Graduation no longer means bidding farewell to the West Virginia University Libraries.

A partnership between the WVU Alumni Association and the WVU Libraries now connects alumni with many of the valuable library resources students use daily. Alumni Association Chair Jim Gardill announced the initiative known as the WVU Alumni Library Gateway during the Capital Classic Luncheon at the Charleston Embassy Suites on Jan. 25.

Many of our alumni have expressed an interest in accessing our library online resources, and we want to thank Dean Frances O’Brien and her staff for their assistance in developing this unique program,Gardill told the audience.I know our alumni will be excited about this new endeavor.

Among its multiple features, the Alumni Library Gateway provides users with quick access, from the comfort of home, to thousands of articles in reliable journals. The convenience of instantly finding useful information is something WVU students, faculty and staff have grown accustomed to on campus. The expectation is that alumni will appreciate that power, too.

When you want to know more about a topic, perhaps global warming, Alan Greenspan, or the Winter Olympics, you can retrieve full-text online articles that are more reliable than some Internet sites,O’Brien said.

O’Brien and Steve Douglas, alumni association president and chief executive officer, first began discussing alumni access to WVU Libraries’resources a few years ago. However, it only recently became feasible when EBSCO , one of the Libraries’database providers, began offering alumni packages to schools.

Typically, academic libraries must sign license agreements that only permit students and faculty to access library electronic resources and exclude alumni. WVU is the first university in West Virginia to offer these popular EBSCO databases to alumni.

We are pleased to team with WVU Libraries to provide our members with quick and easy access to a wealth of information through the WVU library system,”Douglas said.”For some time, our alumni have expressed an interest in using these resources, and we are excited to offer them this new program as an added benefit through membership in the WVU Alumni Association.

Initially, the service will be available to all WVU alumni. Simply go to the Alumni Association webpage http://alumni.wvu.edu/ , click on the Gateway icon, and type in your password assigned by the Alumni Association. If you have not received a password, please contact the Association at alumni@mail.wvu.edu . After March 1, access will be limited to current members of the Alumni Association who register for the service. Alumni can register on the Association’s webpage.

Among the selections are EBSCO ’s Academic Search Alumni Edition and Business Source Alumni Edition, both databases offering full-text electronic journal articles from more than 3,500 academic journals.

This introductory version of the Gateway may only be the beginning. If alumni like the service, O’Brien plans to investigate additional databases that could be added.