FAQ: Shared Print Lending and OhioLINK’s Library Service Platform Change

Why did OhioLINK issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for their Integrated Library System (ILS)?

In 2020, OhioLINK published a whitepaper articulating the need for an ILS that could support the evolving needs of 21st century students and faculty in higher education. The RFP was issued to identify a system that would put libraries closer to the whitepaper’s goals of providing services to patrons at their points of need, while also more closely integrating with existing higher education tools and services.

What was the result of OhioLINK’s ILS RFP?

After a year-long competitive RFP process, OhioLINK’s ILS RFP Review/Selection Team chose Ex Libris Alma as its next shared library services platform. OhioLINK, member libraries, and Ex Libris will work together on a two-year migration process, with an anticipated “go live” in summer 2025. Read the announcement here.

Will OhioLINK continue to participate in shared print lending with SearchOhio?

Yes. The partnership with SearchOhio is important to OhioLINK libraries, and the goal is to maintain this service.

Will there be downtime in the print lending program?

Yes. As with any other ILS migration, OhioLINK will need to pause lending of its items and wrap up existing INN-Reach transactions during the last stage of its migration process. Once live on the new Alma system, OhioLINK will work with SearchOhio to re-enable its print lending. The length of this downtime is not yet known, but OhioLINK will keep the disruption to a practical minimum.  

Will there be changes to the availability, scope, and timeliness of the physical items made available when OhioLINK is migrated to Alma?

No. The collections shared are expected to be the same in both the current and new ILS.

Will there be changes to the processes used for print lending?

Not for SearchOhio libraries. While OhioLINK member libraries’ processes will change, the processes used for print lending by SearchOhio libraries should remain the same.

Will there be changes to the information channels used for print lending?

Possibly. OhioLINK is still working with its member libraries, Ex Libris, and SearchOhio to determine what print sharing will look like after OhioLINK is live on Alma. Any necessary changes in information channels will be communicated well in advance to both the OhioLINK and SearchOhio communities.

Where can SearchOhio members get more information?

If you have questions, please contact SearchOhio’s Steve Owley via email or phone at 614-882-7277 ext. 2134.