State Librarian’s Report
2008 Year in Review
As I sit down to write this Year in Review, I note that today the Stock Market swung wildly, much like a roller coaster, spanning over 900 points. Many of us feel that this is the same wild ride that we have been on for the entire year!
Our budget cuts (10% in February 08; 4.75% in Sept. 08; and projected 10% for the new biennium) were challenging to say the least. We have survived – much to the credit of the State Library staff who continues to give the best customer service possible while they move library material and shelving to save on rental space. Our material budget has shrunk but we utilize the resources of OhioLINK when we answer reference questions and train our customers to search for answers and do research.
We became a WebJunction partner state this year. As part of our subscription, we are able to offer online courses to librarians from all types of libraries across the state. Check this out at http://oh.webjunction.org/.
We also were the first state library in the country to offer WorldCat Local to our customers as a new service providing a solution to local discovery and delivery systems. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. This production went live in spring 2008.
We have been busy on the resource sharing front as well. Starting with the issuance of a Request for Information in late 2007, we have been pursuing an alternative to the current Statewide Resource Sharing system which would reduce the labor-intensity for the library staff of participating libraries. We are currently engaged in conversations with 9 other states and hope to issue an RFP as a result of this collaborative effort.
And we don’t want to forget the READ posters project we started with the Governor and the First Lady. As I continue my visits across Ohio, I am pleased to see them in so many of the libraries. We plan to continue producing these as time and funding permits.
My library visits have been great; I have completed visits to 109 public libraries and a couple of academic libraries! I am planning more for the year to come. I learn so much from each of you during my visits. This really does help us in our planning and prioritizing, especially at times like these when funds are being cut and it is not possible for us to do all that we wish to do.
The 2008 Directory of Ohio Libraries was a successful project thanks to the help libraries provided by updating their contact information as well as the generous support of OHIONET who printed the directory.
But the work, the challenges and the fun doesn’t stop there. The partnerships are many – Ohio Ready to Read, Libraries Connect Ohio, and our newest initiative – a take-off on the One Book, One Community – Choose to Read Ohio. You can read about these and more in this issue of The News.
Here’s to a very happy and promising new year!
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