-- December 12, 2008


The one hundred eleventh meeting of the Ohio Public Library
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
10:01 a.m. on Friday, December 12, 2008 by Board Chair Gayle
Patton at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were board members: Gary Branson, 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, Laura Solomon, and Bobbi Galvin (OPLIN); Diane
Fink (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).


The Chair called for public participation and there was none.


Bob Richmond motioned to
approve the agenda; Mary Pat Essman seconded. All aye.

of October 10 meeting

Gary Branson motioned to
approve the minutes from the October 10th meeting; Mary Pat
Essman seconded. All aye.


Diane Fink presented four financial reports: Report A showing
budget and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 as of November
30; Report B
showing the revenue and cash balances for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 as
of November 30; 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 noted that November 30 was the last day to make payments against
FY 2008 purchase orders; two remaining purchase orders, one to Kent
State University and one to 361 Studios, were closed and the encumbered
$11,375 was returned to fund 4S4. The FY 2008 budget shows a reduction
of $433,000, which was the 10% cut mandated in February 2008.

For FY 2009, an additional 4.75% cut was implemented in
September, so this budget shows a current reduction of $618,000.
Another cut will certainly be forthcoming, but when and how much are
not yet known. The only open encumbrance in the Administration area of
the budget is the last six months of rent; our lease will end at the
end of the fiscal year and will be renegotiated by the Department of
Administrative Services (DAS) if OPLIN chooses to stay in the current
location. In the Information Resources area there is still an open
encumbrance for periodic payments toward the cost of the Libraries
Connect Ohio database subscriptions, and in the Support area there is
one encumbrance for Ohio Library Council conference support and a small
available balance. In the Telecommunications area, the purchase of a
spam filtering device was approved by the Office of Information
Technology (OIT) and that purchase has been completed.

Report B:
Diane explained that the large change in cash balance in Fund 4S4
between July 2007 (almost $1.4 million) and November 2008 ($240,000)
was due to a combination of large encumbrances disbursed after July 1
and slow receipt of E-rate reimbursements. She noted, however, that a
$378,000 E-rate reimbursement from OIT had been received the day before
the board meeting and more reimbursements should now begin to arrive.

Report C:
This report shows the current state of the FY 2009 budget and the OPLIN
budget request for the next biennium. State agencies were instructed to
prepare a biennium budget expecting 90% of the General Revenue Funds
allocated at the
beginning of FY 2009; agencies could also submit a request for 95%
funding instead if they could justify the request. Diane reported that
at this point, however, these budget levels will almost certainly be

Report D:
Diane explained that this report on projected cash balances had been
updated to include the canceled FY 2008 purchase orders, a reduction
in the equipment budget, and receipt of some refunds from
telecommunications vendors resulting from circuit changes. The
estimated cash balance on June 30, 2011 now stands at about $40,000 if
OPLIN were to receive biennium GRF funding at the 95% level, but a
$350,000 deficit at the 90% funding level.

noted that Gov. Strickland's December 1 press conference painted a very
bleak picture of the Ohio economy over the next three years. In her
opinion, this was an effort to educate the public about the need for
further budget cuts. Likewise the recent release of documents detailing
effect of a 25% cut to agency budgets (as compared to the 10% cut that
was stipulated for FY 2010-11 budget requests) was probably also a
means of preparing everyone for more cuts. Restrictions on hiring,
equipment purchases, and travel are still in effect.

Stephen Hedges presented a document detailing the effect of
past and
possible future budget cuts on the funds set aside for Internet
filtering assistance, which served as a simple model of the effect of
cuts on the entire OPLIN budget.

Mike Wantz asked if OPLIN might benefit from any federal funds
for broadband infrastructure improvement. Stephen
Hedges responded that he monitors federal grants and has yet to see
anything that would benefit OPLIN, but that may change with the new
federal administration. Mike also asked if the earmark of some state
funds for Internet filtering assistance was likely to continue. Stephen
and Diane responded that earmarks have so far been reduced in
proportion to the rest of the budget, and the funds have not been
released for other uses.

Karl Colon commended Diane and Stephen for presenting a clear
and straightforward assessment of the budget situation.

Mike Wantz motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Jim Kenzig seconded. All aye.


6.1. Approve Library Web
Site Services

Stephen Hedges presented a lengthy document describing the
web site services and how they would be operated, the fees which would
be charged to customers for the services, the marketing of the
services, potential risks, and estimated costs and revenues.
services would encompass development of a basic Drupal website for
libraries, installation of optional modules, hosting and maintenance of
the website, and training for library staff in using the content
management system. The cost of providing the services must be supported
by user fees. This document was prepared in response to a request from
the previous board meeting for a more detailed proposal.

Questions from the board centered on the pricing of the
which was generally thought to be too low, and some board members also
commented on the difficulty of marketing the services. Jim Kenzig
pointed out that the cost of bandwidth had not been included in the
proposal. Jeff Wale asked if the goal was to create a strong revenue
stream or to improve library websites, which are two different
perspectives; he also questioned whether the cost of setting up the
websites was adequately covered by the proposed pricing. Karl Colon
noted that the projected profit was very modest, and even though the
service itself is valuable, the proposal did not remedy our budget
shortfall. Jeff suggested we charge a flat fee for initial
perhaps $500, and all other work be charged at an hourly fee to protect
our risk. Bob Richmond commented that it might be difficult to convince
libraries that their current websites fall short of accepted criteria,
presenting a marketing challenge. Gayle Patton speculated that some
small libraries might feel more comfortable with getting website help
from their regional system. Gayle also noted that offering this service
could be seen as a reversal of the trend of OPLIN "taking services
away" due to budget cuts. In response to a question, Mike Wantz
clarified that Perry County Public Library agreed to be the alpha
tester for the service because they were aware of the benefits of
moving to a more modern and manageable website, but they also found
that the staff time devoted to the project had actually increased the
technical knowledge of the staff. Doug Evans commented that Laura
Solomon and OPLIN are both well respected in the public library
community and predicted that the service would be popular. Jim
suggested that the plan be tried for six months. Mike suggested that
the initial cost for creating the sites be increased and that more
emphasis be placed on a flat development fee and less emphasis on an
hourly rate for custom work. Gayle requested a motion from the

Mary Pat Essman motioned to
approve the Library Web Site Services proposal as presented; Sandi
Plymire seconded.

Ensuing discussion revolved around refining the pricing. Bob
Richmond suggested that individual quotes could be prepared for each
potential customer. Mary Pat Essman felt that this would increase the
staff work without increasing revenue, and that the proposed pricing
was too low. In response to a question, Diane Fink noted that OPLIN
could use a contract based on the contract currently used for SEO
libraries, which clearly specifies the responsibilities of both
parties. Mike Wantz proposed that we add an initial website development
fee of $200 to the proposed pricing. Karl Jendretzky clarified that the
annual cost for "hosting" primarily covers maintenance of the site and
the supporting software. Jeff Wale liked the idea of running a
six-month beta test of the project limited to no more than a dozen
libraries. Diane suggested that it might be a good idea to end the test
with the end of the fiscal year. Karl Colon asked for reassurance that
the services would not take so much staff time that other OPLIN
services suffered. Bonnie Mathies reminded everyone that a good
evaluation of the impact of the project on libraries and their users
will be important.

Mary Pat Essman amended her
motion to approve the Library Web Site
Services proposal with the addition of a $200 initial website
development fee and that the proposal be tested until June 30, 2009
with a limited number of libraries to be determined by the Executive
Director, followed by an evaluation of the impact of the web site
on the participating libraries and their users.

call: Gary Branson, aye; Karl Colon, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Bob Richmond, aye; Jeff Wale, aye; Mike Wantz, aye.


7.1. Approve Internet
Filtering Assistance Grants

Stephen Hedges presented a list of Internet filtering
assistance requests that OPLIN received as well as a list of
recommended grant awards. He reminded the board that the original
$100,000 set aside in our FY 2008 budget for filtering had been reduced
by successive budget cuts to $85,725. Fifty-five libraries requested
assistance totaling just under $146,000, so funding recommendations are
made according to the priorities announced when the grants were
announced. Only one library submitted a first priority request for
installing a new filter. This request plus the second priority requests
for upgrades or improvements to existing filters totaled $78,428.88.
Third priority requests for filter maintenance and license renewals
made up the rest of the requests, and within this group requests from
libraries with less revenue were given higher priority, in accordance
with the announced guidelines.

In light of the possibility of additional budget reductions
soon to come, Stephen recommended that the first and second priority
requests be funded now for the amounts directly related to new filters
or filter upgrades ($78,428.88) and that additional grant awards be
tentatively funded up to the amount available after the next budget
reduction is announced. Karl Colon and Jim Kenzig asked if there were
time restrictions on funding the additional grants; could approval be
delayed as long as the next board meeting in February? Stephen replied
that the only restriction was the need to have grants over $5,000
approved by the State Library Board at their January 15-16 meeting, and
that did not affect any of the maintenance and renewal grants under

Jeff Wale motioned to
recommend assistance grants totaling $78,428.88 for funding costs
related to new, upgraded, and improved filters to the State Library
Board and the State Librarian, and that additional grants
for filter
maintenance and license renewals be considered at the February 13 OPLIN
board meeting; Bob Richmond seconded.

call: Gary Branson, abstained; Karl Colon, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Bob Richmond, aye; Jeff Wale, aye; Michael Wantz,

Jeff Wale asked if there
had been any past discussion of implementing a central filter that
could be locally controlled, which seemed to him to be more efficient.
Stephen Hedges replied that this can be considered after new
routers are installed at the OPLIN Core; the current routers are not
sophisticated enough to allow such an installation.


Stephen Hedges began his report by speculating on the future
of the OPLIN budget and measures that may have to be considered in the
future to balance it. An additional 5% cut to the OPLIN budget could
push our shortfall in the next biennium to over half a million dollars.
In the face of such a deficit, subscriptions to the Hannah and Gongwer
reports would have to be discontinued and we would probably have to
negotiate with EBSCO to remove OPLIN payments toward the statewide cost
of Consumer Health Complete. Stephen provided a synopsis of all the
payments OPLIN currently makes toward the cost of databases.

Another source of some savings would be moving the OPLIN
office. Stephen has been working with DAS to move the OPLIN office back
to the State of Ohio
Computer Center (SOCC) but was recently informed that the current
method of rent calculation at the SOCC may be changed in the next
biennium, negating the savings we expected. Stephen has also discussed
with Jo Budler the possibility of moving the OPLIN office into the
State Library building; Jo has offered space rent-free so long as the
state budget crisis continues. Such a move could save as much as
$54,000 per year.

Stephen reported that the router replacement project has been
delayed as OIT deals with
concerns raised by competing vendors over the process used to select
equipment. Karl Jendretzky and OIT staff believe they can address those
concerns and move ahead in time to request release of capital funds for
the project at the January 12 Controlling Board meeting.

In other items of interest, Stephen noted that Lorrie Germann
at eTech Ohio has been working on getting E-rate reimbursements for
last year's payments and preparing to submit applications for next
year's program. In the current year we have been approved for a maximum
of $1,262,000 in discounts. In Broadband Council news, OIT has released
an RFP for new "last-mile" connections statewide, with the goal being
the establishment of a contract mechanism for buying Ethernet, cable,
DSL, and wireless connections similar to the SOMACS contract for
purchasing T1 circuits. Such a contract could result in significant
cost savings for OPLIN. OPLIN has also implemented the new spam filter
for OPLIN email accounts and is pleased with the results. Laura Solomon
has created Facebook applications for the Ohio Web Library search and
the OPLIN about:books search.

8.1. Outreach Report

Stephen Hedges asked Laura Solomon to report on her activities
in support of the OPLIN Objective: Communicate information about
Internet technologies. Laura presented a list of classes taught and
events attended as well as highlighting some upcoming events,
particularly her presentation about the Ohio Web Library that was
accepted for the Computers in Libraries conference next year in
Washington DC. She also announced the upcoming OPLIN virtual Holiday
Party in Second Life on December 17.

8.2. Databases
and Network Reports


Laura Solomon noted that the downtrend in document retrievals
has been reversed and we are also seeing a huge jump in searches
following implementation of the Ohio Web Library search.

8.2.2. Support
Center (October and November)

Karl Jendretzky reported that activity was normal, although
the reports look like an unusual number of circuits had interruptions
in November. In reality, a DS3 circuit carrying other smaller circuits
experienced a problem, resulting in a large number of ticket reports.


Gayle Patton offered no
report at this time.


Karl Colon motioned to
adjourn the meeting at 12:00 p.m. Jim Kenzig seconded.