Alumni can now access full-text articles from more than 4,000 journals and magazines through Milner Library’s research databases. The free service gives alumni a new tool for personal and professional research.

The service debuted earlier this year after library staff noted that alumni in various academic and professional fields might not be able to access resources that would help in furthering their careers.

Having access to reputable sources and information gives alumni an edge over colleagues who have to rely on unconfirmed information found in general Internet searches. Alumni can search by categories on broad subjects like business and health, to more specific areas of study like genealogy and finance.

“There have been many conversations with library staff to figure out the logistics of the program,” said Dane Ward, dean of Milner Library. “But the benefits for our alums seemed so great that we couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”

David Paddock ’71, M.S. ’79, has already used the new tool to find several articles for his biology and history research.

“This is great. I have already used this and I know I will use it more,” Paddock said. “I have wanted access to a university library many times. I was able to download 3 or 4 journal PDF files that I used for some background research for an article I was writing. I would not have been able to write the article without this access. It is also useful for volunteer work I do at a national recreation area and for a science museum.”

Positive alumni feedback has shown Milner Library staff that their efforts to make the databases available were well worth it. Yet they see another benefit of the service—it is a way to stay in touch with former Redbirds.

“We see education as a lifelong process. Providing access to these databases is a way for us to continue helping our alumni into the future,” Ward said. “We are still family; the relationship doesn’t end after graduation.”

Alumni can access databases and learn more about services offered by Milner Library at

Danielle Threlkeld can be reached at