BRISTOL, R.I. – Everyday, in classrooms across the RWU campus, professors are challenging students to think critically. Not just so they can succeed on upcoming exams but so they can be prepared to be engaged citizens of the world. Whether the goal is to simply stay up-to-date or to dig deeper into today’s issues, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to seek out credible news sources to remain an engaged citizen of the world.
To keep the campus community connected to excellent journalism, the Roger Williams University Library is providing full, free access to the New York Times for all students, faculty and staff. The initiative will help create a more informed student body and hopefully spark discussion outside the classroom, according to John Fobert, electronic resources librarian at RWU.
“This will give the campus community an unsurpassed source to become more aware of what’s going on in the world,” Fobert said. “With access to the New York Times from any location from a desktop or mobile app, this puts a highly credible news source right in their hands.”
Complimentary full access began in January for everyone with an RWU email account. The New York Times Pass must first be activated while connected to the university network by visiting AccessNYT. Once an account is set up, the New York Times can be accessed from anywhere. Download the app at nytimes.com/mobile. An event to assist the campus community with setting up access will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Dining Commons.
What could have been a costly endeavor for the University, Fobert said, was achieved with no additional funding by eliminating the library’s online portal to the New York Times and a digital microfilm subscription that had been used once or twice a year.
The subscription features access to current news and the complete New York Times archive, as well as video, audio and recreational content such as the legendary crossword puzzle. Subscriptions can be customized to distribute news alerts and topical newsletters straight to a smartphone or email inbox.
For faculty members, the New York Times Learning Network offers a variety of timely essays written by experts in their fields, along with lesson plans and suggested learning outcomes to bring news from around the globe into the classroom. Faculty members can also feature articles from anywhere on the New York Times site within course materials on the RWU Bridges site.
While the classroom resources offer something beyond the subscription, Fobert said the library’s initiative focused on connecting students to credible news sources.
“We want the library to be more than a place where students come when they need resources for a paper,” Fobert said. “I believe this will encourage students to do more independent reading and learning.”
That connection will be an invaluable source for academic and personal purposes to Rachel Campbell, a freshman criminal justice student from the Bronx who will use the access to research approaches to policing in America throughout history.
“This is a great resource for me, because I’m not much of a news person,” Campbell said. “But with everything that’s going on today – and with having access right on my phone – I’ll be able to get information right away and stay tuned into what’s happening in the world.”