prohibit remote access to library resources to anyone other than current faculty, staff, and students of that UT campus (restricted by UT NET ID). If a professional who works with UT students can secure an official UT faculty appointment (includes unpaid faculty) in a campus college, they will be eligible for a valid NET ID for that campus (sponsored UT NET IDs and regular UT retirees are not eligible). If you have problems with your NET ID (required for accessing online library resources), we suggest you call the respective campus IT Help Desk for assistance.
Although some electronic resources available at UT Library websites are freely available to all, many resources are subject to licenses that restrict who may use them or how they may be accessed. In fact, there are several levels of access, depending on the affiliation or location of the user.
Exceptions are difficult, because if we knowingly violate our contract with a database vendor, we jeopardize our right to purchase the vendor’s less costly (although more restrictive) licenses.
Authorized users include:
- Current students, faculty or staff members of a particular UT campus
- Persons using a computer on the UT campus network (for many, but not all, electronic resources)
The prices we pay for electronic resources are contracted based on the number of authorized users. We continually weigh the cost of available resources against their value to the educational and research missions of the university. The UTLC works toward joint UT contracts for online resources when feasible.
Unfortunately, opening up our databases to non-UT people within the state would result in costs much higher than the UT Library budgets would be able to support. UT students, faculty, and staff are our primary constituencies, and making their needs our priority is part of UT’s commitment to the citizens of Tennessee to provide the highest quality education at the most affordable cost.
The state provides access to many library databases for the general citizenry through the State Library and Archives via the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) The state provides access to many library databases for the general citizenry through the State Library and Archives via the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL).