As part of a recent pilot program, William & Mary students, staff and faculty now have access to the Washington Post online for free, courtesy of William & Mary Libraries. William & Mary is the only university in Virginia and one of three universities in the country with granted access. Harvard and Yale universities are also part of the pilot program.
To set up an account, individuals will need to access the Washington Post online while on-campus and then create and verify an account using their William & Mary email address. Although W&M Libraries has various newspapers in the database subscriptions, it is considered rare for a news site, such as the Washington Post, to offer campus-wide access to their web interface. With direct access students, staff and faculty can enjoy live-streaming of events, real-time Q&A discussions, and investigative coverage and editorial commentary.
Due to its locality, the Washington Post not only provides coverage of the White House and Congress, but journalists also report on Virginia topics such as culture, education, Richmond politics, and the state’s economy. This poses a proximity advantage for William & Mary affiliates by covering news that is prevalent in their community.
“Whether it’s assigned for a class, part of a large research project, or just daily reading, I hope that newspapers are the relevant touchstone for university students,” said Georgie Donovan, associate dean for collections and content services.
For the past six months, Donovan has worked with Washington Post officials to help shape the library site license pilot program. After numerous teleconferences and discussions about pricing, access and platform, her efforts were successful.
The Washington Post is not the only subscription library staff has worked diligently to add to the library’s database. Currently, students, staff and faculty can access publications such as the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Consumer Reports, Ancestry.com, Foundation Directory and Lynda.com.
“I want students and faculty to know that we are always trying to reallocate resources to get amazing things for our collections and our scholars,” said Donovan. “If there is anything that we need to consider adding to our collections or suite of subscriptions, it’s important to bring it to our attention. It’s incredibly helpful to know what faculty and students need.”