Imagine the possibilities if from the moment Ohioans registered for kindergarten, until life's last library card expired, they could access a vast collection of electronic research resources. This is the vision Libraries Connect Ohio (LCO), a partnership of Ohio's libraries and library organizations, is working to achieve. While the ideal Ohio Web Library collection has not yet been realized, work has begun.
The Ohio Web Library is an evolving collection of thousands of online publications and research resources. The Ohio Web Library includes: popular magazines, trade publications, scholarly research journals, newspapers from Ohio and the nation, encyclopedias, dictionaries, speeches, poems, plays, maps, satellite images of Ohio, and more. The Ohio Web Library supports quality education, a skilled workforce, business growth, and lifelong learning in Ohio. By providing resources statewide, LCO can cost-effectively provide necessary information resources to all Ohioans, regardless of their location, age, education or economic status.
In addition to the Ohio Web Library, Ohio's three library networks -- INFOhio, OhioLINK and OPLIN -- offer more research resources and services that serve the specialized needs of their school, public and academic library communities. Where the needs of Ohio's school, public and academic library users intersect, Libraries Connect Ohio can cooperatively buy statewide access to resources to cost-effectively provide necessary information resources to all Ohioans, regardless of their location, age, education or economic status.
In addition to what is currently available in the Ohio Web Library, a fully implemented, core collection would provide information resources to:
The major elements of a fully implemented Ohio Web Library would include: almanacs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, health trends and reference resources, general interest journals and magazines, sciences trends and data, U.S. events and issues, geographic data, economic data, business magazines and journals, technology trends and reference resources, Ohio events and issues, great literature, and world events and issues. The specific composition of the ideal Ohio Web Library would change and grow with the rapid changes in information technology and Ohioans' evolving needs.
The Ohio Web Library has resources to help Ohioans of all ages and at all stages of life.
Although there are links to some resources that are publicly accessible, the vast majority of Ohio Web Library resources are available to Ohio residents only.
Ohio residents can get easy access to the Ohio Web Library (http://ohioweblibrary.org) in several ways.
Visit the Ohio Web Library home page to connect and begin using these resources. You can also access the Ohio Web Library resources via OhioLINK (if you attend or work at a participating Ohio college or university), or INFOhio (if you attend or work at an Ohio PreK-12 school), or your local library's Web page.
Ohio Web Library resources were purchased by Ohio libraries and library organizations for exclusive use by Ohio residents. If our system cannot verify that you are located in Ohio, use of an Ohio public library card, a name and ID information from a participating Ohio college/university, or a password from a K-12 Ohio school library provides reasonable assurance to the database providers that the user is an Ohio resident.
Contact your local Ohio public library to sign up for a library card. Ohio college/university students, faculty and staff should use their institution's existing ID information. Ohio school students and teachers need to contact their school library for the required password.
It is a myth that the authoritative information Ohioans need for school, work and lifelong learning is available for free on the Internet. Authoritative information resources are mostly provided by commercial enterprises and there is a cost to obtain or use those resources. When you need reliable, authoritative resources for school assignments, business research or lifelong education, turn to the Ohio Web Library for information you can trust.
While the free Internet can also be useful in the research process, you have to watch out for broken links, unverified information, questionable results from search engines and fees for full-text materials. The Ohio Web Library goes beyond the Internet and provides you with access to subscription-only resources. The resources available in the Ohio Web Library are verified by editors and scholars, are created by credible sources, and are acceptable for class assignments.
The Ohio Web Library is a collaborative effort of Ohio libraries and the following library organizations:
Visit Libraries Connect Ohio for more information.
While the ideal Ohio Web Library has not yet been realized, work has begun and about 40 resources are available statewide. A robust Ohio Web Library will provide all Ohioans with access to the authoritative, educational resources that are necessary for life in the information-intensive 21st century, and ensure that:
As a democracy, it is critical that access to necessary information resources be provided to all citizens. Historically, in print and even now via the Internet, the highest quality information is sold commercially. Libraries have traditionally provided the means of providing information access to the masses. By working together and purchasing authoritative, commercially provided reference and research resources at the statewide level, Libraries Connect Ohio is able to provide all Ohioans with access to the resources necessary for life in the information intensive 21st century. Comprehensive individual purchases by libraries across the state are not affordable and thus statewide access is not assured. If every school, college, university, and public library were to purchase these resources individually, either in print or electronic forms, the cost would be in the multi-millions of dollars. With ever-tightening local budgets, few libraries can afford these resources on their own, let alone the space to store them. Electronic access also allows for more convenient, faster, and cheaper information sharing.
Visit Libraries Connect Ohio for more information.
As a taxpayer, you fund the Ohio Web Library through a combination of state and federal taxes. Specifically, the Ohio Web Library is funded by a federal Library Services and Technology Act grant through the State Library of Ohio, which provides about $1.5 million per year. The three LCO library networks -- INFOhio, OhioLINK and OPLIN -- provide an additional $3 million in state funds each year from their budgets.
The federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant that helps fund the Ohio Web Library is a temporary funding measure that expires every June 30. There is no permanent funding in place to sustain these resources, let alone expand them. Therefore, it is imperative that we find a stable funding resource for the Ohio Web Library. Libraries Connect Ohio is currently working to inform the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate about the need for stable state funding for Ohio Web Library resources. However, the current collection of resources is just the beginning. Rough estimates suggest that a complete core collection of the resources necessary to compete in the global knowledge economy would cost $8-10 million.
Please send questions about the Ohio Web Library to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help finding information or using the Ohio Web Library, please contact your local public library, academic library or school library for assistance. Or visit KnowItNow 24x7 to chat with a librarian online.