Starting Thursday, March 8, Bexley Public Library cardholders will have access to millions of additional resources.

The addition of three new central Ohio libraries to the Central Library Consortium will expand the Bexley library's shared catalog to include more than 5 million items, said Ben Heckman, Bexley's director. A new statewide partnership also will make millions more available through the SearchOhio and OhioLINK catalogs.

"We are going to have access to 43 library systems in Ohio through SearchOhio," Heckman said during the Feb. 26 State of the Community event at Capital University. "That's going to give us access to 45 million more resources."

The Central Library Consortium is a cooperative among regional library systems, offering resources through a shared catalog, delivered to cardholders' libraries of choice within days. Bexley joined the consortium in 2014, and the upcoming addition of the Delaware County District Library, Granville Public Library and Pataskala Public Library will expand the consortium to a total of 17 library systems.

In addition, Bexley's library, along with the other 16 CLC libraries, will partner with SearchOhio and OhioLINK to provide access to millions of additional items.

If Bexley's shared CLC catalog does not have an item a cardholder wants, the item may be requested, if available, from a SearchOhio or OhioLINK library. Materials are delivered through a statewide delivery network and are typically ready for pickup within a week.

SearchOhio is a statewide network of 44 public library systems, including the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Westerville Public Library and the Cuyahoga County Public Library. OhioLINK is a statewide academic library consortium of 120 academic libraries, providing patrons access to nearly 50 million books.

"Through OhioLINK, which is all the academic libraries, you'll be able to order from OhioLINK and have it come to the Bexley library," Heckman said. "That's 50 million items, and that is going to be academic items, that is going to be things that aren't typically found in the public library system."

The expansion of offerings is part of an overall effort to increase the library's role as an information hub and community gathering center, Heckman said. He said at the Bexley location alone, there are more than 150,000 print resources available, more than 41,000 audiovisual items, 180,000 electronic downloadable items and 54 electronic databases.

In 2017, the library circulated 6,500 items and hosted 694 meetings and 796 public programs. For more information about the library's expanded offerings, visit www.bexleylibrary.org/morebooks.

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