A user’s perspective: Don’t take OhioLINK for granted

Graphic Artist
,
OH-TECH
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 12:16pm

“The more often we see the things around us—even the beautiful and wonderful things—the more they become invisible to us.” —Joseph B. Wirthlin

 

Journey of an Article
For a larger view of the Journey of an OhioLINK Article postcard, click here. 

We inevitably take things for granted. While attending Cedarville University, I used OhioLINK to procure books that were not otherwise available at my campus library. The process was swift and painless. At the time, I did not give it much thought. I assumed every state had a system like OhioLINK in place. However, when I moved back to my home state of Minnesota, I realized OhioLINK is a rare entity — confined within Ohio’s borders. I then discovered how much I had taken for granted.

Thankfully, I found my way back to Ohio and now have the opportunity to work with this pioneering consortium as a graphic designer. The most recent piece I designed for OhioLINK was its “Journey of an Article” postcard. This postcard illustrates OhioLINK’s involvement in the process of academic articles and journals being made available to the public. Through our collaboration, I learned three new things about OhioLINK:

 

1. OhioLINK is much more than a library book distribution center.

I used to think OhioLINK functioned only as a hub that collected books from various libraries, and then delivered them to individuals requesting a specific book. While it is true that OhioLINK does this, it offers much more than that. OhioLINK negotiates with publishing companies to offer scholarly articles and journals free of charge to Ohio students, faculty, and citizens. This is especially important for researchers who need access to as many reputable sources as possible. So, the next time you are looking for the perfect resource, check out OhioLINK’s Electronic Journal Center first.

 

2. OhioLINK provides unparalleled content to its members.

Students, faculty, and staff at Ohio colleges and universities have easy access to OhioLINK’s Central Catalog. Even if you are not currently enrolled in a college or university, you can sign up for a State Library of Ohio card to access the many resources available through OhioLINK. Information from your Google Scholar and/or internet searches may come from OhioLINK resources. Everything OhioLINK has to offer is at the tip of your fingers: millions of books and electronic journal articles, theses and dissertations from all over Ohio, and much more. The catch? You must live in Ohio. No other state offers the amount of content and ease of use that OhioLINK does.

 

3. OhioLINK saves its member libraries a lot of money.

The process of choosing which articles are made available to Ohioans is a rigorous one. Experts from OhioLINK’s member libraries convene each year to choose prime journals for renewal or acquisition. OhioLINK then deliberates with publishers to settle on the best possible price for the articles. Through these negotiations, OhioLINK saves its member libraries a great deal of money. In a single subscription, OhioLINK institutions collectively saved $6 million compared to what they would have paid negotiating individually. By partnering with OhioLINK, excellent, cost-effective journals and articles are being provided to those who need them.

 

As I think back to my time as a college student, I wish I knew what I know now about OhioLINK. It would have changed how I gathered my information. Let’s just say the Electronic Journal Center and I would have probably become best friends. I cannot change the past, but it’s safe to say I will never take OhioLINK for granted again.