PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTEENTH REGULAR MEETING of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES
WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER
The one hundred seventeenth
meeting of the Ohio Public Library
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 11, 2009 by Board Chair Karl
Colón at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
Present were Board members:
Don Barlow, Gary Branson, Jason Buydos, Ben Chinni, Karl
Colón, Jamie Mason, Bonnie Mathies, Gayle Patton, Sandi
Plymire, and Jeff Wale.
Also present were: Stephen
Hedges, Laura Solomon and Karl Jendretzky (OPLIN); Diane
Fink and Matthew Dyer (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio
Doug Evans reported that the Ohio Library Council is asking
all OLC members to contact the Ohio Senate to urge passage of HB318
before the Senate adjourns for the holidays. This is a joint effort of
OLC, the K-12 and higher education communities, health and human
services providers, and local governments. Continued Senate inaction on
this budget-balancing bill could have a huge financial impact on
libraries and other state services. If the scheduled income tax
reduction is not delayed, as HB318 proposes, there is concern that
there will be additional drastic cuts in the funding for state services.
Colón asked everyone to introduce themselves, since
the new Head of
Employee Services for the State Library (Matthew Dyer) and two new
Board members (Jason Buydos and Jamie Mason) were present.
APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Bonnie Mathies motioned to
approve the agenda as presented; Don Barlow seconded. All aye.
APPROVAL OF BOARD VICE-CHAIR
Colón noted that the Nominating Committee had recommended Sandi Plymire
as the new Vice-Chair of the OPLIN Board, but this was inadvertently
omitted from the last meeting.
Gayle Patton motioned to
approve Sandi Plymire as Vice-Chair of the Board; Jeff Wale seconded.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
of October 9 Meeting
Don Barlow motioned to
approve the minutes of the October 9 meeting; Sandi Plymire
seconded. All aye.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE
Diane Fink presented the Financial Reports as of November 30,
2009. Report A showed
budget and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009;
budget and expenditures for the current Fiscal Year (2010); and Report
C showed the
revenue and cash balances for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010.
Diane reported that all purchase orders for FY 2009 have now been paid
or otherwise closed. She noted that a small balance for unemployment
charges was canceled because it was no longer needed; this balance,
added to mandated contract reductions and the cancellation of one
filtering grant, resulted in a year-end General Revenue Fund (GRF)
balance of $2,956.52 which now reverts to the state treasury. In Fund
4S4, approximately $1.4 million of the $3 million spending authority
Stephen Hedges asked Diane to clarify OPLIN funding for the
benefit of the new Board members. Diane explained that through FY 2009
OPLIN received funds from the state GRF as well as some non-GRF funds—primarily
were grouped into Fund 4S4. For these 4S4 monies, OPLIN had to request
"spending authority" to be able to use them. In the current FY
2010-2011 biennial budget, all OPLIN accounts draw from Fund
4S4, which is
now a combination of money transferred from the Public Library Fund
(PLF) plus $2 million in spending authority that allows OPLIN to
reimbursements and other money not collected from the PLF. Diane also
explained that OPLIN has drawn additional funds in the past from the
state's Capital Budget to purchase replacement routers for the network.
Patton asked for clarification of the $10,000 budgeted in FY 2008 for
Kent State University's review of the OPLIN web site, which was never
expended. Stephen explained that KSU had not provided OPLIN with a
final report, as per the contractual agreement, and therefore will not
bill OPLIN for the work they did. Diane noted that this money was
budgeted to come from Fund 4S4 and thus remains in the fund.
Diane took a few
minutes to explain the OPLIN budget categories and line items to new
Board members. She pointed out reductions in rent and a consultant's
contract that were negotiated at the end of FY 2009. The total amount
in Fund 4S4 is $5,702,150, which consists of $3,702,150 transferred
from the PLF and $2 million spending authority. Jeff Wale asked about
differences in the FY 2010 budget for telecommunications compared to
actual expenditures in FY 2009; Diane explained that budget amounts
will be adjusted as the total amount actually needed becomes clearer
near the end of the fiscal year.
that the cash balance in Fund 4S4 was about $1.5 million at the end of
FY 2009, but after the Office of Budget and Management (OBM)
transferred the entire $3.7 million from the PLF to OPLIN, followed by
large payments for databases and telecommunications, the cash balance
now stands at about $3.35 million. Diane called attention to $6,435
received so far this fiscal year for the Website Kits. She also
reminded the Board that OPLIN now applies for E-rate reimbursements
semi-annually rather than annually, which smooths the cash flow a
still waiting for instructions from OBM for the 2011-2012 Capital
Budget. Once OBM releases those instructions, OPLIN can begin the
process of applying for more capital funds to purchase replacement
routers, since we were ultimately unable to match our 2009-2010 capital
funds with GRF monies and thus have not yet purchased all of the needed
Gayle Patton motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Gary Branson seconded. All aye.
7. OLD BUSINESS
Discussion of Internet connection for Central Library Consortium
Stephen Hedges presented a formal letter from Carol Roddy,
Director of the Central Library Consortium (CLC), requesting that OPLIN
take over payments for their state-contracted Internet circuit and
associated management fees. He also provided a network diagram of CLC
which he and Karl Jendretzky had obtained during a visit to CLC on the
preceding day, December 10.
Stephen explained that this item is
"old business" because the issue was previously discussed at the April
2007 OPLIN Board meeting, without any formal action taken.
Historically, OPLIN had been paying for a connection to CLC, which was
shared by the Wagnalls Memorial Library, since both entities are
located on the same premises. When Wagnalls began receiving state
public library funding, they requested an independent connection, at
which point OPLIN provided Wagnalls with a T1 circuit and discontinued
payments for CLC's 10 Mbps circuit. It recently came to light that the
billing for circuit management fees had never been transferred to CLC,
and the discussions about resolving this issue lead to this renewed
request from CLC that OPLIN pay all costs for their Internet connection.
has suggested to CLC that they put their consortial traffic on the
Wagnalls circuit, which OPLIN would upgrade as needed, and discontinue
their independent circuit. This network model would conform closely to
the OPLIN arrangement with Cleveland Public Library/CLEVNET. The CLC
Board has declined this suggestion. Stephen then explained the way the
CLC network is currently configured among the libraries in the
consortium and reported that CLC might be willing to reconfigure their
network to fit within an OPLIN proposal for connecting all the member
libraries as well as the CLC office to each other and the Internet. For
example, OPLIN could pay for connections between the member libraries
and the OPLIN core, separate the shared CLC catalog system
at the core, and send that catalog traffic back to the CLC office on a
CLC-paid circuit. This would increase our cost, since OPLIN would have
to pay management fees on all circuits terminating at the core. (Seven
of the OPLIN-provided CLC library circuits currently terminate at the
CLC office and OPLIN does not pay management fees for them.)
Another example would be to terminate all of the CLC library circuits
at the CLC office, so OPLIN would pay no management fees, and then
bring all of the traffic from the CLC office to the OPLIN core on an
OPLIN-paid circuit. Since most CLC libraries currently pay for a
separate circuit for their general Internet traffic and use the
OPLIN-provided circuit for their CLC catalog traffic, either scenario
would save money for the individual libraries by putting all of their
traffic on an OPLIN-provided circuit. The question becomes: what should
OPLIN pay for, and what should CLC pay for?
Colón asked about the configuration of the SEO network. Stephen replied
that it would correspond to the first example: all the member library
circuits terminate at the core and catalog traffic then gets directed
to the SEO office. CLEVNET corresponds to the second example, where
library circuits terminate at a central location before traffic is
directed to the OPLIN core. Board members then discussed the physical
relationship between the CLC office and the Wagnalls library
facilities, and the similarities and differences between that
relationship and the Cleveland Public Library/CLEVNET relationship.
Buydos questioned how providing consortium connections fits within the
OPLIN mission. Stephen and Karl Jendretzky replied that OPLIN prefers
to pay for library connections, some of which may also happen
carry consortial traffic. If the consortium assumes management fees for
the circuits to member libraries, as is the case with CLEVNET, the cost
to OPLIN for providing a larger circuit to such a library is offset by
the management savings.
Gayle Patton asked Stephen if he had a
recommendation, and he replied that he did not. Karl Jendretzky did
point out that, from a purely technical standpoint, circuits that
terminate at the OPLIN core are easier to monitor and upgrade.
Colón noted that much of the information under discussion had only been
gathered a day earlier, and wondered if tabling this issue would give
the OPLIN Director more time to develop a recommendation. Stephen
responded that he feels this is a policy question before the Board, and
was reluctant to promise a recommendation.
Colón noted that this issue could be approached as either a policy
issue or a decision about a single case. Ensuing Board discussion
circled around the limits of OPLIN's general mission and how involved
OPLIN should be in the details of the relationship between CLC
libraries and the CLC office. Several Board members felt that this must
be handled as a policy issue and not a single case decision. Karl
suggested that this issue be tabled to allow time for further
investigation, development of a recommendation, and more discussion at
the next Board meeting. If this is to be a policy decision, it could
have ramifications that affect many more libraries than just the CLC
With the consent of the Board, Karl
Colón appointed Gayle Patton, Jeff Wale, and Jason Buydos to an ad hoc
committee charged with the responsibility of working with Stephen to
develop the case and policy information necessary for the Board to
debate this issue fully at the next meeting. He also authorized travel
expenses for committee members to the CLC office should they feel such
a trip would be beneficial.
Gary Branson motioned to
table the discussion until the next Board meeting; Jeff Wale seconded.
Approval of switching some AT&T circuits to Time
Stephen Hedges reminded the Board that Time Warner Cable now
master contract with the Ohio Office of Information Technology (OIT)
for fiber-optic circuits,
which means they join AT&T and TW Telecom as potential vendors
OPLIN Ethernet circuits. In another recent development, OIT did not
receive funding to maintain the Broadband Ohio Network, which had been
using the OARnet fiber backbone to bring state agency traffic from
remote areas of the state back to Columbus over the past year,
including many OPLIN circuits to libraries outside central Ohio. For
OPLIN, this means paying AT&T and TW Telecom for long-haul
service, which adds considerable expense in some cases.
Time Warner Cable is not regulated as a telecommunications
company and does not charge for Ethernet long-haul. Their cost for
local circuits is slightly higher than the other two vendors, and they
charge a $1,500 per circuit installation fee and can also charge for
any construction costs incurred in building fiber to the library. OPLIN
sent TWC a list of all libraries which would require long-haul
Ethernet as well as all libraries which currently have multiple T1
lines because they are located in areas where we have not been able to
get Ethernet. TWC was able to provide service to most of these
libraries, and agreed to waive all construction costs if OPLIN
would commit to installing circuits in large groups.
Stephen provided a detailed explanation of a large spreadsheet
which listed the libraries in question and factored in installation
costs, AT&T disconnection penalties, monthly
costs/savings, and then calculated optimum proposed dates for switching
the circuits to TWC. Circuits from TW Telecom were not included in the
plan because their disconnection penalties are too expensive to be
considered at this time. Stephen also noted that all parties that would
involved in the process of finding a solution to our long-haul Ethernet
problem—AT&T, TWC, and OIT—have been very willing to be
flexible to the extent possible within the confines of contracts and
Jeff Wale asked several questions about the
process of constructing TWC circuits into the library buildings;
Stephen replied that the $1,500 installation fee covers pulling fiber
to the library's demarcation point, and that the library must give
permission to construct before any work is done. Jeff also asked if
OPLIN had any previous experience with TWC; Karl Jendretzky replied
that we have no direct experience, but we have had conversations with
Columbus Metropolitan Library, which uses TWC connections for branch
libraries, and they are pleased with TWC.
Stephen noted that
decisions about circuit changes are not generally brought before the
Board, but this change would affect a significant portion of the entire
OPLIN network. Karl Colón asked if a vote of the Board was
required; Stephen replied that he was informing the Board of his
intention to proceed with the changes unless the Board had objections.
Stephen also noted that TWC could provide 3 Mbps Ethernet circuits to
117 libraries that currently have single T1 circuits, for approximately
the same monthly charge as OPLIN currently pays to AT&T for the
T1s, but the
total installation costs for all these circuits would be too much for
our operating budget and may become a capital budget request.
Wale had no objection to the plan as a whole, but cautioned that OPLIN
should monitor the construction process carefully to avoid problems for
the libraries. Jeff also asked if the switch would affect our plans for
replacing routers, and Karl Jendretzky replied that it would not.
Karl Colón asked if OPLIN staff had confidence in the
of the TWC network and their ability to meet their
Jendretzky replied that he had good reports from other TWC users and
expected TWC to be able to meet the terms of their state contract. Ben
Chinni noted that the quality of residential service from TWC varies
depending on the area of the state; Karl Jendretzky replied that
this service differs fundamentally from TWC's residential service,
being entirely on fiber, and is covered by a statewide Service Level
Agreement. Don Barlow asked about the term of the contract; Stephen
replied that he did not know, although the contract does include 5-year
pricing options; negotiating contract extensions, etc., would be the
responsibility of OIT.
There was no further discussion. In
response to a question from the Chair, Stephen noted that libraries
affected by the switch would be notified as soon as possible.
Stephen Hedges gave an update on the progress of the E-rate
training workshops done by Lorrie Germann, our E-rate consultant from
eTech Ohio, at the State Library. He noted that he and Lorrie have
decided to apply for E-rate Priority 2 funds for OPLIN to offset the
cost of some of the replacement routers.
Stephen asked Karl Jendretzky to explain recent changes to the
OPLIN servers. Karl has been moving from virtual servers back to
physical servers after the virtual server controller failed and brought
down all our servers on a recent weekend. With the exception of two
hard drives, no new hardware has been needed for this change.
Stephen reported that he submitted brief comments to the FCC
in response to a request for comments on the E-rate system. The FCC
questions indicate that there may be some changes to E-rate in the near
Stephen commented on two recent meetings. First, the Columbus
Metropolitan Library technology staff held a "retreat" at the OPLIN
office, which gave OPLIN staff the opportunity to share information
with them. Second, Stephen reported that he presented a sketch of a
proposed new system for gathering, keeping, and reporting library
statistics to the OLC Government Relations Committee. This new system
would function as a "data center" where libraries could store some key
statistical data for later retrieval. It would not replace the State
Library's annual survey, nor would it be as accurate as the State
Library's statistics, but it would replace the annual OPLIN
Connectivity Survey and provide "raw" data more quickly than the State
Library statistical reports.
and Network Reports
Laura Solomon presented detailed statistical data on database
usage rather than the usual chart because several vendors, most notably
EBSCO, have had problems delivering statistics. This is a high-priority
issue for EBSCO. Other statistics are missing because OhioLINK is
moving some servers to a more centralized data center for all higher
education institutions. Laura expects to have complete statistics for
the next Board meeting.
Laura also reported on her social media training activities,
which included a webinar done with Lynda Murray (OLC) covering the Save
Ohio Libraries social media campaign.
Center (October and November)
Karl Jendretzky reported that there was no unusual activity in
the Support Center in the past two months.
Karl Colón thanked everyone for their participation and wished
happy holidays to all.
Gary Branson motioned to
adjourn the meeting at 11:51 a.m.; Don Barlow seconded.