History of INFOhio
INFOhio, the Information Network For Ohio Schools, is a statewide cooperative project to create an electronic network linking Ohio students, teachers, library/media specialists and others via computer to:
In addition to the above electronic networks, INFOhio provides library automation software for circulating library materials, uniform cataloging of library materials, searching library collections through online catalogs and supporting other library and educational operations.
The vision that led to INFOhio was developed in Cuyahoga County in November 1989, when a group of library/media specialists met to construct a cooperative plan for library automation. A key element in their plan involved accessing the library automation software from a central site that is part of the Ohio Education Computer Network (OECN). Through the OECN, INFOhio libraries are able to share resources via electronic access from a local library collection to other libraries in the district, region or throughout the state.
The Cuyahoga County group soon realized the greater value of a statewide project. Their preliminary efforts were passed to a statewide committee that finalized the INFOhio project. Members of the original INFOhio committee were:
In early 1993, Multicore of Montreal, Canada, was chosen the vendor for the library automation component of INFOhio. Austintown Fitch and Boardman High Schools in Mahoning County were the first INFOhio schools to use the MultiLIS software (now part of SirsiDynix) in early 1994. Several Greater Cleveland schools began using MultiLIS in January 1995, followed by other schools around the state. INFOhio completed the task of migrating all its automated schools to SirsiDynix WorkFlows� by the start of the 2007-2008 school year and is making the OCLC WorldCat bibliographic database available for copy cataloging through WorkFlows.
The Medianet booking software is the INFOhio component used by 34 area media centers and other state-funded agencies serving the K-12 community with audio visual, computer and special educational resources. East Central Ohio Educational Resource Center was the first agency to use Medianet as part of INFOhio in 1994. A current list of sites is available.
An INFOhio-designed Web interface for participating schools' online catalogs, CAT and CAT Jr., began in January 2001. A new CAT interface is being tested during the 2009-2010 school year.
As an early participant in Ohio's statewide resource sharing program, MORE (Moving Ohio Materials Everywhere), the first school-requested item was delivered to a patron at Liberty Union High School in early 2002. INFOhio continues to be involved in Ohio's current statewide resource sharing efforts, Ohio Libraries Share: MORE.
The Union Catalog became operational in 1995. Housed at the NOACSC Information Technology Center (ITC), the Union Catalog quickly has grown to more than 1,400,000 records collected from all INFOhio ITCs and media booking sites. It is used daily by school library/media specialists to copy bibliographic records for local materials, saving time and money for local school budgets. Media booking agencies allow links to book materials through the Union Catalog. The Union Catalog was renamed INFOhio's K-12 Curriculum Resources Catalog in 2002.
Theresa M. Fredericka was hired as Executive Director of INFOhio in August 1996. She is responsible for coordinating the state efforts to implement INFOhio to K-12 schools and agencies throughout Ohio. A Governing Board has been established, providing further leadership and direction. Since its first meeting in February 2007, the INFOhio Users Council provides grassroots involvement for INFOhio's products and services, with two representatives from each ITC.
INFOhio has received state funding to provide a Core Collection of Electronic Resources to every K-12 student and teacher in Ohio from any Internet-connected computer, including home access. The first resource became available in Fall 1998, 126 ProQuest titles we called INFOhio's Electronic Resources for Social Studies. Additional ProQuest titles were added for the 1999-2000 school year. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online and SIRS Discoverer Deluxe were added for 2000-2001. American National Biography was added in 2001-2002. Twenty-two EBSCOhost databases, providing access to more than 6,000 titles, replaced ProQuest at the start of the 2002-2003 school year. By cooperating with the State Library of Ohio and Ohio's academic and public library networks, INFOhio is currently able to provide 13 online resources, still free to all Ohio K-12 educators, students and parents. An overview of INFOhio's current electronic resources is available.
Since 2006, Ohio Area Instructional Media Centers' Digital Video Collection (DVC) has enjoyed the same ease of access as INFOhio�s Core Collection of Electronic Resources. The DVC contains more than 200 videos, with more than 700 instructional modules, and includes programs for almost all subjects and grade levels. The entire collection is available without charge to Ohio�s K-12 community.
Electronic Resources Vendor Preview began in 1997, with six vendors providing Web-based preview of their products. The vendors offered special prices to Ohio schools, with INFOhio publishing a price list available online for all Ohio K-12 schools. Preview 2007, the last year funding was available for the program, included more than 130 products offered by 30 vendors.
INFOhio's conducted a series of Information Literacy Skills Workshops
from 1998-2003. Sponsored by INFOhio's Instructional Development Task Force
and other organizations, the workshops were conducted by Drs. Greg Byerly and Carolyn
Brodie, Kent State University
School of Library & Information Science. Designed for all
educators, the following topics have been presented:
Other Instructional Development projects include the INFOhio DIALOGUE Model for Information Literacy Skills (1998), interactive video distance learning (IVDL) sessions (2005) and webinars (2009). A Toolkit for Promoting INFOhio Resources to Parents was compiled for school library staff outreach efforts (2005). INFOhio was tasked with providing awareness and inservice for Internet2 to Ohio educators (2008).
INFOhio has participated in the Data Driven Decisions for Academic Achievement (D3A2) project since its inception in 2005 and provided the proof of concept prototype that same year. D3A2 is a long-term initiative focused on developing the capacity of educators, while improving instruction and student achievement. D3A2 will provide systemic access to timely data and educational resources aligned to Ohio�s Academic Content Standards.
Several communications tools have been used by INFOhio in the years since its founding. The INFOhio E-List (listserv) began in 1997 and now has more than 600 subscribers. E-Lists have been established for Information Literacy (2003) and Internet2 (2008) interest groups. The RECORD, INFOhio's newsletter, was first published in 1996; an online version began in 2006. An early user of the World Wide Web (1996), INFOhio's Web site saw major revisions and a revamped home page in January 2003. A major revision of the Parents section was accomplished in 2005.
INFOhio was one of five recipients of the SirsiDynix Building Better Communities Awards for 2006. INFOhio Executive Director Theresa M. Fredericka accepted the award during a special ceremony held at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. The award included a $10,000 stipend INFOhio used to establish the Users Council.
INFOhio and OhioLINK joined forces with a Special Transition Task Force to prepare a list of goals and action steps for transitioning students from high school to college (2008). A position paper was produced and a Go Further! Initiative was prepared for educators, students and parents. INFOhio's Research Project Calculator was revised to foster greater teacher involvement (2009).
|Last Updated on December 10, 2007||