Graphic with text "Libraries Connect Ohio" and "Ohio LSTA Grant" with logos for Ohio Web Library, State Library of Ohio and IMLS
March 16, 2023

The State Library of Ohio Board approved a $1,534,922 federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to The Ohio State University for Libraries Connect Ohio (LCO) to purchase one year of statewide online access for the Ohio Web Library core set of subscription-based databases. This year, the school, academic, and public library partners in Libraries Connect Ohio and the State Library of Ohio reached a 20-year milestone of supporting a core collection of online library resources available statewide. “In the recent evaluation of the last LSTA Five-Year Plan, one of the most valued programs that has come from this funding in the past has been the Ohio Web Library, born of the Libraries Connect Ohio partnership,” said State Librarian Wendy Knapp.  “As a prime example of libraries leveraging resources, the databases that are available to every Ohioan as a result of the LCO project provide a rare statewide resource that levels the playing field for every student or worker in the state.”

LCO negotiates five-year contracts with the database vendors but requests annual renewal of the LSTA funding. The five-year contract ensures optimal pricing from vendors. The annual renewal of LSTA funding demonstrates the partners’ commitment to consistently evaluate purchased resources. In addition to the $1,534,922 (38%) in federal LSTA funding for Libraries Connect Ohio, Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) will contribute $1,000,000 (25%); Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) will fund $1,000,000 (25%); and INFOhio (Ohio’s PreK-12 Digital Library) will provide $500,000 (12%) to purchase the core collection of subscription-based databases. These databases are available to all Ohioans through the Ohio Web Library.

Each of the LCO partner organizations work with their respective communities—academic institutions, public libraries, and school districts—to promote the use of the shared statewide resources.

OhioLINK supports LCO’s Ohio Web Library through a range of technology and services to ensure its statewide resources are accessible for students, staff, and faculty from their college or university library as well as through OhioLINK-managed platforms and access.

OPLIN supports the use of statewide resources by developing and hosting the technology that allows the public access for all Ohioans to the collection. OPLIN engages the public library community in the selection of online databases, promotion of resources, and training.

INFOhio funds a licensed statewide PreK-12 instance of EBSCO Discovery Service to deliver the contents of the LCO collection to all PreK-12 students and provide access to the databases through their website.

The databases include full-text digital popular magazines and scholarly journals; general reference resources such as encyclopedias, almanacs, statistical information and resources for developing new skills and enhancing personal development; and scholarly humanities and science resources.

The State Library of Ohio, OhioLINK , OPLIN , and INFOhio formed Libraries Connect Ohio in 2003 as an initiative to define and deliver a statewide collection of databases to provide a common set of information resources. The partnership exemplifies the value of collaboration. Libraries Connect Ohio improves the buying power and breadth and scope of information resources available to all Ohio residents regardless of where they live or go to school. The savings affords libraries and library networks the ability to build on the core collection in Ohio Web Library by purchasing additional resources to meet the needs of their patrons.

“The Libraries Connect Ohio group has worked together successfully for 20 years to ensure equity of access to digital information for all residents of Ohio. Because of our collaboration, patrons can go to any library in the State of Ohio and access a core collection of common resources, and public libraries can use this core collection as a springboard for local collection development. We are glad to be part of this partnership for the benefit of all public libraries,” said Don Yarman, Executive Director, OPLIN.

“OhioLINK is happy to partner with Libraries Connect Ohio to support Ohio’s knowledge economy,” expressed Amy Pawlowski, Executive Director, OhioLINK. “Librarians know that it can be difficult to find credible and accurate information on the internet, so we take pride in being able to offer high quality, reliable online resources for lifelong learning.”

“Through this shared collection, Ohio’s students, parents, and educators have access to quality digital resources to support student mastery of essential literacy skills, help students develop background knowledge, and prepare for the careers of tomorrow,” said Erica Clay, Director of INFOhio. “Ohio’s schools depend on these resources to supplement teaching and learning and to help students meet Ohio’s Learning Standards. From emergent readers to career seekers, the shared collection ensures each Ohio student has quality digital resources for a successful education and future.”

Pending signatures of contracts, starting July 1, 2023, the Ohio Web Library collection will include six components of new and returning content:

The EBSCO core collection contains thousands of full-text magazine and journal titles organized into a variety of sub-collections: Academic Search Premier, Alt Health Watch, Biography Reference Bank, Business Source Premier, Computer Source, Consumer Health Complete, ERIC, Health Source: Consumer Edition, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center, Home Improvement Reference Center, Literary Reference Center, MAS Ultra School Edition, MasterFILE Premier, MEDLINE, Middle Search Plus, Newspaper Source, Points of View Reference Center, Primary Search, Professional Development Collection, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, Regional Business News Plus, Religion and Philosophy Collection, Science Reference Center, Small Business Reference Center, Sociological Collection, TOPICSearch, and Vocational & Career Collection, as well as several related eBook collections. This continues to be the central product in the Ohio Web Library collection.

The World Book package includes the most popular World Book products from the current subscription: Early Learning, World Book Kids, World Book Student, and World Book Advanced, L’Encyclopedie Decouverte (French), and two (2) Spanish-language encyclopedias—Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos and Banco de Contenidos aulaPlaneta. This package also includes Timelines, read-aloud functionality, and translation.

Oxford Research Encyclopedias (from Oxford University Press) includes more than 3,000 long-form articles from 25 subject-based, authoritative resources of reference in a wide array of academic fields, including the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Very Short Introductions (from Oxford University Press) is an excellent way to get a quick, authoritative and accessible overview of a subject. It currently includes over 750 titles and continues to grow.

ChiltonLibrary (from Gale) provides quick online access to repair, maintenance and service information on popular cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. This product contains more than 50 years of information provided in step-by-step procedures; work on the engine, chassis, electrical, drive train, suspension, and more is made easier for mechanics of any experience.

CultureGrams (from ProQuest) is a leading reference resource for reliable cultural information on the countries of the world. CultureGrams goes beyond basic facts and figures with local perspectives on more than 200 countries and territories, detailing daily life and culture, including history, customs, and lifestyles.

The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) provides broadband internet connections and related information services to Ohio public libraries. Their primary mission is to ensure that all Ohio residents have fast, free public internet access through the 251 independent local public library systems in Ohio, as well as the use of high-quality subscription-based research databases not freely available online.

OhioLINK is a statewide academic library consortium, serving 117 libraries at 88 institutions plus the State Library of Ohio. Delivering both IT infrastructure and content negotiation, OhioLINK provides students, faculty, researchers, and staff with access to valuable digital research collections at a fraction of the cost if those collections had to be purchased by individual institutions.

INFOhio transforms student learning by providing equitable access to quality digital content and cost-effective instructional and technical support for each student, educator, and parent in Ohio. INFOhio is optimized by the Management Council of the Ohio Education Computer Network (MCOECN).

The State Library of Ohio is a state agency that serves state government and all types of libraries. The vision for the State Library is a Smarter Ohio where every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875