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Unlimited, free online access to New York Times articles — a resource as vital for students as food, coffee and spicies with — came under threat yesterday morning. But it appears the University Library will come to distressed students' rescue.

The Times will launch a digital subscriptions service March 28 and place added restrictions to its online content, the paper's publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., wrote in a letter to readers yesterday. The new restrictions limit nonsubscribers to 20 articles or other media features per month before they are cut off and prompted to buy a digital subscription, according to the letter. Home delivery subscribers will continue to benefit from all online services.

 Readers who click through links found on blogs, search engines, Facebook and Twitter will not be denied access even if the monthly limit has been reached, the letter stated.

"The Library is working with Newsbank, a vendor, to provide same-day access to the entire contents of the New York Times online.  We will be providing more details very soon.  The service should be available before the Times puts up its subscription wall on March 28," David Banush, associate University librarian for access services and collection management, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.

Either way, students can always go old school — print versions of the Times will still be available in the Sharpe Refectory each morning.

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