Policies & Statements

Circulation Policy

The ongoing role of the State Library of Ohio is to serve the citizens of Ohio by fulfilling the information needs of state government agencies, supporting services of other libraries in the state and providing direct public services as appropriate. The Circulation Policy is intended to make the largest possible number of materials available to the largest possible number of customers.

State Library items circulate  for 21 days and can be renewed as many times as needed, as long as no holds have been placed by other customers.

OhioLINK books circulate for 21 days. OhioLINK books may be renewed up to six times for an additional 21 days, as long as no holds have been placed by other customers. OhioLINK media circulate for seven days with renewals permitted.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on December 12, 2017

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Collection Development Policy

This document  describes how materials are selected, preserved and evaluated, and to inform the public about the collection development principles of the State Library of Ohio.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on March 17, 2022

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Computer and Internet Use Policy

We provide computers, wireless internet access (WiFi), and technology resources for the purpose of supporting research, educational and work activities. These services are available to state employees, State Library patrons and visitors. The intent of this policy is to ensure that the facility and resources are used effectively and efficiently by all users.

We are a state board as defined in Chapter 3375 of the Ohio Revised Code. As a state board, we have a responsibility to establish appropriate policies to administer and control use of State Library computers, wireless internet access and related resources.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on April 20, 2012

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Distribution of Free Material and Community Information

As a service to our patrons, we provide space for the distribution of free materials/community information. These materials are limited to those of an educational, cultural, civic, and recreational nature.

All material to be distributed must be approved. These materials may be left at the circulation desk.  Approval for materials will be decided by the Manager of Research & Catalog Services.

Display of materials at the library DOES NOT imply endorsement by the State Library of Ohio. In keeping with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights, materials will not be excluded because of origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation; materials will not be removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

Requests for reconsideration of any materials will be directed to the State Librarian. If a resolution is not reached, the request for reconsideration will be directed to the State Library Board.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on March 30, 2006

Gift Policy

We are grateful for gifts and our collections have been enriched by contributions from individuals and other libraries.

All gifts received are to be sent to the Head of Research Services. We reserve the right to decide which gifts should be added to our collections. We also reserve the right to give to other libraries or otherwise dispose of gift materials that are not added to the Collection.

Gifts and donations will be evaluated according to the Collection Development Policy, the mission of the State Library of Ohio, the value of the gift, and the condition of the material. We will not provide a valuation for tax purposes of gifts received.

We do not accept original handwritten manuscripts, disorganized or unorganized items (e.g., notebooks), or any other archival items with the exception of items that are federal government documents or state publications of the state of Ohio. Gifts of material sponsored by commercial and special interest groups will be evaluated to see that they conform to general selection policies.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on March 30, 2006

Meeting Room Use Policy

During standard business hours, meeting rooms can be reserved at no cost by State Library employees for library activities and programs, State of Ohio agencies for work-related purposes or other members of the library community for library-related functions.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on July 10, 2001

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Protecting Privacy Policy

The purpose of this policy is to assist in the efforts of the Agency to be compliant with section 1347.15 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC).


Public Records

Public Records Policy and Procedures

Rules of Conduct for State Library Customers

We are a state board as defined in Chapter 3375 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). As a state board, we have a responsibility to establish policies and rules to administer our facilities and collections.

We strive to make available a facility that is clean and comfortable to support the varied research needs of our patrons. To ensure a pleasant environment that is conducive to the needs of all library patrons, we have adopted Rules of Conduct. These rules apply to all library patrons while on library property.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on March 16, 2017

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Special Collections Use Policy

Special Collections include materials from the Rare Book and Rare Government Documents rooms.  Materials are housed in these rooms due to their rarity and uniqueness.  Any limitation on access to these materials is intended to strike a balance between preservation and access.  Part of the mission of the State Library of Ohio is to ensure that these materials are available to Ohio residents for generations to come.

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Talking Book Distribution Policy

The National Library Service (NLS) Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped recommended that each organization offering access to Digital Talking Book Machines (DTBM) develop a set of priorities for the distribution of DTBMs to end users.

Policy approved by the State Library Board on October 25, 2007

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Unattended Children Policy

We are not responsible for the supervision of unattended children. Any child on the premises should be accompanied by an adult who will be responsible for the child’s conduct. Unsupervised or unruly children are subject to removal.

Library staff will attempt to contact the parent or adult caregiver of an unattended child. In the event that a parent or adult caregiver cannot be reached, law enforcement personnel (Columbus Police or State Highway Patrol) may be contacted. The decision to contact law enforcement rests with the Deputy State Librarian for Library Services, or his/her designee.

Adopted by the State Library Board on September 26, 2002.


View more information about using the library on the Access & Privileges webpage.

Website Privacy Policy Statement

The State Library of Ohio recognizes the importance of privacy to our website visitors.  Therefore, visitors should be aware of the following information.

What Information is Collected and How it is Used

Public Records
Visitors should be aware that, subject to certain statutory exceptions, most documents and records maintained by the State Library of Ohio, including but not limited to electronic data, are public records under Ohio law. Therefore, information submitted through this website may be subject to disclosure pursuant to a public records request.

Usage Statistics
The State Library of Ohio may use Google Analytics or other web log analyzers to collect and assess generic information about the use of services. You can learn about Google’s practices by going to www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/, and opt out of them by downloading the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on, available at tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.  All information collected for this purpose is used in aggregate form only, and may be analyzed for trends and statistics.

Web Cookies
Visitors who visit or submit information via this website should be aware that data linking your computer to this Web site (a “cookie”) may be created. Temporary cookies may be used when necessary to complete a transaction, to process data submitted to us online, to facilitate ongoing Internet interaction or online searches of the library’s online public access catalog, or OhioLINK databases or to collect usage statistics.  Information collected on our websites, including cookies, may also be subject to disclosure pursuant to a public records request.

 Online Forms and Email
State Library of Ohio only collects personal information when necessary to provide a service to the public or state agencies. Information collected on the website including online forms as well as email sent to any State Library employee may be shared amongst the State Library staff in order to respond to or process the email or online form.

Choices Available to Visitors Regarding Collection, Use and Distribution of Personal Information

In short, the individual has control over the ways personal information is used by choosing to obtain library services or not.

The following personal information is collected for individuals requesting a State Library of Ohio library card:

  • Name
  • Work address (State of Ohio employees only)
  • Home address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address

This information, protected by law, is considered confidential. It is used solely for purposes of contacting the individual in delivery of services.

Security Measures

State Library of Ohio will follow Ohio state laws that require the establishment of reasonable precautions to prevent personal information from unauthorized modification, destruction, use or disclosure. We take very seriously the integrity of the information and systems that we maintain. Therefore, we have instituted security measures for all information systems under our control.

  • Software programs to monitor traffic identifying unauthorized attempts to upload, change or access protected information and systems, or otherwise cause damage or tamper with this Web site.
  • Regular backups of systems.

Information collected through these security measures may be used in connection with a criminal prosecution or other legal proceedings.

Link Management

This Privacy Statement does not address, and we are not responsible for, the privacy, information or other practices of any third parties, including any third party operating any website or service to which the Library links. The inclusion of a link does not imply endorsement of the linked site or service by us or by our affiliates. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of other sites for assurance that their practices safeguard your privacy.

Governing Laws and Regulations

The State Library Website Privacy Statement is governed by the following Ohio Law and State Library Administrative Rules:

Ohio Revised Code: 1347.15 Access rules for confidential personal information.

Ohio Administrative Code: 3375-5 Accessing Confidential Personal Information.

3375-5-01 Definitions.

3375-5-02 Procedures for accessing confidential personal information.

3375-5-03 Valid reasons for accessing confidential personal information.

3375-5-04 Confidentiality statutes.

3375-5-05 Restricting and logging access to confidential personal information in computerized personal information systems.

View more information about using the library on the Access & Privileges webpage.

Public Records