One of the great pleasures of being a professor in recent years is that I no longer have to go the library. Trudging to the stacks, finding an article, and photocopying it are things of the past. Almost everything is available online especially at the great JSTOR in the sky, a vast repository of electronic journals some dating back more than 100 years.
Not every university has access to JSTOR, however, and individual subscriptions are costly and limited in scope. But Kevin Kelly points out that in many places you can get a digital library card which will get you access to many online databases.
In most states, you can get a library card from a public library
outside of your county of residence — as long as you can prove state
residence (true for the San Francisco Public Library). Often you will
have to go the actual state library in person to pick up your card, but
once in hand, you can access the library from the web. Fanatical
researchers are known to have a wallet full of library cards from
numerous public library systems within their respective states. Some
states, Ohio and Michigan being two of the better known, have statewide
consortiums of private, corporate and public libraries, which allows
you access to the combined services and databases licensing power of