Greater Access for All

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 09/07/2008 - 07:49.



One flag, one country. We're all different, but asked to come together under one flag. I hope to see one card and access for all.

Voters are asked to approve a levy for the Cuyahoga County Library System this fall. I hope that the electorate, which doesn't include me, since I live in Cleveland, votes to approve the levy. But, then, go back and rewrite a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for the State of Ohio. Demand a better republic by the people for the people. Demand equal access for all.

We can do it. It has been done before. When Cleveland Public Library pioneered electronic access to information through online public access computers (OPACS), the one library formed by online access to an automated catalog became known as Clevnet.

In 1982, our access to information was automated, but the information was still analog, not digital.  Now, we have content born digital.  Information not always cataloged and not immediately available to find and retrieve via OPAC access. 

At some point, the State of Ohio attempted to level the entry ramp to this access by a consortium that included bulk subscription to content found in databases such as Ebscohost, Infotrac, WorldBook etc.  Unfortunately, the State also created several doors to access the content--OPLIN, Ohiolink and Infohio. Savvy residents also knew that material not available to access locally or even within the State of Ohio, could be retrieved through OCLC--Worldcat, the interlibrary loan network.

Today, we need one door and one card.  It may not be possible to provide access for all to content statewide, but on a regional level we can level the cost of entry.  Ohio State University is testing this concept--local OCLC is working feverishly to reinvent record keeping and catalog access to include analog and digital information, but we have to pay for this access and together we can pool our tax support better than we can as individual community libraries. The beauty of Clevnet?  It allows communities to retain, record and PRESERVE their local character, identity and local information such as event listings.

We can do better Northeast Ohio.  One day, I hope to see a door that opens up information to more people.  I want to see real standards that apply across the State of Ohio and real SHARING, via local

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Buildings matter

Reform or reorganization of power? 

Today's PD, gushes over Cuyahoga County Public Library, when just a few weeks ago, the community of Lakewood was trashed for their priority of promoting the book and for putting money into a physical buildingWhere do the CCPL levy funds go, PD?


As gas prices soar--we will need the physical library building.  Shipping and delivery costs affect everyone's bottom line.  Libraries are distribution centers for information. 

I also expect to see more teleconferencing in our libraries giving residents representation at important community meetings.  The recent RTA event held at Cleveland Public Library would be an example of how libraries can and should be enlisted to collect public opinion on crucial matters of civic importance.

People will talk

  And librarians will talk even more...PLAspace is quickly picking up new members.