Licking County Library patrons have access to more than six million resources as a result of the library joining the Serving Every Ohioan (SEO) Library Consortium.

Licking County Library patrons have access to more than six million resources as a result of the library joining the Serving Every Ohioan (SEO) Library Consortium.

Babette Wofter, assistant director of the Licking County Library, said the migration to the new system was scheduled to be effective on Friday, Dec. 18.

"The catalog is the same but the look of it will be different," she said. "Instead of five copies of a book, customers may find 50 copies. They could have access more quickly to items. It's not just things we own, but what others own."

Through the consortium, Licking County library customers can borrow materials from 75 other library systems in the state. The expanded database includes not only books, but a huge media collection of CDs, DVDs and videos.

Licking County Library card holders don't need an SEO library card to access the materials, according to Wofter.

"It will be easy to navigate and I think they will be pleased how quickly they will get materials, not just books, but downloadable books, downloadable music, a whole catalog of materials," Wofter said. "We're real excited about it."

Licking County Library users can place a hold on books and other items that will arrive in two to five days, she said.

Prior to joining the consortium, the Licking County Library paid a company for maintenance and software for its online catalog.

"Now we pay the consortium but get a cheaper rate since there are so many members," Wofter said. "It's a great customer service to offer and by joining a consortium, there's power in numbers. It's less expensive for us. We won't have to replace equipment. All our data is being transferred into their database."

The Licking County Library has been serving Newark and Licking County since 1908. Today, there are six locations: the Newark Library in downtown Newark; Emerson R. Miller branch in west Newark; Hervey Memorial in Utica; Hebron Library; Buckeye Lake Library; and the Mary E. Babcock Library in Johnstown.

A Bookmobile provides outreach services throughout Licking County.

The SEO Library Center, located in Caldwell, supports a consortium of 75 Library systems at 166 physical locations throughout 37 counties across Ohio.

According to the SEO web site, SEO previously stood for Southeastern Ohio. Because SEO now serves the entire state and not just one region, the SEO Advisory Committee voted to change the name of the library center. SEO now stands for Serving Every Ohioan and the center is called the SEO Library Center rather than the Southeastern Ohio Regional Library.

The power of the consortium resides in resource sharing among members, allowing small and rural library systems to have access to millions of items for their patrons free of charge.

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-plus borrowers.

The SEO staff provides technical support as well as software help desk support for all consortium members, alleviating the burden of specialized information technology functions on small libraries.