By Bob Young, Historian (retired)
For those of you who have never visited an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) library, you would probably be surprised at the diversified collection of books, research reports, manuals, journals, industry specifications, newsletters, newspapers, DVDs, and CD-ROMs that comprise this specialized collection of transportation materials. The materials serve as vital research tools for transportation planning, design, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance.
The majority of library customers are employed in the transportation industry, and most are ODOT employees, although the library is open to the public. All state employees and the public have access to materials that circulate; all that is required is a library card issued by the State Library of Ohio.
Like many library systems, one issue the ODOT library has to deal with is a limited amount of square footage in which to house its materials. The rapid advancements in information technology and electronic data storage should lower future demands for the physical storage of some items. The library welcomes donations of transportation-related materials, but donated items are accepted with the provision that the library has the discretion of discarding materials if they are of little or no benefit to the library’s holdings.
As with any library, the ODOT library has its share of information requests that seem to be, shall we say, a bit unusual. One such instance occurred in March 2010, when a staffer fielded a barrage of phone calls over a two week period from a man in Toledo who was desperate to obtain a DVD of a highway project at the opposite end of the state. The gentleman grew up in Marietta, and said he was quite confident that a joint viewing with his girlfriend of a State Route 7 construction project DVD would set the proper mood for romance. Although the item request was outside the realm of what the library normally provides, the citizen’s plaintive appeal was granted. ODOT staff decided to not follow-up regarding the success of the DVD viewing party.
Should you want more information about the ODOT library contact a library staff member by calling the library at 614-466-7880, or visit at 1980 West Broad Street, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Either way, transportation excitement awaits you!
Note: ODOT library content is included in the State Library of Ohio catalog.
A list of upcoming themes for The News is available on the Contribute to the News page.
Follow the State Library on the Web
Click on the Media Center to see press releases, other State Library of Ohio newsletters, and more.
The State Librarian's monthly updates are available on WebJunction Ohio.