Ohio Link program connects students to other libraries in Ohio

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Ohio Link program connects students to other libraries in Ohio

The AU library standing tall over campus.

The AU library standing tall over campus.

Gracie Wilson

The AU library standing tall over campus.

Gracie Wilson

Gracie Wilson

The AU library standing tall over campus.

Gracie Wilson, ASSISTANT EDITOR/ OPINION EDITOR

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The Ashland University library is known for being one of the tallest buildings in Ashland County and for housing books, academic advising and the Ashbrook Center.

While all of this is true, there is more to the Ashland University library than meets the eye.

The library has five floors with books that students can check out. If students do not find what they are looking for, the library has a solution.

“We belong to a consortium called OhioLink,” Judi Humphrey, head of Library Circulation and Reserves said. “You can borrow books and even articles of things we don’t own.”

OhioLink allows students to borrow items from other colleges in the state of Ohio.

Students are able to select the materials they would like to borrow and then have them delivered to the library.

Other colleges and universities in Ohio who are part of the OhioLink Consortium can also borrow books from the Ashland University Library.

“None of us has every single book” Carrie Halquist, Instruction and Reference Librarian said. OhioLink allows books to be shared.

OhioLink broadens the catalog of books available to students far beyond the reaches of Ashland University. This way, students can access almost anything they might need. It is seen as an asset to the library, although some students may not be aware of this service.

“I found out about OhioLink when I was doing research for a paper,” Karli Ingle, sophomore K-12 Intervention Education major said. Ingle was researching a unique topic when she was told the library could contain the books she needed.

“I was introduced to this whole world of being able to order books from anywhere in the state,” Ingle said.

If students are unaware of OhioLink and how it works, reference librarians such as Halquist are available at the information desk in the library to help students find the resources they are seeking.

“First, I look at our catalog to see if we have it and I always show it to them on the other screen,” Halquist said.

By showing the students how to use the catalog and go to OhioLink, they learn how to do it themselves and can utilize it from anywhere. If our library does not have it, they can find it on OhioLink and request it.

Students often ask how much it costs to request books from OhioLink, but it does not cost the student anything, Halquist said.

Gracie Wilson
Students can visit the Information desk for help finding library resources.

OhioLink allows students to order books for free rather than having to purchase them in a bookstore or online. It does not stop at library books either. Students can order textbooks that they can borrow and renew for classes.

Most people do not realize that OhioLink offers textbooks and that students can use them as long as no one else requests them, Ingle said.

“The student benefit is, it saves them money from buying books they won’t necessarily want to keep” Humphrey said.

Books through OhioLink take anywhere from five to seven days to arrive at the Ashland University library. Once the materials arrive, they can be picked up and checked out from the library.

If it is close to a school break, books can be ordered to a location closer to home, providing access on and off campus.

“I like that I can get books ranging from personal enjoyment reading to academic books” Halquist said.

Some universities with larger libraries have more available resources and OhioLink makes them accessible to a broad network of students.

“We have access to The Ohio State University library, and they have a lot more resources than we do,” Halquist said.

OhioLink introduces students to possibilities from other schools. If students need a book that the AU library does not have, students can easily find another school to provide them with what they need.

“I use it a lot for school. While we have a lot of books here, if you want something specific you can still order it,” Ingle said. “You can look at it and if it’s really not what you want, you can just send it right back.”

OhioLink also works with Search Ohio, which expands the library catalog for AU students to public libraries in the state of Ohio. Students then have access to books at various Ohio public libraries.

“I started realizing there’s even more than I thought,” Ingle said. “If OhioLink doesn’t have it you can go to Search Ohio which extends your search.”

Students tend to know the features of the campus library, since it is part of the college tour and typically utilized for class work, however OhioLink seems to be less common to students.

“A lot of students don’t know about it and I recommend it all the time,” Ingle said.

AU students would not have nearly as many resources if not for OhioLink. It improves our library in many ways, Halquist said.

OhioLink and Search Ohio bring more content to the already large AU library.

“It does broaden the range,” Ingle said. “It’s nice for busy people, and who isn’t busy in college?”

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