American Rescue Plan Act graphic with State Library logo and partial view of a semi-transparent American flag
October 6, 2021

The State Library of Ohio Board has awarded a $100,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant to Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) to create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) e-book collection with unlimited access for its member libraries.  Federal ARPA funds, received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), will be used to purchase a consortially curated and shared DEI collection. Increasing the depth and breadth of available e-books will strengthen engagement with under-represented communities and broaden education for the majority population, as well as provide critical scholarly materials to support curriculum and research.

“Our statewide group of collections librarians recognized the need for more representative materials that better reflect our users,” said Amy Pawlowski, Executive Director of OhioLINK, which is the statewide consortium of academic libraries. “The majority of OhioLINK’s library directors have experienced budget cuts related to COVID-19 and are struggling to find funds with which to build these DEI collections. Investing in a shared digital collection is a cost-effective use of ARPA funds that leverages OhioLINK’s strengths in selecting, purchasing, and sharing library materials. Students and faculty across Ohio will be able to easily access and use the DEI e-book collection for research as well as assigned course materials.”

Once the publisher has been selected through a Request for Proposal process, OhioLINK’s statewide team of collection development librarians will curate the selection of titles. The collection should be available for use spring semester 2022.

“ARPA has given a once in a lifetime opportunity for libraries of all types to implement creative and inventive ways to better serve their patrons,” expressed Wendy Knapp, State Librarian of Ohio.  “The systemic inequalities that were exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic only served to highlight Governor’s DeWine’s declaration of racism as a public health crisis.  Providing greater access to materials for all our higher education institutions to share with their communities will support their important work in this area.”

“The State Library of Ohio is committed to allocating ARPA funds for statewide initiatives that benefit all types of libraries,” stated Evan T. Struble, Associate State Librarian for Library Development. “I want to express my gratitude to the State Library Board for supporting this proposal from our academic library colleagues, as it will have a true statewide reach. I’m excited to see the launch of this impactful collection.”

 


OhioLINK is Ohio’s statewide academic library consortium, serving 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. A member of the Ohio Technology Consortium and funded through the Ohio Department of Higher Education, OhioLINK creates competitive advantage for its member institutions and supports student and researcher success across Ohio.

 

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov