Minutes —August 13, 2021


The one hundred eighty-seventh meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 13, 2021 by Board Vice-Chair Justin Bumbico at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Angela Baldree, Travis Bautz, Jamie Black, Justin Bumbico, Roger Donaldson, and Hilary Prisbylla. Also present were: Karl Jendretzky and Don Yarman (OPLIN).

Attending virtually at https://www.gotomeet.me/OPLIN/august-2021-oplin-board-meeting were: 

Board members Bill Lane, Holly Richards, Tara Sidwell, and Garalynn Tomas; Laura Solomon (OPLIN), Stephanie Herriott, Wendy Knapp, and Eric Maynard (State Library); and Michelle Francis and Jay Smith (Ohio Library Council).


The Nominations Committee proposed the following slate of officers: Justin Bumbico, Chair; Tara Sidwell, Vice Chair; Garalynn Tomas, Secretary;Jamie Black, Treasurer. Roger Donaldson moved to accept the slate of nominees; Travis Bautz seconded the nominations. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the nominations; all aye. Justin Bumbico continued to run the meeting as newly elected Chair.


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


Following the pattern of holding OPLIN Board meetings at 10:00 a.m. on the second Friday of even-numbered months, Yarman presented the following meeting schedule:

  • August 13, 2021
  • October 8, 2021
  • December 10, 2021
  • February 11, 2022
  • April 8, 2022
  • June 10, 2022

Yarman suggested that instead of clustering all strategic planning at a long April meeting that the Board break up strategic planning activities over the whole year: in October, OPLIN staff will present a review of the services, and at subsequent meetings the Board could take up topics such as expanded. Jamie Black asked whether the expectations of OPLIN will change drastically with the passage of the Federal infrastructure bill. Karl Jendretzky explained that all OPLIN’s circuits are now fiber, so there is no need to seek infrastructure money to expand library broadband. Michelle Francis clarified that this is true of main libraries, but there may not be fiber to the branches; Jendretzky agreed that branch circuits, especially in smaller or more rural libraries, may be business class cable, perhaps because fiber isn’t available but often for ease of installation and cost. Jamie Black and Tara Sidwell discussed the challenges of getting high speed internet to small communities, and there was general discussion of the possibility of coordinating multiple orders, as OPLIN did 8 years ago, to eliminate steep construction costs. The Board agreed to continue discussions of possible strategic directions at each bimonthly meeting.

Jamie Black moved to approve the meeting schedule; Hilary Prisbylla seconded. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Chair called for public participation.

Jay Smith reported that the statehouse is in summer recess, but is expected back in August to debate vaccine and mask mandates in the House Health Committee. In September, OLC is expecting the legislature to focus on redistricting and election security. OLC is in the midst of planning for the upcoming Convention and Expo October 13-15 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, and thanks OPLIN for its support. More information at https://conventionexpo.olc.org.

Garalynn Tomas asked where libraries stand in terms of mandating vaccines for hiring. Smith said some libraries have passed policies making vaccination a condition of employment (with caveats that employees who are unwilling or unable to get vaccinated must undergo weekly testing to make sure they are COVID negative). Smith advises libraries to work with their county health departments for guidance; OLC does not expect statewide mandates for vaccination or masking.

Wendy Knapp reported that the funds for Imagination Library were moved back out of State Library’s budget. Nearly all of her time recently has been concentrated on problems with the transition to a new statewide delivery company, and State Library is working DAS on remedies to unsatisfactory contract performance. Knapp reported that the State Library has received enthusiastic response to the call for ARPA grant applications; the majority of proposals are from public libraries. The State Library Board will make their grant awards in September.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of June 11 meeting

Angela Baldree moved to approve the minutes of the June 11, 2021 meeting as presented; Travis Bautz seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Don Yarman indicated that the reports do not completely wrap up FY2021 as a few payments have yet to post in the state’s financial system. The estimated administrative expenses for the previous fiscal year were disbursed on target. Yarman explained that the $1.4 million paid to OIT was for 2020 and 2021 internet services, the bill for 2020 coming in 2021. Estimates for FY2022 are based on FY2021 expenses. Additions include payroll and travel for an additional staff member, and Northstar expenses added to Electronic Resources. The line item for Trumpia is $0 for the current fiscal year, but credits will need to be purchased in FY2023. The report currently estimates expenses $60,000 above the $5.7 million in approved spending authority, and if necessary, Yarman and Fiscal Officer Jamie Pardee will ask the Controlling Board for an increase in spending authority as the limit approaches. 

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



Discuss new position description

The new staff position included in the budget is a restoration of the Digital Resources Manager position, which Yarman converted to the current Infrastructure Specialist position. If the position is approved by DAS, the Digital Resources Manager will be principally responsible for overseeing E-rate, including more outreach to libraries for E-rate assistance, and coordinating support and training for electronic databases, with Northstar being the first priority. Next fiscal year, the Digital Resources Manager will take the lead representing public library interests as OPLIN and the Libraries Connect Ohio partners OhioLINK and INFOhio begin identifying the next package of resources to license statewide.


Yarman reported that since the last Board meeting, he has devoted a lot of time to answering questions about the Emergency Connectivity Fund and under what circumstances a library needs to filter devices in order to qualify for funding. Six libraries which do not filter their computers have applied for ECF funds to support internet service for hotspots they lend to patrons, and Yarman has reached out to them to discuss the discrepancy.

Library Services Manager report

Solomon updated the Board on her work implementing accessibility modifications to the hosted Website Kits and the Ohio Web Library database portal. She also discussed her collaboration with Jen Johnson and Peter Kukla at the State Library to identify Drupal modules that make it possible for libraries with digitized content to contribute their collections to the Digital Public Library of America.

Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky told the Board that Mike Horsley and Nicholas Hester will be the OIT engineers assigned to assist OPLIN as Terry Fouts is retiring soon, and that so far the transition has been smooth. Jendretzky discussed progress with core configuration changes to enable custom VLAN stacking, the status of new circuit orders resulting from E-rate, growth in the number of libraries adding equipment to OPLIN’s CoLocation space in the State of Ohio Computer Center, and on-going development of the MASK authentication middleware. Jendretzky also detailed his work to programmatically pull the necessary usage stats from the new LinkedIn Learning resource. With the Central Library Consortium starting to use the SMS service, Jendretzky predicts OPLIN will need to purchase more message credits in about 12 months.


Nominations Committee appointment

The Chair appointed Hilary Prisbylla, Travis Bautz, Roger Donaldson, Holly Richardson, and Tara Sidwell to the Nominations Committee.


With no other business pending, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 11:25 a.m.