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There are no ‘OPLIN databases’

(This is something that even I, who worked with database purchases for the CLEVNET consortium, didn’t really “get” until I came to work for OPLIN.  I’m sharing here in an attempt to clear it up for everyone.)

Not every brand of facial tissue is Kleenex. Not every brand of gelatin is Jell-O. And not every statewide database is from OPLIN.

Don’t get me wrong–OPLIN spends a heck of a lot of money on all those databases we’ve come to depend on, such as the EBSCO suite. But, in truth, those purchases are only viable because OPLIN partners with both InfOhio and OhioLink to do it, and the State Library of Ohio provides a good chunk of LSTA funding. Buying database access for 11 million people isn’t cheap, and it takes the resources of all four organizations to make it happen. In fact, there is an official partnership for this, called Libraries Connect Ohio. All of those databases that are purchased by the LCO partnership constitute the basis of the new Ohio Web Library. So, there are Ohio Web Library databases, really, rather than OPLIN databases. (I know, OPLIN is a little easier to say, but it’s not really correct.)

Now, there is one exception (because nothing is ever simple). Novelist is actually something that OPLIN buys on its own, outside of the LCO partnership. So, there is one OPLIN database, but that’s it.

So what does this mean to me, Laura?

  • Mostly, it’s time to stop calling these the “OPLIN databases.” Let’s try “Ohio Web Library databases,” or “OWL databases.”
  • OPLIN collaborates with other statewide library organizations to maximize dollars.
  • The spiffy new Ohio Web Library searches all of the LCO databases, but not Novelist.

Clear as mud?