Help Center


Using the catalog

You can use the State Library of Ohio catalog to:

  • Find books, music, films, ebooks, scholarly journals, theses, and more
  • Access ebooks and other electronic resources online
  • Request materials

Online journals are not included in the catalog, and users are not able to search for specific articles using the catalog. If you're trying to find articles, we recommend:

Keyword searches

Keywords are the words or phrases you use to search for information for your assignment. They represent the key ideas in your research topic.

Customizing your Keyword search


Replacing a word ending with an asterisk (known as truncation) allows different forms of a word to be searched for simultaneously.

    Example: searching human* will return words that begin with human, like humans, humanity, etc.

Question Mark

Replacing a single letter in a word with a question mark (known as a wildcard) allows different forms of a word to be searched for simultaneously.

    Example: searching wom?n will return results for woman and women


Words like AND, OR, and AND NOT (known as Boolean Operators) can be used to apply limits to search results.

AND returns sources containing all search terms. It narrows your results.

    Example: searching health AND insurance will return sources containing both "health" and "insurance"

OR returns sources containing any search terms. It broadens your results, and is best used with related terms.

    Example: searching children OR juveniles will return sources containing either "children" or "juveniles"

AND NOT excludes sources containing the search terms. It narrows your results.

    Example: searching Washington AND NOT DC will return sources without " DC" if you want articles about the state, not the capital


Inserting the word "near" (known as proximity) can specify words close to each other, in any order. Example: searching California near university will return sources where "California" and " university" appear close together in the text

Title searches

When searching for known titles, be sure to omit initial articles such as "A", "An", or " The." This is because the library catalog ignores these initial articles when using a title search.

Example: The Sun Also Rises The Catcher in the Rye A Tale of two cities

NOTE: Keyword searches do not omit these articles. If you are unsure of a title it is often helpful to try a keyword search.

Author searches

When searching for a specific author, you must type the last name first. If you know the author’s first name, include it after the last name: Last Name, First Name. Example: Smith, John

Item not checked in?

Try OhioLINK

If an item isn't checked in, you can search other libraries in Ohio, and request items for delivery to your library within days. You may search the OhioLINK catalog directly at, or select the OhioLINK button from within the catalog.

How to use OhioLINK

  • Find an item in the OhioLINK catalog
  • Click the Request button
  • Select State Lib Ohio as your instutition from the pull-down list of member libraries
  • Log in with your last name and the last nine digits of your library barcode
  • Select a pick-up location for the book to be delivered to

When the book is ready to be picked up, you will be notified at the e-mail address that you specified in your library account. Depending on location, OhioLINK requests may take over 3 business days for delivery. You may also monitor the progress of OhioLINK requests by logging into your library account.

Try WorldCat

If an item isn't available through OhioLINK, you can search libraries worldwide for delivery through Interlibrary Loan. Delivery may take over a week. You may search the WorldCat Catalog directly at

My Library Account

Library users can log into their library accounts online to:
  • Renew items
  • View due dates for items currently checked out
  • View the status of library requests
  • View current fines or fees

How to login

You may login to your library account by clicking the My Account button on the library homepage or library catalog homepage.
  • All library users must use their last name and the last nine digits of their library barcode number.