OhioLINK has completed a strategic planning process that will guide the statewide academic library consortium’s work with members through the next three to five years. The Strategic Framework, based on feedback gathered from OhioLINK members, positions the organization to support its 117 member libraries as they navigate the changing post-pandemic higher education landscape.
“Since OhioLINK’s work is so collaborative, our process was as important as the outcome,” said OhioLINK Executive Director Amy Pawlowski. “Engaging our active library community in this strategic exercise was critical to creating a plan that directs OhioLINK’s efforts where they can have the most impact for member libraries, students, and faculty.”
OhioLINK embarked on the planning project with a steering committee headed by Pawlowski and Dean Ken Burhanna of Kent State University Libraries. DeEtta Jones and Associates (DJA) was engaged to lead the organization through the process, starting with a competitive scan of best practices, followed by consortium-wide listening sessions and a survey to library staff.
“Librarians are extremely dedicated professionals who believe deeply in their work, so I shouldn’t be surprised by the amazing engagement and input from our membership, yet I am,” said Dean Burhanna. “Our future is rich with possibilities thanks to our member libraries' commitment.”
DJA compiled and analyzed member input to help the OhioLINK team develop a flexible, high-level framework that channels consortial priorities and initiatives. The Framework’s five Strategic Directions focus on what members need most from OhioLINK: Advancing Research, Learning, and Scholarship; Coordinating Shared Solutions; Planning and Managing Resources Effectively; Engaging Our Communities; and Developing Strong Value Propositions.
OhioLINK’s statewide policy teams will contribute tactical objectives annually to support progress toward the Strategic Directions. The policy teams are responsible for proposing policies and procedures that ensure OhioLINK functions as a cooperative venture. Fourteen objectives were added for 2023, some of which support more than one Strategic Direction. Many relate to OhioLINK’s upcoming Request for Proposal for a new shared Integrated Library System, an enterprise software change that will be fundamental for all OhioLINK libraries.
OhioLINK is grateful to the Strategic Framework steering committee for their time and expertise. In addition to Ken Burhanna, Dean of Kent State University Libraries and Chair of OhioLINK’s Library Advisory Council, the committee included Lisa Hoops, Director of the Library and Tutoring Center, Edison State Community College; Carla Sarratt, Director of Libraries, University of Mount Union; Karen Greever, Collection Development Librarian, Kenyon College; Morag Boyd, Acquisitions and Discovery Strategist, The Ohio State University; Rob Withers, Coordinator, Access Services, Miami University; Eileen Bosch, Associate Dean of University Libraries, Bowling Green State University; and Jessica DeCaro, Director of Cleveland Health Sciences Library, Case Western Reserve University.
OhioLINK has been focused on strategic organizational achievements throughout its 30-year history. The consortium was created in 1992 through a groundbreaking effort by the Ohio Board of Regents (now the Ohio Department of Higher Education) to increase the return on investment of state funding and to provide equitable access to library resources for learning and teaching throughout Ohio. In its recently published 2022 Membership Report, OhioLINK provided the latest update on its work for members completed over the last year as well as metrics on the usage of its resources.
Established in 1992, the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) is Ohio’s statewide academic library consortium. OhioLINK provides shared digital resources that support research, teaching, and learning through 117 libraries at 88 institutions of higher education and the State Library of Ohio. In addition, OhioLINK manages collaborative efforts aimed at reducing the cost of higher education for students. OhioLINK is a member of the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH) within the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Learn more at OhioLINK.edu.