Minutes — August 11, 2017


The one hundred sixty-third meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017 by Board Chair Susan Brown at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Jill Billman-Royer, Jamie Black, Susan Brown, Justin Bumbico, Jeff Garringer, Cindy Lombardo, Chris May, Michael Penrod and Tara Sidwell. Former Board member Becky Schultz was also present, representing the Executive Director Search Committee.

Also present were: Stephen Hedges, Karl Jendretzky, Mandy Knapp and Laura Solomon (OPLIN); Beverly Cain (State Library); Michelle Francis (Ohio Library Council); and Don Yarman.



Current Board Chair Susan Brown presented the slate of officer candidates recommended by the Nominations Committee: Joe Greenward, Chair; Michael Penrod, Vice-Chair; Chris May, Secretary; and Travis McAfee, Treasurer. Susan asked if there were any additional nominations or questions, and there were none.

The Chair called for a vote on the slate of officers submitted by the Nominations Committee; all aye.


Jill Billman-Royer motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Susan Brown seconded. There was no discussion, so newly elected Vice-Chair Michael Penrod called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Susan Brown motioned to enter an Executive Session to consider the employment of a public employee; Chris May seconded.

Recorded vote: Jill Billman-Royer, aye; Jamie Black, aye; Susan Brown, aye; Justin Bumbico, aye; Jeff Garringer, aye; Cindy Lombardo, aye; Chris May, aye; Tara Sidwell, aye; and Michael Penrod, aye.

The Vice-Chair invited Becky Schultz to join the Executive Session.

The Board entered Executive Session at 10:04 a.m.

The Board returned from Executive Session at 10:09 a.m.

Michael Penrod motioned to appoint Don Yarman as Executive Director of OPLIN starting October 2, 2017 at an annual salary of $90,000; Jeff Garringer seconded. There was no discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Vice-Chair presented the proposed Board meeting schedule for Fiscal Year 2018 and asked for approval of the following schedule of meetings, all at the OPLIN office starting at 10:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted: August 11, 2017; October 13, 2017; December 8, 2017; February 9, 2018; April 13, 2018 (9:00 am start); and June 8, 2018. The Vice-Chair also asked for approval of two further meetings for planning purposes: August 10, 2018; and October 12, 2018.

Jamie Black motioned to approve the Board meeting schedule as presented; Chris May seconded. There was no discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Vice-Chair called for public participation.

Michelle Francis shared information about the status of the Public Library Fund (PLF) since the beginning of the new state fiscal year on July 1; the current pending overrides of the Governor's vetoes should not affect the PLF. To date, revenues have exceeded official estimates, but the Ohio Library Council (OLC) continues to advise libraries to plan on flat funding this year. Michelle also provided an update on the work OLC has been doing with the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation to satisfy some of the budget directives about public libraries working with state job agencies.

Beverly Cain announced that 319 people had attended the State Library's Bicentennial ceremonies on August 4. She also reported that the participation agreements have gone out to the first wave of libraries and institutions (31 total) that will be submitting materials to the Digital Public Library of America through the Ohio Digital Network. The State Library is now accepting applications from libraries who wish to join a consortium for sharing library materials for a special round of LSTA grants. There are about 60 public libraries that do not belong to such a consortium, depending instead on the MORE service, which has now ended; the last time such grants were offered, over 20 libraries joined a consortium.

7. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of June 9 meeting

Jill Billman-Royer motioned to approve the minutes of the June 9, 2017, meeting as presented; Justin Bumbico seconded. There was no discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Stephen Hedges presented the financial reports prepared by Jamie Pardee. He reported that Fiscal Year 2017 is now closed, and he reviewed a few accounts that had no activity during the year, explaining why they had been inactive. He also provided brief descriptions of most accounts for the benefit of new Board members. Stephen made note of the large expenditure during FY2017 to purchase replacement routers for the library sites and duplicate the core router. On the FY2018 report, Stephen pointed out several accounts that would see changes from FY2017 activity, particularly noting that the expenditure for the Ohio Web Library databases is much lower than had been anticipated four years ago when the current vendor contracts were negotiated. Stephen also called attention to the large amount of E-rate reimbursements expected in FY2018, caused by the delay in federal distribution of FY2017 E-rate funds.

Michael Penrod asked if E-rate reimbursements would be received in a timely manner this year, and both Stephen and Mandy Knapp reported that all indications are that the federal processes are moving much more smoothly this year.

Chris May motioned to accept the financial reports; Jeff Garringer seconded. There was no further discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.

9. OLD BUSINESS — none


10.1. Approve continuous learning resources budget

Stephen Hedges called attention to language in the current biennial budget bill that promotes public libraries as "continuous learning centers" providing job and career information resources and training. Michelle Francis from OLC has been meeting with Ryan Burgess from the Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT) to develop ways to fulfill the budget directives, and Stephen described his attendance at one of those meetings to discuss job training resources and how they might be provided to the public through libraries. The budget does not allocate funds for purchasing such resources. Stephen pointed out that one of the basic principles of OPLIN has always been that every public library in the state needs to have access to important information resources to reduce local differences in the amount and quality of information available to the public, and he asked if the Board would allocate OPLIN funds to provide some continuous learning resources to all public libraries, as well as providing technical expertise.

Michelle Francis provided additional information, noting that public libraries now have a representative on the Executive Workforce Board, and that Ryan Burgess has been an advocate in the administration for public libraries. She also pointed out that all Ohio public libraries contribute to OPLIN funds through the PLF.

Jill Billman-Royer motioned to budget $500,000 per year for purchasing continuous learning resources; Chris May seconded.

Susan Brown asked for clarification on the learning resources: would they be provided by educational institutions? Michelle said not necessarily; many libraries already purchase these types of resources from vendors, and libraries would have input as to which resources to purchase. Stephen noted that the purchase process would be very similar to the process used to select and acquire Ohio Web Library resources.

Michael Penrod asked if the intention was to include the resources in the Ohio Web Library interface or to develop a separate, individually marketed portal for them. Stephen said that has not been decided, and anticipated that vendor licensing restrictions may affect the eventual decision. Michelle noted that there is general agreement that the interface should be integrated with the Ohio Means Jobs website, but not be part of that website.

Chris May asked Michelle if there had been any discussion about OWT's role in promoting the resources. Michelle answered that OLC and OWT have divided the budget directives into several initiatives, and branding and promoting libraries as continuous learning centers is one of those initiatives; she described some of the promotional activites currently under discussion.

Stephen noted that the budget specifically called for more resources in the "Ohio Digital Library" ebook collection, and wondered if the OPLIN purchase of continuous learning resources would satisfy that directive. Beverly Cain pointed out that the budget language in this regard is fairly broad, and that there are not a lot of ebooks available that are pertinent to job skills training.

Susan asked if the branding initiative would also include smaller colleges. Michelle provided some background to the budget language and explained that it only refers to public libraries, so even though public libraries often partner with other institutions, the initiative from OLC and OWT will focus only on libraries.

Justin Bumbico asked about the amount of staff time that might be required. Stephen replied that had not been determined, and depended to some extent on whether the current Ohio Web Library interface was used or a new portal.

Jamie Black asked if the project could be completed by next spring, as planned, and Stephen said he was confident it could be. Beverly noted that this purchase process needs to be separate from the upcoming Ohio Web Library purchase process, since that will not be completed until next July.

There was no further discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion.

Recorded vote: Jill Billman-Royer, aye; Jamie Black, aye; Susan Brown, aye; Justin Bumbico, aye; Jeff Garringer, aye; Cindy Lombardo, aye; Chris May, aye; Tara Sidwell, aye; and Michael Penrod, aye.

10.2. Approve paying half of DPLA membership fee

Stephen Hedges explained that the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has announced that they will now be charging state hubs a $10,000 annual membership fee. The State Library has committed to paying this fee for the first three years as part of their support for the Ohio Digital Network (ODN), Ohio's DPLA hub. Stephen asked if the OPLIN Board would consider paying half of the annual membership fee this year, as a way to support digitization in public libraries. ODN leadership has discussed the possibility of sending waived invoices for DPLA membership to current institutions contributing content, as a way to remind them that Ohio's DPLA membership fees are being paid at the state level.

Susan Brown motioned to pay half of the annual DPLA membership fee while the State Library pays the other half; Cindy Lombardo seconded. There was no further discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.

10.3. Approve active aggressor policy

Stephen Hedges provided copies of an active aggressor response policy that had been developed for OPLIN by Stephanie Herriott. State agencies are now required to have such a policy, and Stephen noted that Stephanie had done a very thorough and complete job of drafting the policy.

Michael Penrod asked about staff training, and Stephen replied that all staff have viewed the required video, but he has not inquired about police training.

Susan Brown motioned to adopt the active aggressor policy as presented; Chris May seconded.

Susan asked if there was any coordinated building-wide plan for dealing with active aggressors, and Stephen replied there was not. Beverly Cain noted that the State Library building also has other tenants, and the Department of Public Safety simply advised them to let the other tenants know about the State Library policy. Jill Billman-Royer suggested that OPLIN provide a copy of this policy to building management.

There was no further discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.

10.4. Approve closing OPLIN office at 2:00pm Sept.29

Stephen Hedges asked the Board for permission to close the OPLIN office at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 29 for the Director's retirement reception.

Jamie Black motioned to close the OPLIN office at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 29; Susan Brown seconded. There was no discussion, so the Vice-Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.



Stephen Hedges provided an update on the process of purchasing EZproxy, which has now been completed following Controlling Board approval. The software is now in operation. He also provided an update on the Ohio Web Library Invitation to Negotiate project, which is well underway under the guidance of a coordinating committee composed of Mandy Knapp, Amy Pawlowski (OhioLINK) and Erica Clay (INFOhio). The directors of the Libraries Connect Ohio partner organizations have met and established a budget for the acquisition.

Regarding the OPLIN office activities calendar, Stephen highlighted the Kent State iSchool advisory committee meeting, presentations by Mandy Knapp and Laura Solomon, Karl Jendretzky's overnight work on the OPLIN network core at the State of Ohio Computer Center (SOCC), and staff visits to Mansfield-Richland County Public Library, Ritter Public Library, and the Columbus Metropolitan Library Northside Branch.

Finally, Stephen thanked the Board for their guidance and support throughout his tenure as OPLIN Director.

11.1. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon reported that all of the website kits have now been moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS), a project she and Karl Jendretzky undertook to make sure all the kits were running on stable hardware in one place. She has also been recording instructional videos for some website kit features and has been working with kit customers to make sure they have a website privacy policy if they use Google Analytics. The anti-spam software module she had been using for the kits is no longer supported, so she is replacing it with Google's reCAPTCHA service. She is also investigating a module that will display library newsletters to look like flipping pages.

11.2. Digital Resources Manager report

Mandy Knapp reported on the progress of the Invitation to Negotiate for the next five-year contract for the Ohio Web Library resources and explained the details of the process. The timeline is very aggressive, to make sure there is enough time for school and academic libraries to purchase additional resources. Mandy presented database usage statistics, which continue to reflect past trends. Finally, she reported that the data for our E-rate reimbursements has been submitted.

11.3. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky explained that any OPLIN public-facing service is being migrated to Amazon Web Services, alleviating the need for the complex fail-over systems he had devised. Only the servers supporting the listservs and EZproxy will remain at the SOCC, for technical reasons. The EZproxy system was completely reconfigured and the authentication was updated to make it easier for libraries to use OPLIN's EZproxy for authenticating their own resources.

Karl reported that 145 libraries still have active OpenDNS filtering systems. The SMS messaging gateway is sending about 100,000 messages each month to library patrons. A second path from the network core to the internet is in place now, providing redundancy and 20 Gbps of bandwidth. Karl reported on issues encountered in the overnight attempts to bind the two Juniper core routers together and the temporary solutions implemented by Juniper. This will enable many of the new 100 Mbps circuits to connect to the core.

Finally, Karl reported that the co-location space in the SOCC is set up and connectivity work is progressing to the point that we can soon announce the availablity of the co-location data center.


In the absence of Joe Greenward, Stephen Hedges reported that he, Joe and Susan Brown had been corresponding about appointing Susan as at-large representative to the OPLIN Board Executive Committee, and that Joe will make that appointment by email to Stephen sometime after today's meeting.

On behalf of the Board, Vice-Chair Michael Penrod thanked Stephen for his service as OPLIN Director. Michelle Francis reminded Board members that Stephen will be awarded the OLC Citizen of the Year Award at the OLC Convention on October 4.


The Vice-Chair adjourned the meeting at 11:42 a.m.