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I could've sworn that I read in a supplement something about renting conjuring or sorcery libraries for mages. Neither my DM nor I could find any reference of it however. Could someone point me to a page number? (That is, if I'm not just completely mistaken)
Ancient History
You can pay for access to certain major university libraries, probably to some corp libraries.

The highest specific library mentioned in canon is Lone Star at 10 in Austin; but there are likely higher rated ones somewhere else they just havenae listed yet.
There's a page reference in SR3, pg. 167, right column, second paragraph.
The Synthcat
I also remember reading (perhaps in SR3, SR2 or MiTS) that most universities have *very* high-rating libraries.

Which is good for Joe the Scientist, who needs bleeding-edge information to conduct his research, but bad for Joe the Shadowrunner, who only needs to raise his sorcery skill to 5, and still has to pay for consulting a rating-12 sorcery library.
A university would have different level libraries. After all, what is needed by the bleeding edge researcher is far more than is needed by the undergrad students.

Actually, I can't see that many libraries being accessable to Joe Public. Too much risk etc. Universities would limit access to students, companies to employies, magical groups to members etc. Maybe the Dunky foundation would allow access. Perhaps an underground shadow library similar to shadowland set up in major locals.

Looks like you'll have to get your friendly fixer to arrange access to one through his own channels smile.gif
Public institutions would probably be available to just about anyone. Well, provided you have a SIN. And don't mind filling out a few forms. But besides that, just about anyone. That said, a major university is likely to have several levels of library that you can access. After all, if their goal is learning, they don't need to charge the kiddies for a rating 10 library when they're just going to be downstairs reading the rating 1 kiddie books.
My guess would be that public libraries would have depressingly little available in the way of a true Magical Library. Look at a modern library today: sure you can probably find a book or two on any given topic, but try finding something really new. The type of textbook that a college (especially graduate level) student is going to need. Its probably not going to be there. Most public libraries are trying to do as much as possible with as few resources as possible. These college texts tend to be expensive (more limited audience, thus less demand, but even less supply).

Granted this may change as electronic texts become more widespread, thus cutting down on publishing costs. But even then, the more specialized the subject area, the fewer people who have the knowledge and are capable of writing about it, again increasing the price. That, and everyone wants to get as much as possible for their work.

I would think that most universities would have their libraries online, at least those available to the students. The bleeding edge research being done by the top scientists is heavily protected, or maybe even off-line completely.

Still, a library in electronic format is also the easiest to steal. Maybe approach your GM about being the Johnson for the next run, and hire a team to swipe a copy from UofS or a lower tier corp.
The concept of epaper might also come into play in public institutions. All of the convenience of a paper text without the bulk.

Public libraries are probably capped at level one and two as far as magical texts go (unless you live in a VERY awakened neighborhood).
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