13, 2010


The one hundred twenty-first
meeting of the Ohio Public Library
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 13, 2010 by Board Chair Karl
Colón at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members:
Don Barlow, Gary Branson, Jason Buydos, Ben Chinni, Karl
Colón, Jim Kenzig, Gayle Patton, Sandi Plymire, and Jeff Wale. Board
member Bonnie Mathies arrived at 10:05.

Also present were: Stephen
Hedges, Karl Jendretzky, and Laura Solomon (OPLIN); Beverly Cain and
Fink (State Library); Lynda Murray (Ohio
Library Council); and Lynn Kenzig (guest).


Outgoing Chair Karl Colón recognized Gayle Patton, who
Gary Branson to replace her as Treasurer on the slate of officers
previously proposed by the Nominating Committee. Jeff Wale seconded the

The Chair reviewed the proposed slate of officers: Sandi
Chair; Jeff Wale, Vice-Chair; Bonnie Mathies, Secretary; Gary Branson,

Don Barlow motioned to
approve the proposed slate of Board officers; Jim Kenzig
seconded. All aye.


New Chair Sandi Plymire requested approval of the remainder of
the meeting agenda.

Gayle Patton motioned to
approve the agenda as presented; Jason Buydos seconded. All aye.


The Chair requested approval of the proposed meeting schedule
for the next 14 months:

  • August 13, 2010
  • October 8, 2010
  • December 10, 2010
  • February 11, 2011
  • April 8, 2011 (Board Retreat)
  • June 10, 2011
  • August 12, 2011
  • October 14, 2011

Don Barlow motioned to
approve the meeting schedule as presented; Jason Buydos seconded. All


The Chair recognized Lynda Murray.

reported that the Ohio Library Council Government Relations Committee
has been discussing preparations for what are expected to be difficult
budget negotiations in the coming months. One item to watch will be
whether or not the current $5 million transfer from the General Revenue
Fund to the Public Library Fund, reimbursing the cost of OPLIN and the
Library for the Blind, is continued in the new biennium. Lynda also
noted that many public libraries are now depending on local tax levies
for support, with perhaps as many as 60% of all public libraries having
local levies after the November election.

Karl Colón asked if OPLIN could do anything to help promote
message that statewide funding of libraries is important and should not
be replaced by reliance on local funding. Lynda replied that a message
is being crafted that will highlight specific services that libraries
can deliver statewide; one service will probably be health information,
and OPLIN can help by identifying good health information databases and
assisting with delivery of some services.

The Chair next recognized Beverly Cain.

Beverly reported that she is settling into her new job as
Librarian and will soon be starting to travel around the state and
visit libraries.

Lynda Murray left the
meeting at 10:13.

Karl Colón motioned that
Gayle Patton,
who is retiring effective October 1, be officially recognized for her
years of service as an OPLIN Board member and OPLIN Board Chair, with
wishes for all the best in the future; Gary Branson seconded. All aye.

of June 11 Meeting

Jim Kenzig motioned to
approve the minutes of the June 11 meeting; Jeff Wale
seconded. All aye.


Diane Fink presented two sets of Financial Reports: one as of
30, 2010; the second as of July 31, 2010. She explained that the first
set of reports reflected the status at the end of Fiscal Year 2010.

7.1. Reports as of June 30

Report A in the June 30 set of reports showed the
budget and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009, which are
unchanged from the previous meeting since those fiscal years are
closed; this is the last time this report will be presented to the
Board. Report B showed the
budget and expenditures at the end of Fiscal Year 2010 as well as
the budgeted allotments for Fiscal Year 2011. All "Available Balances"
at the end of FY 2010 are unused spending authority and not funds that
will be returned to the state treasury. Diane pointed out open
encumbrances (as of June 30) for printing of Ohio Web Library
promotional cards, the monthly cost of Past, Present and Future
consulting, and telecommunications bills. Report C showed the
revenue and cash balances for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010. At the end of
FY 2009 the cash balance was about $1.58 million; at the end of FY 2010
is was about $1.39 million.

7.2. Reports as of July 31

In the second set of reports, Report A still showed a few open
encumbrances for FY 2010, as invoices have not yet arrived for some
encumbrances. For FY 2011 (ending June 30, 2011), Diane reported that
each OPLIN staff will again have 10 Cost Savings (furlough) Days
removed from their salaries, as was the case in FY 2010, totaling just
under $15,000. Diane noted that Bobbi Galvin's open position has been
offered to a candidate, with the intention of the new employee starting
on August 30. (In response to a question from Gayle Patton, Stephen
Hedges reported that the candidate is Amie McReynolds from Springfield,
Ohio, a recent graduate of the Kent State University MLIS program.)
Diane also pointed out the open encumbrance of about $1.5 million to
Wright State University for eventual disbursement to database vendors,
and noted that that had been paid in August; she also called attention
to the completed payment of $45,000 to eTech Ohio for annual E-Rate

In Report B, showing revenue and cash balances for FY 2010 and
2011, Diane pointed out that the cash balance as of July 31 had
declined to about $1 million. She explained, however, that Office of
Budget and Management (OBM) cash transfers at the beginning of each
fiscal year move $5 million from the General Revenue Fund (GRF) into
the Public Library Fund (PLF), after which funds for the Library for
the Blind and for OPLIN are transferred out of the PLF. These transfers
had not taken place as of July 31, but were done in the first week of

Diane then provided some general information about the status
of the
FY 2012-2013 biennium budgeting process. OBM has asked that "core
budget level" requests be submitted by November 1, with corresponding
Information Technology plans submitted to the Office of Information
Technology (OIT) about a month earlier. She has been attending a series
of meetings explaining how these components of the budget should be
written and submitted. The Core Budget Level for agencies receiving GRF
funds is to be 90% of their FY 2011 budget; agencies such as OPLIN that
receive funding from other sources are not restricted. As in the past,
the OPLIN budget will be submitted as a "program" within the State
Library budget. Diane also pointed out that payroll budgeting will be a
challenge for all agencies in FY 2012, when Cost Savings Days are
scheduled to end, all state employees are scheduled to receive a
lump-sum payment for 32 hours salary, and an extra pay cycle falls
within the fiscal year. The Department of Administrative Services has
also advised OPLIN to expect a small rent increase, since a large
decrease was negotiated at the beginning of the current biennium.

also reported that the purchase of a new e-mail server, as approved at
the last Board meeting, was also approved by OIT, and the server has
now been ordered, installed, and paid for.

Gayle Patton motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Don Barlow seconded. All aye.

7.3. First draft of OPLIN
budget request

Stephen Hedges presented a draft of the narrative portion of
2012-2013 budget request. He noted that the narrative explains that
OPLIN benefits all residents of Ohio and not just public libraries.
Stephen particularly requested discussion of the language at the end of
the narrative, which requests that OPLIN funding return to being drawn
from the General Revenue Fund rather than the Public Library Fund; such
a request also requires that OPLIN explain how it can accommodate the
10% budget cut that would automatically result from such a funding

Several Board members noted that OPLIN passed a resolution
last year
in support of keeping OPLIN funding in the General Revenue Fund.
Repeating that request now at a cost of 10% of OPLIN funding would
reduce OPLIN's ability to serve public libraries. Several other members
speculated that even if OPLIN did return to the General Revenue Fund,
the $3.7 million currently coming from the Public Library Fund to
support OPLIN may not be restored to the PLF. Ensuing discussion
resulted in general agreement that while the Board still supports
returning OPLIN funding to the GRF, it is not wise to include this
position in our budget request.


8.1. Focus groups

Stephen Hedges reported on the results of the online focus
group on the
afternoon of 14 July 2010 involving seven librarians who were chosen
because they had responded well to previously e-mailed "Questions of
the Week." The TokBox web-based video conferencing service was used,
with Wayne Piper facilitating. Participants were asked three groups of
questions based on the earlier e-mail "Questions of the Week," now
posed once again in this format
where they could hear each other's answers.

Among the noteworthy new information from this focus group was
when they have a problem with their Internet connection, their first
response is
to check for in-house problems that they can solve before involving
OPLIN. Stephen plans to respond to this by communicating that OPLIN is
happy to be contacted at any point in their problem-solving process.

Board members noted the lack of enthusiasm for the databases expressed
by focus group participants. Gayle Patton pointed out that the focus
group members represented primarily small libraries, which she had
assumed should have the most need for OPLIN-provided databases. There
was general discussion of the composition of the focus group and
speculation as to how well they represented all OPLIN participants. The
feedback from this group seems to indicate that there is a need for
more promotion of the databases, and possibly more training.

Piper will be leading another, in-person focus group at the OLC Expo on
September 10, after which Stephen intends to develop a plan for
responding to the gathered information.

8.2. Accept revised
Strategic Plan

Stephen Hedges presented a clean copy of the Strategic Plan
incorporating all the revisions discussed in previous Board meetings.

Jason Buydos motioned to
accept the revised Strategic Plan; Don Barlow seconded. All aye.


9.1. Discuss Internet
filtering assistance grants

Stephen Hedges announced that several libraries have already
inquiring about the annual process of distributing the funds set aside
in the OPLIN budget for assisting libraries with the cost of Internet
content filtering. Normally this is an item on the October Board
agenda, but Stephen suggested that the process start earlier this year,
with a first round of grants for libraries that want to install new
systems or upgrade existing systems, and a second round later for
libraries requesting assistance with filtering maintenance costs. This
method would also allow OPLIN to delay distribution of all set aside
funds in case the set aside is reduced by budget adjustments later in
the fiscal year. Otherwise he recommended that the parameters of the
grants remain the same as last year.

Patton motioned that OPLIN announce a first round of filtering
assistance grants covering new and upgraded filters, to be followed by
a second round of grants for maintenance of filters, and that all other
parameters remain the same as last year; Karl Colón seconded.
All aye.


Stephen Hedges reported two items of good news.

In February
2005, OPLIN was denied all E-Rate funds for the period July 2005
through June 2006 because our applications were post-marked one day
after the deadline. In 2006, Stephen filed an appeal of this denial
with the FCC, based on an FCC decision that granted leniency for such
"clerical" errors in Funding Year 2004. That appeal has now been
granted, and the status of our 2005 applications had been changed from
"Out of window" to "Initial review," just as if our applications had
been received on time five years ago. If we successfully move through
the review process, OPLIN could recover about $1 million of what we
spent on telecommunications in state Fiscal Year 2006.

The other
item of good news involved a decrease in our bandwidth costs. Following
the Department of Administrative Services opinion that OPLIN was not
obligated to purchase bandwidth and network services from OIT, OIT
managers made a two-option proposal to OPLIN. One option involved
trying again to get a new pricing structure approved for all OIT
customers, which would benefit OPLIN by distributing costs across all
state agencies more equitably, and could save OPLIN about $250,000 per
year after E-Rate. The second option involved moving the OPLIN
network outside the network used by other state agencies, with OIT and
OPLIN acting in partnership to buy bandwidth directly from the vendors.
While the second option was slightly cheaper, the first option offered
network redundancy that was not present in the second. We expressed a
preference for the first option, and OIT was subsequently able to get
this new pricing structure approved by OBM. This new pricing should
take effect no later than August 1.

Stephen explained one
recurring item on the list of office activities that involves online
meetings regarding development of a proposal to enhance federal library
statistics. The Gates foundation is leading an effort to submit a data
element proposal to the Institute of Museum and Library Services to add
a few basic measures of Internet usage to the Public Library Data set,
and Stephen is part of the large group that is working on this.

also repeated the news that Amie McReynolds had accepted the offered
of Customer Relations and Support Staff and will begin her employment
with OPLIN on August 30.

Jason Buydos asked if Stephen had any
news regarding the Connect Ohio and State Library applications for ARRA
grants from the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration; Stephen replied that he had not, and was fairly certain
Connect Ohio has also heard nothing.

Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky reported that the new e-mail server was
about two weeks ago and is currently being configured and tested.
Writing user documentation for the new e-mail service will be the next
big task before it can be put into production. Karl also reported that
all of the new Juniper site routers have now been installed, and work
is progressing on moving the OPLIN core over to the new Juniper core
router. OIT is simultaneously building their own new core so they can
make more Internet access bandwidth available to OPLIN.

10.1.1. SMS service beta test

Karl Jendretzky announced that the testing of the messaging
that converts library e-mail notifications to cellphone text messages
is going well, with about 20 testers and a couple of libraries already
offering the service to patrons. The testing has resulted in several
small changes to the system as various problems have been revealed, but
now the system seems to be working quite well.

Gayle Patton asked
Karl when he expected to implement the new e-mail service, and he
replied that he felt confident it would be ready before the end of the

Jeff Wale asked if Karl still planned to install connection
diagnostic tools on the Juniper routers. Karl reported that the Juniper
operating system is more tightly closed than he at first thought, and
he may not be able to install additional software on the routers.

10.2. Library Services
Manager report

Laura Solomon reported that she still is working on quite a
Dynamic Website Kits, but as of this week there are more webkits in
active use by libraries than there are webkits in development. The
newer webkits are based on Drupal version 6, and in November she will
cease work on new webkits to upgrade the old Drupal version 5 webkits
to version 6.

Jeff Wale asked if there would be a charge to the
libraries for this upgrade, and Stephen Hedges explained that such
upgrades are included in the annual maintenance charge that libraries

Gayle Patton asked Laura about the volunteer work she is doing
for Library Journal
on losinglibraries.org. Laura responded that the work can be depressing
at times.

10.3. Database usage

Stephen Hedges explained an additional graph included in the
this time which shows database usage linearly over two years, while the
older graph shows the two years superimposed to compensate for seasonal
fluctuations. In general, searches are trending downward over the last
two years, but document retrievals are trending upward. Don Barlow
noted that the reduction in the number of hours some libraries are open
may be reflected in these statistics.

Jeff Wale asked if the
EBSCO statistics were now accurate, and Stephen reported that they had
been corrected for this two-year period to remove the high number of
searches caused by automated searching of library catalogs in those
libraries that subscribe to NoveList Select.


11.1. New Board member

Sandi Plymire called attention to a document showing the
current demographics of the Board in regard to library size, library
location, and the Board member's position with the library. Based on
this data, the Executive Committee suggested that the best candidate
would represent a small library in either the northwest or the
southeast of the state. A separate document listed the characteristics
of the nominees resulting from the general call for Board candidates.
Three candidates had the desired characteristics; all candidates were
very well qualified.

Don Barlow motioned to
recommend Karen Davis to the State Library Board for appointment to
complete the unexpired term of Gayle Patton; Ben Chinni seconded. All
aye by show of hands.


On motion of Jason Buydos
the Board adjourned at 12:02.