Oberlin Blogs

Ohiolink - A strange obsession

February 23, 2015

Molly Gorin ’16

Pro tip: If you can still touch the floor, it isn't too many books.

I've been back on campus for a few weeks now, so I've gone back to my usual obsessions: naps, coffee, breaking new snow, grapefruits... and OhioLINK. If you aren't an Ohio college student, you may not have heard of this last obsession. Allow me to explain. OhioLINK is a magical website which incorporates (almost) all of the Ohio college and university libraries into one huge network.

You may be enough of a bibliophile that you are already jumping up and down in your seat. In that case you really don't need this blog post, and you can go back to spooning your copy of To Kill a Mockingbird or stick n' poke tattooing Sylvia Plath quotes on your thigh or whatever you were doing before you started reading this. But if a massive library network with a spelling that looks like you get to scream the last syllable doesn't sound like your next addiction, allow me to elaborate. Here are six reasons why OhioLINK is every student's godsend.

1)You can order any book from any Ohio college library. Whatever you're looking for, some college is bound to have it.

2)It's free. You know how expensive books are in college? Very. The answer is very. You can order them on OhioLINK at the beginning of the semester, and save yourself two hundred dollars on your Neuroscience textbook, or three hundred dollars on the ten novels you need for your Contemporary American Fiction class.

3)You can renew the books as much as you want. This is a downside masked as an upside. See how I did that? The downside of OhioLINK is that your books are due back every three weeks. The upside is that you can renew them online, as long as no one else has placed a hold. Chances are you're going to forget to do that from time to time. But the ten dollars in overdue fees isn't going to get anywhere near what you would have spent on books at the bookstore, plus the Oberlin apparel you would have been tempted into while you were there.

4)You can order any book from any Ohio college library. The goobs who just read the bolded parts of listicles are passing this by thinking she wrote that twice. But you took the time, so I'm going to share a little secret with you. You can order any book. Textbooks? Yes. Flat Stanley? Yes. No one is judging you for ordering The Magic Treehouse, or Flirting for Dummies, or whatever you would be reading right now if you didn't have to pay for it.

5)You can order books at any time. At three a.m. you remember that you've been meaning to read Amy Poehler's new autobiography, and you order it on Ohiolink while you eat cheese-melted-on-anything (one of my favorite dishes). Then you forget that you ordered it, and the next week future-you gets a gift from past-you. Thanks, past-you. This was a great decision.

6)It's delivered to you. OhioLINK is like Netflix before we all actually bought Netflix. It's like takeout. If takeout were delivered across the state and then you got an email and had to go get your sesame tofu from the library. That would be weird. But if it were free I would totally do it.

At this point you're probably thinking What you're describing is pretty much just a library. Fair point, reader. And I'll admit that libraries are generally exciting to me. When I was four my dad took me to the public library and told me, "You get this card, and then you can take home ANY of these books." And I was like "This is CRAZY. I should get one of these cards for toy stores and candy shops too."

But OhioLINK is above and beyond a library. It's much more extensive. You can order a book any time of day or night from your own home. And there's no librarian or monitor judging you when you can't navigate the Dewey Decimal System. The biggest drawback of the system is the large stack of picture books, how-to books, cookbooks, comic books, and Tibetic language books, which, by the end of the semester, you have to finally admit you have no time to read.

But until you reach that point, order on. This post was not endorsed by OhioLINK.

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