Volume 2, Number 1 March 1996
As OhioLINK begins its fourth year of offering online access, its growth and use continues at an amazing rate. Last year marked a series of records for OhioLINK, and the trend continues into 1996. In November OhioLINK celebrated its 10 millionth search on the system. That number is climbing rapidly in 1996 with 284,000 searches logged in the second week of February - a record high.
But patrons aren't just searching; they also are requesting. Patron online borrowing averaged nearly 20,000 items per month in 1995, and has now risen to more than 11,000 weekly.
Requests totaled 84,881 in the last quarter of 1995 (Oct. to Dec.), compared with 26,560 during the same period in 1994 - an increase of 319% (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Patron Online Borrowing figures continue to climb rapidly.
Nearly 85,000 online requests were made in the last quarter of 1995.
This much activity tested OhioLINK libraries and the statewide ground courier system. Responsiveness remains high with 44% of the requests delivered within 48 hours and 71% within 72 hours during our Fall performance study.
About 12% of online requests could not be filled by the lending library, usually because the item was missing from the shelf. OhioLINK will be installing enhancements this quarter that will enable lending libraries to forward unfillable requests to other libraries, raising the fill rate to as high as 95%.
Last fall, OhioLINK began a significant expansion in the scope and number of databases it offers with the addition of twelve new databases. These are just the beginning of up to 30 new databases that would nearly double the number offered through OhioLINK.
ERIC, the popular education database, debuted on OhioLINK in January. ERIC joins these new databases on the gopher: HANNAH Online, Ohio government information; English Short Title Catalogue, materials published before 1801; BioethicsLine, journal entries on bioethics; PapersFirst, citations to papers presented at conferences; ProceedingsFirst, tables of contents of conference papers; a national phone directory of residential and business white pages; and, the Medical School Electives Catalog.
Many campuses used Britannica Online, the WWW version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, for the first time in September. Patrons can search a question, word or phrase, retrieving pictures and graphs to accompany their online answers. In January, OhioLINK added WWW databases Contemporary Authors, a full-text, bio-bibliographical guide to 90,000 authors, and the Encyclopedia of Associations, which gives detailed descriptions of more than 83,000 associations worldwide.
More databases are scheduled to be added to OhioLINK in 1996. The Oxford English Dictionary, English Poetry, English Verse Drama, Roget's Thesaurus and Columbia Encyclopedia are a few of the new full-text resources that will be accessible through WWW browsers. Watch for Biological Abstracts, Compendex, A Matter of Fact, RILM Abstracts of Music Literature and PAIS International to be added this year as well.
Starting in November of 1992 with the combined catalogs of just six libraries, the central catalog has now grown to include the records of 34 libraries plus the Center for Research Libraries. With the loads of the last university collections, the continuing loads of two-year colleges, and the recent addition of Oberlin and Ohio Northern, the central catalog now boasts more than 5.7 million master records. These records represent the amalgamation of 14.5 million bibliographic titles contributed from the 34 library catalogs. In turn, these titles reflect more than 20 million volumes.
|Figure 2. Distribution of holdings for all OhioLINK Central Catalog master records. 57.7% of the master records are owned by only one OhioLINK library.|
The most impressive characteristic of the central catalog is that 3.3 million, 57.7%, of the master records are owned by only one OhioLINK library. Another 15.4% are owned by two libraries (Figure 2). The average master record has 4.3 holding libraries. The result for all OhioLINK users is a massive expansion of resources at their disposal.
The most heavily used items tend to be the most recently published. Even so, of material published since 1990, 49% are owned by only one library, 14% by only two (Figure 3).
|Figure 3. Distribution of holdings for OhioLINK central catalog master records for material published since 1990. 49.3% of the materials are owned by only one library.|
Each of the 34 libraries has contributed records that only it owns. On average, 24% of each library's contributed records are uniquely owned. The range is from 7% to 43%. Not surprisingly, Ohio State leads as both the largest contributor, 790,000 records singularly held, and as a percentage of its records uniquely owned, 43%. Following with a large number of uniquely owned records are U. of Cincinnati (320,000, 26%), Kent State (250,000, 19%), Ohio U. (248,000, 25%) and Bowling Green (223,000, 26%).
Other libraries having a high level of unique records in their collections are a diverse mix, highlighting the advantages of this collaborative effort. Leading the way are NEOUCOM (13,684, 40%) Hocking C.C. (6,979, 39%), Oberlin (185,000, 32%) and Edison C.C. (6,824, 27%).
As these data indicate the central catalog, now fully formed, is proving to be a broader and richer statewide resource than had been anticipated. The librarians of OhioLINK libraries are now analyzing our collections patterns at a more detailed level to improve our collective ability to acquire a broad range of needed materials for instruction and scholarly pursuits.
OhioLINK conducted two patron online borrowing studies in 1995. In March 81.3% of the items requested were delivered within four days. November figures were comparable, at 81%.
Heavily used databases as a percentage of all searches in OhioLINK in 1995.
Graduate students were the heaviest users of Online Borrowing in 1995, registering more than 100,000 requests.
Total searches for 1994 and 1995 on OhioLINK's central catalog and databases.
On the cutting edge of information services, OhioLINK is intent on providing improved access to journal information. We expect significant developments in electronic access in the next year. Many OhioLINK patrons already have experienced the joy, as well sometimes, as the frustration, of our initial effort to provide printed copies of electronically stored journal articles to local campus printers. From the journal citations of Periodical Abstracts and ABI/Inform, copies of journal articles can be requested for printing at library-based printers. Our goal is for this to happen in just several minutes.
Throughout the 1995-96 academic year this service is being introduced at OhioLINK institutions. During Fall 1995, 13 schools were actively providing this service. It proved incredibly popular. During our peak week, more than 75,000 pages for 20,000 articles were delivered. While still only in its introductory stages, we delivered more than 1 million pages in 1995. Currently there are over 2.5 million articles available for delivery, growing by 41,400 each month.
This product is relatively new. OhioLINK is a nationwide leader in offering this service, and is working with the vendor to improve the speed and reliability of the system with the vendor. Most articles are delivered within 10 minutes of the patron placing the request; however, we have occasionally experienced delays ranging from several minutes to a few hours. We are now expanding and improving the system's hardware and software components to minimize delays.
This service is an important innovation in the evolution of full-text journal access and delivery. As it develops we envision the ability to enter your own fax number and the ability to display the article on the monitor. Beyond this, we see additional full-text to support the journal citation databases. We see direct access to electronic journals. It will be an exciting evolution, but one with an occasional bump as we push the frontiers of what is possible on a statewide basis.
OhioLINK's WWW site debuted in February, offering links to the central catalog, research databases, and a rich set of information about OhioLINK and its member libraries. Patrons can find locations, address, and telephone numbers of all OhioLINK sites, text to user guides and new service announcements. Staff of OhioLINK libraries can read about proposed databases, minutes to committee meetings, see progress charts and access the policy manual.
Right now, patrons connecting to most research databases are linked to a VT100 version. OhioLINK is adding web interfaces that will give full web access to all databases and the central catalog.
OhioLINK Member and
|University of Akron, 1993||Medical College of Ohio, 1993|
|Belmont Technical College, 1995||Miami University, 1992|
|Bowling Green State University, 1992||Muskingum Technical College, 1994|
|Case Western Reserve University, 1992||North Central Technical College, 1994|
|Central Ohio Technical College, 1994||Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, 1993|
|Central State University, 1992||Northwest State Community College, 1995|
|University of Cincinnati, 1992||Oberlin College, 1995|
|Cincinnati State Technical & Community College, 1995||Ohio Northern University, 1995|
|Clark State Community College, 1995||Ohio State University, 1994|
|Cleveland State University, 1994||Ohio University, 1994|
|Columbus State Community College, 1994||Owens Community College, 1995|
|Cuyahoga Community College, 1994||Rio Grande University, 1995|
|University of Dayton, 1994||Shawnee State University, 1994|
|Edison State Community College, 1995||Sinclair Community College, 1994|
|Hocking Technical College, 1995||Southern State Community College, 1994|
|Jefferson Community College, 1995||Stark Technical College, 1994|
|Kent State University, 1994||State Library of Ohio, 1994|
|Lakeland Community College, 1995||Terra Community College, 1995|
|Lima Technical College, 1994||University of Toledo, 1994|
|Lorain County Community College, 1995||Washington State Community College, 1995|
|Marion Technical College, 1994||Wright State University, 1992|
|Youngstown State University, 1993|
OhioLINK Update, published semi-annually, provides information on the developments of the OhioLINK project.Tara Porczak, Editor
OhioLINK Governing Board