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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.

New OPLIN Databases

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, July 1, 2018


Today brings new resources to Ohio’s public libraries.  July 1 marks the beginning of Ohio’s fiscal year so the new online databases that were purchased by OPLIN for Ohio’s 251 public library districts are now available.


An extensive survey of librarians statewide was undertaken to determine which online databases were being used and which were not --- and what subjects were being used the most based on computer-generated statistic counting.


Combined with a cost analysis, some nine databases were dropped from the Ohio Public Library Information Network offerings while eleven more databases were added.


A familiar reference edition has been dropped, namely “Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopedia” which has been noted as a general reference for more than a century.


Encyclopedias in both online and print format are disappearing from the information systems as people shift to other forms of information.


“World Book Encyclopedia” is quickly becoming the only encyclopedic format in both electronic and print format.


The “American Heritage Children’s Dictionary” is being replaced since most computers have some sort of dictionary product built into the software as part of the package.


Perhaps the more exciting list contains the new online databases that are coming available to the public through the “Ohio Web Library” on public library’s websites and available with your local library card.


The “African American Heritage from ProQuest” is a new offering.


“Chilton Library” is the new auto repair manual online that allows the user to find the specific issue that the person needs.


“Fold3” is a new database that can be used to search military records for genealogical purposes.


“Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center” provides a wealth of information about unlimited hobbies and crafts that you might utilize.


“Home Improvement Reference Center” is for ideas for home repair which is extremely popular today.


“Oxford University Press” series of research encyclopedias has been added to the OPLIN databases to bring scholarly materials to the system.


The new “Small Business Reference Center” assembles the entire subject areas needed when working with a small business and you are looking for information.


All of these can be found on our website under the Ohio Digital Library.


Ohio is fortunate to have all of these shared online databases that are available through your public libraries.


We hope to develop training and background information to assist you, but feel free to contact any of our libraries for assistance.


Yes, we still have books.