-- February 13, 2009


The one hundred twelfth meeting of the Ohio Public Library
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 13, 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, Bob
Richmond, and Jeff Wale.

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


The Chair called for public participation and there was none.


Gayle Patton noted that Lynda Murray (Ohio Library Council)
planned to join the meeting at about 11:30 with an update on the
proposed state biennium budget. She also asked that Item 9, "CHAIR'S
REPORT" be moved ahead of Item 4, "APPROVAL OF

Mary Pat Essman motioned to
approve the agenda as amended; Holly Carroll seconded. All aye.


[9.1. Nominations Committee]

Gayle Patton announced that Jim Kenzig and Mike Wantz had
agreed to serve a second term on the board after their current terms
expire in June. Bob Richmond and Mary Pat Essman will be leaving the
board after their terms expire in June, creating two vacancies on the
board. Gayle appointed Bob, Mary Pat, and Jeff Wale to a Nominations
Committee and charged them to 1) recommend several candidates to fill
these vacancies, taking the needs of the board into consideration, and
2) recommend a slate of board officers for election after July 1. She
requested that the committee complete their work and report back to the
board at the April board meeting.

[9.2. Ohio Ethics Commission]

Gayle Patton reminded board members to submit their Financial
Disclosure Forms before the April 15 deadline, and that filing fees are
paid by

[9.3. Board Retreat]

Gayle Patton asked Stephen Hedges to report on plans for the
Board retreat, which will be held April 10 from 9:00 to 3:00 at the
State Library. Missy Lodge is available to facilitate; the strategic
plan will be reviewed, but the majority of the
discussion will involve policy decisions based on the new budget. The
board requested that a facilitator be used for the

of December 12 meeting

Gary Branson motioned to
approve the minutes from the December 12th 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 January
31; Report B
showing the revenue and cash balances for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 as
of January 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 pointed out
the open encumbrance for the fourth quarter FY 2009 rent, noting that
OPLIN rent may change in the future, either because of a move to a new
location or a re-negotiation through the Department of Administrative
Services (DAS) of the rent at our current location. There is not enough
contiguous space in the State Library building to house OPLIN. The move
to the State of Ohio Computer Center (SOCC) could become unfeasible if
funding is taken from the Public Library Fund in the new budget. Karl
Colon suggested that we try to negotiate a reasonable rate at the SOCC
regardless of our funding source.

In the "Information Resources" section of the budget, there is
encumbrance for the OpenTranslators used by the Ohio Web Library
search; the company we originally contracted for this service has been
purchased by another company and OPLIN is in the process of revising
the contract and purchase order. In the "Filtering" section, Diane
reported that all the contracts for smaller filtering grants approved
at the December 12 meeting have been signed; the larger grants (over
$5,000) were just approved at the February 10 State Library Board

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 noted that OPLIN has only received the E-rate reimbursement from
OIT, but the other reimbursements are expected soon. Approximately
$13,500 in refunds from canceled data circuits following upgrades also
appears here as revenue.

Report C:
Diane reminded the board that when budgets were submitted to the Office
of Budget and Management (OBM) last September all agencies submitted
budgets at 90% of adjusted fiscal year 2009 appropriations (Activity
A), but could also request an additional 5% for special needs (Activity
B). In the Governor's executive budget proposal, OPLIN is funded at the
95% level (Activity A and B), but funding comes from the Public Library
Fund rather than the General Revenue Fund. The additional Activity B
funds were requested to cover telecommunications costs. The filtering
funds were requested at the Activity A level, which would be $81,000
each year. A total of $3,702,150 would come from the Public Library
Fund, with an additional $2 million in spending authority for E-rate
reimbursements and other non-state revenue. The increases in
salaries/benefits shown for each year are due to anticipated increases
in benefit costs, not salary increases; the executive budget proposal
actually calls for pay reductions.

Report D:
This report has been revised to show the Public Library Fund as a
revenue source. At the proposed funding level, the cash balance should
be about $45,000 at the end of the biennium.

Karl Colon motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Jeff Wale seconded. All aye.


6.1. Approve Internet
filtering assistance grants (second round)

Stephen Hedges presented two spreadsheets with information
pertaining to the filtering assistance grants that will disburse the
remainder of the funds designated for this purpose. These grants are to
libraries requesting assistance with filtering maintenance and
licensing; libraries with the smallest amount of total revenue receive
the highest priority. Due to the delay in awarding these grants (as we
waited for news of more funding cuts), several libraries that would
otherwise qualify for grants, including two that were approved at the
last board meeting, have already purchased their filters and thus been
disqualified under the grant guidelines. The following libraries are
recommended for funding, which will complete the distribution of

  • Grand
    Valley Public Library: $375.00
  • Sabina
    Public Library: $169.90
  • Alexandria Public Library: $199.00
  • Mechanicsburg Public Library: $99.96
  • Wagnalls Memorial Library: $199.00
  • Henderson Memorial Library Association: $250.00
  • Plain City Public Library: $199.00
  • Delphos Public Library: $237.00
  • Harbor-Topky Memorial Library: $810.00
  • Kinsman Free Public Library: $675.00
  • Galion Public Library Association: $500.00
  • Mary L Cook Public Library: $795.00
  • Newton Falls Public Library: $1,125.00
  • Carnegie Public Library (East Liverpool): $800.00
  • Hubbard Public Library: $1,025.00
  • Rock Creek Public Library: $325.00
  • Perry Public Library: $450.00
  • McKinley Memorial Library: $1,000.00
  • Putnam County District Library: $1,120.00
  • Kent Free Library: $2,825.00
  • Ashtabula County District Library: $1,300.00
  • Reed Memorial Library: $1,550.00
  • Chillicothe
    and Ross County Public Library: $964.00
  • Portsmouth Public Library: $563.26
  • Subtotal: $17,556.12
  • Total
    with previous
    grants: $85,725.00

Mary Pat Essman motioned to
approve the Internet filtering assistance grants as presented; Gary
Branson seconded.

call: Gary Branson, aye; Holly Carroll, aye; Karl Colon, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Bob Richmond, aye; Jeff Wale, aye.


7.1. Discuss Governor's
Executive Budget for FYs 2010 and 2011

Stephen Hedges called attention to several items of
information in
the board packets, including the pages from the Governor's proposed
budget which apply to the State Library, OPLIN, and the Public Library
Fund. The General Revenue Funds distributed to the State Library will
be about half what they have been in the past, due to taking the
funding for both OPLIN and the Library for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped (LBPH) from the Public Library Fund. Doug Evans reported
that the Ohio Library Council is currently trying to determine how this
change originated and will work to reverse it.

The first release of the proposed budget showed the Public
Fund at over $464 million, which was a projected number from the last
biennium budget; in reality, the fund will probably have closer to $419
million in calendar year 2009, a reduction of about $30 million from
the previous year. The second release of the proposed budget shows the
Public Library Fund at $401 million in fiscal year 2010. Funding OPLIN
and the LBPH from the Public Library Fund would remove an additional $5
million from the fund each year.

Holly Carroll asked if there would be any impact on the State
Library if OLC succeeds in moving OPLIN and LBPH back into the General
Revenue Fund. Diane Fink replied that there would be no negative impact
to the State Library, though OPLIN and LBPH could be budgeted for less
money if their funding came from the GRF instead of the Public Library
Fund. Stephen noted that the source of the funding would also affect
the amount of rent OPLIN would pay if we were to move back to the SOCC.

Diane provided a synopsis of the history of budget reductions
all items in the State Library budget since fiscal year 2002. In FY
2002, 2003, and 2004 OPLIN was funded from the library fund rather than
the GRF. Since FY 2005, when OPLIN returned to the GRF, OPLIN funding
has been cut 21%. The State Library budget items still funded from the
GRF are only funded at the 90% (Activity A) level in the executive
budget proposal for FYs 2010-2011. Overall State Library staffing is
projected to be 74 positions by the end of FY 2011, down from 130 at
the beginning of FY 2002. (Diane also noted that $199,830.84 of the
$200,000 allocated to OPLIN
in the last capital budget for router replacement will be requested
from the Controlling Board on February 23.)

Stephen reported that the OLC Government Relations Committee
discussed the issue of OPLIN funding extensively and decided that OLC
must at least try to move OPLIN funding back into the GRF. At that
meeting Stephen also suggested that if OPLIN funding were to come from
the Public Library Fund, it might be possible to set the amount of
OPLIN funding as a percentage (less than 1%) of the PLF rather than a
fixed amount. Stephen felt that it was important for the OPLIN board to
choose a position on the funding source issue.

Karl Colon asked if it was really important for the board to
take a
position; the board's concern is with the amount of funding. not
necessarily the source of funding, and it may want to remain neutral
on this issue. Stephen replied that he needed guidance from the board
to handle requests for an official OPLIN reaction to the change in
funding source, and if the board decided to take no position, then he
could communicate that.

Jim Kenzig asked if there were advantages to one fund over the
other. Stephen replied that recently the General Revenue Fund has seen
greater reductions than the Public Library Fund; the GRF is subject to
state budget cuts, while the PLF decreases and increases in direct
proportion to general tax revenue.

Gary Branson said he feared that taking OPLIN funding from the
was a "slippery slope" and could lead to other statewide programs being
funded from the PLF; he felt that the Public Library Fund should be
used only for public libraries. Mary Pat Essman cautioned that this was
the viewpoint of a library director, whereas the viewpoint of an OPLIN
board member should be to secure the funding. She acknowledged,
that the board must think of OPLIN's relationship with its public
library customers.

Jeff Wale recognized that the legislature might easily make a
between the "Public Library Information Network" and the "Public
Fund," but he suggested that, if OPLIN funding remained in the PLF, in
fairness the PLF should be increased to cover the cost of OPLIN.

Karl pointed out that historically the OPLIN-provided Internet
connections represented a commitment from the state to provide specific
support to public libraries; now, however, public libraries are being
asked to cover the cost of this commitment. Mary Pat responded that in
the current economy we can no longer depend on historical commitments.
Karl explained that the historical commitment might be used, however,
to argue that the PLF should be increased to cover OPLIN funding. Holly
speculated that the presence of OPLIN in the PLF might protect the fund
from a reduction in percentage. There was general agreement, however,
that OPLIN was moved into the PLF because sufficient funds might not be
available in the GRF, and finding funds to add to the PLF to cover
OPLIN costs would be difficult.

Mary Pat suggested that the best thing for the OPLIN board to
would be to work closely with the Ohio Library Council on this issue.
Doug Evans assured the board that the OLC Board would give strong
consideration to the position of the OPLIN board, because it would be
best if both boards sent a consistent message. He did not believe that
there would be excessive opposition to OPLIN funding coming from the
PLF, but he agreed with the OLC Government Relations Committee that we
at least have to ask that OPLIN move back into the GRF. He felt that
the more contentious issue this time is the proposal to also take
funding for the LBPH from the PLF.

The board then began to discuss the wording of a resolution,
starting with their intention to continue to provide the best services
possible to Ohio public libraries. Having the funds available to do
this is more important than the source of the funding.

At this point Karl Colon suggested that the discussion be
for a few minutes until Lynda Murray could join the meeting. The Chair
asked the Executive Director to present his report while the board
Lynda's arrival.


Stephen Hedges reported that the International Coalition of
Library Consortia (ICOLC), of which OPLIN is a member, has released a
statement to information vendors concerning the "Global Economic Crisis
and Its Impact on Consortial Licenses" is an effort to keep database
prices in check. Response from vendors so far has been encouraging.

Stephen and Karl Jendretzky have begun meeting with OARnet to
explore the possibility of purchasing some Internet bandwidth through
them instead of through the Office of Information Technology (OIT).
This would not affect the router replacement project, since "last-mile"
network provisioning would still be handled by OIT. Purchasing
bandwidth from OARnet could open a
pathway for public libraries to access Internet2.

Stephen gave a brief update on what is known so far about the
broadband portions of the federal economic stimulus package. Little is
known at
the moment, but the Ohio Broadband Council will be watching closely as
details are released. Stephen also provided some background information
concerning the Connect Ohio eCommunity Leadership Team meetings around
the state. Connect Ohio has organized these teams in about half the
Ohio counties at this point, and is very interested in having libraries
involved with each team.

Stephen congratulated Laura Solomon for being awarded an
Alliance Virtual Library Golden Leaf award for her work in Second Life.

Finally, Stephen informed the board of his plans to begin
applying for E-rate discounts semi-annually instead of annually, and to
take some E-rate funds as discounts on telecommunications bills rather
than reimbursements. These suggestions came from Lorrie Germann, the
eTech Ohio E-rate consultant who now works with OPLIN under contract.
By changing our E-rate reimbursement practices, we can get much of our
E-rate funds into our budget sooner than we have in the past.

Lynda Murray joined the
meeting at 11:26 and the board resumed discussion of Item 7.1.

[7.1. Discuss Governor's
Executive Budget for FYs 2010 and 2011 -- resumed]

Lynda Murray told the board she believes that if OPLIN funds
are taken from public library funding again, that arrangement would
become permanent this time. On the other hand, she does not feel that
public libraries are comfortable with OPLIN funding dropping below the
current 95% of FY 2009 adjusted budget level, so moving OPLIN into the
GRF, but at a lower funding level, would not be a good outcome.

Lynda shared her assumption that the incorrect numbers for the
Public Library Fund in the original executive budget proposal ($464
million) led OBM to believe that excess funds were available to support
OPLIN and LBPH. She has been working with OBM to correct these numbers
before the actual budget bill is introduced, and also to
move OPLIN
and LBPH funding back into GRF in the budget bill, but she was not
optimistic that this would happen. She has also been meeting with
legislators and believes they are supportive of moving OPLIN and LBPH
back into the GRF.

Lynda asked that the board pass a resolution supporting moving
OPLIN funding back into GRF at the 95% level; she also suggested that
the resolution could ask for funding at the 100% level, though felt it
was unlikely that we would get 100%. In response to a question from the
board, she noted that her justification for moving OPLIN back to GRF
would be because the state had provided OPLIN as an incentive for
libraries to cooperate for the sake of efficiency, and taking OPLIN
funding from the PLF would remove that incentive. She also noted that
libraries had agreed to a percentage of general tax revenue with the
understanding that library funding would ebb and flow with the
economy without intervention from the legislature; removing
from the PLF violates that understanding.

Lynda also clarified for the board that as proposed, the OPLIN
and LBPH funding would not ebb and flow along with the PLF, but would
remain fixed. From the OPLIN point of view, that and being sheltered
from OBM cuts to the GRF would provide a stable funding source, but
this arrangement is simply unfair to public libraries.

The Chair inquired if OLC would like to have a resolution from
the OPLIN board prior to the March 11 OLC Legislative Day, and Lynda
replied that that would be helpful. The resolution may need to be
revisited at the April 10 OPLIN board meeting, since budget
developments between this meeting and the April meeting may change our

Jim Kenzig pointed out that much of the board's discussion
indicated that PLF funding could be a good thing for OPLIN. Lynda and
Doug responded that it would be the position of the public library
community that OPLIN funding should nevertheless go back to GRF.

Karl Colon noted that if OPLIN funding were to remain in the
PLF, OPLIN would be in a perpetual funding struggle with its
Lynda thought that there would never be an adversarial relationship
between OPLIN and public libraries, but the entire funding situation
would certainly be simpler if OPLIN were not funded from the PLF.

All agreed that further cuts to the OPLIN budget should be
avoided if at all possible, and that the cooperative nature of OPLIN be
noted in the resolution. Discussion of the wording of the resolution

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

"WHEREAS,  the Ohio Public Library Information
Network (OPLIN) will continue to provide outstanding Internet service
to the Ohio public library community and its 8 million patrons, by
cooperatively purchasing broadband connections for the 251 public
libraries through State of Ohio purchase instruments;

"WHEREAS,  the Ohio Public Library Information
Network will continue to collectively purchase authoritative online
information resources for use by all Ohioans through our ongoing
partnership with the academic libraries (OhioLINK), the school
libraries (INFOhio), and the State Library of Ohio;

"WHEREAS,  the Ohio Public Library Information
Network recognizes that the public libraries of Ohio have now entered a
state of financial distress due to steeply declining revenues and would
be further damaged were the Ohio Legislature to draw the funding for
OPLIN from the already diminished Public Library Fund;

"BE IT RESOLVED  that the Board of the Ohio
Public Library Information Network respectfully requests that the Ohio
General Assembly continue funding OPLIN from the General Revenue Fund,
as it has in previous bienniums, and that this funding be established
at 100% of adjusted fiscal year 2009 appropriations ($3,897,000)."

8.1. Website Kits progress

Laura Solomon reported that work has begun on the website kits
beta project. The ten test libraries have been selected, although two
have requested that they be the last to test due to internal scheduling
issues. Five of the website kits are already in progress. OPLIN has
started a waiting list of libraries that are interested in kits after
the beta testing is completed. So far the work has not been excessively

8.2. Outreach Report

Laura Solomon reported that her technology classes have been
busy, with most now taking place online. A list of classes taught and
upcoming events was presented to the board.

8.3. Databases
and Network Reports


Laura Solomon noted that December usage was down, as it
traditionally is when schools are on break, but overall we are still
seeing significant increases in use of the databases.

8.3.2. Support
Center (December and January)

Karl Jendretzky reported that Support Center ticket flow was
normal, as reflected in his written report, with no unusual activity.


Gary Branson motioned to
adjourn the meeting at 12:03 p.m.