I am working on projects for which having very direct access to relevant reference materials on the subject (linguistics) is basically essential.
I have come to understand that there is no satisfying alternative to being part of a research library, as a researcher. There is no similarly convenient way to have direct access to the materials you want.
I feel like this is something I’ll probably want my whole life. I sometimes move to new countries, and I’m someone that just inherently always wants to look things up in the most authoritative reference materials.
There are workarounds / “hacks” - strategic loopholes that have the same outcome. For example, just by applying to an evening language course, I become a student at that university and gain off-campus access to databases.
That isn’t satisfying. I need a legitimate, long-term way to be part of a research library, regardless of if I am a student at that moment or not.
I can only think about trying to meet with some officials at local universities to see if they can recognize someone as an independent researcher for a good/valid reason.
Other than that, I am wondering if you can propose “research” of some kind to a university, which they can approve, regardless of you doing it as part of a program (like a Ph.D. program).
Bottom line: what is the most flexible and general way to be part of a research library, not a particular and somewhat finicky way?