What Is OhioLINK?

The Ohio Library and Information Network


Imagine having access to nearly 50 million books and library materials.

Imagine a museum that holds thousands of exhibits on such diverse subjects as art and architecture to physics.

Imagine having access to over 17,000 full-text journals, magazines and newspapers, any time day or night.


This Is OhioLINK

The Ohio Library and Information Network, OhioLINK, is a consortium of 90 Ohio college and university libraries, plus the State Library of Ohio, that work together to provide Ohio students, faculty and researchers with the information they need for teaching and research. Serving more than 600,000 students, faculty, and staff, OhioLINK’s membership includes 16 public/research universities, 23 community/technical colleges, 51 independent colleges and the State Library of Ohio.

Together, OhioLINK and its member libraries provide access to:

  • nearly 50 million books and other library materials
  • more than 100 electronic research databases
  • millions of electronic journal articles
  • over 81,000 e-books
  • thousands of images, videos and sounds
  • over 39,000 theses and dissertations from Ohio students
OhioLINK Library Catalog

Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission Statement: OhioLINK creates a competitive advantage for Ohio's higher education community by cooperatively and cost-effectively acquiring, providing access to, and preserving an expanding array of print and digital scholarly resources in order to advance teaching, learning, research, and the growth of Ohio's knowledge-based economy.

Vision Statement: Provide Ohio students, faculty, & citizens with the best academic library content to achieve their goals and aspirations.

OhioLINK Values and Principles:

  • Cooperation, transparency, communication, and shared decision making.
  • Using resources in ways that serve both the collective good and member libraries' individual priorities and needs.
  • Sharing diverse, deep, and growing collections of current and historical materials.
  • Collaborating with other types of Ohio libraries and information providers to serve the citizens of the state.


OhioLINK, a cooperative venture of university libraries and the Ohio Department of Higher Education, grew out of a 1987 recommendation by the board’s library committee that "the state of Ohio implement, as expeditiously as possible, a statewide electronic catalog system."

In response to this recommendation, the board established a steering committee representing librarians, faculty, administrators and computer systems managers from campuses throughout Ohio. After meetings, public hearings, and conferences, the committee prepared and distributed a planning paper (November 1988); a Request for Information (February 1989); and a Request for Proposal (August 1989) to initiate a statewide electronic system.

In 1990, OhioLINK selected Innovative Interfaces, Inc. to develop the unique software system to create the OhioLINK Library Catalog and selected Digital Equipment Corporation for the computer hardware base. OhioLINK licensed four databases from University Microfilms International, UMI, for citations to millions of business, newspaper and periodical articles and to academic dissertations. These elements formed the foundation of the growing OhioLINK system of services. In 1992, six universities installed Innovative systems and began the ongoing process of building the central catalog. In February 1996, OhioLINK began offering services through the World Wide Web.

OhioLINK is part of Ohio’s ongoing tradition in pioneering library automation. The Ohio State University and others in Ohio began integrating campus library systems at an early date. In the 1960s, state funds supported the development of OCLC, then called the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC has since grown into an international organization with a database of 30 million entries representing materials held in more than 10,000 libraries.


OhioLINK was formed by the Ohio Board of Regents, now the Ohio Department of Higher Education, as a consortium under section 3333.04(U) of the Revised Code. A governing board was authorized to oversee the OhioLINK program. Effective May 29, 2008 the OhioLINK Executive Director is chosen by, reports to, and serves at the pleasure of the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. An advisory committee on education and technology has been formed to advise the Chancellor on OhioLINK and other programs related to the intersection of technology and education.

For more information, see Ohio Board of Regents Directive 2008-007 dated May 29, 2008.


What Does OhioLINK Provide?

OhioLINK provides access to nearly 50 million library items statewide, encompassing a spectrum of library material including law, medical and special collections. The OhioLINK Library Catalog contains over 13 million unique titles from its 89 member libraries and the Center for Research Libraries. Students, faculty, staff, and card holders from participating public libraries can use the OhioLINK Library Catalog to find and request materials online, then pick them up two to three days later at the participating library of their choice. Users can renew books online and keep them for up to 21 weeks (students, staff) or 42 weeks (faculty).
Research Databases
OhioLINK offers more than 100 electronic research databases, including a variety of full-text resources. These databases cover many academic areas at varying levels of detail. Many databases are citation indexes. In most cases, the user can link to the relevant full-text article, or find out which OhioLINK members possess copies of the cited journal.
Electronic Journal Center (EJC)
OhioLINK launched the Electronic Journal Center, a collection of full-text research journals, in 1998. The EJC contains almost 10,000 scholarly journal titles from approximately 50 publishers across a wide range of disciplines. Researchers can download electronic articles instantly, read entire journal issues online, create e-mail or RSS alerts for new issues, save searches, and set up automatic search alerts for new search results. More than 3 million articles are used each year from the EJC, with a total of more than 45 million articles used since its inception.
Electronic Book Center (EBC)
OhioLINK’s growing collection of 81,000 e-books covers a wide variety of subjects and includes scholarly monographs; encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference works (for tracking down a quick fact or illustration); and computer and technology titles (for in-depth, how-to books and technology tips).
Digital Resource Commons (DRC)
The Digital Resource Commons preserves and hosts a variety of multimedia material owned and licensed by OhioLINK. DRC collections include: 3,000 digital educational films and documentaries; thousands of electronic images, and more. Some of these collections are also available to Ohio school and public libraries. The multimedia materials may be shown in class, utilized in course materials, or used to enhance papers, projects and presentations. Almost 360,000 multimedia materials are downloaded from OhioLINK each year, with more than 3.3 million materials downloaded since the service's inception in 1999.
Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center (ETD)
The ETD Center is an open access showcase of research and scholarship from students at Ohio universities, offering access to over 39,000 undergraduate honors theses, masters’ theses, and doctoral dissertations from students at participating Ohio colleges and universities. The ETD Center allows students to get topic ideas, see what peers have written in their discipline, or find a particular theses or dissertation.
Ohio Music Center
The OhioLINK Music Center is an online streaming music database of international works in a variety of genres, from Classical to Spoken Word. The Music Center offers more than 81,000 tracks from more than 22,000 albums.
Electronic Finding Aid Repository (EAD)
The OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository contains descriptions of archival collections from contributing institutions in Ohio.
December 2013