Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Council on Postsecondary Education

Press Release Date:  Friday, April 23, 2010  
Contact Information:  Sue Patrick
Cell: 502-330-6596

The Council on Postsecondary Education approved the 2010-2013 strategic plan for the Kentucky Virtual Library at its meeting earlier today. The online library offers comprehensive resources and services to schools and colleges, libraries and Kentuckians across the state. KYVL is a unit of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

The mission of “reVisioning @ 10 years” is to provide all Kentuckians with equitable access to library resources and to a common foundation of quality online information for lifelong learning, working and living.

Bob King, president of the Council, had high praise for the virtual library. “The Kentucky Virtual Library is a tremendous success story that grew out of the higher ed reforms of 1997. The library continues to expand access to quality learning and information resources, and has generated $150 million dollars in cost savings through statewide purchasing agreements,” he said.

The $150 million in cost savings represents the funding it would take for all the campuses, schools, libraries, and others to purchase the online databases and resources independent of a statewide contract.

More than 40 representatives participated in the development of the plan and more than 500 constituents, including students, educators, librarians, provided feedback through focus groups and online surveys. The Virtual Library Advisory Committee endorsed the plan in November.

Enid Wohlstein, director of the library, presented a 10-year summary to the Council, showing the impact of the library in terms of usage, access and cost savings.

Highlights of the summary include:

  • KYVL’s database collection, which includes access to over 25 licensed full-text and abstract research databases, has supported more than 125 million searches since inception in November 1999. In fiscal year 2008-09, public universities alone logged 8.9 million searches, less than 2 cents per search.
  • KYVL coordinates ground courier service for interlibrary loan and has delivered 741,970 containers and more than 1.2 million items. The courier service makes 445 “stops” at 183 libraries, allowing lab kits, course delivery materials, books, videos and other resources to move between libraries, including campus libraries. While the courier service expands access, it has saved Kentucky libraries a minimum of $6 million dollars—the combined cost of shipping all those items at normal rates.
  • The KYVL provides training and continuing education opportunities for P-20 educators and librarians throughout the state.
  • The Kentuckiana Digital Library, another KYVL collaborative statewide project, has digitized historic material representing 18 Kentucky archives, including 1,000 books, over 80,000 digital photographs and 200,000 pages from Kentucky newspapers. The Kentuckiana Digital Library has cultivated in excess of 1.5 million dollars in national grant funding. This library is located at
  • Kyleidoscope is a new interface and enhanced subset of the Kentuckiana Digital Library and is a joint project of Kentucky Virtual Library, Kentucky Department of Education and University of Kentucky Libraries Digital Programs. It provides historians, libraries, K-12 educators, and students convenient access to some of Kentucky's most unique resources that span history from 1750 to today. Kyleidoscope's historical content is organized by themes linked to Kentucky’s timeline, with instructional worksheets, historical details and links to some of the best digitized photographs and documents from archives now on the web.

“KYVL serves the Commonwealth through the entire spectrum of libraries and educational partners,” stated Wohlstein.

“Sharing plans, ideas and ideals, partnering on budget requests and working collaboratively will continue to strengthen our services and the infrastructure supporting our students, citizens and workforce,” she added.

The library features a number of other resources for all ages:

  • Grades 1-5: EBSCO’s Searchasaurus and Kids Search; Grolier Online encyclopedias and the Research Rocket, a research tutorial
  • Grades 6-8: EBSCO’s Kids Search and Student Research Center; Grolier Online Passport
  • Grades 9-12: Student research tutorial and EBSCO search interface, Grolier Online, ProQuest Career and Technical Education
  • College: EBSCO's Academic Search Premier and Business Source Premier, ProQuest Career and Technical, CINAHL w/ Full Text (Nursing); Colleges & Careers, an annual publication to help students choose and prepare for a career); Career World; Occupational Outlook Quarterly, a publication by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, which deals with all aspects of employment as well as specific occupations
  • Adults: Consumer Health Complete; Consumer Reports available through EBSCO

Through the creation of the "Internet Research Guide" ( the staff of the KYVL has selected and presented hundreds of links to external Web sites that provide information on a variety of subjects, from Appalachian music to paleontology. These referred links can save kids and parents alike countless hours researching school projects.

Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, everyone has access to the free resources of To use the licensed databases, a person must have library account at a Kentucky school, college, or public library.


Last Updated 4/23/2010