PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)
ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH REGULAR MEETING of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES
WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER
The one hundred fifteenth
meeting of the Ohio Public Library
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
10:02 a.m. on Friday, August 14, 2009 by outgoing Board Chair Gayle
Patton at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
Present were Board members:
Don Barlow, Gary Branson, Ben Chinni, Karl
Colón, Jim Kenzig, Bonnie Mathies, Gayle Patton, and Sandi
Also present were: Stephen
Hedges and Laura Solomon (OPLIN); Diane
Fink (State Library); and Lynda Murray (Ohio
Gayle welcomed Ben Chinni to
the Board and asked all present to introduce themselves.
NOMINATION and ELECTION of
Gayle Patton reminded the Board
that the Nominations Committee proposed a slate of candidates at the
April Board Retreat, as follows: Karl Colón, Chair; Holly
Vice-Chair; Bonnie Mathies, Secretary; and
Gayle Patton, Treasurer. Holly will not be able to serve as Vice-Chair,
so that position would remain vacant for now.
Barlow motioned to
approve the Nominations Committee's slate of officers, with the
exception of the Vice-Chair; Gary Branson seconded. All aye.
Gayle Patton passed leadership
to the new Chair, Karl Colón.
ESTABLISH BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE for
The Chair called for approval
of the proposed meeting schedule:
- August 14, 2009 (previously
- October 9,
2009 (previously approved)
- December 11, 2009
- February 12, 2010
- April 9, 2010 (Board Retreat)
- June 11, 2010
- August 13, 2010
- October 8, 2010
Patton motioned to
approve the FY 2010 meeting schedule as
presented; Jim Kenzig seconded. All aye.
The Chair recognized Lynda
Murray to provide comments on the new
state biennium budget.
Lynda recounted the events of
the weekend following Gov. Strickland's June 19 proposal to cut public
library funding by an additional 30%. The Ohio Library Council
mobilized the directors of the larger libraries, while a grass-roots
effort launched the very successful Save Ohio Libraries campaign on the
Internet. As a result of substantial public pressure on the
legislature, the proposed reduction was cut back to about 10%, by
reducing the percentage of general tax revenues going into the Public
Library Fund from 2.22% down to 1.97%. The transfer of $5 million
annually from the General Revenue Fund (GRF) to the Public Library Fund
(PLF) to cover the cost of OPLIN and the Library for the Blind was
retained. Nevertheless, OLC currently projects that public libraries
will receive about 25% less state funding this calendar year compared
to last year.
While the state budget will
most likely be amended more than once over the biennium, the strong
public outcry over the proposed cut in library funding has given
libraries some political safety. The current relationship with the
Governor's office is not good, however, and will take some work.
Another area of concern is the evolving shift in state revenues away
from taxes and toward fees and other non-tax sources.
Lynda shared a few of the
highlights and successes of the Save Ohio Libraries social media
campaign, and then read the following resolution, as passed by the Ohio
Library Council Board on July 17:
WHEREAS, Ohio's public
WHEREAS, Ohio's public
WHEREAS, in 2007 Ohio's
WHEREAS, public library
WHEREAS, following the
WHEREAS, the Save Ohio
WHEREAS, the logo and
WHEREAS, the Ohio General
RESOLVED, that the Ohio
Lynda noted that libraries
fared much better in the budget than some other budget items, such as
Early Literacy Initiative. OLC is encouraging libraries to lend help
and support to other organizations in their communities wherever
possible. She also
reported that an unprecedented number of libraries are preparing to
seek local levy support.
Barlow motioned that the OLC resolution be read into the minutes; Gayle
Patton seconded. All aye.
response to a question, Laura Solomon stressed the importance of OLC
moving quickly to capture and increase the social media "capital" it
has accumulated through the Save Ohio Libraries campaign. Lynda
acknowledged that this is indeed a concern for OLC.
Murray left the meeting at 10:35.
APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Mathies motioned to
approve the agenda as presented; Jim Kenzig seconded. All
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
of June 12 Meeting
Branson motioned to
approve the minutes of the June 12 meeting; Gayle Patton
seconded. All aye.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE
Diane Fink presented two
separate packets of Financial Reports, one
as of the end of the previous biennium (June 30, 2009) and one as of
July 31, 2009.
The first packet contained four
financial reports: Report A showing
budget and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 as of June 30;
showing the revenue and cash balances for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 as
of June 30; Report C
showing the budgets for FY 2009, 2010 and 2011; and Report D showing
projected revenue and cash balances through FY 2011.
that state agencies have five months to pay off purchase orders after
the close of a fiscal year, so the FY 2009 expenditures report still
shows a few open purchase orders for an unemployment claim and some
expected telecommunications bills. She also noted a $1,500 available
balance for "Consultant," which resulted from the suspension of the
Past, Present, and Future contract from April 30 to June 30 in response
to an Executive Order from the Governor. The $623,551 budget reduction
for FY 2009 actually reflects cuts mandated by the Office of Budget and
Management (OBM) in February 2008, September 2008, and April 2009.
Looking at revenues,
Diane pointed out the larger than usual,
one-time E-rate income in FY 2009, due to requesting reimbursements
every six months rather than annually, which in effect advanced OPLIN
E-rate revenues by six months. Diane also noted that Report C
shows the history of the new OPLIN biennium budget as it progressed
the Executive Recommendation (February 2009) to the House
Recommendation (April), the Senate Recommendation (June) and the
Conference Committee final budget (July). The Executive Recommendation
drew OPLIN funding from the PLF rather than the GRF; otherwise there
was no change throughout the process from the budget which OPLIN had
In the second packet of reports
(as of July 31), Diane pointed out
that more FY 2009 payments have been made against open
orders. She explained that the $979 available balance for filtering
will be returned to the state; some libraries that had been awarded
grants had already made their filter purchases and thus been
disqualified from receiving their grants. The filtering funds are
earmarked and cannot be used for anything else. The FY 2010
expenditures have been very sparse, because only limited bills could be
during the July interim budgets that preceded the Conference Committee
final budget. The largest expenditure was for OPLIN's portion of the
Ohio Web Library databases.
Diane noted that OBM had asked
agencies to identify areas of cost
savings last spring, but had taken no further action in that regard.
OPLIN negotiated some savings during this process, particularly for
rent, and those savings will be applied to telecommunications costs.
Diane pointed out that OPLIN is now operating solely from the 4S4 fund,
since OPLIN no longer receives GRF funding, and also briefly explained
"spending authority" is
In regard to FY 2010 revenue,
Diane reported that OBM has not yet
determined how the PLF funds will be distributed to OPLIN. The last
time OPLIN funding came from the PLF, the funds were distributed to
OPLIN monthly. This time, since there will be a one-time transfer from
to the PLF to cover OPLIN (and the Library for the Blind), OBM may
decide to transfer all OPLIN funds in one payment. OPLIN has
sufficient cash reserves to operate into September, pending an OBM
Diane also reported that OPLIN
currently plans to request Capital
Budget funds once again, to replace more routers, and is waiting for
instructions to be issued from OBM to begin that process.
Patton motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Bonnie Mathies seconded. All aye.
Discuss possible OPLIN services
Stephen Hedges presented
recommendations regarding new services OPLIN might possibly offer,
following discussion of new services at the Board retreat and
refinement of the list of possible new services at the June Board
Regarding the development of a
website providing employment assistance, Stephen conducted a quick
email survey of what public libraries are currently doing in this
regard. He found that many already have developed their own web pages
for helping job seekers, and that those sites tend to point to roughly
the same group of established job help sites on the Internet. (The
results of the survey are posted on WebJunction Ohio.) He also noted
that the State Library has a similar web page, "Finding Help in Tough
Times." He therefore recommended that OPLIN not devote staff resources
to creating another employment assistance website.
Another proposed website would
provide a portal to government information and forms. Stephen has
discussed this with the State Library and come to the conclusion that
this project is a better fit with their mission. The State Library also
has the reference staff who would be able to create/maintain such an
e-government portal(s). His recommendation is that OPLIN confine its
efforts to assisting the State Library with this project as needed.
Two other services had been
approved at the June meeting. Stephen reported that testing is underway
on a service that would allow libraries that currently use email
addresses with the oplin.org email domain to use their own email domain
address. He recommends announcing availability of this free service if
the testing is successful. The Second Life training service for
librarians is set to continue, and he expects to receive a $200 invoice
soon for renting our Second Life office space for another year. He
recommends paying for one more year, then re-assessing the demand for
this free training at the end of that time period.
Finally, Stephen presented a
plan from Karl Jendretzky for operating a SMS gateway that would allow
libraries to send notices directly to patrons' cellphones. The service
would convert email notices to text messages and could send up to 3600
messages per hour. The service would not have any provision for
handling text message replies, and would send all messages from one
phone number for all libraries. The annual cost to OPLIN would be about
$500 and would require about one hour per week to maintain. Stephen
recommended that this service be tested with at least one library
system, with a goal of providing it to libraries at no cost.
Jim Kenzig suggested that OPLIN
get a secondary email domain for accepting the library notices, to
prevent any possible problems that might affect the oplin.org email
service for library staff.
Karl Colón suggested
might also consider providing training to libraries in improving their
social networking capability. Are there basic online social tools that
all libraries should be able to use effectively? Following some general
discussion, Stephen Hedges suggested that OPLIN partner with the Ohio
Library Council on this initiative, since it would have some political
utility that might be helpful for OLC. Stephen agreed to set up a
meeting between himself, Laura Solomon, Lynda Murray, and Mackenzie
Barlow motioned to
accept the Director's recommendations on these new services; Jim Kenzig
seconded. All aye.
Accept Holly Carroll resignation
Stephen Hedges distributed
copies of a letter of resignation from Holly Carroll, effective August
29. Holly has agreed to take the position as Executive Director of the
Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins, Colorado,
beginning September 8 and must regretfully resign from the OPLIN Board.
accept the resignation of Holly Carroll, with reluctance and best
wishes; Sandi Plymire seconded. All aye.
Approve Internet filtering assistance grants procedure
Hedges presented the proposed procedure for this year's round
of Internet filtering assistance grants. The only change from last year
is the total amount of the funds earmarked for content
filtering assistance—now down to $81,000—and a
change in the
wording of the budget bill to specify that the purpose of the funds is
to help libraries "use" filters as opposed to "purchase" filters.
Another difference from last year is the fact that the amount earmarked
is stable; last year OPLIN delayed the grants too long as budget
reductions were anticipated that would reduce the amount
for grants. This year OPLIN can proceed on a more normal schedule
designed to have libraries under contract by January 1, 2010.
Patton motioned to approve the
Internet filtering assistance grants procedure as presented; Don Barlow
Don Barlow asked if we should
inform libraries that grants over
$5,000 must be approved by the State Library Board. Gary Branson asked
if the maximum grant should be lower than $10,000 in light of the lower
total funds available. After discussion of these factors, the motion
Patton and Don Barlow agreed to
amend their motion to make the maximum grant amount $4,500.
call: Don Barlow, aye; Gary
Branson, aye; Ben Chinni, abstain; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies,
aye; Gayle Patton, aye; Sandi Plymire, aye; and Karl
Stephen Hedges reported that
the Stakeholders "Meeting" will be online this year, since the planned
venue for the meeting, the OLC Annual Convention, has been canceled.
OPLIN staff are working to design an interactive website for presenting
the Annual Report to Stakeholders and may also schedule an online
meeting to give librarians a chance to ask questions.
Stephen also submitted an
extensive written report on his activities in regard to
applying for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus
funds for broadband. The time frame for applying for the first round of
funding has been very tight, though the deadline was recently extended
by a few days. Stephen commented on the evolving efforts to create a
statewide application for public computer centers, which eventually
became separate applications from libraries for hardware and
facilities, and a statewide proposal for training and a public
awareness campaign. Most of this work has been done in collaboration
with Connect Ohio, the State Library, and OLC, though at one point the
Board of Regents was also involved. The public libraries have
unquestionably become the strong partners in this project.
In addition to working with
Connect Ohio on a statewide application, Stephen has also been
preparing a separate application to the USDA for broadband stimulus
funds to buy 56 more replacement routers for the OPLIN network, at a
cost of over $100,000. This project loosely fits within the category
for funding middle-mile broadband infrastructure, though it is clear
from the application materials that government entities are not really
the intended target of the stimulus funds. While OPLIN intends to
request more funding for routers from the upcoming Capital Budget, a
successful ARRA application would reduce our dependency on state
Finally, Stephen mentioned the
inaugural meeting of the Drupal Users Group. Although this group was
created by Laura Solomon, it is not an OPLIN group, and is intended to
Website Kits progress
Laura Solomon reported that the
Franklin-Springboro, London, and Marion public libraries have new
webkits in place, bringing the total of completed beta-test webkits to
six, with four more to be completed. Homer, Canal Fulton, and
Harbor-Topky libraries have joined the waiting list for "stable"
(post-testing) webkits. She also informed the Board that she has begun
writing the "Kit and Caboodle" newsletter with tips for webkit
customers and potential customers; it is posted on the OPLIN website at
and Network Reports
Laura Solomon noted that the
large spike in use last July was due to the start of the new Ohio Web
Library search. Otherwise database usage has been as expected from
month to month.
Center (June and July)
Stephen Hedges reported that
most tickets, as usual, dealt with email and billing issues. Stephen
also noted that spam has become a persistent problem that most be dealt
with as it arises, though this activity is not reflected accurately in
the ticket count. Other Board members remarked that they have also been
dealing with increased spam attacks on their email servers.
Karl Colón thanked
for two outstanding
years as OPLIN Board Chair, and also for her kindness
and consideration in helping him prepare for the position.
Appoint Nominating Committee
Karl Colón appointed
committee to select candidates to replace Mike
Wantz and Holly Carroll on the Board,
as well as recommending a candidate for the position of Board
Vice-Chair. Gayle Patton and Jeff Wale will comprise the Nominating
Committee, and the Chair requested that they expedite their work by
starting with the list of potential candidates gathered last spring and
bring nominations to the next regular Board meeting.
Plymire motioned to
adjourn the meeting at 11:46 a.m. Gary Branson seconded.