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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Library Websites

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, December 04, 2016

Public Libraries were among the first institutions to offer a Website for the public to access library services.

 

As a matter of fact, our library system first began to link into online networks as early as 1988 when we began linking our book collection into what would become the SEO Library Network.

 

Today, we operate on a fiber optic network that links all of our branches together, and then connects us into the Ohio Public Library Information Network in Columbus and 92 other library systems around the state.

 

The Library’s Webpage at www.steubenvillelibrary.org has now expanded and replaced the section relating to Teens and Kids.

 

Select “Library Services” and click on “Children” and you will access our new “Teens & Kids” web site.

 

The first selection outlines the “Programs offered for Children” with a description of all the program offerings in the library system with a specific calendar listed on the “Events” section.

 

The Ohio Digital Library for Kids is also housed here, and links to thousands of sites for young people assembled by the Digital Library.

 

“Resources for Parents” is a popular link that is designed to assist parents with the myriad of questions related to parenting.

 

“Resources for Teachers” is the site that outlines services for teachers, both in schools and homeschooling environments.

 

Today’s libraries are deeply involved in digital resources, and four (4) of the library’s online sources are outlined for teens & kids in this site.

 

“World Book for Kids” is an online resource designed specifically for Teens & Kids and offered to Ohio libraries.

 

“Tumble Books” is an online database that offers thousands of books for young people and is provided under contract with our library system.
 

“Learning Express” is another resource that our library system provides, as well as “Flipster” which accesses online magazines.

 

A site for “Games” is provided for Teens & Kids, as well as a 62 year old librarian who found himself lost in colorful online educational games.

 

Educational games have sure come a long way since my school days, when the biggest excitement was the teacher getting out the box of SRA pamphlets.

 

That was only outdone by a color movie on a 16 mm projector.

 

Library Websites today have emerged into a new branch library for library systems, providing access to library catalogs and materials that can be downloaded for personal use.

 

E-Books and E-Magazines are available at our library website, with thousands of new offerings added each month.

 

Online databases access millions of pages of digital materials to supplement the book collections now merged into large networks.

 

If you haven’t explored a library website recently, you will be surprised at all of the information and services now provided on each and every one.

 

Ohio is fortunate to have the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) which was formed in 1995 to link the 251 public library systems in Ohio for the benefit of every Ohio citizen.

 

I was involved in those early 1980s meetings where librarians explored all the technical options available to link libraries together.

 

Three of us sat in front of an IBM computer with a floppy drive linking the first book for our library system to the larger database, a nonfiction book belonging to the Brilliant Branch.

 

Today, that system has more than 7 million items with access to millions of items around the world.