OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)
ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVENTH REGULAR MEETING of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES
1. WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER
The one hundred twenty-seventh meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 12, 2011 by outgoing Board Chair Sandi Plymire at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
Present were Board members: Don Barlow, Jill Billman-Royer, Gary Branson, Jason Buydos, Ben Chinni, Karen Davis, Jamie Mason, Becky Schultz, Jeff Wale, and Sandi Plymire.
Also present were: Stephen Hedges, and Karl Jendretzky (OPLIN); Diane Fink and David Namiotka (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).
Sandi welcomed new Board members Jill and Becky.
2. NOMINATION and ELECTION OF BOARD OFFICERS
Sandi Plymire reminded the Board of the report from the Nominations Committee that was presented at the June meeting, which included this ballot of nominations for Board officers: Jeff Wale, Chair; Jamie Mason, Vice-Chair; Karl Colón, Secretary; and Gary Branson, Treasurer. Sandi asked for additional nominations from the floor, and there were none.
Sandi Plymire asked for a show of hands in favor of approving the Nominations Committee's ballot of Board officers. Nine yes; none no.
Sandi passed the gavel to Jeff Wale, who then appointed Sandi to the at-large position on the Executive Committee. Jeff acknowledged the two new Board members and asked all attendees to introduce themselves.
3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Jeff Wale requested approval of the meeting agenda.
Don Barlow motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Jamie Mason seconded. All aye.
4. ESTABLISH BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE for FY 2012
Jeff Wale requested approval of the proposed schedule of Board meetings for fiscal year 2012 and the first two meetings of fiscal year 2013. All proposed meetings would be on the second Friday of even-numbered months, in accordance with past practice.
Jamie Mason motioned to approve the Board meeting schedule as presented; Sandi Plymire seconded. All aye.
5. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
There were no requests for public participation.
6. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of June 10 meeting
Jeff Wale requested approval of the minutes of the June 10 Board meeting.
Jason Buydos motioned to approve the minutes of the June 10 meeting as presented; Karen Davis seconded. All aye.
7. ACCEPTANCE OF THE FINANCIAL REPORTS
Diane Fink presented three Financial Reports: a report on the FY2010-2011 biennial budget as of June 30, 2011; a report on the FY2012-2013 biennial budget status; and a report on the fiscal year 2012 budget as of July 31, 2011. For the benefit of new Board members, Diane also presented an overview of state budgeting procedures and the fiscal relationship between OPLIN and the State Library.
In the first report, Diane pointed out that fiscal year 2010 has been closed, and only a few encumbrances for fiscal year 2011 were still open and waiting for invoices as of June 30. Payroll costs included a 27th payroll that the state assigned to fiscal year 2011.
The report on the biennial budget status detailed the changes to the requested OPLIN biennial budget as it moved through the Executive, House, and Senate recommendations and reached final approval. The requested OPLIN budget was not changed in this process, with the exception of minor changes to the budget for employee/employer contributions to the retirement fund.
The report on the fiscal year 2012 budget as of July 31, 2011 included three sub-reports. Report A showed that several of the FY2011 open expenditures were closed after receipt of invoices in July. Report B for FY2012 showed initial fiscal year activity for rent and database payments. Diane noted that OPLIN will make payments for the Ohio Web Library databases quarterly now instead of annually, since revenue from the Public Library Fund (PLF) will be received monthly. Report C showed the revenue/cash balance for fiscal year 2012. Diane pointed out that no transfer from the PLF was received in July; those transfers will begin in August.
Diane also mentioned that it is now expected that there will be no action on the pending capital budget bill for FY2011-2012; OPLIN had submitted about $480,000 in requests for that budget in February 2010. The next opportunity for capital funds will likely come early in 2012 for FY2013-2014.
Gary Branson motioned to accept the Financial Reports; Karen Davis seconded. All aye.
8. OLD BUSINESS
8.1. Approve Internet filtering grant process
Stephen Hedges reminded the Board of discussion at the June meeting, when it was decided to continue distributing the $81,000 OPLIN budget earmark for filtering support as Internet filtering assistance grants. Stephen and Diane Fink proposed a simplified reporting process for grant recipients that is more closely aligned with the grant contracts, but all other grant parameters and procedures would remain as before. Stephen also reported that he had asked the state to investigate the possibility of establishing statewide contracts with filtering vendors, as the Board had requested; however, state contract personnel felt that they would not be able to negotiate anything better than the discounts several vendors already offer to public libraries.
Stephen also reported that he recently learned that Maine schools and libraries are using a central, statewide filter through OpenDNS. A preliminary inspection of the Maine implementation, discussions with OpenDNS, and information gathered from current Ohio customers of OpenDNS indicate this may be a viable central solution that would fit within the budget earmark. After discussion, the Board expressed interest in pursuing this option. Testing and purchasing paperwork will take a while, so this option is not feasible for this fiscal year, but might make it possible for OPLIN to offer free filtering to any Ohio public library next year. If the testing yields positive results, Stephen would want to share this information with libraries as soon as possible, so they can plan ahead.
Stephen reviewed the previous filtering grant process and the suggested changes, and requested approval to proceed as planned with another year of filtering grants.
Jason Buydos motioned to proceed with FY2012 filtering grants as planned; Sandi Plymire seconded. All aye.
8.2. Report from Ad Hoc Committee on Services
Jason Buydos reported that the committee was concerned that OPLIN funding taken from the PLF was disproportionately impacting the large metropolitan libraries when compared to the benefits they receive from OPLIN, so committee discussions had turned primarily to new services which would increase OPLIN benefits to those metro libraries. Several contemplated services from early discussions did not receive an enthusiastic response when feedback was solicited from some metro libraries. The service which the committee now recommended was a grant program to reimburse libraries for a portion of the cost of their branch Internet connections. Jason presented a spreadsheet demonstrating how such grants might be distributed to libraries if priority was given to branches in communities that qualify for high E-Rate discounts, branches which are open for a substantial number of hours each week, and library systems which operate a large number of branches in high-poverty communities.
Stephen Hedges clarified that this prioritization was his suggestion, and that the committee discussions had not reached this level of detail. The targeted amount of total reimbursement funds – $300,000 – was, however, discussed by the committee, and that figure came from the approximate annual cost of the NewsBank subscription. The committee had no desire to discontinue the NewsBank subscription, since that is heavily used by the metro libraries, but had speculated that it might be possible to pay that cost with federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the State Library.
Jeff Wale reported that most metro library directors are aware of the difference between what they now contribute to OPLIN funding and the value of the services they receive from OPLIN. He also noted that providing any support for the cost of branch connections would require a change to the current OPLIN policy of supporting one connection point per library system, but the metro libraries the committee consulted generally did not feel that the other proposed services – redundant connections to the library or offsite data storage – were as effective a use of OPLIN funds as some sort of support for branch connections would be.
Don Barlow pointed out that, had OPLIN funding remainded in the General Revenue Fund, the legislature might have made a larger reduction in the PLF to keep the state budget in balance, which would have resulted in the same negative financial impact for libraries without any of the current discussion regarding improvement of OPLIN services to libraries. He expressed support for the proposed reimbursement program, because it had the potential to benefit not only the metro libraries, but any library with branches in poor communities.
Diane Fink cautioned that the State Library is now receiving less LSTA money, so it might be difficult to find funds to pay for NewsBank. Stephen acknowledged that identifying a source (and amount) of funds would be a critical first step before this program could proceed.
Jamie Mason asked some questions about the return on investment spreadsheets which the Board had discussed in April. Discussion ensued about prioritizing branch support grants in ways that would have the biggest effect on changing the return on investment disparities.
There was also discussion of what actions the metro libraries might consider if OPLIN did nothing to improve the services provided to them. While it was generally agreed that it was unlikely any of them would actually want to harm OPLIN, Jill Billman-Royer pointed out that if talk of OPLIN "disparities" continues without any action from OPLIN to change this perception, then the reputation of OPLIN could be damaged in the library community.
Further discussion revolved around the reaction of other libraries if OPLIN developed a plan that only benefited metro libraries. Stephen Hedges pointed out that OPLIN intentionally sets the parameters of the filtering grants to the advantage of the small libraries and could set the parameters of a branch support grant program to intentionally benefit the large libraries. Diane Fink cautioned against calling it a "grant" program to avoid the need to get State Library Board approval for large disbursements and advised that the program could simply be a reimbursement for branch telecommunications costs.
Jeff Wale suggested that the Board reconsider this issue at the next meeting, after funds have been identified and other proposed parameters of the reimbursement have been developed, Jamie Mason also asked to see spreadsheets detailing how the proposed program would affect the libraries' return on investment. Stephen Hedges will also plan to attend the next meeting of the metro library directors to explain the ideas the Board is exploring.
Doug Evans also advised that any communications about the proposal should also make it very clear that the Board is not contemplating reducing any services to small and mid-sized libraries. He emphasized the importance of finding funds from some source that did not impact current OPLIN services. Ben Chinni questioned how it would look to legislators if OPLIN were able to find a significant source of "unused" funds within its budget.
9. NEW BUSINESS
There was no new business to come before the Board.
10. OPLIN DIRECTOR'S REPORT
Stephen Hedges reported that the original quotes OPLIN received from vendors for replacement site routers referenced a state contract that expired June 30 and was not renewed. Juniper Routers has decided to submit their own statewide contract, which is currently under legal review. He also briefly reported that the Office of Information Technology has issued a new "Enterprise Security Controls Framework" which replaces the suite of security policies that were used to develop the OPLIN Information Technology Security Management plan. For the most part, the provisions of the current plan cover the new framework requirements.
Stephen reported that the Department of Administrative Services continues to express an interest in the OPLIN office moving to the State Library before the next biennium budget. Staff at the State Library have discussed this among themselves and with Stephen, and have provided DAS Real Estate with building blueprints and assurance that OPLIN would be able to place some equipment in the State Library server room.
Stephen informed the Board that he is in the process of moving all database usage statistics to the oplin.org/statistics webpage with the goal of providing more detailed statistics to libraries and ceasing updates to the old "ODURT" (OPLIN Database Usage Reporting Tool) webpage after December. He asked that anyone let him know if it came to their attention that this would create problems.
Regarding OPLIN office activities, Stephen highlighted Karl Jendretzky's work at library locations and Laura Solomon's workshop presentations.
10.1. Technology Projects Manager report
Karl Jendretzky reported that since early this year over seventy (70) libraries have been moved from old T1 circuits to new Ethernet connections, leaving about fifty to do. This project has also resulted in the reconfiguration of the Central Library Consortium (CLC) network, with all circuits now coming back to the OPLIN core instead of the CLC office in Lithopolis. He also reported that the new Zimbra webmail service has been running smoothly for two months, with no complaints.
Karl noted that the SMS gateway service for library text messages has been in service for a little over a year and has sent about 125,000 messages, while he expects to send about three times that many messages in the coming year.
10.2. Database usage
Stephen Hedges presented database statistics, noting that the addition of Ancestry Library Edition and Mango Languages had increased usage statistics considerably, but he also noted that without these two new databases, usage would have continued to decline slightly. Stephen also provided information on a Google Adwords campaign which he started for Ohio Web Library in mid-June. Costs are capped at $20 per day, and he is monitoring the analytics for the Ohio Web Library site to see if there is a noticeable increase in traffic. He will soon make a decision as to whether the Adwords campaign is cost-effective.
11. CHAIR'S REPORT
Jeff Wale complimented the work of his fellow members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Services.
On motion of Sandi Plymire the Board adjourned at 11:55 a.m.