But I’m a taxpayer!

Norwich doesn’t do traditional ILL for our online learners. Given the amount of time an item spends in transit (from the lending library to Norwich to the student and back to Norwich and the lending library), our graduate students have little time to use the material. (Often, we will purchase a requested book for our collection, and the requesting student gets it first.) It can be far faster, though, for our distance learning students to make an ILL request through their local public library than through Norwich.

One of the administrators of a graduate program I work with brought an interesting problem to my attention: some of our distance learning students are being informed by their local libraries that they can’t use these libraries to do research towards a degree at another institution. Apparently, this “policy” isn’t limited to local college and university libraries: my colleague mentioned that a public library system in one of the nation’s largest cities will not lend to our students for the same reason. But, um, aren’t our students paying taxes to use their public libraries? Hello?

I asked to be informed the next time a graduate student encounters this roadblock. I’d like to learn about this firsthand.

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