December 10, 2018
With no bulldozers, cranes or construction dust, Ursuline College’s Ralph M. Besse Library recently made more than 150,000 additional books available to its patrons.
The Besse Library did so by becoming the newest member of the Ohio Private Academic Library (OPAL) consortium. OPAL is a group of 23 academic libraries across the state that share a database. Collectively OPAL provides access to an online book collection of over 150,000 titles, more than two million print titles and 10 million items in total. All OPAL members are also OhioLINK members.
“OPAL membership opens wonderful new learning and teaching opportunities for our students and faculty,” said Suzanna Schroeder-Green, director of the Besse Library. “We now have access to resources we could never have acquired on our own as a small library, along with a new level of technical and peer support within the OPAL community. Our staff is thrilled for the opportunity to join the OPAL consortium.”
OPAL membership also provides the Besse Library with access to LibGuides, which allows librarians to create online guides to support the research needs of specific courses and subject areas.
In addition, said Schroeder-Green, “funds saved through our OPAL membership have enabled the library to purchase an online calendar system giving students the ability to reserve study rooms and schedule research appointments with librarians.”
If the past is any indicator, the library’s new OPAL-enabled functionalities and resources will be well used. The Besse Library averages 2,830 inquiries annually.