OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-SECOND REGULAR MEETING of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Minutes — February 8, 2019
1. WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER
The one hundred seventy-second meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 8, 2019 by Board Chair Michael Penrod at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.
Present were Board members: Angela Baldree, Jamie Black, Justin Bumbico, Jeff Garringer, Chris May, Travis McAfee, Michael Penrod, Tara Sidwell, Garalynn Tomas, and Holly Varley.
Also present were: Karl Jendretzky, Mandy Knapp, Laura Solomon, and Don Yarman (OPLIN); Beverly Cain and Stephanie Herriott (State Library); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).
2. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Garalynn Tomas motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Chris May seconded. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
The Chair called for public participation.
Beverly Cain reported that the State Library Board met on January 17 and awarded just over $100,000 in LSTA grants. The Licking County Libraries received an Outreach and Partnership Grant to support the installation of another automated “Library in a Box” like their one on the COTC campus; this second kiosk will be located in the underserved Eastern part of Licking County, and will feature lockers for additional held items to be picked up. The Bucyrus Public Library was awarded an Automation grant for over $20,000 to support their migration to Evergreen and membership in the Consortium of Ohio Libraries. OPLIN received a grant for up to $70,000 to upgrade the platform for the OPLIN Website Kits, and OLC was granted $11,050 to support a collaborative library conference to be held in June. The State Library has suspended the program of special grants supporting mental health first aid training as that program was so popular it is now out of money; grants may return in the next federal fiscal year beginning October 1. Altogether, over 1,200 people were trained. The application deadline for ILEAD participants was January 31; Cain reported they had received very good applications, and the team is reviewing those and selecting participants for the first in-person ILEAD session to be held in March.
Doug Evans expanded on the LSTA grant awarded to OLC on behalf of two other partner organizations, OELMA for school libraries and ALAO for academic libraries, for their collaborative conference to be held June 14 at the OCLC Conference Center. The grant helps cover facilities and speaker expenses for this event focusing on collaborative efforts between different types of libraries.
The new chair of the OLC Board is Kacie Armstrong from Euclid Public Library, with Cheryl Kuonen (Mentor) assuming the role of Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and Paula Brehm-Heeger (Cincinnati) continuing as Secretary-Treasurer; Nick Tepe (Athens County) is Past Chair. Four new individual joined the OLC Board: Kuonen, Aimee Fifarek (Youngstown), Jennifer Sloane (Chillicothe), and Laura Lee Wilson (Huron County). The Board approved OLC’s annual operating budget of nearly $1.5 million. At the meeting, Doug Evans publicly announced his retirement, effective June 28. The OLC Board has formed a search committee and released an RFP for a firm to assist in the process.
Evans reported that the February PLF distributions were 2.2% lower than Department of Taxation estimate -- $37.9 million out of a projected $38.8 million – because income tax collections are down. The expectation is that collections will pick back up. Michelle Francis and the OLC staff are busy at the Statehouse, making contacts with new leadership, Governor DeWine’s transition staff, cabinet members, department heads, agency directors, and new statewide office holders. OLC’s Legislative Day will be held at the Statehouse on April 9; Senate President Larry Obhoff will be the main speaker.
4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of December 14 meeting
Garalynn Tomas motioned to approve the minutes of the December 14, 2018, meeting as presented; Tara Sidwell seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.
5. ACCEPTANCE OF THE FINANCIAL REPORTS
Jamie Pardee was unable to attend the meeting. Yarman reported that OPLIN has received $915,468.60 in E-rate refunds for the circuit expenses paid July through December 2018; payment is still pending from Agile Networks, who has not filed necessary paperwork to USAC. OPLIN has also received nearly $48,165 in payments from libraries using the Webkit service. The projected cash balance at the end of FY 2019 is $2.86 million, a reduction of $318,500 from FY2018.
Expenditures are on track for being slightly more than halfway through the fiscal year. Yarman reported that earlier that week he confirmed with OLC that OPLIN will contribute $10,000, as budgeted, to support the OLC Convention and Expo in September. All expenses for information resources have been paid for the fiscal year; the remaining balance of $406.25 stems from Lynda.com invoicing less than they had projected. Two expense lines have been added “Other Library Support Services”: $30,000 for Trumpia which supports the SMS Gateway service, and $750 for Braindunk, whom OPLIN has contracted to address the “Date Recur” deficiencies in Drupal 8 Calendar. $770,000 remains unencumbered for OIT/GOSIIP as OPLIN has not yet been billed for internet service this fiscal year. The bottom line budgeted amount for FY2019 is just under $5.7 million, meeting the goal to spend to the edge of OPLIN’s authority to reduce the unallocated cash balance for the agency.
Jamie Black motioned to accept the financial reports; Angela Baldree seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.
6. OLD BUSINESS — none
7. NEW BUSINESS
7.1. OPLIN 470 for Internet Connectivity Service
OPLIN is reaching the end of the current three-year agreement to receive internet service from OIT, so a 470 was issued. Bids were received from OIT (a renewal of the current terms), Cytranet (a fiber company in Alabama), WOW Cable, and Crown Castle (a fiber and wireless provider in Texas). Based on OPLIN’s standard bid decision matrix, staff the clear winner is to continue service with OIT.
Jamie Black asked how much the service cost, and was told it was $770,000 per year. Mandy Knapp added that OPLIN receives a refund on that – 70% of the usage for those libraries that are CIPA-compliant, and briefly outlined the math that supports that. Black asked if there are costs to libraries to be CIPA-compliant and what reasons libraries may not be. Knapp said the reasons are more philosophical in nature, and OPLIN does provide to libraries a CIPA-compliant filtering solution for free. Other burdens to the library are administrative: pass an internet safety policy and have a public meeting.
Justin Bumbico asked for more information on the deficiencies of the other bids. In addition to some vendors not offering equivalent services, the competing bids scored low on other criteria in the decision matrix, including “Demonstrated ability to do business with the state of Ohio” and “Cost of the non-discounted portion” of the bid. No further action by the Board was required.
8. OPLIN DIRECTOR'S REPORT
Yarman discussed the item in his written report about the seven AT&T circuits on the single E-rate FRN had their prices reduced from the 100 Mbps rate to the 20 Mbps rate, reducing OPLIN’s refund by $11,393.28. Knapp is changing how these and similar circuits will be described in next year’s 471.
Yarman added that OPLIN had received notice on Thursday that the agency is on “red light status,” because USAC claims the agency is late on payments. This stems from the case OPLIN currently has under appeal with the FCC. In 2016, Agile Networks failed to validate OPLIN’s BEAR for July-December 2015, so OPLIN was unable to receive reimbursements for circuit costs. In August 2017, there was a rule change, and a new invoice date was established; OPLIN re-filed and received $10,248 in reimbursement. Referencing the original 2016-era rules instead of the FCC’s correction, USAC claims that $10,248 is owed back to them. USAC has agreed that red-light status should not be applied while the issue is under appeal and they are investigating.
Yarman again expressed his thanks to the State Library Board for the $70,000 LSTA grant to support the Drupal 8 migration for Webkit sites. He reported that the RFP for that project is ready to be issued, but staff are waiting until more progress has been made with Braindunk’s project to fix the D8 Calendar issues.
Yarman highlighted some dates in the Office Activities list, including the unexpected but successful test of the office emergency plan on January 22, when no staff were physically present in the office but all worked remotely. On January 23, Yarman was invited to a conference call with the ALA and Benton Foundation to discuss forming the vision for broadband access in the next decade. As a member of the executive committee for Ohio Digital Network, the regional hub for state participation in the Digital Public Library of America, Yarman intends to attend DPLAfest in April to explore Ohio’s response to changes in DPLA’s mission.
8.1. Library Services Manager report
Laura Solomon reported that Braindunk is making good progress with the Date Recur project, which finally seems to be receiving some corporate attention and development.
Although OPLIN has stopped actively promoting the Webkit service because of the looming upgrade project, three libraries have started working with Solomon to create new websites. In addition, many existing libraries have been working with Solomon to move refresh the look of their sites and move to new templates, which should ease the migration.
8.2. Digital Resources Manager report
Mandy Knapp reported that at the E-rate meeting at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, it was announced a company named MAXIMUS Federal Services, Inc., has replaced Solix, Inc., as the business processes contractor for USAC. Knapp reported that her experience with the new contractor has been positive. The FCC is still to issue a report and make a decision on the future of Category 2 E-rate funding.
Knapp noted that database statistics show an across-the-board increase for January. She is working with Kirstin Krumsee at the State Library to pre-populate the Annual Ohio Public Library Survey with statewide database usage figures.
Knapp announced that she has been accepted into the ALA Policy Corps, a cohort of ten individuals who will be trained as policy experts for the purposes of advocacy and planning.
8.3. Technology Projects Manager report
Karl Jendretzky gave progress reports on a number of projects:
- OPLIN’s bank of message credits with Trumpia, the middleman company that sends the text messages for OPLIN’s SMS Gateway, was down to 400,000 credit – enough for about 3 months. The $30,000 expenditure discussed above purchased 5,000,000 credits and should last two years.
- Libraries continue to set up SecurityIQ profiles for phishing training. Good reports about the service from the CLEVNET Directors’ Meeting. Jendretzky estimates that about a third of the libraries in the state are using the service.
- NR3 continues to grow. Euclid will be installing a server that will virtually appear within the library’s own LAN. The CLC has moved in new equipment. Avon Lake and Herrick Memorial libraries are partnering to install a shared backup server in the SOCC. Cleveland Public Library will be installing a rack of equipment in the space next to the CLEVNET racks. Seven of eight rack spaces in the cage will then be occupied. The neighboring cage has been left clear for OPLIN to expand into when the time comes.
- CBTS IP addresses have been assigned to St Marys and Sunbury libraries for their VOIP projects.
- The Mentor Public Library joined the CLEVNET consortium; their circuit was rerouted through the OPLIN core into CLEVNET without having to file a circuit move with the vendor.
- There has been slow progress bringing up a new AT&T ASE head-end. Greene County Public Library’s new circuit is the pioneer, testing the redundant ports that the state has requested AT&T begin installing. After months of no progress, Jendretzky and Fouts discovered in AT&T’s equipment at the SOCC an issue with multicast packets, which prevents routing from coming up and the circuits working without an administrative reset. Jendretzky is investigating whether this is an issue with new circuit implementations only, or if the bug can be triggered by common occurrences (such as a power reset at the library).
- Moving existing AT&T circuits to the new redundant head-end would free up equipment to facilitate Cleveland Public Library’s branch circuit move to the SOCC, where CLEVNET services reside. CPL branches would connect to the SOCC on their own hand-off, rather than traffic routing through the OPLIN core to reach CLEVNET services. This project mirrors one OPLIN managed with Spectrum as part of the CLEVNET core relocation to the SOCC.
- OPLIN is seeing an increase in short DDOS attacks against libraries; three have targeted Ashtabula County District Library in the last week. The DDOS shield service provided by OARnet is designed for longer, sustained attacks and is an impractical solution for these situations, which typically involve small but critical protocols like DNS. Jendretzky is working with OARnet to determine the usual level of legitimate DNS activity on the network; the plan is to whitelist the most important DNS servers used by libraries and throttle the remaining DNS traffic to block the effects of DNS-related DDOS.
- OARnet is bringing up a new implementation of ServiceNow to let them build automated notices of unusual network activity; OPLIN will then be able to add automation to communicate information to affected libraries.
- Inspired by information at the CLEVNET Directors’ Meeting about AI applications which identify patterns in network traffic, Jendretzky is researching possible projects. There is a possibility of using OPLIN’s decommissioned DDOS appliance as a side-channel scanner.
- Jendretzky is updating some of his code supporting office operations from PHP5 to PHP7, which is involving some re-writes.
- Jendretzky is working with Mercer County Public Library to develop an alternative to “Who’s On My Wifi?” for those libraries using Ubiquity access point controllers.
9. CHAIR'S REPORT
9.1. Appoint Nominations Committee
Michael Penrod appointed Jeff Garringer, Joe Greenward, and Travis McAfee to the Nominations Committee. The committee will work with Don Yarman to select candidates to fill current and upcoming vacancies on the OPLIN Board and will develop a slate of proposed officers for election at the August Board meeting.
9.2. Review April planning meeting arrangements
At the request of the Chair, Don Yarman explained the usual procedures for the planning meeting and lunch arrangements. Because it is a longer meeting, the April Board Meeting has traditionally started at 9:00 a.m., and the Board breaks for lunch. Yarman will provide options closer to the meeting date.
9.3. Ethics training reminder
Michael Penrod reminded Board members that they must complete ethics training each year. Yarman will send the link to the webinar, and asked Board members to send him a copy of the completion certificate to keep on file. This is in addition to the annual financial disclosure required.
With no other business pending, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 11:08 a.m.