10, 2009


The one hundred thirteenth meeting of the Ohio Public Library
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
10:01 a.m. on Friday, April 10, 2009 by Board Chair Gayle
Patton at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were board members: Gary Branson, Holly Carroll, Karl
Colon, Mary Pat
Essman, Jim Kenzig, Bonnie Mathies, Gayle Patton, Sandi Plymire, Bob
Richmond, Jeff Wale, and Mike Wantz.

Also present were: Stephen Hedges, Karl
Jendretzky, and Laura Solomon (OPLIN); Diane
Fink, Jo Budler, and Missy Lodge (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio
Library Council).


The Chair called for public participation and there was none.


Gayle Patton explained that she and Stephen Hedges felt that
it would be best to start the strategic discussion in the morning while
everyone is fresh, and push the regular board meeting business items to
the end of the day.

Gary Branson motioned to
approve the agenda as presented; Mary Pat Essman seconded. All


Missy Lodge facilitated a discussion of OPLIN strategy,
touching on four main subject areas: the external environment, OPLIN
customers, OPLIN services, and marketing. OPLIN staff
provided background reports and additional supporting
information in the course of the discussion. Missy's notes from the
easels recorded the following discussion points:

External Environment

  1. Libraries are valued more than other state agencies, but
    the complexity of library funding is not understood
    • more competition for state support
    • being well-supported can be a double-edged sword, threat
    • legislators increasingly look to local funding as a
      primary source of funding
    • nobody is "raiding" public library funding, it reflects
      the economy
    • freshmen legislators seem to understand library funding
  2. Schools are more of an opportunity for partnering than a
    • schools value libraries
    • library has to go to school system for partnering,
      school doesn't come
      to library
    • an opportunity, but scaling down due to budget; but how
      will cutbacks affect the relationship?
    • there is both need and opportunity, but budget reality
      sets in
    • public library cannot assume role of school library
    • have to watch we don't spread ourselves too
      thin—focus on libraries' core work
  3. Still true that OPLIN is taken for granted—always
    there, always free, and not understood
    • libraries only care about OPLIN if things go wrong
    • * part of marketing piece
    • to many library staff, OPLIN is a "utility"
    • CLEVNET and SEO dependent on OPLIN
      • what will we achieve by marketing to libraries?
      • marketing objective?
    • Return On Investment study (marketing) — *
      important if funded
      through PLF
      • one was done in 2001 (OPLIN from LLGSF), used as
        communication tool
  4. Library technology issues
    • libraries need basic IT assistance
      • drain on OPLIN resources
    • concern is not law enforcement but privacy, protecting
      info, etc.
    • if OPLIN funded from PLF does it change library
      expectations of OPLIN?
    • ongoing discussion of core mission of libraries
      • shifting from books
      • shifting from traditional paradigm of telling
        people what's good for them
    • libraries expect OPLIN to take care of things no matter
      • if from PLF, heightened awareness but not a change
        in expectation
      • more concern in how money spent
    • differentiate more between OLC and OPLIN?
      • not an issue
    • no one blaming OPLIN for budget situation
    • competing with Google
      • not a major issue, reference librarians use Ohio
        Web Library
      • a fear, but now realizing Google not as efficient
      • bigger issue for small libraries
    • real competition is Google-like websites
    • need statewide unified catalog search
    • Google not competing with libraries, competing with
    • Google is a tool
    • how is Google a threat to OPLIN?
      • takes away from database use
      • used instead of databases
      • databases cost a lot of money
      • are we justified in spending that money?


  • Where do customers of libraries fit in?
    • at the public library level
  • Happier customers?
    • more of everything at same cost
    • opportunities to save money
    • have OPLIN/state agencies break the ice/test the water
      for new things
      • helping see the future
    • * job searching skills/employment databases
    • tech support and web services
  • Do we need more bandwidth or better management when it gets
    in library?


  • Where funding comes from will impact services fee structure
  • If choose to make a service, then ad hoc committee
    determines fee structure and model
  • Dynamic Website Kits
    • show how much would cost on open market
    • * is marketing because of word of mouth
      • break-even service
    • new fee structure for July 1 based on beta tests
  • Custom OWL Search
    • libraries could build but not maintain
    • great idea but not practical
  • SMS messaging
    • cost: phone $30 per month
    • could host locally
    • if libraries are our customers, how we use it with them?
  • Summer Reading Program management
    • can provide more functionality

[The Board took a break for
lunch from 11:50 am to 12:10 pm.]

New Services
  • Managing e-gov. resources / portal
  • WiFi routers
    • how deep to go
    • more work than we know
  • Branch connections
  • Internal network trouble-shooting
    • for fee
    • would need to hire technician
  • Website evaluation
    • possible because we have right staff
  • Accreditation for "2.0"
  • Assistance with continuing education for Second Life
  • Basic social media training package
  • Robust intranets
    • shared content statewide
  • Custom email domains
  • Tech interview consultant
    • OPLIN staff serve as head hunter
  • Job searching skills/database
  • Can not take on more
    current staff and budget
  • Should we be polling
  • How do new services tie
    to mission?
  • Once budget is decided,
    OPLIN staff take each service and indicate resources (staff and other)
    it would take


  • How do we know if new service wanted
  • How do we market it, roll it out
  • At what level market?
    • push down to staff
  • How we market depends on what we want to achieve
    • get libraries to "like OPLIN" vs. sale of product
  • Send something to all library staff on regular basis
  • Set up arrangement where someone at each system will push
    it down
  • Follow model of OLC Director "This Week" message
  • Internship with marketing person
    • KSU student?
  • Focus groups at OLC chapters 2010
  • Online survey

[The Board resumed regular
meeting agenda items at 1:14 pm.]

of February 13 meeting

Jeff Wale motioned to
approve the minutes from the February 13th meeting; Bob Richmond
seconded. All aye.


Diane Fink presented four financial reports: Report A showing
budget and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 as of March
31; Report B
showing the revenue and cash balances for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 as
of March 31; Report C
showing the budgets for FY 2009, 2010 and 2011; and Report D showing
projected revenue and cash balances through FY 2011.

Report A:
Diane reported that OPLIN has been assessed some unemployment costs for
a previous employ who has been laid off from the job she took after
leaving OPLIN; these charges have been added to the salary line in the
budget. She also noted that the re-negotiated OPLIN rent for the next
biennium should save about $10,000 each year. All charges for databases
have been paid for the year. OIT telecommunications charges have been
higher than anticipated, so some adjustment to those line items may be
required before the end of the fiscal year.

Diane pointed out that $979.90 in filtering funds are still
available, because several libraries paid for their filter maintenance
before the second round of filtering assistance grants was approved.
This late in the fiscal year, it is best to allow those funds to revert
to the state; since the funds are earmarked, they cannot be used for
another purpose. Diane noted that recent news has suggested that the
Office of Budget and Management (OBM) might announce another cut due to
flagging state revenues, but that is unlikely this late in the fiscal

Diane noted that at the December 12 board meeting we had
the possibility of further cuts to the OPLIN budget, but when state
budget cuts were announced on December 19, the entire State Library
budget, including OPLIN, was exempted. There may be no further cuts
before the end of the biennium.

Report B:
Diane reported that we have received some E-rate reimbursements, but
some large refunds are still pending. The March 31 Fund 4S4 cash
balance is therefore only $337,375.

Report C:
Diane noted that there have been only minor changes in this report to
reflect small changes in FY 2009 line items. The currently expected
date for the Ohio House to release their version of the budget is April
20, at which point OPLIN funding may be changed to come from the
General Revenue Fund rather than the Public Library Fund.

Report D:
the proposed funding level, the cash balance should
be about $48,000 at the end of FY 2011.

Diane also reported that OBM is preparing for the possibility
of operating under an interim budget if the General Assembly does not
pass a biennium budget by June 30. She reported on the OCSEA labor
contract which will probably apply to all state employees. It is
unclear what is to be done with savings realized from ten days of
mandatory furlough for all employees. In response to a question, Diane
clarified that under the OCSEA agreement there will be no pay raises of
any kind for three years.

Holly Carroll motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Mike Wantz seconded. All aye.

Gayle Patton asked Stephen
Hedges to email the Board as soon as the Ohio House releases its
version of the budget to let everyone know how OPLIN is affected.


7.1. Report from Nominations

Mary Pat Essman thanked fellow committee members Bob Richmond
and Jeff Wale. OPLIN was fortunate to have quite a few people express
interest in joining the board. After discussing the candidates'
qualifications and the present board configuration, the committee would
like to recommend that OPLIN submit Don Barlow, Jason Buydos, Benjamin
Chinni and Jamie Mason to the State Library Board as the selected
candidates for the two upcoming board vacancies, with preference given
to Benjamin Chinni as a library trustee and Don Barlow as a
Columbus-area librarian.

Karl Colon motioned to
accept the recommendation of the Nominations Committee; Gary Branson
seconded. All aye.

Gayle Patton requested that the two candidates selected by the
State Library Board be invited to attend the June 12 OPLIN Board

Mary Pat also reported that the committee had drawn up a
suggested slate of candidates for election to board offices at the
first meeting of the board following July 1. Those candidates are: Karl
Colon, Chair; Holly Carroll, Vice-Chair; Bonnie Mathies, Secretary; and
Gayle Patton, Treasurer.




Stephen Hedges noted
that most items in his report—the budget matters, the router
replacement project, and the federal stimulus funds—had been
discussed in the strategy discussion. He did point out that he had
enjoyed his involvement with the committee that reviewed the responses
to the State Library's RFP for an open source statewide resource
sharing system. The projected completion date for this project is
September 2010.

9.1. Outreach Report

Laura Solomon reported that she has been busy with online
classes, but also pointed out her presentation about the Ohio Web
Library federated search at the Computers In Libraries conference in
Washington DC. The attendees at her session seemed to
be favorably

9.2. Databases
and Network Reports


Laura Solomon explained that two vendors have had technical
problems and have not yet provided statistics for March, so this report
will be emailed to board members as soon as it is completed.

9.2.2. Support
Center (February and March)

Karl Jendretzky reported that Support Center ticket flow was
normal, as reflected in his written report. He did have to deal with a
major intrusion into our email system; a couple of user accounts were
compromised and used to send out spam. Karl was able to stop the
intrusion and has increased security to counteract similar intrusions
in the future.


10.1. Director's Evaluation

Gayle Patton informed the board that it was time to do Stephen
Hedges' annual evaluation. After consulting with Bonnie Mathies and
Stephen, she decided that the form used last year had been informative
for Stephen and fairly easy for Bonnie to collate, so the board will
use the same form this year. The form will be emailed to board members
as soon as possible following this meeting, and all responses are due
to be emailed to Bonnie by May 1. Results will be reported at the June
board meeting.

Stephen noted that he had asked Gayle about changing his title
"Director" instead of "Executive Director" as part of the evaluation
process. He felt that this title was more appropriate and more in line
with the titles of similar state employees. Gayle had responded that
the change did not require a formal board process and that he should
feel free to make the change.


Bob Richmond motioned to
adjourn the meeting at 1:40 p.m. Jim Kenzig seconded.