As colleges and universities around the world cope with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, students and professors continue to prepare for summer courses and research projects without access to physical libraries and the books and journals therein contained. The pandemic has solidified the roles of the internet and digital technology as basic needs in today’s world.
In order to satisfy these needs, international university presses like Wits University Press have opened unlimited access to their online collections for all subscribing libraries until July 1, 2020. Wits University Press made the announcement in a Sunday Times article:
WUPs mission is to provide access to peer reviewed scholarly content and in recent years we have greatly increased our readership by supplying libraries around the world with online content. When it became clear that researchers and students would need to study and work from home, we did not hesitate to join the call to offer books at no cost to our core audience.
Free access is possible for anyone linked to an institutional, online library network. If your library has a license with JSTOR or Proquest.
Online databases are key players in the move to create unlimited access to university press collections such as Wits University Press.
In addition to JSTOR and Proquest, Project MUSE has also teamed up with participating libraries and publishers to allow students and researchers to access a wealth of knowledge from home. The African owned distribution outlet, African Books Collective, has provided unlimited access to their book collection on Project MUSE through June 30, 2020.
Fear not book lovers and knowledge seekers! The lights may be out on the shelves, but librarians never sleep.