COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 15, 2018) – OhioLINK member institution staff gathered in Columbus on Tuesday as OhioLINK held its inaugural OhioLINK Summit at the Greater Columbus Convention Center as part of the Ohio Educational Technology Conference.
Recommended by the Reframing OhioLINK Committees Task Force, the Summit provided a platform for participants from around Ohio to share ideas, brainstorm on future initiatives and desired services, and participate in discussions about OhioLINK resources and policies and how they impact member institutions.
Executive Director Gwen Evans delivered the opening address by highlighting OhioLINK’s unique collaborative organizational structure. OhioLINK stands out among library consortia in North America for the number of members, its technology portfolio, and its vast amount of shared digital e-books, journals, and databases.
“The sheer depth of OhioLINK resources creates a competitive advantage for Ohio higher education,” Evans said. “It allows the rapid and elastic expansion of research programs and curriculum.
“We’re unique in states and in consortia for the spirit of cooperation and the depth of the collaboration. We really are very lucky in the state of Ohio.”
About 170 participants attended 12 breakout sessions with topics such as team policy discussions, how OhioLINK negotiates offers and selects purchase deals for resources, and a sneak peek at the new OhioLINK e-book platform. OhioLINK also provided updates on its current initiatives, including cataloging and Central Catalog clean-up, affordable learning initiatives, a workforce diversity initiative, and the integration of eTutoring and OhioLEARNS from eStudent Services to OhioLINK.
A popular session featured William Balzer, Ph.D., vice president of faculty affairs and strategic initiatives at Bowling Green State University. Balzer gave his popular presentation on running effective meetings and being an effective team member, including preparing for the unexpected and learning from conflict. Balzer waived his normal speaking fee for the OhioLINK Summit as a way of giving back to the organization.
“I’m just so appreciative of the work that OhioLINK has done for students in Ohio and for faculty in Ohio. It’s made our jobs and student learning so much better, and I know OhioLINK has really been a national model,” Balzer said. “It was a nice opportunity for me to come and give a little back to this group who has done so much for me professionally.”
All OhioLINK Summit attendees were invited to attend the end-of-the-day OETC keynote address from Wesley Fryer, director of technology at The Casady School.
“It’s been a great experience,” Evans said. “People are very enthused, they’re asking a lot of really good questions, and my staff are adding a lot of good detail to how things are done, so I’m really pleased with this first OhioLINK Summit.”
Established in 1992, the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) is Ohio’s statewide academic library consortium and serves more than 600,000 end users. A member of the Ohio Technology Consortium of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, OhioLINK provides 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 resources, and by centrally hosting digital content. Together, OhioLINK and its member libraries provide users access to nearly 50 million books and other library materials, more than 100 electronic research databases, more than 81,000 e-books, thousands of images and videos, and millions of electronic journal articles. www.ohiolink.edu.