Minutes – February 9, 2007


The one-hundredth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information
Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on
Friday, February 9, 2007 by Board Chair Donna Perdzock at the State
Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Jim Kenzig, Terry Casey, Bob Richmond,
Donna Perdzock, Anne Hinton, Mary Pat Essman, Gayle Patton, Sandi
Thompson, and Richard Murdock.

Also present were: Stephen Hedges (OPLIN), Joel Husenits (OPLIN), Karl
Jendretzky (OPLIN), Diane Fink (State Library), and Carol Verny


The Chair called for public participation, and there was none.


Terry Casey motioned to approve the agenda, Richard Murdock
seconded.  All aye.


Mary Pat Essman motioned to approve the minutes from the December 8,
2006 Board meeting, Gayle Patton seconded.  All aye.


Diane Fink gave a detailed finance report.

Report A covered budget and expenditures for fiscal years (FY) 2006 and
2007.  FY2006 is technically completed. OPLIN spent a little
over $2000 on the new logos, but had some savings in the area of
salaries, with both Don Nuss and Don Yarman recently
departing.  All monies have been paid to Wright State for
OPLIN’s share of the LCO databases.  One payment is
left for Rotunda.  Some unused spending authority for paid-for
databases remains. Stephen Hedges noted that he is still waiting on a
few libraries regarding filtering grants. Within the next month, all
monies should be paid out to the public libraries that were awarded the
grants.  The goal is always to obligate all general revenue
funds by the end of the fiscal year.

Report B covered non-General Revenue Fund (GRF) cash balance for FY
2006 and 2007. Diane explained that one particular database vendor
offered a lower price to a public library than the one they paid
through OPLIN as part of a group contract.  A refund was
requested from the vendor and that money was given to the library

Report C covered Gates Staying Connected Grant funds, which started in
FY 2004.  All monies have now been obligated for this Grant,
which runs through FY 2007.  OPLIN purchased videoconferencing
equipment for training purposes, which is available to the public
libraries.  Once the final invoice arrives, that will conclude
the grant.

Report D covered revenue and cash balance for FY 2006-2007, estimating
receipts and disbursements.  This cash balance will carry over
from year to year in Fund 4S4 monies.

Report E tracked budget requests and projections for FY 2007 through FY
2009, and showed what the State Library submitted for OPLIN for the FY
2008-09 budgets.  Recommendations will come out when the new
Governor presents his State of the State Address, around March 15.

Diane noted that on January 19, OBM implemented a “temporary
hiring control process” (a hiring freeze) and identified any
positions that were essential.  Otherwise, open state
positions will not be filled until after March 31.  On the
same day the memo came out, OPLIN was doing final interviews for the
Technology Project Manager vacancy.  A memo was prepared
stating the urgency of filling that position which had been vacant
since September.  The State Library’s budget analyst
said to go ahead and send it to the Governor’s office, so a
personnel action to put Karl Jendretzky into Don Nuss’ old
position is in the Governor’s office, with a memo from the
State Librarian about the importance of filling the position. 
Both OPLIN and the State Library have vacant positions that will have
to wait until after March 31 to fill.

Diane also reported that the state is converting to a new human
resources and financial system called OAKS.  OAKS was
implemented in January, and the state has already issued three
paychecks out of the system.  They are still working a few
things out, but as a whole it is working well.  The next major
piece of the project is financials, which will affect OBM a
lot.  This piece is slated to roll out July 1, 2007. 
The next budget for FY 2010-2011 will be in OAKS, and work will begin
on that in the summer of 2008.

Terry Casey motioned to approve the finance report, Jim Kenzig
seconded.  All aye.


 a. Approve policy
changes (to align with new Goals
& Objectives)

Stephen Hedges introduced the changes he was proposing for the four

  i. Provision of
Network Services by OPLIN to Public Libraries

The first policy (item 6.a.i) is the most important. 
Stephen’s proposed version replaced various language items
that were out-of-date (“broadband” instead of
“T1” for example), and made minor changes to
OPLIN’s mission summation, etc.

  ii. Extending
OPLIN to Other Public Institutions

The second policy proposal (item 6.a.ii) has similar changes.

  iii. Public
Libraries that Withdraw from OPLIN Network Services

The third one (item 6.a.iii) quoted the original (now outdated) mission
statement, so Stephen took that out and summarized the new one instead.

  iv. Acceptable
Public Library Staff & Trustee Use of OPLIN

The fourth one (item 6.a.iv) he simply took out the number

These proposed changes would be in alignment with the new
“Mission, Goals, and Objectives” document, which
was recently approved by the Board.

Gayle Patton motioned to approve the policy changes as presented, Sandi
Thompson seconded.  All aye.


 a. New
Board member

Stephen Hedges reported that he was contacted by Clyde Scoles, who felt
that he could not devote as much time to the OPLIN Board as he should
and has resigned.  In the interests of keeping the Board as
diversified as possible, both Stephen and Donna Perdzock think we
should look for a technology person and an administrative person as
candidates, preferably someone from a metro library.

Sandi Thompson thinks we should look for several names before we make a
selection.  Everyone seems to think a metro library person
would be appropriate.

There was a general discussion about potential candidates, followed by
a general agreement to hold off until the next meeting, and to look for
potential candidates in the meantime.  It was noted that there
would be several departing Board members in the near future.

 b. Accept
of Don Yarman

Stephen Hedges read Don Yarman’s letter of
resignation.  Don is now the Assistant Director of the
Delaware County District Library, but he remained on the search
committee for the Technology Project Manager position.

In answer to Board questions, Stephen feels that the pay range was not
a factor in Don’s decision to leave, and that the position is
competitively paid.

Donna Perdzock thanked Don Yarman, on behalf of the OPLIN Board, for
his contribution to OPLIN and its success during his time here.

DIRECTOR'S REPORT -- Stephen Hedges

 a. Strategic plan

Stephen Hedges highlighted some of the noteworthy OPLIN activities that
fit into the new strategic plan.  Staff have been researching
potential new Internet connections for the public libraries. 
There are 17 public libraries under the new formula that qualify for
more bandwidth.  In regard to the CLEVNET libraries, Cleveland
Public Library will probably be putting in equipment to handle fiber
connections at their hub, but not until later this year.  They
want to bring all of their branches onto the fiber.  As a
temporary measure, T1 lines will be added to the qualifying libraries,
which can be done under the SOMACS contract.  When the fiber
is ready to go, OPLIN can turn off the T1s without any penalty.

Stephen noted that staff have also started discussions with
AT&T about Ethernet connections in the Cincinnati
area.  This would cross a LATA into Cincinnati Bell
territory.  AT&T has to have an agreement with
Cincinnati Bell in order to place a fiber hub that connects with the
OPLIN hub in Columbus in that area, which is more of a legal discussion
than a technical one.  OPLIN will use T1s if it is going to
take a long time to install fiber.  Columbus Metro is in the
works, but they might have to upgrade their infrastructure before they
can install the line.

The new connections will be part of the new state contract –
when the “Son of SOMACS” is signed, it will
encompass Ethernet with new T1s in one contract.  Right now,
Ethernet is kind of a sub-contract.

Donna Perdzock noted that OPLIN’s new formula was
well-received at the last ETM meeting.

Stephen Hedges introduced Karl Jendretzky to the Board.  Karl
is going to be Don Nuss’ replacement as soon as OPLIN gets
the official approval from the Governor’s office. 
Karl has been setting up the new e-mail server.

Stephen reported on recent discussions with OIT about their billing for
Internet access.  Dan Orr (OIT) and Dan Farslow (E-Tech)
looked at the OIT bill to see what they could change in order to make
it more E-ratable.  OIT is going to come back with a revised

Karl Jendretzky has been developing new reports to help track bandwidth
usage for each public library on the OPLIN network, and also working on
mirroring OPLIN network servers at the SOCC and the OPLIN
office.  AT&T has to flip the switch to turn this on.

Karl is installing Evergreen software on a test server; Georgia is
using it for their PINES project.  Staff will examine and test
it.  A lot of public libraries are interested in it, and it
has been built to handle a consortium of libraries of all sizes.

Stephen recently spoke with the Plinkit collaborative project at Jo
Budler’s recommendation.  As part of this project,
Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and some Illinois libraries are using
Plone (an open source content management system) to construct generic
web pages for libraries.  Staff have been looking into it, and
the fee is $25,000 a year to be part of the collaborative. 
That would not save OPLIN much; Jo Budler is going to investigate it

 b. New logo(s)

Stephen Hedges noted that the new OPLIN logos are presented on the
front and back of the printed agenda for this meeting.  Joel
Husenits worked with the same graphic designer who did the State
Library logo about six months ago.  The designer came up with
a couple of dozen different design ideas, and Joel did the final work
on them.

Stephen Hedges noted that these logos will not be used as much in front
of the public as in the front of the library community.  Terry
Casey was unsure that these logos adequately communicate what OPLIN

 c. E-rate

Stephen Hedges explained current E-rate activities. 
Yesterday, Stephen decided he can E-rate all of OPLIN’s OIT
bill instead of just one small part, so he re-filed the application and
significantly increased the refund requested from E-rate.  He
will cancel the first application made to E-rate and keep the second.

Stephen also explained what we have applied for, and that OPLIN is
looking at a total of about $1.3 million in requested
discounts.  We don’t expect to see all of that; we
will be transitioning circuits throughout the year, and that will
change the specifics.

Stephen reported that OPLIN and OIT have been talking about canceling
all of the diagnostic lines to libraries.  OIT engineers
indicated they are not necessary and will be disconnected. Instead of
fixing the router by phone, OIT will dispatch someone to the
building.  Even if OIT is dispatching someone, OPLIN will save
money over time.

Stephen went over OIT’s sequence of events when they are
diagnosing a problem.  OIT has given permission to disconnect
the modems though disposition has not been determined.

Stephen reported that OPLIN is being audited for E-rate year
2004.  The auditors came to the office on Monday. They are
from KPMG, which is under contract with the FCC to do 150 audits this
year, and OPLIN is one of those.  The E-rate auditors have
pointed out that paper work can be filed when transitioning from T1s to
fiber.  No major findings from the auditors are
expected.  They are just looking at the funding request for
discounts on the T1s.

The appeal for 2005 is still percolating.

 d. Library
Project Manager search

Stephen Hedges reported that the search committee last met on January
19th, and thanked both Gayle Patton and Jim Kenzig for serving on that
committee.  After the second round of interviews, Karl
Jendretzky was promoted from the OPLIN Support Center to the Library
Technology Project Manager position.  The request was
submitted to OBM as a promotion, and it was sent to the
Governor’s office as an unclassified position.

Karl’s position may not be replaced in the OPLIN Support
Center, as his position was funded by E-rate, rather than general
revenue funds.

The Library Services Manager position cannot be addressed until after
March 31.

The next item covered on the agenda was Item 8.h.

 e. RFQ status

From Item 8.h.

Stephen Hedges reported that the RFQ process is on hold at this
point.  Stephen put out a second draft of the
committee’s recommendations on how to proceed.

Stephen has been hearing from Governor Strickland’s
people.  They are open to the idea of having the private
sector manage the last mile segment of the network, instead of the
government.  That is the service the RFQ is requesting.

 f. Circuit upgrades

Stephen Hedges showed a list of circuit upgrade requests, and where we
are in the process.  He went over some of the particular
cases, and how we discovered some billing errors in the process.

 g. Caching

Stephen Hedges related that OPLIN never got the caching devices to work
correctly. They may be given to one of the public libraries that
generate a lot of traffic.  Cleveland Public Library is
interested in having them; they worked well when tested in Cincinnati.

On to Item 8.i.

 h. Database

This followed Item 8.d.

Stephen reported that all of the database vendors are currently
contacting him about setting up the spring database previews. 
Stephen met with Carol Verny and Christine Morris (OHIONET) to discuss
the annual database preview period and OHIONET’s handling the
paid-for databases.  OPLIN's involvement with this service
originated during the years when OPLIN was LLGSF-funded.

Stephen has developed a plan to partner with OHIONET for handling
paid-for databases.  Public libraries do not have to be
OHIONET members to buy databases though them, and OHIONET would handle
all negotiations, contracts, billing, etc.  OPLIN can handle
the technical support for databases.

Stephen suggested the following plan:

  • public libraries
    get a core set of databases free from OPLIN;
  • if they want more
    than that, they can buy them from OHIONET;
  • if technical
    assistance is needed, call the OPLIN Support Center.

This plan should not  increase traffic in the OPLIN Support
Center appreciably, but we will need information from OHIONET in order
to solve problems with some databases.

The Board discussed the question: do we need a replacement Library
Services Manager if we go down this path?  Negotiating
contracts for OPLIN statewide databases is a much simpler process.

Terry Casey expressed concern that this would take some of the image
away about OPLIN’s purpose.  If there is a better
way to handle the paid-for databases, then great, but you cannot keep
shrinking what OPLIN does.

Donna Perdzock wondered if there might be a way to realign positions;
save some money on one job and put it into something
different.  Perhaps redefine what “Library Services
Manager” means.

There was a general discussion about the evolution of OPLIN’s
involvement in databases.

Back to Item 8.e.

 i. Office

Stephen Hedges reviewed a list of recent office activities. 
The State Library Board has hired a new CIO, who starts February
20.  In mid-December, a new marketing person started work at
the State Library, and revised their logo a little.

Stephen discussed some of the meetings he has been to
recently.  On February 2, there was a meeting at the State
Library for Ohio Broadband (ONE Ohio), discussing the future of the
state network.

 j. Databases and

  i. Database usage

Stephen Hedges noted that database activity was down in December, which
follows the usual trend.  Other traffic is mixed versus the
previous year.

  ii. Support
Center --
(December & January)

Stephen discussed recent activity in the Support Center. 
E-mail is a big part of it, as usual.

Terry Casey asked Stephen Hedges about OPLIN, OLC, and the State
Library, and what the plans are for when the state budget comes out; is
there any organized plan for reacting to it.  Stephen said he
has not had much contact with Lynda Murray (OLC) about the
budget.  The State Library submitted two budgets, one flat and
one with a 3% increase that had to be tagged to a new
program.  The media seems to be suggesting that the budget
crunch is bad and that we will not see that extra 3%, but there is no
talk of cutting anything.  Diane Fink agreed with Stephen, and
suggested that we will probably see flat funding.  Diane also
reported that the State Library’s capital request from the
fall of 2005 was not funded.

The State Library got a request from OBM this week to explain how they
were addressing the Strickland vision.  Their response
mentioned that OPLIN enables public libraries to be community computer
centers, and this message seems to resonate with the Strickland
administration.  When we recently sent letters to the public
libraries about filtering, three legislators called to ask about our
filtering assistance grants to public libraries, etc.

Terry Casey noted that there has been a lot of legislator
turnover.  Public libraries may have contributed a lot towards
the filtering discussion; that there is no such thing as a statewide
standard for decency, etc.  But he thinks libraries need to be
better prepared.  The cycle is shortened this year for the
state budget, and the state has even less dollars than they have had.

Stephen noted that 150 out of 250 libraries filter, including some
major libraries.  Technically, a statewide filter is possible,
and it is even technically possible to set individual standards for
each library.  However, CIPA standards say that adults have to
be able to turn the filter off, and that is the issue.  How do
you enable that when you have a central filter?

Terry Casey feels that some legislators will want to do something in
this area.  Jim Kenzig noted that if you filter on a state
level, OPLIN will probably lose the libraries that do not want to do
it.  Terry thinks some legislators will want state funding to
be tied to filtering to some extent.


Donna Perdzock reminded Board members to fill out and submit their
ethics forms.

Donna thanked Stephen Hedges and the OPLIN staff for picking up the
slack with the open positions.


The Chair called for public participation, and there was none.


Terry Casey motioned to adjourn the meeting at 12:08 p.m.