Minutes — August 9, 2019


The one hundred seventy-fifth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:02 a.m. on Friday, August 9, 2019 by Board Vice-Chair Travis McAfee at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Travis Bautz, Jamie Black, Justin Bumbico, Jeff Garringer, Travis McAfee, Hilary Prisbylla, Tara Sidwell, Garalynn Tomas, and Holly Varley. 

Also present were: Karl Jendretzky, Jessica Dooley, and Don Yarman (OPLIN); Stephanie Herriott, Kirstin Krumsee, and Jamie Pardee (State Library); and Michelle Francis (Ohio Library Council).



The Nominations Committee proposed the following slate of officers: Travis McAfee, Chair; Chris May; Vice Chair; Jeff Garringer, Secretary; Tara Sidwell, Treasurer. Jamie Black seconded the nomination. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the nominations; all aye.


Garalynn Tomas motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Holly Varley 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 9, 2019
  • October 11, 2019
  • December 13, 2019
  • February 14, 2020
  • April 10, 2020, 9:00 AM (planning meeting)
  • June 12, 2020

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


The Chair called for public participation.

Beverly Cain is on medical leave and sent no report. Yarman reported that as as Cain had previously said, the State Library was flat funded in the budget for the next two fiscal years.

Board members congratulated Michelle Francis on her new position as Executive Director of the Ohio Library Council. Francis reported that the state’s budget was passed July 17; during the interim, state agencies continued to be funded, and the PLF reverted to 1.66% of general revenue, the level set in permanent law. In the new budget, the level is raised to 1.7% for the next two years, and OLC worked with OBM to include true-up language in the budget to make library funding whole for July. OLC successfully requested the Governor to veto two budget amendments, one concerning property tax exemptions for home builders speculating on property, which would have reduced library levy revenues, and another that would have made changes to ballot language making it more difficult for libraries to pass levies. A Budget Wrap-up webinar will soon be posted to the OLC website. OLC elections are complete with results to be announced next week. The Annual Convention and Expo will be held September 25-27. Jamie Black asked whethere there was a new Director of Government and Legal Services, and Francis replied they in the process of searching for her replacement in that position.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of June 14 meeting

Justin Bumbico motioned to approve the minutes of the June 14, 2019, meeting as presented; Holly Varley seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jamie Pardee reviewed the financial reports which are current to the end of June. The cash balance at the end of FY2019 was $2,696,230.76, with a projected reduction to $2,208,589.76 by the end of FY2020. fiscal year is of $2.5 million remaining at the end of this fiscal year. Disbursements for FY2019 totaled $5.7 million. Pardee noted that although the reports reflect a negative available balance at the end of the June, that reflects a shifting of categories from unplanned spending authority, not deficit spending. Pardee estimates admin expenses in FY2020 to increase about $10,000 (mostly in staff raises). Current estimates show that our spending authority (about $5.7 million) will fall short of planned expenses, and we will have to ask the Controlling Board for a small increase in our spending authority near the end of the fiscal year. Yarman explained the plan to reduce the unencumbered cash balance to less than $2 million, or about a year of E-rate reimbursements to cover any unexpected changes in that program.
Jamie Black motioned to accept the financial reports; Justin Bumbico seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


6.1. Moving forward with LinkedIn Learning

Yarman reviewed the history of OPLIN’s agreement for Lynda.com and the announcement in December that, on the LinkedIn Learning platform, users would need to access the content via their LinkedIn social media accounts. This decision has garnered national attention, with the American Library Association, the State Library of California, and the EveryLibrary non-profit issuing statements in opposition. OPLIN’s Content Advisory Committee participated in discussions with LinkedIn about the move, and although they objected, they determined that the value of the content was such that OPLIN should continue to work with LinkedIn to provide statewide access. 

As OPLIN tried to find beta-testers for the new platform, it was revealed that not only does library patron access require a LinkedIn account, a personal LinkedIn account is required for a library staff member to administer the service; generic library admin accounts are not permitted by LinkedIn legal. Currently, OPLIN staff are able to manage the Lynda.com service because they have every library’s Lynda admin username and password, but it is not appropriate for OPLIN to have individuals’ LinkedIn passwords. LinkedIn eventually agreed that their technical staff would have to complete the portal configuration chores for each library, since OPLIN cannot compel libraries to do this on their own. 

The agreement had reached a crossroads: continue to try to find a way to move all Ohio libraries onto an untested platform before the November 12 deadline, or issue an RFP to find another learning resource for Ohio libraries to move to after the lyndaLibrary platform is decommissioned December 31.

Jamie Black asked about usage. Ohio libraries have a total of 89,346 users, which includes anyone who has ever logged into the service via a library account, whether they continue to use it. Last month, there were 29,000 logins, and Ohio libraries add between 2000–3000 users each month. It is one of OPLIN’s most used resources, second only to genealogy resources. The cost per video watched is 39¢, or about 10¢ per minute. Garalynn Tomas expressed concern about how much work administering the service would fall to the librarian using her own LinkedIn account; Yarman replied that not much day-to-day usage would be required—OPLIN still insists on retaining access to a stats API, and that unlike the current Lynda stats, OPLIN should not need the admin password to get usage numbers.

Hilary Prisbylla said that it’s important for vendors to recognize that libraries are partners, and LinkedIn’s treatment has been adversarial; she is concerned that they will continue to change the rules and act contrary to libraries needs and requests. There was discussion about the new terms of use, which require libraries to insure that users reside within their “geographical service location,” a concept that is irrelevant among Ohio libraries due to PLF support. Further, the marketing restrictions are very strict, and there are concerns about limits on how libraries may publicize their access. 

There was additional discussion about how any change in resources would need to be communicated (to the legislature, to library administrators, and to users). Ultimately, members recommended staying with the service, and find solutions to the administrative barriers. Yarman said he knows there are libraries that intend not to offer LinkedIn Learning platform access to their patrons, and asked the Board what information should be required to opt-out. Board members wanted a record of what they were objecting to.



Yarman reported that while OPLIN used to conduct an annual survey (branch connection information, filtering policies, etc.), it has been a number of years since OPLIN has updated this information. As the legislature considers some broadband expansion projects, it would be good to refresh our data. Francis reported that it might be particularly important to know expansion costs for particular regions within the state. OPLIN does not currently provide branch circuits due to how it was originally implemented (a single T1 connection to each main library). It is probably cost-prohibitive for OPLIN to expand to manage branch circuits for libraries statewide, but presently we don’t know exactly how much that cost would be. Tara Sidwell expressed the difficulty of getting high-speed connections to library branches that serve smaller populations: it’s not worth the expense of the vendor to build out to those areas. Karl Jendretzky said that the volume of OPLIN’s orders (such as when OPLIN pushed to get fiber to all library systems in the state) can bring construction costs down.

8.1. Library Services Manager report
Laura Solomon is on medical leave. Yarman reported that she spent most of July scrutinizing the first two pilot sites migrated to Drupal 8, and recording video tutorials to help libraries understand the changes in website administration under the new Drupal 8 tools. The Wood County District Public Library launched their new Drupal 8 site on August 7. OPLIN launched a new website built on Drupal 8 on July 15. Solomon also has been working on upgrading libraries to a more modern template that will ease their transition to Drupal 8; 18 of 25 libraries have taken advantage of the upgrade “special” so far. Solomon has been working with the consultant Braindunk on some additional requirements libraries have requested: modifications to the mobile display of the website menus, so that submenus will be visible from mobile devices.

8.2. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky reported that because of the E-rate calendar, July is a busy time with new/upgraded circuits, including major vendor changes for Cuyahoga and Stark.  He continues to meet weekly with AT&T—11 branches of Cleveland Public Library have been moved from the ASE head-end in Cleveland to the SOCC, with about 17 to go. When CPL is finished, we will move 13 CLEVNET libraries, then decommission the OPLIN-paid head end in Cleveland, saving thousands of dollars each month. (It is more expensive to have the head-end in Cleveland that the co-location costs for CLEVNET in the SOCC.) Several libraries are swinging to hosted ILS, so Jendretzky has been tweaking router settings to keep them stable. He has bet with smaller fiber companies eager to take on some of OPLIN’s circuits. OPLIN expects to have a very large 470 this fall to take advantage of better Spectrum pricing, and that will give alternative companies a chance to bid for business.

Cincinnati requested paperwork to contract for rack space in the SOCC. SEO will soon move servers into the SOCC, sharing rack space with CLC. Jendretzky spoke with Akron about housing services in NR3, so the space is filling up nicely.

Jendretzky discussed growth in the automated stats collection system. With the addition of Gale stats, he has begun developing a generic stats table to allow easier updates to the vendor-specific pollers, and to the user interface for viewing the humbers. The new stats portal not only eases staff work in gathering the numbers, but will also reduce the workload for libraries retrieve their own numbers from the tables OPLIN provides.

The SMS gateway began generating a new, “DR017” error, which Jendretzky suspects is due to carriers discontinuing SMS “short codes.” On September 3rd OPLIN will transition from short code to a full phone number 877-675-4632. Libraries will have to do nothing; all changes are on OPLIN’s end.

Jendretzky has gathered quotes for a second year of providing Phishing/Security Awareness training. Currently 10,000 licenses are assigned to libraries for their use, so he’s gathering quotes for a total of 12,500 seats. A user satisfaction survey garnered 31 responses from libraries; two-thirds are satisfied/very satisfied with the service; the majority felt it important to keep the current product to minimize administrative on-boarding. Although three quotes were gathered, DAS rules will require to issue an official RFQ through the state’s procurement website. 

In her third week, Infrastructure Specialist Jessica Dooley is already helping out, troubleshooting an expired wildcard certificate on August 1 while Jendretzky was on the road to a library. Jendretzky and Dooley are discussing the development of future services OPLIN can manage.


The Chair had nothing further to report.

With no other business pending, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.