State Library of Ohio

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State Library of Ohio
Established 1817
Location Columbus, Ohio
Other information
Director Beverly Cain
Staff 72
Website State Library of Ohio

The State Library of Ohio is a state agency that provides services to state government and all types of libraries to ensure that all Ohio residents, rich or poor, rural or urban, receive the best possible library service and are able to engage in lifelong learning which strengthens the economic health of Ohio.

The State Library is governed by a five-member board. The Board members are appointed by the State Board of Education and each member serves a five-year term of office. Under the Ohio Revised Code, section 3375.01, the State Library Board is responsible for the State Library of Ohio and a statewide program of development and coordination of library services.[1]


The State Library of Ohio was established in 1817 by Governor Thomas Worthington. It was established with the purchase of 509 books. Initially it was not used by the public but by legislators.[2][3] The public was able to use the library beginning in 1853.[4] However it was not until 1896 that people were allowed to borrow materials.[3] In June 1927, a lack of funds caused the library to close. Due to volunteer efforts it reopened a few months later but did not have state funding until the next year.[3][4] In December 2000, the State Library moved from the Ohio Departments Building into the Jeffrey Mining Corporate Center,[4] a converted factory that produced mining machinery.


Today the State Library of Ohio collaborates with many state agencies and Ohio libraries to provide services.

Services to State Government[edit]

  • Provides work-related research and reference services to state legislators and state employees
  • Serves as Ohio's only full regional depository for federal documents and the depository for Ohio state agency documents
  • Provides inter-library loan services
  • Provides meeting space for state employees
  • Provides online & face to face Internet and Library Resource training for state employees

Services to Ohio Libraries[edit]

  • Oversees the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant program
  • Administers the Serving Every Ohioan Library Center & Consortium that is composed of 76 library systems with more than 175 locations. The SEO Library Center houses, maintains and supports a centralized shared catalog database that includes over 6 million items with a patron database of 700,000+ borrowers.[1] The power of this consortium resides in resource sharing among consortia members allowing small and rural library systems to have access to millions of items for their patrons free of charge.
  • Promotes statewide resource sharing through the Ohio Libraries Share: MORE program
  • Collects statistics about Ohio libraries for analysis, long range planning and comparison
  • Assists in developing programs for staff and customers
  • Provides Mobile Training Lab for on-site Internet training.
  • Collaborates with the Ohio Public Library Information Network and other training partners in providing online & face to face Internet and Library Resource training for library employees

Services to Ohio Residents[edit]

  • Coordinates the Ohio Talking Book program for Ohio's blind and physically handicapped residents
  • Answers general reference questions
  • Provides electronic database access


Regional Library Systems[edit]

  • SWON Libraries


  1. ^ "33 Ohio Rev. Code. § 3375.01". 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ohio State Library Centennial". Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly. 28 (1): 96–114. January 1919. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Goodman, Rebecca (June 20, 2003). "State Library was first in Northwest Territory". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "The State Library of Ohio History". State Library of Ohio. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

State Library of Ohio website