Minutes—June 10,


The one hundred twenty-sixth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2011 by Board Chair Sandi Plymire at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Gary Branson, Jason Buydos, Ben Chinni, Karl Colón, Karen Davis, Jamie Mason, Bonnie Mathies, Jeff Wale, and Sandi Plymire.

Also present were: Stephen Hedges, Karl Jendretzky, and Laura Solomon (OPLIN); Beverly Cain, Diane Fink, and David Namiotka (State Library); and Lynda Murray and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).


Sandi Plymire requested approval of the meeting agenda.

Jeff Wale motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Gary Branson seconded. All aye.


The Chair recognized Lynda Murray.

Lynda reported that OLC expects there will be legislative tuning of the complex state budget over the next year as problems surface. An area of concern for libraries is the removal of the OPLIN and the Library for the Blind funding from the Public Library Fund (PLF) without any reimbursement from the General Revenue Fund (GRF); in the current biennium, funds from the GRF were transferred to the PLF to offset the OPLIN and the Library for the Blind deductions. Stephen Hedges and Lynda have discussed the possibility of making a technical change that would allow OPLIN funding to rise and fall with the amount of funds in the PLF, rather than being a fixed number, and so long as such a change is "budget-neutral" the legislature would likely to be willing to accommodate it. Lynda noted, however, that if the library community asks for such a change, they have in effect made a long-term commitment to continuing to fund OPLIN from the PLF.

Karl Colón pointed out that OPLIN has fixed costs associated with Internet connections, so funding could not fall below a certain level. Doug Evans reported that in his recent meetings with small libraries, they have expressed concerns about the reduction in their funding due to the OPLIN deduction, but also realize that they depend on OPLIN. Lynda agreed that the larger libraries are probably the ones with more reason to object to the OPLIN deduction. Jason Buydos remarked that a long-term commitment to funding OPLIN from the PLF might be a bigger problem for libraries than the amount of the OPLIN deduction. Other discussion focused on the need to uncouple the OPLIN deduction and the Library for the Blind deduction, since the latter is more objectionable to libraries; OPLIN is governed by a board of public librarians, unlike the Library for the Blind.

Karl Colón reminded everyone that OPLIN now has a committee exploring services that would provide additional benefits to libraries that may not feel they currently get a good return on their investment in OPLIN. Stephen Hedges pointed out that no funding change could be made quickly, and that he sensed the general attitude of the Board now was to aim for returning OPLIN funding to the GRF, however unlikely that may be at the moment.

[Lynda Murray left the meeting at 10:24.]

The Chair recognized Beverly Cain.

Beverly reported that the State Library Board has decided to use excess federal LSTA funds from FY 2010 to fund one-year pilot subscriptions to three databases—Mango Languages, Ancestry Library Edition, and the World Book Early World of Learning—at the suggestion of the LSTA Advisory Council. The pilot subscriptions will begin July 1. Stephen Hedges also reported that the State Library Board agreed to pay for a portion of the OPLIN contribution to the EBSCO subscription, thus freeing up funds to allow OPLIN to complete the router replacement project that was begun in 2008.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of April 8 Board Retreat

Jason Buydos motioned to approve the minutes of the April 8 meeting; Karen Davis seconded. All aye.


Diane Fink presented the Financial Reports as of May 31, 2011.

Report A showed the budget and expenditures at the end of Fiscal Year 2010 (now closed) and Fiscal Year 2011 through May 31. In the FY 2011 budget, Diane reported that payroll numbers will increase slightly because the state has directed that the 27th payroll of this calendar year will shift from FY 2012 to FY 2011. Also in Administration expenses, the encumbered amount for equipment is set aside for purchasing eight routers using E-Rate discounts. Throughout the report, "available" balances actually represented unused spending authority. In Telecommunications expenses, some previously budgeted amounts for Office of Information Technology (OIT) expenses were shifted to circuit expenses due to a reduced billing rate from OIT. All FY 2011 filtering funds have now been disbursed to libraries.

Report B showed the revenue and cash balances from July 2009 through May 2011. The cash balance in the past year increased about $350,000, primarily due to additional E-Rate reimbursements as well as refunds from telecommunications vendors for disconnected circuits following upgrades.

Report C showed the projected budget and expenditures for Fiscal Year 2012. The payroll budget will change slightly depending on the final version of the state biennium budget. Rent is slightly less than the amount in the budget submitted last fall to the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) because the rent increase was not as large as projected at that time. The amount budgeted for Information Resources has been reduced by $243,455, because of the State Library Board grant reported earlier by Stephen Hedges, and a new budget line in that amount has been created for Equipment/Routers for Network. OPLIN had submitted a request for capital funds to complete the router replacement project in February 2010, but nothing has happened with that budget, and the opportunity to use LSTA funds provided a different way to secure the necessary funding. Stephen Hedges noted that this solution was suggested by the State Library, and the Board expressed their appreciation to Beverly Cain.

Diane also presented Biennial Budget Reports, which now included not only the Executive Recommendation, but also the House and Senate Recommendations. All three budget recommendations were identical. Diane noted that the State Library's budget was also consistent in all three recommendations. Jeff Wale commended Diane for her thorough report.

Gary Branson motioned to accept the Financial Reports; Jamie Mason seconded. All aye.


There was no old business to come before the Board.


7.1. Policy on Public Library Use of OPLIN

Stephen Hedges presented a proposed new version of the Policy on Public Library Use of OPLIN. Some libraries are planning to provide wi-fi connectivity in public spaces in their communities, so Stephen reviewed this policy to be sure it would not conflict with such plans. He found that the wording of the policy in general, which was last edited ten years ago, was outdated, and now proposed extensive changes. Several Board members argued that the section encouraging libraries to use their connections for certain services was no longer needed, that the sections describing what they are and are not permitted to do were sufficient. It was also noted that extensive use of wi-fi outside the library would increase OPLIN costs. Jason Buydos pointed out that the language prohibiting libraries from charging fees for Internet services "of any kind" might prevent libraries from charging routine fees for interlibrary loan, so those three words were removed.

Jeff Wale motioned to approve the discussed changes to the Policy on Public Library Use of OPLIN; Jason Buydos seconded. All aye.

7.2. Disbursement of filtering support funds

Stephen Hedges reported that all indications are that there will be no change in the filtering earmark in the OPLIN budget in the next two years. He proposed changing the way funds are distributed, however, suggesting that the application process could be simplified and funds could be distributed to libraries based on the number of filtered computers they have, rather than through grants and the current grant guidelines. This would allow funds to flow to all libraries, rather than just libraries with low revenues. He estimated each library would get about $5 per computer.

Jeff Wale asked if filtered staff computers would be separated from public computers; Stephen replied that he thinks they should be handled together, noting that the Childrens Internet Protection Act requires libraries to filter both in order to get E-Rate funds. Doug Evans reported that a few smaller libraries had expressed concerns to him about continued support for their filtering. Jason Buydos speculated that OPLIN might identify one filtering vendor and pay the entire $81,000 earmark to them to provide filtering in libraries. Stephen noted that NEO-RLS currently offers filtering through one vendor.

Discussion turned to how deeply OPLIN would then have to be involved in implementing local filtering policies, and also how differences in the earmark and the cost of the filtering would be resolved. Jeff Wale pointed out that negotiating for filtering statewide could bring the cost down to $5 per computer, perhaps less. Diane Fink warned that any expenditure over $50,000 to one vendor would require special procedures, unless there is already a state contract with that vendor. Karl Colón suggested that getting a vendor on a state contract could take a year, so that might be something to explore for the future. Ben Chinni questioned why OPLIN would want to get involved in such complexities, when the current disbursement of the earmark seems to be satisfactory. Karl pointed out that negotiations that lead to a state contract(s) for filtering could reduce costs for all libraries.

Stephen suggested that for FY 2012 OPLIN simplify the application and reporting procedures, but continue to distribute the funds via the grant process currently used; the Board can formally approve this plan in August, but he can now tell inquiring libraries that the filtering program will continue essentially as before for another year. Meanwhile, he will work on establishing a statewide filtering contract for FY 2013. The Board was generally in agreement with this suggestion.

7.3. Review strategic plan

Stephen Hedges presented a few minor changes to the strategic plan based on discussions at the April Board Retreat. The most notable changes were minor shifts in the way OPLIN approaches marketing through social media, to reflect current best practices. Stephen noted that this is just a beginning, and that more changes are likely after the ad hoc committee on OPLIN services completes its work.


Jason Buydos began his report by ceding the floor to Karl Colón.

Karl Colón motioned to commend the OPLIN staff on their excellent work throughout the year; Jason Buydos seconded. All aye.

Jason reported that the ad hoc committee had an initial meeting and have identified two areas of service which are promising: network consulting and technology purchasing consulting. Network consulting could fit within an existing goal in the strategic plan, but purchasing consulting might require a new goal. The committee will continue to meet and refine these areas of service, with the expectation that some of the new services will benefit libraries that may not be getting as much benefit as other libraries from current OPLIN services. Jamie Mason noted that some of these services might conflict with services already offered by the regional library systems and encouraged the committee to communicate with NEO-RLS in particular.


Stephen Hedges reported that the final Biannual Report to the Leadership of the Ohio General Assembly was submitted at the end of April; as a result of a change to language in the new biennial budget, future reports on library Internet filtering will be produced upon request rather than on a regular biannual schedule. He also reported briefly on ALA Legislative Day and thanked Karl Colón for his testimony regarding OPLIN before the Ohio Senate Finance Committee while he was away in Washington. Stephen also thanked OLC for the opportunity to explain OPLIN at their New Directors workshop. Finally, he thanked Karl Jendretzky for his outstanding work implementing the new Zimbra email server.

Regarding OPLIN office activities, Stephen called attention to the many presentations Laura Solomon has been giving at workshops, and the May 26 State Library Board meeting where LSTA funds were awarded to the Ohio Web Library.

9.1. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky provided details of changes to the OPLIN mail servers resulting from the Zimbra implementation. He reported on tests of a Cisco centralized filtering solution, which was not able to handle our needs. He also described the routers which OPLIN now plans to purchase to complete the upgrade project and speculated that the new equipment should be large enough to serve most libraries for the next decade; OPLIN will be purchasing these routers directly rather than through OIT. Karl also noted that the OPLIN core has now been completely moved to the new Juniper router, so OPLIN can now proceed with setting up quality-of-service for special network needs.

9.2. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon described the programs on social media she has been doing at OLC Chapter Conferences. Demand for Dynamic Website Kits continues to be strong, with nine new libraries signing on since the beginning of the year. She continues to make improvements and upgrades to the kits.

9.3. Database usage

Stephen Hedges noted that the number of documents viewed decreased drastically in May. Following an EBSCO system upgrade in mid-April, Stephen noticed that the number of EBSCO articles viewed dropped significantly, and he speculated that over the past year, when OPLIN saw searches decline but article views increase, the EBSCO statistics may not have been accurate.


10.1. Nominations Committee report

Jeff Wale presented the report from the Nominations Committee. In response to a call for nominations, the committee received eleven excellent nominations. The committee felt that the Board needed more representation of library trustees, and perhaps had too much representation from library administrators. With this in mind, two candidates stood out: Jill Billman-Royer, a trustee at Southwest Public Libraries, and Rebecca Schultz, the Technology Coordinator at Portsmouth Public Library. Testing these candidates against the geographic and library size representation of the Board also indicated they would be good additions. Sandi Plymire noted that this group of candidates was the strongest she had seen.

The committee recommended that the State Library Board be asked to appoint Jill Billman-Royer to fill Jim Kenzig's unexpired term, to appoint Rebecca Schultz to fill Bonnie Mathies' expiring term, and to re-appoint Sandi Plymire to a second term. All aye.

The Nominations Committee also prepared a slate of candidates for Board officers for election at the upcoming August meeting. Candidates who are willing to serve are: Jeff Wale, Chair; Jamie Mason, Vice-Chair; Gary Branson, Treasurer; and Karl Colón, Secretary. Jeff indicated that he would appoint Sandi Plymire to the at-large position on the Executive Committee.

10.2. Director's evaluation

Sandi Plymire reported that all Board members had submitted evaluations of the OPLIN Director, which were collated by Bonnie Mathies. Stephen Hedges met or exceeded all expectations in all areas on all evaluations, and comments were positive; she shared a few of those comments. Stephen thanked the Board for their support.

10.3. Resolution honoring Bonnie Mathies

Sandi Plymire read the following resolution:

WHEREAS, BONNIE MATHIES has been a member of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees since July 2004, 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 SEVEN years, and

WHEREAS she has served steadfastly as the Secretary of the OPLIN Board since July 2007, and

WHEREAS she has consistently contributed her respected opinions to OPLIN Board and OPLIN Executive Committee deliberations, and

WHEREAS she has been a dependable and active participant in Board activities, and

WHEREAS her service as a trustee of the Washington-Centerville Public Library gave her an exceptional perspective on OPLIN and its services to libraries, and

WHEREAS her service as an administrator of Wright State University, an OhioLINK institution, allowed her to contribute valuable information to Board discussions for the benefit of both OPLIN and OhioLINK,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that on the 10th day of June, Two Thousand and Eleven, 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 BONNIE MATHIES 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 BONNIE MATHIES for her continued volunteer service as a member of that Board.

Karl Colón motioned to place the resolution in the minutes; Gary Branson seconded. All aye.

Bonnie noted that she has been involved with OhioLINK, OPLIN and INFOhio from the beginning of each organization, and while some issues have been resolved over the years, others continue to come up, so she will continue to take an interest in these organizations. She remarked that the people in all three organizations are passionate about libraries, and she felt such support of public information was very important.


On motion of Jeff Wale the Board adjourned at 12:04 p.m.