-- August 8, 2008


The one hundred ninth meeting of the Ohio Public
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
10:01 a.m. on Friday, August 8, 2008 by Board Chair Gayle
at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were board members: Holly Carroll, Mary Pat
Essman, Jim Kenzig, Bonnie Mathies, Gayle Patton, Sandi Plymire, Jeff
Wale, and Michael Wantz.

Also present were: Stephen Hedges, Karl
Jendretzky, and Laura Solomon (OPLIN); and Jo Budler and Diane
Fink (State Library).

Gayle Patton reiterated Mary Pat Essman's welcome to Holly
Carroll at the last board meeting and also welcomed new board member
Sandi Plymire.


Gayle Patton noted that the current board officers are: Gayle
Patton, Chair; Mary Pat Essman, Vice-Chair; Bonnie Mathies, Secretary;
and Bob Richmond, Treasurer.

Jeff Wale motioned to
retain the current slate of officers; Michael Wantz seconded. All aye.

Gayle reminded the board that the Executive Committee is
composed of the board officers plus Karl Colon at large.


The Chair called for public participation, and there


Holly Carroll motioned to
approve the agenda; Mary Pat Essman seconded. All aye.


Jim Kenzig motioned to go
into Executive Session to discuss
personnel compensation; Mary Pat Essman seconded. Roll
call: Holly
Carroll, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff
Wale, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.

The board entered Executive
Session at 10:06 a.m.

The board returned from
Executive Session at 10:17 a.m.

Mary Pat Essman motioned
that OPLIN Executive Director Stephen Hedges be given a 6% pay
increase, effective August 17, 2008, due to his good performance
reviews and because he has not received any pay increase since taking
the Executive Director position over two years ago. Jim Kenzig
Roll call: Holly
Carroll, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff
Wale, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.

Diane Fink informed the
board that the Governor has set a limit of 3.5% on pay increases for
administrative staff and would not approve a 6% increase. The
possibility of an exemption was discussed but rejected as unlikely. The
possibility of providing the raise in two increments, one now and
another after six months, was deemed more likely.

Mary Pat Essman amended her
previous motion to indicate that the board recommends a 6% increase for
the Executive Director but will only ask for a 3.5% increase at this
time due to the Governor's restrictions on pay increases for
administrative staff. Holly Carroll seconded. Roll call: Holly
Carroll, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff
Wale, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.

Stephen Hedges thanked the
board for their support.

of June 13

Holly Carroll motioned to
approve the minutes from the June 13th meeting; Jeff Wale
seconded. All aye.


Diane Fink presented three packets of financial reports: one
with financial reports as of June 30, the end of fiscal year 2008; one
with financial reports as of July 31; and one with FY 2010-2011
biennial budget reports.

June 30
Financial Reports:
Diane noted that even though the fiscal
year has ended, open encumbrances can still be paid until November. One
open encumbrance which we still expect to pay is for software
translators for the Ohio Web Library federated search, others are for
awaited telecommunications bills. The apparent large available balance
of about $1.5 million is only unused spending authority, not actual
funds. The remaining cash balance in Fund 4S4 (E-rate) at the end of FY
2008 will be about $1 million after encumbrances are paid. These
also reflect the $433,000 budget reductions mandated by the Office of
Budget and Management (OBM) for both FY 2008 and FY 2009.

July 31
Financial Reports:
Diane explained that the first report
in this packet shows FY 2008 after some encumbrances had been paid in
July, leaving only about $33,000 in encumbrances still open for FY 2008.

The amount budgeted for Rotunda in FY 2009 is much lower
because OPLIN switched from full access to Capital Connection for
libraries to email delivery of just the Hannah Report. Stephen Hedges
pointed out that most of the information resources in the budget are
databases purchased through Wright State University for the Libraries
Connect Ohio partnership (the Ohio Web Library collection), with the
notable exception of EBSCO NoveList. Diane noted that the $2.5 million
current available balance in General Revenue Funds (GRF) will go to
telecommunications costs, as will a large portion of the Fund 4S4

FY 2010-2011
Budget Reports:
Diane explained that all state agencies
must submit a FY 2010-2011 biennial budget to OBM by September 15,
2008; these reports show the current draft of the OPLIN biennial
budget. Agencies have been instructed to prepare an "Activity A" budget
based on 90% of their reduced FY 2009 budget, but may also submit an
"Activity B" budget for a possible additional 5% in funding. In
addition, agencies must submit budget language; the OPLIN language will
much smaller this year, now that OPLIN is defined in permanent law
instead of the budget bill, but will include a suggested change to the
filtering allocation to allow more flexibility in how that money may be

In the Administration area of the budget, OBM has instructed
agencies to assume that there will be
no personnel pay increases during the FY 2010-2011 biennium; the
increases in staff expenses reflected in the budget are due to
increases in the cost of employee benefits. The currently vacant staff
position will be removed from our budget request, leaving us with five
(5) requested staff. The budget assumes that OPLIN will not be moving
to the SOCC, since we have yet to receive approval for such a move.

In the area of Information Resources, no funds are budgeted
for the
purchase of EBSCO NoveList in FY 2010-2011, saving $197,000 each year.
In the area of Education, Training and Support, $50,000 has been
budgeted for E-rate consultants. In the area of Telecommunications,
OPLIN will be requesting $194,850 in "Activity B" funds each year to
support the network. The 4S4 Fund spending authority request will be
reduced from $3 million to $2 million; we have not used more than about
$1.4 million spending authority in any year since OPLIN stopped
offering group database purchasing. The filtering allocation will be
reduced from $90,000 in FY 2009 to $81,000 in FY 2010 and FY 2011.

Stephen Hedges addressed questions about network equipment
$200,000 has been budgeted for this is FY 2009, to which $200,000 in
capital budget funds will be added, which should allow us to upgrade
all the network routers during the current fiscal year. Board
discussion turned to the likelihood of other ways to generate revenue,
especially considering the reduced OPLIN staffing.

Diane Fink pointed out that if OPLIN staff is reduced to five,
NoveList subscription is dropped, E-rate reimbursements continue to
total about $1.2-$1.3 million per year, and OPLIN receives Activity B
funding for telecommunications from the state, our 4S4 Fund cash
balance at the end of FY 2011 will be under $100,000. If we do not
receive the Activity B funding, we will be almost $300,000 short of
balancing. All these numbers assume that FY 2009 funding will not be
reduced by OBM as a result of the currently weak statewide revenue

Bonnie Mathies motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Mary Pat Essman seconded. All aye.


8.1. Discuss draft of
Budget Balancing measures and Strategic Plan

Stephen Hedges presented a document to the board outlining
measures that could be taken to bring the budget into balance. Two
measures listed in the document have already been discussed, namely the
reduction to five OPLIN staff positions and the need to cancel the
NoveList subscription. In addition to these cost saving measures, the
document also contains some ideas for revenue generation, which also
appear now in the draft strategic plan.

Board discussion turned to NoveList, which is popular among
librarians. Ideas for replacing NoveList with non-commercial readers
advisory tools were discussed, as was a suggestion to organize a group
purchase of NoveList by the public libraries. OPLIN must certainly
communicate the decision to discontinue NoveList, as well as the budget
constraints which forced the decision, to libraries very soon, and
should include some ideas for dealing with the loss. Stephen will
provide NoveList usage statistics by libraries to the board for
information and will inform the "ETM" and Metro library directors of
this news in their meetings.

A discussion was started about possible products and services
which OPLIN might offer to libraries for a fee. The board expressed
concern with this change in the OPLIN business model, but did not
reject it. Again, the importance of communication with public libraries
was noted. Stephen will prepare a communication piece for the
September 12 OPLIN
Stakeholders Meeting, which he will share with the board for
information. The board agreed to then have a longer meeting than usual
on October 10 to allow ample time for discussion of budget concerns and
the strategic plan.

8.2. Approve Memorandum of
Understanding with eTech Ohio for
E-rate consulting services

Stephen Hedges presented a draft Memorandum of Understanding
eTech Ohio, which proposes separate annual prices for: 1) conducting
E-rate workshops for public libraries - $10,000; 2) providing E-rate
application assistance to public libraries - $15,000; and 3) preparing
and managing all OPLIN E-rate forms and applications - $20,000. The
question before the board was which of these services would be funded
by OPLIN and which would be funded by the State Library using possible
LSTA funds. Stephen pointed out that the total cost ($45,000) was less
than the amount budgeted for E-rate consulting for OPLIN alone, and
providing E-rate services for public libraries could be an opportunity
to remind libraries of the OPLIN telecommunications services for

Several board members noted the importance of assisting
with E-rate applications. Jeff Wale asked if OPLIN could expect to gain
$50,000 in E-rate reimbursements because of the consultants' work;
Stephen answered that he knew of about $30,000 that was lost in the
current year just because of small clerical errors in the application
support materials.

Jeff Wale motioned to
approve the Memorandum of
Understanding with eTech Ohio for
E-rate consulting services, with OPLIN funding all three proposed
services; Michael Wantz seconded.

Discussion: Jeff Wale
suggested that eTech be asked to
include a public records statement in the MOU and that they explore
options for providing training and E-rate assistance online.

call: Holly
Carroll, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff
Wale, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.

8.3. Approve OPLIN email

Stephen Hedges reported that the response from the Attorney
General's office to the board's question about ownership and privacy of
public library email records was that all emails relating to the
operation of a public library are public record, and access to those
records would not go through the private contractor, should OPLIN
decide to use a private email hosting service.

Karl Jendretzky has researched three options for improving the
spam filtering for oplin.org email accounts. One would be using "free"
Gmail hosting for all oplin.org email, which has very good spam
filtering, though this service is supported by advertising. The second
would be to pay for email hosting with spam filtering, the cheapest
service apparently being CudaMail at about $14,500 per year. The third
option would be to buy a spam filtering device, the cheapest option
apparently being Barracuda hardware at a cost of about $12,000 over
five years, assuming we can get state approval to purchase this
equipment. Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library
both use Barracuda devices and are pleased with the performance. It was
suggested that we might be able to buy the device as part of the
network router upgrades.

Jim Kenzig motioned to
purchase a Barracuda spam filtering
device; Jeff Wale seconded. Roll
call: Holly
Carroll, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff
Wale, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.


9.2. Approve pay increase
for Karl Jendretzky

Stephen Hedges referred to the Governor's recent memorandum
allowing up to 3.5% pay increases for administrative staff based on
good performance. The board had approved pay increases for all staff in
June 2007, but on the same day the Governor froze all administrative
salaries. Based on the 2007 board action, Stephen has processed a 3.5%
increase for Vince Riley. Bobbi Galvin recently received an increase
because of changed job duties and will not be eligible for another
increase for six months. Laura Solomon has satisfactorily concluded her
six month probation and would be eligible for an increase. Finally,
Karl Jendretzky was approved in 2007 for a 3% increase, but Stephen
would instead like the board to now approve a full 3.5% increase.

Several board members praised Karl's job performance.
Discussion turned to Laura Solomon and the advisability of increasing
her pay now. There was agreement that Laura has done a good job; given
the uncertainty as to how long pay increases may be permissible, the
board thought it would be wise to grant both Karl and Laura pay
increases now.

Holly Carroll motioned to
approve 3.5% salary increases for Karl
Jendretzky and Laura Solomon, effective August 17, 2008; Michael
Wantz seconded. Roll
call: Holly
Carroll, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff
Wale, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.

9.3. Approve Internet
filtering assistance grants procedure

Stephen Hedges explained that the time of year has arrived
when OPLIN usually announces the availability of the funds allocated in
the budget for assisting libraries with the purchase of Internet
filtering measures. This year the allocation has been reduced to
$90,000. In the past these funds have always been distributed as grants
of no more than $10,000, and Stephen recommended that this procedure be
retained. Stephen noted, however, that OPLIN had been in discussion
with a vendor about the possibility of purchasing a statewide filter
that could be completely controlled by local libraries; although
technical problems ruled this out at this time, he is requesting a
change to the budget allocation language to make it possible to spend
the funds in this manner in the future if the technical problems are
solved and the board is in agreement.

Because of our experience with the late budget reduction last
fiscal year, which came after filtering grants had been distributed,
and also because of some streamlining still to be done in the
application process, Stephen recommended that the process move a little
slower than last year, so that grant contracts do not begin before
January 1, 2009, but that the procedure be otherwise the same.

Mary Pat Essman motioned to
approve the Internet filtering
assistance grants procedure as presented; Jim Kenzig seconded.

Discussion: Jeff Wale asked if delaying the grant disbursement
would create a problem
for libraries. Diane Fink noted that in most years contracts have not
started until January; last year was early.

The Chair called for a
vote. All aye.


Stephen Hedges presented his Director's report. He highlighted
the launch of the new OPLIN web sites on July 1, which went quite
smoothly. Gayle Patton asked if there had been any feedback from the
library community in regard to the new Ohio Web Library search, and
OPLIN staff reported that responses have been primarily positive.
Stephen also mentioned that one librarian has created videos about the
new web sites, so OPLIN has added a "Community Toolbox" to the
oplin.org web site for collecting such library-generated tools.

10.1. Databases
and Network Reports


Laura Solomon noted that there has been a very large increase
in the number of database searches as well as a sizable increase in
documents retrieved since the introduction of the Ohio Web Library

10.1.2. Support
Center (June and July)

Karl Jendretzky reported that the circuit upgrades are
progressing, but most are now complete. Support Center workload has
been light, as is typical in the summer, despite the apparent number of
circuit problems; many outages are due to power issues caused by


Gayle stressed the importance of the upcoming October meeting
and strongly encouraged everyone to attend. Lunch arrangements will be
made to allow a longer meeting.


Jeff Wale motioned to
adjourn the meeting at 12:25 p.m. Jim Kenzig seconded.