Minutes — February 13, 2015


The one hundred forty-eighth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 13, 2015 by Board Chair Jill Billman-Royer at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Jill Billman-Royer, Susan Brown, Ben Chinni, Karen Davis, Joe Greenward, Jamie Mason, Michael Penrod, and Becky Schultz.

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

Chair Jill Billman-Royer welcomed Ann Watson, the new Associate State Librarian for Library Services, and asked everyone to introduce themselves.


Jamie Mason 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 provided an update on the Governor's proposed biennial budget and its possible impact on public library funding, but he cautioned that this will not be the final budget. Hearings on the budget are already underway in the House, with associated lobbying from interest groups.

Doug also reported that work on the federal Ebook Project has been paused pending an analysis of the new Congress' interest in the project. Doug also mentioned a number of upcoming Ohio Library Council (OLC) workshops and events, and thanked the OPLIN Board again for their support of the OLC Convention & Expo. He also announced that OLC Director of Government and Legal Services Michelle Francis recently gave birth to a new daughter.

In response to a question from Jamie Mason, Doug provided more details about the progress of the budget. Jamie Pardee noted that State Library staff and Stephen Hedges had a meeting with the Legislative Service Commission regarding the State Library's budget, and that testimony on that part of the budget has been scheduled before the House Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education. Michael Penrod asked if there were any changes in the proposed budget for the State Library and OPLIN, and Jamie reported that the proposed budget is essentially the same as the current budget.

Doug noted that the OLC Legislative Day is scheduled for April 28 and efforts will continue toward increasing the Public Library Fund (PLF) percentage to 2.2% of state tax revenue. The Office of Budget and Management is currently predicting an increase in tax revenue and the PLF under the Governor's proposed budget, but legislative changes to the budget could negate that increase.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of December 12 meeting

Karen Davis motioned to approve the minutes of the December 12 meeting as presented; Ben Chinni seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jamie Pardee presented information about the current fiscal year budget as of January 31. A little more than half of the administrative budget has been disbursed, which is as expected. One large open encumbrance is being held for purchase of the system to combat denial of service attacks on the network. Jamie also presented the actual and projected cash balance reports.

Stephen Hedges noted that the amount budgeted for fees for Board financial disclosure statements may not all be needed if Board members file their statements before the deadline, since about half of the amount budgeted is held for late filing penalties.

Susan Brown motioned to accept the Financial Reports; Michael Penrod seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


6.1. Approve revised teleworking policy

Stephen Hedges reported that following Board action on revising the office teleworking policy at the last meeting, the resulting document was sent to the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) for review. DAS made a number of very good suggestions for improving the policy, which were reflected in documents Stephen provided to the Board. The intent of many of the changes was to clarify that teleworking is covered by the same employee policies as work performed at the OPLIN office, and to emphasize that OPLIN has the authority to offer or revoke teleworking arrangements at any time. DAS has already issued a letter of approval for the version of the policy incorporating their changes, and Stephen now asked the Board to grant their approval of the revised policy.

Stephen also noted that since the wording changes did not affect the original intentions of the Board, a roll call vote was probably not necessary.

Jamie Mason motioned that the revised teleworking policy with the recommended wording changes from the Department of Administrative Services be approved as presented; Karen Davis seconded. There was no further discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


7.1. Discuss possible OPLIN TechFeis

Stephen Hedges reported that OPLIN staff have discussed the idea of an annual social event for library IT staff in late spring or early summer that would provide some of the informal information sharing opportunities once provided by the TechConnections conferences. He has talked to Lori Hensley at the Ohio Library Council, who confirmed that the OLC IT Division does plan to do a formal event for library IT staff later this year — their first event in several years — but a spring social event would not affect their plans, and in fact they would probably be interested in knowing what topics were discussed at any such event. So far, the idea has been developed to the point that Stephen proposes an afternoon social event taking place for two hours at an Irish pub, calling the event TechFeis. ("Feis" is Gaelic for "festival".) The venue for such an event would need good parking and would also need to be within walking distance of good hotel space.

Jamie Mason questioned the two-hour timeframe as possibly too short, particularly if library directors are going to be asked to allow their IT staff to travel to the event. The Board in general agreed that informal meetings in a social setting were valuable sources of information, but suggested that an agenda would make it easier to initiate the sharing of information.

Karl Jendretzky admitted that he was not convinced that an afternoon event would work, and suggested the event could be held in the evening after a more formal conference. Doug Evans noted that there had been similar discussion in the OLC office, particularly in regard to the possibility of holding the social event in conjunction with the IT Division's fall workshop.

General discussion ensued about the timing of the event and ways to reduce the likelihood of attendees driving afterwards. Several Board members suggested that the event could be held the evening before the IT Division workshop, so attendees would have a good reason to stay overnight. Stephen will work with Lori Hensley to see if that can be arranged and will report back to the Board.

7.2. Approve support for DPLA planning grant

Stephen Hedges provided information about the new application process that the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has started. One desired outcome of the Digitization Hubs project is placing materials in the DPLA. DPLA can only handle one content "feed" per state, however, so many of the interested organizations in Ohio have started working on submitting a coordinated application for Ohio DPLA membership. After several meetings, these organizations have decided to apply for a grant, with Columbus Metropolitan Library acting as fiscal agent, to hire consultants to coordinate a planning process for creating the application. The State Library has indicated that about $40,000 of federal LSTA funds could be available for such a grant, which would probably cover the cost of the consultants themselves, but no additional costs, such as travel costs for a DPLA representative to travel to Ohio and assist with the process. Stephen asked if the Board would be interested in covering such costs, probably less than $10,000.

In response to questions, Stephen reported that these particular federal LSTA funds would not require matching local funds. There were also questions about the exact nature of some of the additional costs; Stephen replied that the planning process would probably be similar to the process that created OPLIN, with at least one large meeting to bring all interested parties together, and some of the additional costs would arise from that.

The Board was not comfortable with taking responsibility for just the additional costs, due to the nature of those costs, and discussed some other possible ways to provide financial support for the planning process. Stephen will work with the interested parties to find some other way to structure the grant funding, and may return to the Board with a more specific request for funding.

7.3. Approve support for Ohio History Day

Stephen Hedges provided a copy of correspondence with the Ohio History Connection regarding sponsoring a Special Award for student participants in Ohio History Day. Organizations usually set their own parameters for awards and those parameters usually support the organization's mission, so they suggested a monetary award of $100-$250 for the student who made the best use of the Ohio Web Library databases in their project. Stephen noted that almost 7,000 students across Ohio participate in this program each year, and the OPLIN Policy on Sponsorship of Events Planned by Others lists "awareness and usage of any kind related to OPLIN-provided databases" as an area eligible for OPLIN sponsorship.

Ben Chinni motioned that OPLIN sponsor an Ohio History Day award in an amount not to exceed $250; Jamie Mason seconded.

Susan Brown asked if OPLIN would develop the criteria for the award, and Stephen answered that he would do that. Jill Billman-Royer suggested that Stephen inquire if it would be possible to split the funds into two or more awards. The Board also asked Stephen to make sure no OPLIN Board family members received an award.

There was no further discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Stephen Hedges noted that there were not many other significant events to report during the holiday season, but he did report on reaction at the ETM meeting in Lancaster to his question about interest in OPLIN building or providing Summer Reading Program software for libraries, a discussion item at the Board's December meeting. Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, one of the ETM members, reported that they have been working on building their own Summer Reading Program software that they intend to share with other libraries. Stephen offered OPLIN's help to Heights Library should they ever want it.

In regard to other office activities, Stephen highlighted the data security hearing he attended before the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee, an OPLIN-sponsored webinar on Managed Wireless, and presentations about OPLIN given to the State Library Board and the CLEVNET library directors. Stephen, Jamie Pardee, and Ann Watson also commented on the Legislative Service Commission meeting about the State Library Budget.

8.1. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky provided a chart showing the increase in usage of the SMS notification system since 2012; the system is currently sending about 50,000 messages a month to library patrons. Karl reported that CLEVNET is considering using the system, which would add about 500 messages a day.

Karl also reported on a new hardware component for the OPLIN core router that would allow transmission of 10 gigabits per second. Over 110 circuits were upgraded and moved to new connections at the core in January.

Karl has also been revising OPLIN logos into vector art and rebuilding some OPLIN websites on a Bootstrap framework, for better response on mobile devices. Stephen noted that this work, as well as some other marketing that Laura has been working on, is being undertaken in preparation for the twentieth anniversary on June 30 of the original OPLIN enabling legislation.

8.2. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon shared a summary of the scoring of the bids received in response to the Request for Proposals for re-theming of the website kits as they are upgraded to Drupal 7. OPLIN has contracted with Braindunk LLC to do this work and Laura has been working with them for about three weeks; she described the re-theming process.

Laura has now been able to work on OPLIN marketing, starting with some re-branding of OPLIN services, so they could be marketed as individual products. The target date for the re-branding is the June anniversary of OPLIN.

8.3. Database usage

Stephen Hedges reported that the January EBSCO statistics have a drastic increase in searches, which is clearly an error, but to date he has not been able to trace the problem. He also reported that LearningExpress is now including Workforce Skills usage statistics within the regular LearningExpress statistics.



9.1. Board nominations committee

Chair Jill Billman-Royer appointed Don Barlow, Ben Chinni, and Jamie Mason to the ad-hoc Nominations Committee. She charged the committee with working with the OPLIN Director to solicit nominations for the OPLIN Board, after which the committee will review the nominations and recommend two candidates to the full Board at the April Planning Meeting. The committee will also prepare a slate of officer candidates for consideration by the Board at the August election of Board officers.

9.2. Discuss April Planning Meeting

At the request of Jill Billman-Royer, Stephen Hedges provided an overview of the agenda and procedures for the Board's April 10 Planning Meeting,


On motion of Jamie Mason and second of Susan Brown the Board adjourned at 11:37 a.m.