PCIRC Priorities

Every member institution of OhioLINK is assigned a PCIRC priority number for participating in the PCIRC online lending and borrowing system.  This page explains the "why" and "how" of the PCIRC priority.  If you still have questions, please contact Nichole Frederick or Theda Schwing.



OhioLINK established the priority system in the early 2000s to help balance the lending across the state.  Prior to that, every institution had an equal chance of being a lender for any particular item.  The system just simply chose randomly from a list of available copies.  Since some institutions had stronger and larger collections than other institutions, this meant that those institutions often became the lender of choice.  This caused some inequities in lending where some institutions were major lenders while other institutions remained major borrowers.  It was decided that an attempt would be made to equalize the lending and borrowing so each institution’s ratio of lending to borrowing was as close to one to one as possible.  A priority table was established in which each institution was assigned a number to reflect their lending status.  The higher the number, the higher the chance of your copy being chosen to be the lending copy of all the available copies in the list.   This table, although not perfect, has balanced the lending to borrowing ratios for many institutions.


Initially, there were two levels of priority an institution could be assigned:  low or high.   If your institution tended to be a net lender, you were assigned a low priority.  A low priority caused your library to receive fewer requests on average than if you had a higher priority.  A high priority meant the opposite in that you were generally a net borrower.  In this scenario, the high priority would cause your library to generally receive more requests than if you had a lower priority.  We found that with just two priorities, some institutions would swing rather dramatically between being a net lender and a net borrower.  So, a third priority of medium and then a fourth priority of medium-high were added to make those swings less dramatic.

Priorities for each institution (and they are only by institution, not by PCIRC stop), change twice per year, once in July for the fall semester and again in January for the spring semester.  How they are determined is that OhioLINK staff review the lending & borrowing ratios for each institution (using PCIRC statistics).  The closer an institution’s lending & borrowing ratio is to 1, the more balanced their lending and borrowing are.  Any ratio that is more than 1.10 is considered a net increase in lending and the priority for that institution is lowered one level (i.e. they will lend less in the next semester).  Any ratio less than .90 is considered a net borrrower and their priority is raised one level.  If an institution’s ratio falls between .90 and 1.10, then they are considered in balance and their priority level stays the same.

Many institutions prefer to be net lenders.  These institutions are allowed to remain at high priority to maintain that status.  Other institutions may have some local issue with staffing or facilities and need to temporarily lower their priority to lend less.  This is allowed.  Just contact Nichole or Theda if you have a special need.

The current library priorities are posted below. They are updated approximately every six months

Current Priorities

Updated 1/22/24

5-Character Code Institution Jan - June 2024
ak2ug Akron, University of H
an3bg Antioch College M
as2ug Ashland University MH
bw3bg Baldwin Wallace University H
be4tg Belmont College H
bf1ug Bluffton University H
bg1ug Bowling Green State University MH
cp4ug Capital University H
ca2ug Case Western Reserve University H
cd3bg Cedarville University MH
ce3ug Central State University L
ci3ug Cincinnati, University of M
ct3tg Cincinnati State Technical & Community College L
cl3tg Clark State College H
cc2mh Cleveland Clinic H
cs2ug Cleveland State University H
co4bg Columbus College of Art and Design L
co4tg Columbus State Community College H
cc2tg Cuyahoga Community College L
da3ug Dayton, University of H
de1bg Defiance College H
de4ug Denison University H
je2tg Eastern Gateway Community College L
ed3tg Edison State Community College H
fi1ug Findlay, University of H
fr4ug Franklin University L
fr2ug Franciscan University of Steubenville H
he1bg Heidelberg College L
hr2bg Hiram College L
ho4tg Hocking College L
jo2ug John Carroll University L
ke2ug Kent State University H
ke2bg Kenyon College M
la2tg Lakeland Community College M
le2bg Lake Erie College MH
lo2tg Lorain County Community College L
lo1bg Lourdes University MH
ma2bg Malone University M
ma4bg Marietta College M
me1bg Mercy College MH
ms4sg Methodist Theological School in Ohio L
mu3ug Miami University M
mt4bg Mount Carmel College of Nursing H
mo3bg Mount Saint Joseph University L
at3ug Mount St. Mary's Seminary & School of Theology L
mu2bg Mount Union, University of H
mv4bg Mount Vernon Nazarene College H
mu4bg Muskingum University H
ne2mh Northeast Ohio Medical University H
no1tg Northwest State Community College M
nw1bg Northwestern Ohio, University of L
nd2bg Notre Dame College MH
ob2bg Oberlin College L
oc4bg Ohio Christian University M
dm4bg Ohio Dominican University H
on1ug Ohio Northern University L
os4ug Ohio State University H
ou4ug Ohio University H
ow4ug Ohio Wesleyan University MH
ot4bg Otterbein University H
ow1tg Owens Community College H
pc4sg Pontifical College Josephinum L
ri4tg Rio Grande, University of L
sm2ug Saint Mary Seminary VL
sh4ug Shawnee State University L
si3tg Sinclair Community College H
so3tg Southern State Community College H
sl4gg State Library of Ohio H
te1tg Terra Community College M
ti1ug Tiffin University L
to1ug Toledo, University of MH
us2bg Ursuline College L
wa2ug Walsh University L
wa4tg Washington State College of Ohio L
wl3bg Wilmington College H
wn3ug Wittenberg University H
wo2bg College of Wooster L
ws3ug Wright State University H
xa3ug Xavier University H
ys2ug Youngstown State University H