Minutes — December 11, 2020


The one hundred eighty-third meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 11, 2020 by Board Chair Chris May at https://www.gotomeet.me/OPLIN/december-oplin-board-meeting.

Present were Board members: Travis Bautz, Jamie Black, Justin Bumbico, Roger Donaldson, Chris May, Hilary Prisbylla, Tara Sidwell, Garalynn Tomas, and Holly Varley. 

Also present were: Jessica Dooley, Rachel Fuller, Karl Jendretzky, Laura Solomon, and Don Yarman (OPLIN); Stephanie Herriott, Wendy Knapp, Eric Maynard, and Jamie Pardee (State Library); and Jay Smith (Ohio Library Council).


Jamie Black motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Holly Varley seconded. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Chair called for public participation.

Wendy Knapp reported on how state librarians and IMLS are communicating with state departments of health, and that they urge the next phase of the REALM (REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) study to focus on recommendations for best practices rather than data. State Library staff are continuing to work from home. The State Library Board approved seven LSTA grants at their last meeting, and Knapp reminded the OPLIN Board that open grants may be applied for at any time. The State Library and OhioNET will offer Library Leadership Ohio as a remote professional development program in 2021. The Cooperative Summer Library Program online portal is now available for libraries to begin their 2021 summer reading planning.

Jay Smith reported that OLC has no in-person meetings planned until at least summer, but will continue to hold virtual meetings and workshops. State tax receipts for November were 2.3% above estimates, so the December PLF distribution is also Ohio Department of Taxation estimates released in July. Overall, the PLF total for 2020 was $409,405,535, or $5.2 million less than original ODT estimates. Legislators are expecting a $2 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2021. Smith also outlined legislative activities as the legislative year nears its close, including the capital budget, HB450 which requires fiscal officers to have succession guidelines, HB13 Broadband Expansion Grant Program, HB76 which institutes ballot language that OLC opposes, and HB325 which establishes February 18 as Toni Morrison Day. 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of October 9 meeting

Justin Bumbico motioned to approve the minutes of the October 9, 2020 meeting as presented; Tara Sidwell seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jamie Pardee reviewed the financial reports, noting that about half the admin budget has been spent by this point as expected, and information resources have been paid for for the current fiscal year. Pardee noted that OPLIN’s request to purchase Juniper maintenance for 2020 is on the Controlling Board agenda for December, and that we will need to also budget for and request authority to pay for 2021 maintenance. Between purchasing Juniper maintenance and the timing of internet service billing from OIT, Pardee estimates that OPLIN will have to request a $600,000-700,000 increase in spending authority from the Controlling Board. The starting cash balance for the fiscal year was a little over $3 million, with a projected ending cash balance of $2.8 million.

Yarman explained that OPLIN’s request to pay for 2020 Juniper maintenance was not on the Controlling Board’s November 23 agenda because there was confusion about why the request was retroactive to December 2019, and whether the request was for 2020 or 2021. Those questions were answered, and the request is on the agenda for the December 14 meeting.  

Jamie Black motioned to accept the financial reports; Travis Bautz seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.



Career and Technical Skills Resources for Ohio Public Libraries — Don Yarman

OPLIN received five bids for possible replacements for Lynda.com when that contract expires June 30, 2021. The Content Advisory Committee reviewed these, and unanimously recommended that OPLIN renew the agreement with LinkedIn Learning. The committee noted that while competition is growing in this field, Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning has a superior content collection, and it is more familiar to library patrons as they have been using it for two and half years. Yarman asked the Board to take action to accept the recommendation of the Content Advisory Committee to contract with LinkedIn Learning for career and technical resources for Ohio’s public libraries for an additional three years.

Jamie Black motioned to accept the Content Advisory Committee’s recommendation; Travis Bautz seconded. There was no further discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Yarman introduced Rachel Fuller, OPLIN’s library science student intern for the semester. Due to the pandemic, the Kent State iSchool has been struggling to place students in libraries for their practicum experiences, but OPLIN is fully functional as a virtual office. Fuller is working with OPLIN staff to learn more about electronic resources, managing library websites, and the statewide community of library organizations. 

Yarman discussed plans for managing the transition from the Lynda.com platform to LinkedIn Learning the first week in May. He explained that none of the library account configurations will transfer to the new platform. To facilitate the work, OPLIN has requested that all of the admin account credentials be changed to logins that OPLIN controls, which will let OPLIN staff receive transition communications and do the work of setting up and supporting library authentication on the new platform. This authentication will be facilitated by a new OPLIN application called “Mask.” Karl Jedretzky discussed creating the Mask service to more easily launch subscriptions that require direct patron authentication against library patron databases, and to add additional security to patron information. Many library catalog systems only support unencrypted SIP2 authentication requests. With Mask, vendors will direct secured requests to mask.oplin.org, and OPLIN will pass the request with additional levels of security to library servers, passing back to the vendor only authentication success/failure information and stripping out the personally identifiable information that library servers often send by default.

Technology Projects Manager report

Jendretzky discussed various coding updates to OPLIN’s services, including better handling of vendor changes for automated stats collection (stats.oplin.org), automatic delivery of wildcard SSL certificates (the “cert slinger,” which saves OPLIN $20,000 annually in certificate costs), and real-time error reporting for the SMS Gateway. This last was requested by the Central Library Consortium, which will use the error reports to implement updates to patron records when text-based communication fails. OPLIN has purchased new server hardware and VMware to replace the aging physical servers. Jendretzky reported that OPLIN has a new AT&T rep, and the AT&T circuit changes ordered for July are nearly complete (three locations remain). Based on conversations with the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library, Jendretzky is developing a new router configuration that supports a Layer 2 network connection between a port on a library’s site router and any hardware a library implements in the SOCC Co-Location Space. Equipment at the SOCC would then be part of a library’s local network, behind their main firewall, and eliminate the need for additional firewall devices and VPN configurations.

Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon reported that there are now 85 libraries using Website Kits, and that customers have been adding the new features she has created, the most popular being the Cover Art Carousel which lets libraries link book or DVD cover images to those items in their catalog. In 2021, OPLIN will reintroduce the Web Form module; the module was an option under Drupal 7, but it was temporarily removed because the Drupal 8 version is a full-featured development platform with tremendous functionality that OPLIN doesn’t have the ability to support. To reintroduce the module, Solomon is recording targeted screencasts to demonstrate the most common form features needed by libraries. Libraries purchasing the module will be told that any support beyond these recorded instructions may be billable at the same rate as custom web design. Solomon continues to complete her coursework in pursuit of Web Accessibility Specialist certification, and anticipates taking the exam in spring 2021.


Database Statistics

Yarman reported that as of October’s statistics database usage was bouncing back from pandemic lows. Starting in March, there was a spike in database usage statistics due to increased usage of Ancestry and Lynda, but the other Ohio Web Library databases (EBSCOhost, World Book, etc.) saw usage bottom out. In recent months, usage has returned to the normal levels.


Chris May had no business to report.


With no other business pending, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:59 a.m.