Minutes — December 11, 2015


The one hundred fifty-third meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on Friday, December 11, 2015 by Board Chair Becky Schultz at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Jill Billman-Royer, Susan Brown, Karen Davis, Joe Greenward, Cindy Lombardo, Jamie Mason, Chris May, Travis McAfee, Michael Penrod, and Becky Schultz.

Also present were: Stephen Hedges, Laura Solomon, and Karl Jendretzky (OPLIN); Beverly Cain and Jamie Pardee (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).


Jill Billman-Royer motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Susan Brown 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 described several LSTA grants awarded at the State Library Board meeting on Tuesday. The State Library Board also has a member whose term is expiring, so they submitted names to the State Board of Education for possible appointment. Beverly shared information about the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) in Ohio project symposium that was held at the State Library last week. Following discussions at the symposium, the State Library may take a leadership role in this project.

Doug Evans again thanked the Board for sponsorship of the Ohio Library Council (OLC) Convention and Expo in Cincinnati in October. He expects that the OLC will request support in February for the upcoming convention in September 2016. Doug also expressed his appreciation for OPLIN co-sponsorship of the successful RightClick 2015 convention in November. Doug noted that the OLC was involved in one of the LSTA grants awarded by the State Library Board, which will train librarians in data analysis. Doug then provided an update on several initiatives pending in the state legislature that OLC is monitoring. The Public Library Fund (PLF) distributions to libraries have increased as a result of the successful effort to increase library funding in the new state budget, but some pending legislation could reduce the PLF. Finally, Doug announced that the new OLC website, part of their re-branding, should debut in January.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of October 9 meeting

Karen Davis motioned to approve the minutes of the October 9 meeting as presented; Jamie Mason seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye, with Jill Billman-Royer abstaining.


Jamie Pardee discussed the financial reports provided to the Board. She noted that the Fiscal Year 2016 budgeted amount for the OPLIN payment toward the cost of the Ohio Web Library information resources had been adjusted. She noted that no bills had yet been received from the Office of Information Technology (OIT) for telecommunications costs. In the Revenue/Cash Balance Report, she noted that E-rate reimbursements were being received a bit sooner than expected. Stephen Hedges explained that the adjustment in the payment for the Ohio Web Library resulted from circumstances surrounding the reduction in INFOhio's budget and the subsequent cancellation of the LearningExpress Library statewide subscription.

Jill Billman-Royer motioned to accept the Financial Reports; Cindy Lombardo seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


6.1. Discuss Extending OPLIN Internet to Other Institutions policy

Stephen Hedges reminded the Board of the discussion of TV white space at the October Board meeting, where it had been decided to begin asking libraries to report such off-premises use of OPLIN circuits as part of the OPLIN E-rate process, and also to begin work on revising this policy. Stephen briefly explained the history of this policy, which was originally intended to keep libraries from sharing their OPLIN connection with schools and other local institutions. The current version has not been substantially revised in 15 years. The basic assumption is that OPLIN receives funds to provide services to public libraries, and thus OPLIN services should be limited to public libraries. If that assumption is still valid, there needs to be some way to control non-library use of OPLIN circuits.

Stephen presented three options for controlling non-library use of OPLIN circuits. One would be to simply forbid such use. Another would be the current policy, which ceases upgrades to a library's circuit if it is shared, though Stephen noted that the many overly-large circuits currently purchased to take advantage of financial incentives could make this a meaningless deterrent. The third option would be to charge the library for non-library use of circuits, which was discussed in 2012 and rejected due to the heavy burden of administering such a policy. Stephen noted that there is also a very basic question of how appropriate it is for OPLIN to dictate how a library may use their OPLIN circuit.

Ensuing discussion raised many questions. Does OPLIN need to change the policy? Would the legislature feel that public library funds were being misspent? Would some public libraries feel that non-library use of OPLIN circuits, funded by public library funds, was inappropriate? As long as the circuit is not shared with institutions, do some public libraries have the right to prevent other libraries from using the OPLIN circuit to serve their community as they see fit? There was consensus that OPLIN circuits should not be shared with local institutions, but general public use of OPLIN circuits should be handled differently. It was also understood that use of a library wi-fi connection that extends beyond the building walls to the parking lot or nearby buildings is ancillary use of the OPLIN circuit and not subject to this policy.

Should OPLIN ask libraries to provide a plan for how the library intends to use the OPLIN circuit outside of library property? Should OPLIN require that a library purchase a separate circuit for such non-library use? Since TV white space is the current technology that makes it feasible for a library to connect off-premises locations to the OPLIN circuit, should the policy specifically address TV white space, with the understanding that it will be revised as new technologies develop?

If TV white space is specifically addressed, should it be permitted or not? How much of a library's circuit is it likely to use? What if the library decided to provide TV white space Internet to an entire town? Is OPLIN responsible for providing technical support for such usage? Would the legislature feel that the library was competing with private businesses if it functioned as the Internet service provider for a community?

The Board asked Stephen to bring his recommended version of the policy to the February meeting for further discussion.

6.2. Discuss dissemination of CIPA requirements document

Stephen Hedges presented a document he had written about requirements for CIPA (Childrens Internet Protection Act) compliance. This resulted from an October Board meeting discussion about the need to better inform libraries about CIPA, since many of the recent E-rate Modernization changes put more emphasis on supporting services that require CIPA compliance for E-rate funding. He asked the Board for advice on how to disseminate this document, to get information to libraries without giving the impression that OPLIN advocates CIPA compliance.

The Board speculated that some libraries are not compliant with CIPA because they are uncomfortable with managing a filter, and Stephen noted that the document contains some information about using the free filter (OpenDNS) available from OPLIN. In response to a question, Stephen confirmed that OPLIN would receive more E-rate funds if more libraries were CIPA-compliant.

Stephen suggested that the document be posted on the OPLIN website and on the website the libraries use to report their CIPA status to OPLIN, but not disseminated through the email lists. Beverly Cain and Doug Evans also offered to link to the document from the State Library and the OLC websites. The Board felt that the availability of OpenDNS, however, should be well-publicized, and that many libraries would be interested in being CIPA-compliant if they had this information.

Stephen will place the document on the OPLIN website, provide a link to the document to the State Library and OLC for their websites, and will then start the process of informing libraries about the availability of free OpenDNS through OPLIN.


7.1. Discuss OpenDNS licensing

Karl Jendretzky noted that the OPLIN OpenDNS filtering cannot be used by CLEVNET libraries, because of the configuration of the CLEVNET Domain Name System (DNS). OpenDNS, however, does have a more advanced product that would work for CLEVNET, and would also allow all libraries to have more control over how filtering is implemented on individual workstations. Licensing fees for this product would not be assessed at the site level, but at the workstation level. Karl does not know what those fees would be; OpenDNS has not provided that information yet.

Stephen Hedges explained that this item was included on the agenda in the hope that the costs would be known before this meeting, but since the cost is still unknown, he asked the Board for general thoughts about spending more for filtering and getting this better product. Travis McAfee and Michael Penrod reported that the cooperating libraries of Wood County do not use the current OpenDNS filtering because it does not have the advanced capabilities that would be available in the better OpenDNS product. The Board looked forward to having cost information at the February meeting and making a formal decision then.

7.2. Approve OIT Network Services MOU

Stephen Hedges provided copies of a Memorandum of Understanding that OIT has requested for setting the annual cost of their Internet services provided to OPLIN. This would change billing from monthly to a single annual bill for Fiscal Year 2016. Stephen had concerns about the effect of signing such an MOU on OPLIN's E-rate funding, since any contracts for Internet services should have been in place before OPLIN submitted the application last spring for E-rate discounts in Fiscal Year 2016. Lorrie Germann, state E-rate coordinator, confirmed that signing an MOU now that set pricing for Internet services would preclude OPLIN from receiving any E-rate discounts for OIT services this year; however, a document that simply changed the billing cycle would probably not cause a problem. OIT subsequently has edited the document to attempt to address this problem.

The Board discussed some other concerns with the MOU language and possible ways to make changes, but in general questioned the need for any MOU at all. In particular, the Board was uncomfortable with signing any document which could endanger E-rate discounts. It was also noted that OPLIN revenue is received monthly, so a large annual payment could be a problem.

Jamie Mason motioned to reject the proposed Memorandum of Understanding; Michael Penrod seconded. There was no further discussion, so the Chair called for a vote.

Recorded vote: Jill Billman-Royer, aye, Susan Brown, aye, Karen Davis, aye, Joe Greenward, aye; Cindy Lombardo, aye; Jamie Mason, aye; Chris May, aye; Travis McAfee, aye; Michael Penrod, aye; and Becky Schultz, aye.

Further new business (Ohio History Day)

The Chair asked if there was any further new business to come before the Board. Stephen Hedges reported that he had been contacted about sponsoring awards for Ohio History Day, as OPLIN did last year, and asked if anyone had any objections to repeating last year's awards. There were no objections.


Stephen Hedges seconded Doug Evans' remarks earlier in the meeting as to the success of the RightClick 2015 workshop. Feedback from participants was very positive. Jill Billman-Royer thanked Laura Solomon and Karl Jendretzky for the initial idea of hosting an ice breaker event before the formal workshop. The first of the annual E-rate workshops has been completed, and the online system for collecting E-rate forms required from libraries for OPLIN has been improved, with a new area for reporting the amount of bandwidth traversing the OPLIN network that originates off library premises.

Stephen reported on his appearance before the Sunset Review Committee, which is required every five years. The Committee asked questions about the activities of the Board.

Stephen also followed up on Beverly Cain's earlier comments about the DPLA symposium with further information about the progress of that project. Stephen distributed one of the possible organization models discussed at the symposium and noted that the public library area of the model needs further planning. OPLIN could assist with leadership and resources in this area, and Stephen asked how much the Board might be willing to do. Since many organization decisions will need to happen before the February Board meeting, he requested an idea of how much latitude he had for offering OPLIN resources to the project.

Since Beverly had indicated the State Library might take leadership of the currently planned three-year pilot project for a DPLA Ohio hub, Board members asked her some questions about what the State Library might need in the way of support. Stephen also refreshed the Board on the support OPLIN has provided so far. The Board expressed interest in generally assisting the State Library with its needs. Stephen suggested that as those needs are determined, he could consult with the Executive Committee about how much support could come from OPLIN, pending the next full Board meeting.

8.1. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky explained some of the changes to the system for collecting E-rate forms from libraries, and also reported he had rebuilt the server handling SMS texting for libraries. Karl also reported developments with OIT and AT&T that could result in positive changes to the configuration of the OPLIN core. Karl reported that he has had good results dealing with Time Warner Cable directly for troubleshooting circuits, instead of working through the OIT Call center. Karl provided information about network attacks that the OPLIN DDoS hardware had successfully blocked. Finally, Karl reported on some changes to the OPLIN office infrastructure following a recent power outage.

8.2. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon noted that the website kit work has slowed down as the holidays approach, so she has been working on preparing some new features for the kits. Laura also reported on a successful, standing-room-only presentation about online tools at the Indiana Library Federation convention.

8.3. Database usage

Stephen Hedges reported that database usage statistics have been holding steady compared to last year, but he did note that World Book usage statistics are not included, since those statistics have not been available to OPLIN since September. World Book reports that the failure has been caused by work they are doing to upgrade their systems.


The Chair had no report.


On motion of Michael Penrod and second of Karen Davis the Board adjourned at 12:05 p.m.