Minutes — February 12, 2021


The one hundred eighty-fourth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 12, 2021 by Board Chair Chris May at https://www.gotomeet.me/OPLIN/february-2021-oplin-board-meeting.

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

Also present were: Karl Jendretzky, Laura Solomon, and Don Yarman (OPLIN); Wendy Knapp and Jamie Pardee (State Library); and Michelle Francis (Ohio Library Council).


Garalynn Tomas motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Travis McAfee 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 she would be testifying on Thursday about the State Library’s budget before the House Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education. The budget as proposed by the Governor does not restore all the funding that was withheld last year when the pandemic began, which is a concern due to continued rising costs, such as the State Library’s lease and the renewal of the statewide delivery contract. The State Library continues to work with the landlord to find ways of bringing that cost down. Knapp discussed possible federal funds coming to libraries, but those often require a state match, and the State Library’s shrinking budget could impact receipt of those funds. Several State Library employees were victims of the escalating unemployment fraud in Ohio.

Michelle Francis reported that the Governor’s executive budget reduces the Public Library Fund to 1.66% of general revenue as set in permanent law; although state revenues have been strong, OLC is advocating to keep the PLF at 1.7%. They have had positive conversations with leadership, and they encourage libraries to share with their legislators how libraries have continued to provide services during the pandemic. OLC supports the Governor’s plan to include $200 million in the budget to expand broadband infrastructure, as well as SB-8 and HB-2 which are directed at expanding broadband last-mile coverage. Instead of Legislative Day, OLC will conduct Library Advocacy Week during the first week in April.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of December 11 meeting

Justin Bumbico motioned to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2020 meeting as presented; Garalynn Tomas seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jamie Pardee reviewed the financial reports, observing a beginning cash balance of a little over $3 million, currently projecting the ending cash balance at $2.9 million. Half the budgeted admin expenses have been disbursed, which is on track for this point in the year. A new expense for Juniper maintenance is on the financial report, with about $60,000 spent after Controlling Board approval for calendar year 2020, and the remaining amount will be spent after Controlling Board approves expenses for calendar year 2021. Unplanned spending authority shows a negative balance of $648,000 due to the timing of last fiscal year’s internet service bill from OIT, which was delayed and paid out of this fiscal year’s budget. As we near the end of our allotted appropriation this spring, we are likely to have to go to the Controlling Board to ask for an increase in spending authority to cover this year’s internet service bill, Juniper maintenance, and the usual expenses.

Yarman mentioned that some telecommunication funds are unspent, as AT&T invoices on the new lowest corresponding price contract have a remit-to address that does not match AT&T’s supplier record in the state state system. For the past eight months, AT&T has been urged to update the supplier record so encumbered funds can be released to them. 

Tara Sidwell motioned to accept the financial reports; Holly Varley seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.




The request has been submitted to the state’s Controlling Board to purchase Juniper maintenance for calendar year 2021; no questions have been asked, so Yarman is hopeful that the request will be on the February 22 meeting agenda. 

OhioLINK received federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding to provide Cochrane Library access, not just to OhioLINK members, but also to medical facilities and the general public through their public libraries. The Cochrane Library databases contain different types of high-quality, professional information to make health decisions. We will soon get information about this valuable resource out to public libraries, including webinars for librarians to learn more.

Rebekah Michael, director of the Ohio Cyber Range Institute which manages the state’s cybersecurity education platform, reached out to OPLIN for help partnering with public libraries to offer OCR programming to library patrons. The Cyber Range has funding, curricula, kits, and online resources to sponsor cybersecurity and IT programming for middle and high school students. They are also developing security awareness education for seniors. OPLIN’s Jessica Dooley is identifying libraries that have shown an interest in supporting cybersecurity programming, and will help OCRI gather feedback from potential library participants.

On February 8, the Public Library Associated held a webinar for COSLA (Chief Officers of State Library Agencies) about experiences implementing Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning statewide. Yarman co-presented with Elizabeth Iaukea, the Workforce Development Librarian for Washington State Library.

After the pandemic disruption, database usage returned to normal levels in the last months of 2020. Proquest announced that they had been under-reporting usage of Ancestry and HeritageQuest by about 50%; Yarman will work with the State Library’s data coordinator Kirstin Krumsee to determine whether to revise the reported numbers for the state report.

Library Services Manager report

As libraries focus on keeping their websites updated and fresh during the pandemic, Solomon is receiving more orders for special features and site redesign, as well as more inquiries from libraries wishing to start a new website with OPLIN. As discussed at the previous meeting, OPLIN has re-released the webform module which allows libraries to build forms into their site. Solomon is exploring additional new features that libraries may be interested in, such as an FAQ function and a layout builder which would let libraries reconfigure the layout of individual pages.

Solomon and Dooley have been preparing to upgrade all sites to Drupal 9, which is not as difficult as the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 upgrade. Dooley is developing scripts that automate the upgrade steps.

Solomon is working with State Library staff to improve accessibility of the book cover widget that  promotes titles from the Choose to Read Ohio program.

Technology Projects Manager report

After the Controlling Board approved Juniper maintenance for 2020, Jendretzky downloaded the firmware updates and swapped out failed hardware; new MPC7 cards are ready for installation in OPLIN core equipment. The process for securing maintenance for 2021 is underway, and the procedure for the 2022 renewal is mapped out.

There has been rapid development of the MASK authentication service; it connects to the servers of Ohio’s library consortia, reaching 169 libraries so far. MASK supports SIP2, PatronAPI, Evergreen API, EZproxy, and generic GET/POST commands. Jendretzky has built in test features to streamline library on-boarding, and the service tests each connection every morning to make sure it’s working. On the backend, MASK certificates are automated, and it has a development stack that Jendretzky can work on without disrupting the live production stack. MASK can also act as secondary authentication for EZproxy alongside the more generic Ohio Web Library authentication. Yarman added that OPLIN is testing MASK live with LinkedIn Learning: a few libraries never used Lynda.com, so those accounts were migrated to LinkedIn Learning early, letting OPLIN get an early glimpse into the new platform. 

Jendretzky discussed the impact of the major SolarWinds hack. OPLIN doesn’t use SolarWinds for monitoring, but OIT does and the service was taken offline. Jendretzky verified that there were no unexpected logins or unexplained configuration changes to OPLIN equipment; as a precaution, Jendretzky updated all OPLIN routers with new rootkeys, and developed the once.oplin.org sensitive file sharing service to provide the new rootkeys to OIT.

Jendretzky discussed progress on the VLAN stacking project which initially will allow Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library to put backup servers at the SOCC and yet remain part of the library’s internal network. Jendretzky’s proposed configuration, currently under review by Juniper, is similar to how OARnet manages the state’s OneNet. Implementation will involve reconfiguring each Spectrum circuit, involving changes to 144 site routers simultaneously during an overnight maintenance window. There will be an outage lasting 15-60 minutes.

The new OPLIN VMware server has been deployed, and Jessica Dooley is building new versions of existing servers to migrate onto the new hardware. This will reduce OPLIN’s reliance on AWS, and Jendretzky expects to recover the costs of the new hardware within 3-4 years.

There is one library in Ohio, the Perry Cook Memorial Library in Shauck, that doesn’t have fiber service; internet has been provided via a wireless antenna. As part of this year’s E-rate process, a vendor has been identified for new service to the library, and when complete, all Ohio libraries will be served by fiber ethernet. Yarman added that he has completed the cost analysis for all the bids in response to the E-rate 470, and he will be releasing his bid decision letter soon.


Ethics Training

Yarman will send out the link to the required annual training workshop from the Ohio Ethics Commission. Financial disclosures are due Monday, May 17.

Board Nominations

Yarman will put out a call for OPLIN Board nominations, which will be reviewed by Nominating Committee members Garalynn Tomas, Angela Baldree, and Justin Bumbico. The by-laws allow the Nominating Committee to select candidates to send directly to the State Library Board for approval.

Review April planning meeting arrangements

OPLIN’s strategic plan expires at the end of June. The Board discussed possibilities, asking Yarman to provide proposals for extending the current plan temporarily until it is more convenient to hold more rigorous strategic planning discussions. 


With no other business pending, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:48 a.m.