American Rescue Plan Act graphic with State Library logo and partial view of a semi-transparent American flag
May 17, 2021

The Statewide Delivery Service System in Ohio is one of the premiere statewide multi-type resource sharing systems in the country.  Unfortunately, it has been one of the many core library services affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help address these challenges, the State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce that this statewide program will receive approximately $1,000,000 in support from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) late last month.

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services provided guidance to State Library Administrative Agencies that the ARPA funds should have as broad a reach as possible, and be distributed to many types of libraries,” explained State Librarian Wendy Knapp. “We recognize this far-reaching service, which has a significant impact on the daily lives of so many across the state, is ideally-suited for the first of many initiatives that will be supported for Ohio’s libraries using ARPA funds.”

The State Library of Ohio manages and coordinates the Statewide Delivery System Service to support the sharing of physical books, DVDs, CDs, and other library materials to Ohio library users each year at 340 public, academic, and K-12 libraries in Ohio at more than 440 locations. With an annual average of more than 9 million library materials shared through this system, Ohio library patrons have access to an almost infinite number of materials.  ARPA funding will be used to offset 30% of the cost of this vital service for libraries participating in Statewide Delivery from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

“The use of a centralized, dedicated courier system leads to robust resource sharing that saves libraries money,” expressed Knapp.  “The total statewide spend for the service is over $3,000,000 per year. In contrast, mailing a single book (weighing one pound or less) through the United States Postal Service costs $2.75 to ship it one way. With an average of 9 million items sent to and from libraries, it would cost Ohio taxpayers at least $50,000,000 per year. In order to support this phenomenally efficient service that helped libraries serve their patrons even through the pandemic, and provide a small amount of relief to individual libraries that participate in the program for the upcoming budget year, the State Library of Ohio is proud to use ARPA funds to support this statewide program.”

 Join the ARPA-OH announcement list to receive news and information about American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) library initiatives and programs in Ohio supported through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the State Library of Ohio.

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Questions about ARPA funds and Ohio libraries may be directed to Wendy Knapp, State Librarian of Ohio; Evan T. Struble, Associate State Librarian for Library Development; or Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Marketing & Communications Director. Questions specifically about statewide delivery services may be directed to Jamie Pardee.

Media Contact:

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