Graduating this spring? Here’s what you need to know about accessing the Libraries after graduation, plus some useful free resources.

The University of Texas Tower at Graduation with Fireworks - III

Congratulations on graduating!

There are plenty of ways you can continue using library resources:

Hold on to your student ID card this summer

Spring graduates retain privileges the following summer. These privileges include:

  • regular student check-out privileges
  • access to Interlibrary Services
  • access to most University of Texas Libraries electronic resources
  • use of studies, carrels or lockers under the guidelines that apply to enrolled students

Just use your student ID to check out materials. You may continue to renew material online.  Your privileges will remain in place until the 12th day of classes in the fall. (*Disclaimer* If you withdraw during Spring semester, you lose your library privileges until you re-enroll. If you’re graduating in the fall, please note that library privileges are available in spring and fall to enrolled students only and your privileges will end at the beginning of the spring semester.)

Library books

Courtesy Borrower Privileges

Ok, now summer’s over and you still want to use the UT Libraries.  You still have options:

By joining the UT Alumni Association, not only will you get a cool decal, you’ll also become eligible for a library courtesy card. Recent grads can join for an annual fee of $25. After you’ve joined, bring a photo ID to Courtesy Borrower Services to apply for your card.  You’ll also gain remote access to two article databases, Academic Search Alumni Edition and Business Source Alumni Edition.

The TexShare Library Card Program is a reciprocal borrowing program, coordinated by the Texas State Library, which provides access to materials across many Texas libraries. If you’re a patron in good standing at a participating public library, you can obtain a TexShare card from that library and bring it to Courtesy Borrower Services to apply for your UT Libraries courtesy card. While the card is free, each library has its own eligibility period for qualifying to participate (for example, you’ll need to have your Austin Public Library card for six months in good standing before qualifying for a TexShare card).  Check with your local library for more details.

  • Are you a Texas resident?

If you are a Texas resident and you don’t qualify for the TexShare card, just bring proof of Texas residency, a photo ID and $100 to the Courtesy Borrower Services during its open hours to obtain borrowing privileges at the UT Libraries.

Please note: being a Courtesy Borrower is never going to be like the good old days of being a UT student.  While courtesy borrowers are welcome to access most electronic databases at library workstations, licensing issues with our database vendors prevent us from offering remote access to these resources.  The licenses of a few databases also require us to limit on-site access to UT students, faculty, and staff.  While Courtesy Borrowers are eligible to use online renewal and recall services, you will not have access to Interlibrary Services or access at the Jamail Center for Legal Research, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, or The Center for American History.

And don’t forget to check out your local public library!

Public libraries often provide remote and on-site access to many of the same databases we offer at the UT Libraries. Many public libraries also offer their own interlibrary loan services that will allow you to access books from other libraries if they aren’t already owned by your home library.  UT prioritizes lending to other Texas libraries, so your public library may still provide you with access to our collections.  Relocating and unsure of your public library location? Find the closest public library in your area.

Visit the Alumni page for more information.

Computer Resources 7

And remember, there’s a plethora of online databases and resources that are free for everyone to use.

If you are looking at a free online database, an “Index” means that the database will tell about the existence of an article through a citation and possibly an abstract, or short summary, without actually providing you full-text access to the article.  Check with your local library to find out how to gain access to the article.

Full-text” means that the article is included in the database.


  • Bibliography of the History of Art: One of the most important databases in the field of art & art history. Index.
  • Europeana: Explore the digital resources of Europe’s museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections.
  • Image Search: Search official US government images.
  • Google Goggles App: Use this app to identify images, objects, places and more.
  • Tineye: A reverse image search that finds out where an image came from, how it’s being used, if modified versions exist, or if there is a higher res image available.
  • Find more at the Fine Arts Library’s Resources Page


  • ADS Astrophysics Data Systems: The ADS maintains three bibliographic databases containing more than 8.9 million records. Some full-text.
  • Handbook of Space Astronomy and Astrophysics: A comprehensive compilation of the facts and figures relevant to astronomy and astrophysics. This handbook is available online at no cost.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day: Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
  • Interactive Sky Chart: Create a custom naked-eye map of the whole sky for any place on Earth, at any time of day or night, on any date from 1600 to 2400.
  • NASA Astrobiology: NASA’s official website on the Astrobiology Program that provides accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information on the Program.
  • Find more at the PMA Library’s Astronomy Resources



  • NIST Chemistry WebBook: A major source of reliable chemical and chemical physics information from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Sigma-Aldrich: The chemical product catalog, with loads of reliable data on all kinds of compounds, including biological, with spectra, MSDS, and more.
  • SDBS Spectral Database System: Spectral Database for Organic Compounds’ collection of free chemical spectra on the web.
  • WebElements: A great online periodic table.
  • TOXNET (NIH): Excellent suite of databases for scientists and the public, from the National Institute of Health. Index.
  • Find more at Chemistry Library’s Resources Page


  • Perseus: This flagship collection covers the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world.
  • TOCS-IN: (Tables of Contents of Journals of Interest to Classicists): Provides tables of contents for about 185 journals of interest to classicists. Some have links to online abstracts or full text.
  • Find more at the Classics Library’s Resources Page


  • ERIC: Thousands of full-text documents on education (including lesson plans) and plenty more citations.



  • Search and Discovery from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ : AAPG’s special site with abstracts and free stuff useful for quick research on oil and gas related and geology related searches.
  • Find more at the Walter Geology Library Resources page




  • Internet Archive: Includes the Wayback Machine, an archive of current and defunct websites, usable just like they were the day they were captured.
  • The Handbook of Texas Online: multidisciplinary encyclopedia of Texas history, geography, and culture sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association.
  • The Digital Library Center (University of Florida): The DLC develops, manages, and publishes digital content from curatorial collections, including rare children’s literature books, antique maps, oral histories and more.


  • National Security Archive: A stellar resource for primary resources (declassified U.S. government documents) on global human rights issues and U.S. foreign policy from WWII to the present.
  • NSA Database: Search the most comprehensive set of declassified government documents available.
  • The Torture Archive: Full text of government documents related to torture related policy post-9/11.
  • Hurisearch: A human rights search engine that searches over 5,000 human rights web sites.
  • Univeristy of Minnesota Human Rights Library: Site contains full text to 60,000+ documents, including major human rights treaties and other resources.



  • Aquatic Commons: Thematic digital repository covering the natural marine, estuarine /brackish and fresh water environments.
  • USGS, National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC): Online publications from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center.
  • IODE: International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange: IODE, a part of the “Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission” (IOC) of UNESCO’s purpose is to enhance marine research, exploitation and development, by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information.
  • NOAA Photo Library Collections: This collection from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration includes thousands of weather and space images, hundreds of images of our shores and coastal seas, and thousands of marine species images ranging from the great whales to the most minute plankton and more.
  • Harmful Algae: Documents from the National Sea Grant Library.
  • Find more at Marine Science Library’s Open Access Journals



  • Librivox: Free online audiobooks from the public domain.
  • DOAJ: Free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals, covering all subjects and many languages.
  • OAIster: OAIster is a union catalog of millions of open access resources that was built by harvesting from open access collections worldwide.
  • Berkman Center for Internet & Society: A network of faculty, students, fellows, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and virtual architects working to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace.




  • PILOTS Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress: Journals, books, book chapters, pamphlets, technical reports, and materials in all languages.
  • American Psychological Association: Topical overviews include overviews and pointers to additional resources, research funding, tools and methods and much more.


  • SPIN: Searches articles from 80 American and Russian scientific journals. Index.
  • ArXiv: Extensive open access to e-print articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, and quantitative biology. Full-text.
  • SLAC – SPIRES: High-energy physics literature database, from the library at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Full-text.
  • NIST Physical Reference Data: The National Institute of Standards & Technology’s physical reference data.
  • Find more at PMA Library’s Physics Resources



  • Bibliography of Data Related Literature: ICPSR Bibliography of Data-related Literature, a searchable database that contains over 60,000 citations of known published and unpublished works resulting from analyses of data held in the ICPSR archive.
  • POPLINE: POPulation information onLINE. Contains citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues.


  • Diccionario de la Real Academia Española: The most important dictionary of Spanish, including not only definitions, a dictionary of “doubts” about correct usage, but also a historical dictionary called Nuevo tesoro lexicográfico de la lengua española.
  • The Hemeroteca Digital (Spain’s National Library): An ongoing library of digitized Iberian newspapers.
  • The Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (Spain’s National Library): A catalog of e-resources for Latin American and Spain. Index.
  • DIALNET: Portal of research in Spain. Includes books, journal articles, dissertations and documents, many of them full text.
  • Torre de Babel Ediciones: Portal of philosophy and philosophers, psychology, and educational materials in Spanish.
  • Find more at UT Libraries Iberian Guide


Tip Jar Post #14: Preparing for Graduate School Tests

Two students talk are in a pub talking over how they need to practice for graduate school exams

Graduation is just a few short weeks away and after that — freedom! Or not. Maybe you already have your heart set on getting another diploma or want to test the waters to see what skills are “must-haves” for a certain profession. Whatever path you’re embarking upon, it’s likely the libraries have preparation software and materials that can enable your path to success.

The Testing and Education Resource Center is a robust resource that includes practice tests for the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT just to name a few. Each test is accompanied by an electronic prep book with detailed answer explanations for every question and tips and tricks to use your testing time efficiently. You’ll just need to create a free username and password to keep track of your private results!

The following video shares more hints for getting the most out of this resource:

More resources:
Prefer to use a different electronic or print book for your test prep needs? Search the library catalog for the full title of the test (for example, GRE would be Graduate Record Examination) plus “study guide”.  Here are a few links to some of the more popular prep books: