Minutes — December 8, 2017


The one hundred sixty-fifth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 8, 2017 by Board Chair Joe Greenward at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Jill Billman-Royer, Justin Bumbico, Jeff Garringer, Cindy Lombardo, Chris May, Travis McAfee, Michael Penrod, and Tara Sidwell.

Also present were: Karl Jendretzky, Mandy Knapp, Laura Solomon, and Don Yarman (OPLIN); Stephanie Herriott and Jamie Pardee (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).



Jill Billman-Royer motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Michael Penrod seconded. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Chair called for public participation.

Doug Evans reported that the December PLF distribution was slightly less than the Department of Taxation had projected, but overall, total PLF distribution for 2017 ($378.5 million) was higher than the 2016 total (an increase of 0.4%). Legislative Day has been moved from April 18 to April 11 as the General Assembly will not be in session on the 18th; Legislative Day headquarters will remain at the Capital Club. HB312 which specifies more stringent control policies for credit card use in local governments passed the house 95-0. OLC has been working to make some of the requirements more practical (in small libraries, there simply are not enough people to put into practice all the requirements the new law specifies), and they will continue their work now that the legislation has moved over to the Senate, which will take up the bill after the first of the year. HB371 exempts unsold but developed property from property taxes; this will have a big fiscal impact on some libraries, and OLC has joined with other local government organizations and the school boards association to express their concern.

Stephanie Herriott expressed Beverly Cain’s regrets for missing the meeting; she had a phone call with a legislator. Stephanie reported that the State Library Board would be meeting December 12 to consider a number of LSTA grant proposals. On the same day, the State Board of Education will be meeting to consider candidates for the State Library Board.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of October 13 meeting

Michael Penrod motioned to approve the minutes of the October 13, 2017, meeting as presented; Chris May seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jamie Pardee presented the financial reports, highlighting the growing cash balance: $2.075 million at the end of FY2017, and a projected cash balance of $3.028 million at the end of FY2018. She stressed the importance of not letting the cash balance get too high so the Governor’s office doesn’t take the funds away. So far this fiscal year expenses are on target for what was projected. Our cost for OpenDNS licensing is approaching the state’s limit of $50,000; if it exceeds that, we will have to go to the Controlling Board for approval. Jamie budgeted $10,000 in travel reimbursements for OWL trainers. The report shows $613,287 in spending authority not currently earmarked for a specific projects or expenses.

Karl Jendretzky mentioned that, having upgraded all libraries to at least 100 Mbps, we should be seeing an increase in our monthly telecommunications costs. Jamie did not have on hand what Stephen anticipated would be the expected increase.

Michael Penrod 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. OLD BUSINESS — none


7.1. Decide on History Day sponsorship
Don Yarman reported that OPLIN was asked to sponsor the Junior and Senior “Advanced Digital Researcher” awards for Ohio History Day, as we’ve done three times previously. The awards provide $125 each to the two students who make the best use of the Ohio Web Library in researching their projects.

Michael Penrod motioned to sponsor the Ohio History Day awards; Chris May seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.

7.2. Decide on OLC 2018 Convention sponsorship
The Ohio Library Council has invited OPLIN to sponsor the 2018 Convention and Expo, offering Platinum level sponsorship benefits for $10,000. Doug Evans thanked OPLIN for its past support of the Convention, and noted that OPLIN’s sponsorship of the event helps offset Internet access fees embedded in the rental costs at Kalahari Resort and Conference Center, and allows OLC to provide computers and charging stations for conference attendees. In addition to recognition of the sponsorship on conference materials, OPLIN will receive exhibit space with electrical service and meeting space for the OPLIN Annual Update meeting.

Cindy Lombardo motioned to approve Platinum level sponsorship of the 2018 OLC Convention and Expo; Michael Penrod seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Don Yarman highlighted major activities from the written report: the Ohio Web Library Product Selection meeting November 13, the addition of OWL Specialist mileage reimbursement to the budget, and information about the project to replace the fire suppression equipment at the SOCC. Only two of the five reviewers recommended the preliminary proposal to the IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program for funding, so we were not invited to submit a full proposal. It does not appear that the development partners at Wright State University and the Greene County Public Library intend to resubmit. Don is working his way through the state’s training modules, has completed mandatory sexual harassment awareness training for supervisors, and the large telecommunications bills have begun to make sense.

8.1. Library Services Manager report
Laura Solomon reported that 24 libraries have installed the new emergency message function on their Webkit sites. We picked up 4 new libraries for Webkits since October. Laura rebuilt the Delaware County District Library’s existing Drupal site in the Webkit platform, and that was completed and launched at the beginning of December. Laura’s proposal to present about online tools at the Computers in Libraries conference in Washington D.C. next April was accepted.

8.2. Digital Resources Manager report
Mandy Knapp reported that OhioLINK is currently negotiating with vendors for the desired Ohio Web Library databases selected by the committees at the November 13 meeting. We can’t yet reveal what products were selected, but the public library representatives in the process were pleased with the recommendations. A few of the OWL Specialists have completed the paperwork to become vendors for the state so they can receive reimbursements for their travel to other libraries for training; Mandy doubts that we will spend much of what we have budgeted, but the Specialists were very thankful that reimbursements are available. Five Specialists have already delivered the training they committed to. SERLS, which already offers database webinars every two weeks, has offered us the use of their webinar platform and promotional network for OWL Specialist training in the area. Partnering with OhioNET, we’ve offered a few vendor-delivered webinars for the databases; Ancestry has proven the most popular.

We have received almost all of the expected E-rate reimbursements for service year 2016; our 2017 paperwork is still in review. Right now, we’re working on service year 2018 paperwork. Lorrie Germann’s fall E-rate workshop had 60 attendees: 50 online and 10 in person.

Mandy reported that we are having problems with the Ancestry statistics for October, so the statistical report shows a drop that should not be there. We’re working with Ancestry to address that.

8.3. Technology Projects Manager report
Karl Jendretzky updated the Board on his work rebuilding the servers that handle public-facing services to make them as stable as possible. The SMS Gateway services (which picked up three new libraries -- Portage, Kent, and Reed) were moved from locally-hosted servers to AWS hosting, which involved rewriting much of the code to upgrade the service from PHP5 to PHP7, and in the process improved the error-handling. He also moved OPLIN’s custom code server, which is kept separate from the Drupal and Wordpress sites to limit damage if either the content management systems or Karl’s custom code is compromised. Moving the SMS Gateway and custom code services to AWS freed up hardware, which is now used as backup for the physical servers that have to remain within the network: EZProxy and the listservs. (The code that handles database authentication logic runs on the custom code server in AWS, so if remote access through EZProxy goes down, in-library access to databases won’t be interrupted.)

Next week, CLEVNET is scheduled to move its core from Cleveland to the SOCC. Once this is accomplished, it will simplify CLEVNET’s topology as OPLIN will accept the CLEVNET member library connections and deliver them to CLEVNET on a single connection inside their private network. In addition, it saves OPLIN money because it eliminates the need for head-end ports for library connections up in Cleveland.

On November 9, one of Juniper’s large carrier cards in the core failed, taking out roughly 60 Gbps of connectivity inside the OPLIN network. The only actual impact was to a single collector circuit with a few “oddball” services: the OPLIN office and the dedicated VOIP circuit (which took out Columbus Metropolitan Library’s phone system). The office has since moved to a Spectrum circuit (also eliminating another head-end port cost), and the VOIP pathway is being moved by OARnet onto the collector trunk, so that will have redundancy going forward. The goal: to be so resilient and reliable that our services are transparent.

Karl and Don met with OARnet about DDOS protection. OARnet’s solution is in production: the entire state is protected by two scrubbing centers from two different vendors. OARnet is building out the automation for notifications, ticketing, and methods for Karl to identify and remedy DDOS attacks. We will pay for this service by forgoing the usual reduction in annual bandwidth costs (which is bundled into the annual cost we pay to OIT for management, etc.).

Karl and Mandy are working on a 470 for about 40 libraries; about 10 libraries need bandwidth upgrades, and the rest are due contract intricacies of connecting CLEVNET libraries to CLEVNET services at the SOCC.

Karl has added monitoring the connections to high-profile, cloud-hosted catalogs(similar to the monitoring of library circuits) so we can offer better troubleshooting if a library calls to report problems. For example, we’ll be able to tell if SEO’s remotely hosted library system goes down, affecting 93 libraries across the state.

As reported above, the 30 year old sprinkler system at the SOCC is being replaced. Karl listened to a conference call for SOCC tenants detailing the careful plans for replacing it: all workers are cleared to work near law-enforcement systems; moving section by section, contractors will erect scaffolding around the racks, putting up dust barriers and filters to prevent debris from being sucked into equipment; they will clean ceiling tiles on both top and bottom before removal; all cutting and grinding of pipes will be done off site, not in data areas. The air barriers around the racks will have temperature sensors to check that equipment doesn’t overheat, and they’ll do hourly walk-throughs around the clock with staff to make sure everything is stable. Although the sprinkler system is disabled, the smoke detectors will still function. New pipes will be filled with compressed air for a couple days to make sure they’re solid, then they’ll be filled with water at city pressure to make sure there are no leaks, then finally brought up to 220 psi for final inspection. Data center work will begin in January. Jill Billman-Royer asked if there were any concerns that additional costs would be passed on to us; Karl couldn’t say for sure, but believed it was part of normal building maintenance.

Justin Bumbico asked for more clarification of DDOS protection mechanism. Karl explained that all of OPLIN and OIT are behind OARnet’s services. OARnet can get alerted on DDOS events, and they are programming their ticketing system to pass the alerts along. Preferably, if OARnet sees an attack on an OPLIN IP address, they will send Karl an email with a JSON-encoded string so Karl can develop a daemon that picks out IP, time, duration, source, etc., and sends an automated email to a library with details. We want to make sure that we don’t overreact to false positives; most of the times DDOS events last about 5 minutes, and we have a greater risk of blocking legitimate traffic than we have from attacks. Our goal is to let the system monitor the traffic and learn to recognize “real events,” so that we can begin moving into more proactive blocking of legitimate, longer duration attacks. Karl used the example of the copyright notices and vendor maintenance announcements to illustrate his plans: his scripts pick out important information from the emails we receive, and turns them into emails (or, in the case of maintenance announcements, calendar invites) that are sent out to our technical contacts.

Chair Joe Greenward asked Don Yarman to report that Cindy Lombardo has tendered her resignation from the Board because she is retiring from the Cleveland Public Library.

The Chair recognized Chris May to offer the following resolution:

WHEREAS, CINDY LOMBARDO has been a member of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees since June 2013, and

WHEREAS she has freely and unselfishly given of her time and efforts to ensure the success of OPLIN by serving on the Board for four and a half years, and

WHEREAS her service as the Deputy Director at the Cleveland Public Library gave her an exceptional perspective on OPLIN and its services to libraries, and

WHEREAS the insight she developed as an experienced library administrator have always been a helpful source of information for the Board, and

WHEREAS she has consistently contributed her valuable opinions to OPLIN Board deliberations, and

WHEREAS he has been a steadfast and active advocate for OPLIN throughout her tenure on the Board,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that on the 8th day of December, Two Thousand and Seventeen, the members of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Public Library Information Network recognize the significant contributions made to public libraries and library service by CINDY LOMBARDO during her outstanding tenure with the Ohio Public Library Information Network, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board extends its most sincere thanks and appreciation to CINDY LOMBARDO for her continued volunteer service as a member of that Board.

Michael Penrod seconded the resolution. All aye.

Don explained that this is similar to the situation last December when Marty Beets left the Board. The consensus then was to fill the unexpected vacancy as part of the normal Board search and nominations process that will begin when the Chair appoints a nominations committee in February. Our records show that Jill Billman-Royer and Susan Brown will be completing their second terms on the Board in July, and that Chris May and Travis McAfee are completing their first terms. Don also reported that he received email from Jamie Black who is leaving the Loudonville Public Library Board but will remain on the OPLIN Board.


On motion of Cindy Lombardo and second of Michael Penrod the Board adjourned at 10:53 a.m.