COLUMBUS, Ohio – The state is releasing $4.5 million to The Ohio State University so that it can buy electronic journals and other works for the Ohio Library & Info Network, thanks to State Controlling Board action Monday, state Rep. Michael Stinziano says.

Without comment, the board OK’d the release of the funds that will purchase the material for the consortium that serves 90 Ohio college and university libraries, plus the State Library of Ohio, which provides Ohio students, faculty and researchers with materials supporting teaching and research.

“Today’s students and teachers need access to the most current information available and I’m pleased that the state is fulfilling its role by providing this funding,” said Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat.

According to state records, as a shared service provider with 20 years of successful collaboration, OhioLINK supports the statewide sharing of physical library materials and negotiates for digital e-journal and database content, leveraging members' aggregated purchasing power.

OhioLINK delivers almost four times as much content to the students and faculty of member institutions as individual institutions would be able to afford on their own, and keeps annual price increases far below the worldwide average for other libraries, according to the state.

This creates a competitive advantage for Ohio academic institutions for the recruitment and support of researchers, faculty, and students, as OhioLINK member institutions offer far more published library content than comparable institutions elsewhere, the state said.

In other business, the board also released $112,000 in this fiscal year and next to contract with Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association for the Healthy Ohio Program.

Made up of six state lawmakers and one appointee of the Governor’s Office, the State Controlling Board has the final say over some of the state’s larger spending projects.