Minutes - April 13, 2018


The one hundred sixty-seventh meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 13, 2018 by Board Chair Joe Greenward at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Jamie Black, Jill Billman-Royer, Susan Brown, Justin Bumbico, Jeff Garringer, Chris May, Travis McAfee, Michael Penrod, and Tara Sidwell .

Also present were: Mandy Knapp, Karl Jendretzky, Laura Solomon, and Don Yarman (OPLIN); Stephanie Herriott and Jamie Pardee (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).



Michael Penrod motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Jamie Black seconded. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Chair called for public participation.

Doug Evans reported that the Public Library Fund is almost 3% higher than forecasts this year. OLC Legislative Day was on April 11, the day after Speaker Rosenberger announced his resignation. Two hundred twenty-five library administrators, trustees, and staff attended, reporting good feedback with their meetings with legislators. Turnout and feedback was also good for OLC's Opioid Symposium held April 3. Evans mentioned that the upcoming "Opioids in Communities, Libraries in Response" events hosted by the State Library in partnership with OhioNET and the regional library systems will have a different but complementary focus. Chris May praised the timing of the symposium, as it gave libraries good information to discuss with their legislators and aides.

Evans gave updates on the status of HB312 regarding credit card use by political subdivisions, and HB371 which exempts new development properties from property taxes. He reported that representatives from OLC, OELMA, and the State Library will be meeting with Ohio Department of Education staff to discuss concerns that the State Board of Education's strategic plan makes almost no mention of libraries. Upcoming OLC events include trustee dinners and director advocacy training. Finally, ten libraries have issues on the ballot May 8; most are levy renewals, but there are 2 new levies and a few increases.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of December 8 meeting

Michael Penrod motioned to approve the minutes of the February 9, 2018, meeting as presented; Chris May seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jamie Pardee reviewed the financial reports, noting that disbursements remain in line with estimates for this time of year. About $94,000 remains in unplanned spending authority, with a projected cash balance of $2.5 million remaining at the end of this fiscal year. Pardee noted that none of the Ohio Web Library Specialists have taken advantage of the offer to reimburse mileage, so those funds will just return to the cash balance at the end of the fiscal year.

Susan Brown motioned to accept the financial reports; Tara Sidwell seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


6.1. MOU between State Library of Ohio and OPLIN

Yarman reviewed proposed changes to the draft memorandum of understanding drafted by the State Library. The MOU lists the fiscal and administrative services that the State Library provides to OPLIN and the broadband services and subscription database licensing that OPLIN provides in return. State Library staff had estimated the cost in staff time for their services, and it is roughly $10,000 more per year than the cost of the broadband circuits to State Library and the SEO Library Center after E-rate refunds.

Jamie Black motioned to approve the terms of the memorandum of understanding; Michael Penrod seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a roll call vote on the motion.


Recorded vote: Jamie Black, aye; Jill Billman-Royer, aye; Susan Brown, aye; Justin Bumbico, aye; Jeff Garringer, aye; Joe Greenward, aye; Chris May, aye; Travis McAfee, aye; Michael Penrod, aye; Tara Sidwell; aye.

7. NEW BUSINESS -- none



Mandy Knapp outlined the Content Advisory Committee's work reviewing and scoring the responses to OPLIN's RFPs for genealogy resources and for job skills training resources. OPLIN has begun negotiating with vendors based on the priorities that the Content Advisory Committee had set.

For genealogy, the committee selected the products offered by ProQuest, indicating that they felt the company had overpriced their "HeritageQuest" product; acquiring a statewide subscription to that was a lower priority, although the committee did acknowledge that, because so many libraries subscribe to HeritageQuest on their own, purchasing it centrally would directly save money for many libraries. Knapp noted that OPLIN's negotiating power for HeritageQuest pricing is limited: genealogy content is a priority for public libraries, and ProQuest already has a broad subscriber base in place - they are unlikely to agree to take less money. And ProQuest is the sole provider of this content. The Board discussed concerns that ProQuest could ask for exorbitant increases in subsequent years, whether there were other, related products that ProQuest could add to the package, whether prices were out of scale with other statewide deals, and whether OPLIN's current cash balance predictions allowed for the increase.

Yarman noted that should the Board approve an increase in the budget for negotiating for statewide genealogy resources, OPLIN could ask for a pricing schedule for three years that caps increases at 3% and help return some subscription savings to public libraries.

Michael Penrod motioned to increase the genealogy budget up to $580,000 if ProQuest agreed to pricing increases of no more than 3% per year; Jamie Black seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a roll call vote on the motion.


Recorded vote: Jamie Black, aye; Jill Billman-Royer, aye; Susan Brown, aye; Justin Bumbico, aye; Jeff Garringer, aye; Joe Greenward, aye; Chris May, aye; Travis McAfee, aye; Michael Penrod, aye; Tara Sidwell; aye.

Yarman discussed responses to the Job Skills RFP, the Content Advisory Committee's rankings, and concerns that the highest ranked products - while excellent - may replicate content and services already delivered through OhioMeansJobs.com. OPLIN staff have communicated with vendors to get clarification of exactly how their content aligns with the needs outlined in Ohio's "In-Demand Jobs" list (this was included in the RFP, but responses were weak), and how their content differs from existing offerings from OhioMeansJobs.com. In addition, OPLIN staff is reaching out to Mark Birnbrich of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to get his input on which services are too duplicative.

Board members discussed their libraries' experiences offering some of the products, as well as their varying experiences with the local OMJ centers. As more information is gathered, OPLIN will discuss it with the Content Advisory Committee, and hopefully be closer to a selection by the next Board meeting.


Yarman accidentally left this on the draft agenda. Staff will contribute to discussion of the Tactical Plan and give their reports later in the meeting.


Yarman noted that the Strategic Plan officially approved June 9, 2017, extends to the end of fiscal year 2021; the Board's intention was to review annually the services offered and the Tactical Plan. Yarman read through these plans, reporting on the relevant activities from this fiscal year with special attention to the Operations Goals within the Tactical Plan.

The table below contains the text of the Annual Service Plan, with notes on the current status of those services in italics.


Maintain public connections to digital information sources




Provide and maintain safe and reliable internet connections to Ohio public library systems

Offer to assist Ohio public library systems with internal internet needs


Provide reliable broadband telecommunications circuits

Offer to assist Ohio public library systems with their branch connections

Operations Goal: 99.5% of OPLIN participants will have a functioning OPLIN connection to the internet 99.9% of the time. Met. The 7 hour Spectrum outage affected about 60% of the libraries, but the duration was well under the 0.1% goal.

OPLIN submits requests into OIT ServiceNow system, and offers assistance to libraries seeking E-rate reimbursements. OPLIN can bundle a library's local orders with larger statewide orders to help bring down cost of construction.

Provide bandwidth from providers of wholesale internet

Offer a network evaluation service

Operations Goal: 99.5% of OPLIN participants will have a connection to the internet large enough that their average bandwidth demand during peak hours will not exceed 70% of the connection capacity. Exceeded. For E-rate cycle, we upgrade in advance of meeting the need. All but one library is at or above 100Mbps. The OPLIN core currently has 20Gbps of internet connectivity, with peak usage being around 8Gbps. Redundant hardware and circuit paths to allow for reliability.

Operations Goal: Assist at least 10 libraries each year with resolving internal networking issues. Exceeded; Karl directly assisted between 20-30 libraries in past year.

Provide adequate network routing equipment

Offer annual E-rate workshops

Karl reported on progress of router replacement, and described the scripts that report the change in inventory. By next Board meeting, very close to complete with hardware replacement project.

OPLIN contracts with Lorrie Germann to provide 2 workshop/webinars per year. Don is considering how the format might change to better target public library patterns and needs.

Provide a filtering solution

Offer space to libraries in a designated area of the State of Ohio Computer Center

OPLIN has provided OpenDNS (now called Cisco Umbrella) since 2012. Currently 151 libraries with profiles. Working on renewal for FY2019.

Operations Goal: A current SOCC lease agreement with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services Office of Information Technology will be in effect at the beginning of each fiscal year. Met.


Offer to sponsor at least one conference


OPLIN was a Platinum Sponsor for OLC Convention and Expo 2017, and will be again for the 2018 event at Kalahari.


Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing digital information




Provide and maintain access to high-quality digital information for Ohioans

Offer to assist Ohio public library systems with digital communications


Provide subscriptions to selected databases

Offer a selection of archived email discussion lists

$1.2 million disbursed in subscription costs so far this fiscal year. Operations Goal: Meet with the CAC and any database purchasing partners at least once annually. CAC met March 28; LCO partners met at least monthly.

Operations Goal: Email discussion lists will be functional at least 99.9% of the time. Met; investigating tracking method.

Provide a website allowing free access to the online information

Offer generic public library websites

Operations Goal: Keep the public access website for the databases functioning as intended 99% of the time. Met, but no monitoring available.

Operations Goal: OPLIN-provided websites will be functional and accessible at least 99.9% of the time. Met; investigating tracking method. Laura and Karl moved all sites to https. Laura keeps all site software updates current.

Provide support for access to materials digitized by Ohio public libraries

Offer professional assessment of a library's website

OPLIN pays the DPLA membership fee for the Ohio Digital Network. Don is on the advisory committee for the Ohio Digital Network; Mandy participates in the Ohio Digital Interest Group and Community Engagement Center meetings. Ohio's first "ingest" of 10,000 metadata records is complete; ingests will occur quarterly.

Laura performed 6 audits, 2 current Webkit customers and 4 other library sites.

Provide the necessary technology to authenticate remote users

Offer a service that allows libraries to send notification messages

OPLIN provides EZProxy and flexible validation to cover a range of library options and subscription scenarios. Karl recently changed EZProxy logging for more accurate stats and to gauge load on the server. He also created algorithms that can block suspicious activity.

Operations Goal: Resolve any performance issues or open an incident ticket with the messaging vendor within 4 hours during regular business hours. Met.

Provide tools for integrating access to online databases


Libraries use OPLIN's links from their own websites to provide their patrons access. Recently, the Cuyahoga County Public Library has moved from their own local EZProxy installation to OPLIN's. Karl and Laura redesigned the library-card-entry page to be responsive to mobile screen sizes.


Operations Goal: Respond within one hour to malfunctions of database access during regular business hours. Met response goals. (Maybe not fixed in an hour, but responded.)

Operations Goal: Make at least 80% of previous month database usage statistics available to public libraries by the 10th of each month. Met; Mandy does these on the 5th.



While not adding anything to the tactical plan officially at this point, in support of the first strategy, "Provide and maintain safe and reliable internet connections," Yarman said he intends to put marketing efforts into evaluating OPLIN's role in cybersecurity culture, and helping Ohio libraries become local leaders in cybersecurity response and information.

In FY2019, the OPLIN staff foresees these things on the horizon:

  • A significant Drupal version upgrade (from version 7 to 8)
  • Expansion of the Co-Location Center as more tenants join
  • New EZProxy hardware
  • A review of "What Tree Is It?"
  • OIT Succession Planning
  • New carpet and paint

The Board recessed for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and resumed discussions at 12:08 p.m.



Yarman reported that he has been through the state's LeadOhio training program and found it valuable. He discussed OPLIN's new membership in the Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee (OC3), a coalition of over 200 public, private, military and educational organizations across Ohio working to strengthen the state's cybersecurity culture. Their primary aim is to expand Ohio's educational opportunities to build a trained cyber workforce. Through capital budget appropriations, OC3 has overseen the development of the cyber range, a virtual training and testing environment within OARnet. Future goals involve developing volunteer cyber incident response teams to provide emergency assistance, notably to local governments. This last effort seems a great fit for the involvement of public libraries (local presence in all 88 counties; access through OPLIN to OARnet and the cyber range), and Yarman is eager to explore ways OPLIN can be involved in OC3's mission.

In early March, the Department of Justice notified OPLIN that 23 computers associated with IP addresses in 7 different libraries were compromised with Fruitfly malware, part of the indictment against computer programmer Phillip Durachinsky from North Royalton, Ohio, who is in federal custody. OPLIN notified the directors and technical contacts for each of the affected libraries, and is monitoring communications from the Victim Notification System as the prosecution proceeds.

Yarman will be going to the International Coalition of Library Consortia meeting in Detroit April 15, and from there will travel to Cleveland for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance's conference.

11.1. Library Services Manager report

On April 19, Laura Solomon will be speaking at the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington D.C. about online tools. She reported that she has been working on new websites for Medina, Hubbard, and Liberty Center, and updating designs for a number of existing Webkit sites that have been around for a while.

Solomon and Jendretzky discussed their work with the old "What Tree Is It?" site, which was composed of a thousand static HTML files of different pages. They transferred the information from those pages into a database so they could create a dynamic front-end for it, and used Twitter's Bootstrap framework to create a responsive grid for mobile browsers.

Solomon reported that OPLIN currently hosts the websites for 31% of Ohio's public libraries - 75 sites are live, and 4 more are in progress. Because of on-going changes in staffing at those libraries, Solomon developed a new Welcome Packet to orient people taking over web management duties locally. She has revised the Website Kit Manual, utilizing bigger print, adding illustrations for most steps, and providing more video tutorials to demonstrate procedures.

Solomon discussed the coming upgrade from Drupal version 7 to 8, which entails a significant change to website backend: Drupal 8 employs new "engines" for both site mechanics and design. As was the case moving from Drupal 6 to 7, migrating existing customers to the new platform will likely involve hiring consultants to assist with the work.

Solomon outlined the webinars that she has been developing and delivering, including the Emerging Technologies webinars which usually fill to capacity, and expects that people will be very interested in more cybersecurity information. Her webinar earlier this year covering online privacy for patrons and staff was very popular. The webinar focus is content that library staff need which they are not finding elsewhere.

11.2. Digital Resources Manager report

Mandy Knapp discussed highlights of the new set of Ohio Web Library resources purchased in cooperation with OhioLINK, INFOhio, and the State Library: Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Very Short Introductions (a print series available in ebook form), Transparent Language Online, Chilton Library (the popular auto repair resource), and Kids Infobits (a resource for children's learning). World Book and the EBSCO core collection are remaining in the new package; some new resources have been added to the EBSCO collection: Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, Home Improvement, and Small Business. The only current resource dropped from the collection is Science Online, which had very low public library stats. Knapp has received very positive feedback about this collection, especially for the addition of Chilton's. Knapp reported that OPLIN is continuing to work through the process of retaining refunds or credits for libraries that currently carry individual subscriptions for resources that are becoming statewide. Knapp and Jendretzky are working to make sure authentication is in place for all the resources, and Knapp is coordinating vendor-provided webinars to train library staff.

As the state's public library contact for E-rate, Knapp has been responding to many "program integrity audit" requests, mostly verifying the existence of individual library bookmobile services.

11.3. Technology Projects Manager report

Jendretzky discussed the continued success of the SMS Gateway service, which grows by 30% each year.

He called it a "model service": it serves 130 libraries, sips at funds, and doesn't take much staff time.

In response to problems reported by CLEVNET about spearphishing campaigns against library directors and fiscal officers, Jendretzky has been investigating the services of companies which provide benevolent phishing campaigns launched against companies for the purposes of vulnerability testing and targeted training. His vision is that OPLIN could license a set number of seats, create a 2-3 week campaign geared toward public library staff, let libraries join a queue for the testing/educational campaign, and move through the queue sequentially to get as much use of the seats as possible. While extended campaigns are the most successful, this program would introduce libraries to the threats and raise awareness, encouraging them to continue vigilance on their own. Penrod reported that his library has used KnowBe4 for the past three years to great success. Jendretzky will review the options and bring a proposal to the June meeting.

Jendretzky summarized major work at OPLIN's core in the SOCC. As a result of hardware and network port diversity built into the Spectrum handoff to OPLIN, Spectrum was able to move circuits around with no outages. New console servers were installed so Terry Fouts can quickly access all OPLIN's hardware. Fouts and Jendretzky are working to bring the secondary core back into production; it has been in testing mode since the outage in September 2017, when the software-based connection between the primary and secondary cores failed, and half the network was left without a path out to the internet. The planned new architecture will include a secondary OARnet pathway.

The next milestone in CLEVNET's move to the Co-Location Space is to bring up an aggregation port to accept circuits into the OPLIN core; traffic from CLEVNET members will be routed through OPLIN's core into CLEVNET's head end. Instead of installing separate, costly vendor handoffs for CLEVNET libraries, OPLIN is leveraging its existing handoffs to save libraries money. There is the possibility as more libraries move into the Co-Location center that OPLIN could handle library branches similarly. This provides value to the libraries by saving them the cost of headend ports, but it puts additional work on OPLIN network staff by putting OPLIN in the middle of library networks. Bumbico suggested that OPLIN continue to move forward with CLEVNET, and expand on a case-by-case basis to see how each situation adds complexity and whether that is sustainable.


12.1. Approve recommendation from Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee -- Jill Billman-Royer, Susan Brown, and Travis McAfee -

Billman-Royer praised the quality of the candidates. They selected those that best preserved Board diversity, including state geography, size of library, gender, and trustee roles. The committee nominates

Holly Varley, Collection Development Director of Dayton Metro Library, to fill Cindy Lombardo's unexpired term; Angela Baldree, Director of the Franklin County Law Library and former trustee of the Morley Library, and Garalynn Tomas, president of the Lorain Public Library System board, to fill the seats left by Billman-Royer and Brown.

Jamie Black motioned to accept the recommendation from the Nominations Committee; Justin Bumbico seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.

Yarman announced that the Nominations Committee suggests Michael Penrod for Chair, Travis McAfee for Vice Chair, Chris May for Treasurer, and Jeff Garringer for Secretary. The Board will officially move on this recommendation in June.

12.2. Begin Director's evaluation process

Yarman distributed the criteria used in the past to evaluate the OPLIN director to see if the Board wanted to make changes. Penrod asked that the spreadsheet be emailed to the Board members for their review; members will send comments to him, and the Board can complete the evaluation at the June meeting.

12.3. Recognition

The Chair recognized Chris May to offer the following resolution:

WHEREAS, JILL BILLMAN-ROYER has been a member of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees since August 2011, and

WHEREAS she has freely and unselfishly given of her time and efforts to ensure the success of OPLIN by serving on the Board for seven years, and

WHEREAS her previous service as trustee at the Southwest Public Library gave her an exceptional perspective on OPLIN and its services to libraries, and

WHEREAS the insight she developed throughout her career have always been a helpful source of information for the Board, and

WHEREAS her focus and attention to detail have often proved beneficial, and

WHEREAS she has consistently contributed her expert opinions to OPLIN Board deliberations, and

WHEREAS she has been a steadfast and active advocate for OPLIN throughout her tenure on the Board,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that on the 13th day of April, Two Thousand and Eighteen the members of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Public Library Information Network recognize the significant contributions made to public libraries and library service by JILL BILLMAN-ROYER during her outstanding tenure with the Ohio Public Library Information Network, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board extends its most sincere thanks and appreciation to JILL BILLMAN-ROYER for her continued volunteer service as a member of that Board.

Susan Brown seconded the resolution. All aye.


On motion of Susan Brown and second of Michael Penrod, the Board adjourned at 1:10 p.m.