Minutes — August 8, 2014


The one hundred forty-fifth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:01 a.m. on Friday, August 8, 2014 by outgoing Board Chair Karen Davis at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Don Barlow, Marty Beets, Jill Billman-Royer, Susan Brown, Ben Chinni, Karen Davis, Michael Penrod, and Becky Schultz. Jamie Mason arrived at 10:15.

Also present were: Stephen Hedges, Laura Solomon and Karl Jendretzky (OPLIN); Jamie Pardee (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).

Karen Davis congratulated Don Barlow on his selection as the Ohio Library Council 2014 Hall of Fame Librarian, and Jamie Mason on his appointment as Interim Director of Rocky River Public Library.


Karen Davis informed the Board that the Executive Committee had met by phone on June 23 and now submitted a slate of Board officer candidates consisting of Jill Billman-Royer for Chair, Becky Schultz for Vice-Chair, Don Barlow for Secretary, and Ben Chinni for Treasurer. Karen asked if there were any additional nominations from the floor; there were none.

Karen Davis requested approval of the slate of Board officers submitted by the Executive Committee. All aye.


Don Barlow motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Susan Brown seconded. There was no discussion, so Jill Billman-Royer called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jill Billman-Royer asked for a motion to approve the following schedule of Board meetings. All meetings except the April all-day planning meeting will begin at 10:00 AM and end about 12:00 PM. Meetings will be held at the OPLIN office, 2323 W. Fifth Ave., Suite 130, Columbus unless otherwise noted.

  • August 8, 2014
  • October 10, 2014 (at Columbus Convention Center)
  • December 12, 2014
  • February 13, 2015
  • April 10, 2015, 9:00 AM (planning meeting)
  • June 12, 2015
  • August 14, 2015 (pending approval by the FY2016 Board)
  • October 9, 2015 (pending approval by the FY2016 Board)

Karen Davis motioned to approve the proposed Board meeting schedule; Becky Schultz seconded. There was no discussion, so Jill Billman-Royer called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jill Billman-Royer called for public participation.

Doug Evans provided an update on the Ohio Library Council's (OLC) federal ebook project, "eBook Access for All," and the public awareness campaign supported by OPLIN. Doug shared the news that Macmillan has agreed to license their frontlist ebooks to libraries, the last of the major publishers to do so. The public awareness campaign already had a video and a website almost ready to inform the public of the ebook availability problem for libraries; now a new ending for the video will be created to shift the message to informing people that they can get ebooks at libraries. While pricing and licensing terms are still problems, and advocacy efforts will continue in Washington, these are not issues to motivate the general public.

Doug also reported on preparations to lobby the state government to return Public Library Fund (PLF) contributions to 2.22% of general state tax revenues. Information documents for legislators are almost ready, and Doug shared some of the library usage statistics from those documents. Michelle Francis has had good meetings with the legislators likely to be in House and Senate leadership positions next year. Doug also shared results of the recent elections for the OLC Board of Trustees.

6. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of June 13 meeting

Susan Brown motioned to approve the minutes as presented; Becky Schultz seconded. There was no discussion, so Jill Billman-Royer called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Don Barlow motioned to accept the Financial Reports; Karen Davis seconded.

Jamie Pardee reported on the completed Fiscal Year 2014 finances, and on the FY2015 budget, which should differ little from FY2014. Regarding the Revenue/Cash Balance report, Jamie noted that some significant E-rate reimbursements arrived after the close of FY2014, so E-rate revenue will look unusually small in FY2014, but unusually large in FY2015.

Jill Billman-Royer called for a vote on the motion to accept the Financial Reports; all aye.


Stephen Hedges first took a moment to thank Karen Davis for her service as Board Chair over the past year, and noted that he had enjoyed working with her.

8.1. Report on the website kit workloads

Stephen Hedges reminded the Board of discussion at the previous meeting about the possibility of limiting the number of website kit customers, because it seemed that upgrades to existing kits' software were beginning to take all of Laura Solomon's time. There had also been discussion of the possibility of using some outside help with kit maintenance tasks.

Laura Solomon reported that on the newer website servers, she can now use an automated tool to handle Drupal security upgrades, which will save a lot of time. Some of the current website servers will need to be upgraded, however, before this tool can be implemented. As for migrating websites to newer versions of Drupal, she is no longer asking libraries if they want to make changes to their sites while she is doing the migrations. While doing changes concurrently with a migration seems like a good way to encourage improving websites, the extra work involved slows the migration process too much. These two process changes have improved Laura's work flow considerably.

Stephen also noted that OPLIN is no longer posting announcements when new websites go into production, which seems to have reduced demand. Jill Billman-Royer felt that OPLIN should be making such announcements to let libraries know what we are doing; the announcements could omit any type of recruitment of additional website kit customers. The rest of the Board was in agreement, so Laura will resume making these announcements.

Laura reported that there are now 73 website kits in use, and 42 of those still need to be upgraded to a newer version of Drupal.

8.2. Discuss marketing and focus groups

Stephen Hedges provided a document for discussion regarding marketing the Ohio Web Library, following discussion of this same topic at the last Board meeting, and discussion among OPLIN staff since that meeting. He proposed that the marketing goal was to make sure librarians know about these resources that are partially purchased with PLF money. OPLIN collects a significant amount of anonymous data about how the ohioweblibrary.org website is currently used, and it is clear that resources of personal interest to people are used much more often than general research resources; for example, Ancestry Library Edition accounts for over 50% of all items from the Ohio Web Library viewed in public libraries.

Stephen noted that the ohioweblibrary.org search site has been modified to improve the responses to some of the more common searches, but he speculated that the site might still be changed to highlight resources of personal interest to users, which would be a legitimate marketing activity. He also proposed that the best target for any Ohio Web Library promotions would be librarians. Stephen provided information about a 2001 professional campaign to market the "OPLIN databases" to the general public, which did not have the desired results. Finally, he noted that libraries seemed to prefer public promotional materials to which they can add their own branding.

Susan Brown asked if OPLIN had any data to indicate how many librarians were aware of the Ohio Web Library. Discussion turned to methods to gather such data, ranging from focus groups to surveys of librarians. Don Barlow noted that linking to Ohio Web Library from library homepages, something that is a standard feature of all website kits, would help increase awareness. Michael Penrod noted that it can be difficult to get small libraries to participate in either a survey or a focus group. Susan speculated that a good place to find librarians for focus groups would be at the OLC Annual Convention in October. Jamie Mason pointed out that the Chapter Conferences next spring might be a better venue, and there was general agreement and discussion of how best to do that.

Stephen will plan on doing a survey within the next couple of months, and will submit a proposal to the Chapter Conferences for a program that will gather librarian reactions and suggestions regarding the Ohio Web Library.

9. NEW BUSINESS — none


Stephen Hedges reported on two recent meetings with Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ), starting with discussions between OMJ and Libraries Connect Ohio (LCO) about LearningExpress Library (LEL) subscriptions. All of the content of LEL is available from OMJ through their contract with Monster.com. Because the OMJ site is much more useful for job seekers and students than the LCO subscription to LEL alone, LCO will encourage everyone to use ohiomeansjobs.com instead. The second meeting included Beverly Cain and laid the groundwork for OMJ training librarians on the resources available at their website.

Stephen also called attention to the recent FCC order modernizing the E-rate program. These major changes mean that the wait for a new Form 470 has delayed our usual schedule for requesting upgraded services for libraries. They also will necessitate much more E-rate training for libraries, so Lorrie Germann will be doing her Form 470 and Form 471 workshops at both the State Library and the regional library offices this year. Doug Evans has also offered the use of OLC's webinar capabilities to deliver the Form 470 workshop to a limited number of desktop computers.

Regarding OPLIN office activities, Stephen highlighted Karl Jendretzky's trips to libraries for network troubleshooting, Stephen's visit to the Columbus Driving Park branch library opening, and a presentation about the Digitization Hubs to the Ohio Digitization Interest Group meeting at Columbus Metropolitan Library.

10.1. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky reported on the many library circuit changes in the past two months, due either to upgraded bandwidth or moving them to a new 10 Gbps Time Warner Cable interface at our network core. He also reported that the new 100 Mbps circuit upgrades have exposed a considerable number of network problems within libraries, occupying a lot of his time. Karl also noted that Cleveland Public Library (and CLEVNET) will soon be the first circuit to exceed 1 Gbps, and he has identified some good hardware that will be needed to handle that large a circuit. Total aggregated OPLIN bandwidth at the network core now exceeds 4 Gbps. Many of the new upgrades involve OARnet as well as the vendor, which can create complexities that cause problems for a while.

Regarding the text-messaging service for library notifications, Karl reported that usage is still growing by about 25% a year. Use of the OPLIN OpenDNS filtering system remains consistent.

10.2. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon had nothing further to add to the information discussed earlier under Old Business.

10.3. Database usage

Stephen Hedges reported that as of July 1, he is not including search totals in the data provided to the Board. With the increasing number of discovery layer integrations between library catalogs and databases, as well as federated searches like ohioweblibrary.org, it has come to the point where the large majority of searches are initiated by a computer, not by a patron. That being the case, Stephen feels that search statistics have become meaningless clutter. The database usage statistics for July 2014 now simply show that 382,504 items were accessed by Ohio Web Library users, which is a 1% decrease from July 2013.

The Board had no objections to this change.



11.1. At-large appointment to Executive Committee

Chair Jill Billman-Royer appointed Karen Davis to the at-large position on the Executive Committee.


Jill Billman-Royer motioned to enter executive session to discuss the compensation of an employee as permitted by O.R.C. 121.22(G)(1), and invited Stephen Hedges and Jamie Pardee to attend the session; Don Barlow seconded.

Recorded vote: Don Barlow, aye; Marty Beets, aye; Susan Brown, aye; Ben Chinni, aye; Karen Davis, aye; Jamie Mason, aye; Michael Penrod, aye; Becky Schultz, aye; and Jill Billman-Royer, aye.

The Board entered executive session at 11:20 a.m.

The Board returned from executive session at 11:36 a.m.


On motion of Jamie Mason and second of Susan Brown the Board adjourned at 11:36 a.m.