In route

Wright State University Libraries' collaboration has aided Ohio educators, students and the public for decades

For the last 25 years, Chris Nimmer has been on a mission to locate, package and ship books all around Ohio.

“There are people that still want to get their hands on the actual materials,” said Nimmer, process sharing and stacks manager for the Wright State University Libraries.

Nimmer collects materials for the OhioLINK consortium, a network of 88 colleges and universities and public libraries around the state. OhioLINK provides Ohio students, faculty members and citizens with academic library content.

Wright State joined OhioLINK as a founding member in 1992. For almost 30 years, OhioLINK has served 500,000 patrons from its database of 44 million books and other library materials. In 2015, 382,403 books were borrowed across the state’s 188 public library branches.

Wright State students borrow around 15,000 books annually and the University Libraries loan about the same number of materials, said Matt Shreffler, head of resource delivery services in the University Libraries.

“OhioLINK has always kind of been the standard academic library consortium for the country and really for the world,” Shreffler said.

The consortium saves millions of dollars per year through negotiated contracts with book publishers, Shreffler said. The average cost to buy an academic textbook is $98 while the cost to ship a courier book round trip is $2.48.

The network consists of hubs in Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo, Columbus and Cleveland. The 55 couriers make 160 stops per day at campuses and public libraries around the state.

Shreffler said that OhioLINK is continuing to stay on the cutting edge of a consortium with its future focus on affordable learning for users.

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