Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is probably the most familiar to me of all of the libraries in my study, because for the past two years I have worked in various capacities in the system. While this gives me more familiarity with the resources available to patrons, this study provides a unique opportunity to observe how patrons interact with our website when we are not there to show them all of the features and tools that we offer. Every day I show people how to use the website and databases, but in this project I aim to see how easy it is for patrons to figure out without hands on help.

The largest system in my study, the Columbus Metropolitan Library serves a population of just under a million residents in Franklin County, Ohio, through 20 branch locations and one main library. They have an annual circulation of around 15 million, and subscribe to over 53 “premium resources” .

Like the two Utah systems, CML and WPL both share resources from the State Library, which provides subscriptions to public, school, and academic libraries. In addition, CML participates in the Mid-Ohio Digital Initative (MOLDI), a subscription service in association with other local libraries.

While I know many of the resources available to library patrons, since I show them to patrons all the time, my review of the electronic services the library provides here is more aimed at how easily these resources can be found by non-librarians and in what ways the electronic services can be made more accessible particularly to children and their parents.

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