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Learn more about the consortium's initiatives and projects.

As members of OPAL, we are committed to serving our communities through a number of initiatives with the goal of providing the best content, service, and experience through collaboration, resource sharing, joint projects, and more.


Shared Library Systems

All OPAL libraries use a shared Sierra Library Services Platform from Innovative Interfaces Inc., to manage various day-to-day collection management and financial activities and to provide management insight through reports and statistical functions. 

The shared library platform also facilitates inter-library borrowing and lending of materials within OPAL.  It also enables OPAL participation in OhioLINK, providing access to a vast shared collection of millions of books, journal articles and other research materials, in physical and electronic form.

On an opt-in basis, OPAL libraries can also participate in the OPAL Digital Collections project, built on the CONTENTdm digital object management platform.  Participating libraries use CONTENTdm to build, manage, and showcase their archival or special collections.


Shared Electronic Content

As part of the effort to provide users with quality materials, OPAL subscribes to EBSCO's Academic eBook Collection. With over 150,000 titles from several leading university presses, this broad-based collection balances the consortium's liberal arts needs with its more specialized needs. All ebooks are available with unlimited user access, and titles are regularly added to the collection.


Off-Campus Access

OPAL operates and maintains a proxy server for each library, allowing users to access online articles, ebooks, and videos from virtually anywhere in the world. For privacy and protection, a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is installed for everyone as well. In addition, OPAL members can access online usage reports on demand to streamline statistics and assessment projects.


LibGuides software is used for creating online reference guides and is hosted on a separate server. LibGuides are librarian created portals to content-rich, web 2.0 multimedia guides for patrons. Using LibGuides can increase the use of your library’s resources and services. Other benefits include: no html or CSS experience needed, ability to easily integrate widgets, content sharing, global edits and URL checkers. OPAL Libguides subscriptions are generally renewed during the summer with a consortia discount.



An OPAL digitization study was done in 2011, which identified needs for scanning, managing metadata, preservation, and copyright matters. The Digitization Pilot, led by Bluffton University, Defiance College, and Muskingum University, established the availability of the Atiz Book Drive Pro large format scanner housed at OhioNET's office. The scanner is open to any OPAL library who would like to scan items.