-- October 10, 2008


The one hundred tenth meeting of the Ohio Public
Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at
9:56 a.m. on Friday, October 10, 2008 by Board Chair Gayle
at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were board members: Gary Branson, Holly Carroll, Karl
Colon, Mary Pat
Essman, Jim Kenzig, Bonnie Mathies, Gayle Patton, Sandi Plymire, Bob
Richmond, and Michael Wantz.

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


The Chair called for public participation. Doug Evans informed
Board that the Ohio Library Council had successfully completed its move
to Schrock Road and would be holding an open house in conjunction with
a retirement reception for Wayne Piper on November 14.


Mary Pat Essman motioned
approve the agenda; Bob Richmond seconded. All aye.

of August 8

Bob Richmond noted that the Memorandum of Understanding with
eTech was incorrectly called a Memorandum of Agreement at one point in
the minutes.

Holly Carroll motioned to
approve the minutes from the August 8th meeting as corrected; Mary Pat
seconded. All aye.


Diane Fink presented four financial reports: Report A showing
financial status of Fiscal Year 2008 as of September 30; Report B
showing financial status of FY 2009 as of September 30; Report C
showing the budgets for FY 2009, 2010 and 2011; and Report D showing
projected revenue and cash balances through FY 2011.

Report A:
Diane pointed out that only two purchase orders remain open for FY
2008, one to Kent State University and one to 361 Studios. OPLIN does
not expect to receive any invoices against these purchase orders and
will check with the vendors to be certain they do not intend to invoice
against them. If there are outstanding invoices, they must be received
by the end of October. Diane reminded the Board that OPLIN funding had
been reduced by $433,000 (10%) in FY 2008.

Report B:
Diane reminded the Board that OPLIN funding was reduced an additional
4.75% on September 10; Report B shows the total amount of
both cuts as distributed throughout the budget. The only open
encumbrance listed in the Administration budget category is rent. OPLIN
staff and Diane are still working with the Department of Administrative
Services to determine if OPLIN can move back into the State of Ohio
Computer Center (SOCC) at the end of this fiscal year; if not, DAS will
need to negotiate a new biennium lease for OPLIN with our current
landlord. In the Information Resources category, about $1 million has
already been paid for the information databases for FY 2009, with about
$750,000 left to pay. In the Education, Training and Support
category, the OLC conference sponsorships are the only open encumbrance.

The amount budgeted for Network Upgrades in the
Telecommunications category has been reduced from $200,000 to a little
more than $19,000 since the last Board meeting. This was done to meet
the latest 4.75% funding cut. OPLIN had budgeted $200,000 in E-rate
funds to match $200,000 in Capital Budget funds for upgrading network
routers, but the Office of Budget and Management approved a plan to use
only Capital Budget funds for a partial upgrade and reallocate the
E-rate funds for other telecommunications costs. Diane noted that the
total funding reduction for FY 2009 is now $618,000, and the combined
reduction for FY 2008 and 2009 is a little over $1 million.

Report C:
Cash balance at the end of FY 2008 was about $1.3 million, but as of
September 30 the balance is only a little more than $420,000. E-rate
refunds should be arriving before the end of December to bring the
balance back up a bit.

Report D:For
the next
biennium, state agencies were instructed to prepare a
budget expecting 90% of the General Revenue Funds allocated at the
beginning of FY 2009; agencies could also submit a request for 95%
funding instead if they could justify the request. The instructions
also directed agencies to assume that salaries would be frozen through
the biennium, although personnel benefit costs would increase. OPLIN
has budgeted for only five employees and has assumed that rent will
increase a little if OPLIN does not move to the SOCC. The NoveList
subscription is dropped from the FY 2010-2011 budget. OPLIN requested
95% funding (an additional $195,000) in order to be able to pay
telecommunications bills through the biennium. Projecting the cash
balances, if OPLIN receives the 95% funding the balance at the end of
the biennium will be about $5,000; if OPLIN receives only 90% funding,
the balance will be a negative $380,000.

State Library (including OPLIN) budget request for FY 2010-2011 was
submitted to OBM on September 15 and is now being reviewed. In January
OBM will release their budget recommendations and the Governor's budget
will probably be released to the legislature in February. Diane
reviewed the programs included in the State Library budget. Only about
half of the State Library's revenue currently comes from the General
Revenue Fund. Some Board members had questions about the next Gates
Foundation grant program, and Diane and Stephen shared what information
they had, although the program is only in the early planning stage.
Diane also explained the procedure for requesting the $200,000 in
Capital Budget funds from the Controlling Board, probably at their
November 17 meeting.

Karl Colon motioned to
accept the Financial Reports; Holly Carroll seconded. All aye.


6.1. Approve Strategic Plan

Stephen Hedges requested approval of the Strategic Plan that
has been under review since the April Board retreat. Because of
uncertainties caused by the shifting financial environment,
Stephen made some of the language more conditional than it was
before and highlighted those changes in the document distributed to the
Board prior to the meeting. Stephen noted that the plan review will
begin again in about six months and recommended that the currently
proposed version of the plan be approved.

Karl Colon motioned to
approve the Strategic Plan; Jim Kenzig seconded.

call: Gary Branson, aye; Holly
Carroll, aye; Karl Colon, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Bob Richmond, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.

Gayle Patton requested that
the next two items of business be considered in the reverse order of
their appearance on the agenda.

6.2. Approve Custom Database
Search Installations

Stephen Hedges explained that the search software used on the
Ohio Web Library search page is also capable of accessing databases
which are purchased by individual libraries, and the page itself can be
modified to match the look of the other pages on an individual
library's web site. This creates the possibility of bringing revenue to
OPLIN for installing customized versions of the Ohio Web Library search
for individual libraries in return for a fee.

There would be some costs to OPLIN associated with such a
service. Some of the databases purchased by libraries support Z39.50
access; these databases could be added to a custom search at no cost to
OPLIN. Others that do not support Z39.50 require an OpenTranslator. It
currently costs OPLIN $350 to build an OpenTranslator and an additional
$1,050 per year to run it.

The proposed custom search service would be provided to
customer libraries in return for a set fee for each database "target"
that was added to the basic Ohio Web Library search. Stephen is
proposing that this fee be $475 per database target. Stephen provided a
document that included some information about which databases are most
commonly purchased by libraries and a list of non-metro libraries which
purchase five or more databases, to the best of our knowledge. Based on
this data, the expected costs, and the proposed pricing, Stephen
estimated a possible net income each year of about $45,000-$50,000 from
this service.

Karl Colon asked if any market research had been done to
assess the demand for such a service; Stephen replied that there has
been no such research. General discussion then explored the possible
advantages of such a service to a library. It became apparent that a
pilot project would be a good idea, so long as costs could be
controlled. Stephen suggested that the pilot project involve a very
limited number of libraries and use only database targets that are
Z39.50 accessible, and thus entail no monetary costs to OPLIN.

Holly Carroll motioned that
OPLIN staff conduct a small pilot project, involving three to five
libraries and only databases that are Z39.50 accessible, to determine
the feasibility of offering custom database search installations to
public libraries, and that the results of the project be reported to
the Board at the April retreat; Michael Wantz seconded.

Discussion: Bob Richmond asked about the costs currently paid
by libraries for searching their databases. Several Board members
explained that some libraries currently pay for federated
search software to make database access easier and to increase usage,
but searches done on the database vendors' web sites typically do not
involve any cost above and beyond the database subscription cost.

The Chair put the question
to a vote: All aye.

6.3. Approve Web Design

Stephen Hedges noted that this possible fee-based service has
already had a small pilot with Perry County District Library. As
proposed, this service would: provide a library system with a basic,
"no-frills" web site structure, using the open source Drupal content
management software; provide initial graphical elements for the page
header; provide initial guidance for library staff in procedures for
adding their own content to the structure (requiring that at least one
librarian come to the OPLIN office for training); and host the site on
an OPLIN web server. This service as described would be free to the
library; however, many Drupal extensions are available that would
improve the website, and OPLIN could charge $700 each for installing
and configuring these modules for libraries.

While Board members agreed that there is a need to encourage
libraries to use better web sites, there was reluctance to take on the
additional work of building basic web sites without any additional
revenue received. Marketing the additional modules and ongoing
maintenance and support for the sites were also concerns. The
feasibility of the proposed charges was also discussed. Concerns were
raised about the impact on OPLIN staff and equipment. The point was
made that many libraries are accustomed to paying an outside
organization for any support work done on their web sites.

In response to a question from the Chair, it became clear that
most Board members were not comfortable with the proposed pricing for
the service and would like to see a revised proposal that
attached costs to the basic web design and technical support,
as well as to advanced web design services. A few libraries have
already expressed a strong interest in the web design services; the
Board speculated on the reaction of these potential customers
to a delay in offering the service. Stephen suggested that these
libraries could be asked for their reactions to a revised proposal
prior to the next Board meeting, and that these reactions could be
shared with the Board along with the revised proposal.

Karl Colon motioned to
postpone the question to the next meeting pending development of
information from the OPLIN staff; Michael Wantz seconded. All aye.


7.1. Revise Router
Replacement Timeline

Stephen Hedges reminded the Board that the OPLIN budget had been cut an
additional 4.75% on September 10. The plan submitted to OBM for
accommodating this cut was to disregard our $200,000 E-rate match for
Capital Budget funds to replace end-of-life routers, and proceed with
replacing as many routers as we can with just the $200,000 from the
Capital Budget. The $200,000 in E-rate funds would be reallocated
toward paying telecommunications expenses. We have since received
approval from OBM for this plan, and intend to ask the Controlling
Board to release the capital funds to OPLIN sometime next month.

We plan to purchase Juniper routers instead of Cisco this time; quite a
few state agencies are switching to Juniper, including the new
Broadband Ohio network, and the Juniper software might be flexible
enough to allow us to do some centralized caching, etc. that we have
not been able to do with Cisco. Juniper is expensive equipment, but
Karl Jendretzky (OPLIN) and Terry Fouts from the Office of Information
Technology (OIT) have persuaded Juniper to offer us some very deep
discounts, bringing their prices in line with Cisco. OPLIN also has
some big Cisco 7200 routers that can be reused without any problem; the
Cisco 7200 is a very popular router in the telecommunications industry
and will not reach industry end-of-life in the foreseeable future.

Instead of replacing all the routers this fiscal year, as originally
planned, Stephen proposed the following:

  • replace the eight Cisco 7200 core routers that have G1
    cards (at the SOCC) with two new Juniper M7i routers;
  • move the 7200+G1 core routers to the metro libraries,
    current 7200s that do not have G1 cards (the G1 card allows the 7200 to
    handle up to 500Mbps instead of 100 Mbps);
  • use the old metro 7200 routers for new DS3 circuits
    wherever a library needs more than four T1 lines and Ethernet is not
    available); and
  • buy as many new Juniper J2320 routers as we can afford,
    should be enough to put new routers in every library that has either an
    Ethernet circuit or more than one T1 line, with about 20 more routers
    going to libraries that are getting close to filling their T1 lines.

The precise number of routers which can be purchased will depend on any
additional charges added by OIT for brokering the purchase and
deploying the new routers. The remaining routers would be replaced once
funds are again available, perhaps through a second capital budget

Mary Pat Essman motioned to
$200,000 in E-rate funds from the router replacement project to
telecommunications expenses and use the $200,000 from the capital
budget to purchase as many routers as possible; Gary Branson seconded.

call: Gary Branson, aye; Holly
Carroll, aye; Karl Colon, aye; Mary Pat
Essman, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Bonnie Mathies, aye; Gayle Patton, aye;
Sandi Plymire, aye; Bob Richmond, aye; Michael Wantz, aye.


Stephen Hedges thanked the Board members who attended the
Stakeholders Meeting on September 12; he estimated that about 75 people
were in attendance. The news that NoveList will not be available
through OPLIN next fiscal year was the biggest announcement of the
meeting. Stephen met with representatives from EBSCO and OHIONET before
the Stakeholders Meeting and they have already begun working on
discounted pricing for libraries that want to purchase NoveList. Jay
Burton at the State Library is planning to offer training on other
readers advisory tools which librarians can use, and OPLIN staff have
developed an "About Books" web page which uses Google Book Search and
Google Custom Search to find information about books.

Stephen reported that the SOCC has informed DAS that they
should have an answer around November
1 to our request to move the OPLIN office back to the SOCC. He also
reported that Lorrie Germann's (eTech) E-rate workshops for this year
are now scheduled for November 4 and December 12 at the State Library
and by video conference to six remote sites.

Stephen also informed the Board that he has been working with
Connect Ohio to set up a pilot project for lending laptops from public
libraries. Library laptop lending is the third phase of the "No Child
Left Offline" project run by Connect Ohio and their parent
organization, Connected Nation. Stephen has proposed that the Stark
County District Library, the Portsmouth Public Library, and the Wood
County District Library participate in the pilot; once the pilot
libraries have been selected, they will deal directly with Connect Ohio.

8.1. Databases
and Network Reports


Laura Solomon noted that there continues to be a large
in the number of database searches as well as a noticeable increase in
documents retrieved since the introduction of the Ohio Web Library
search. She also reported that NewsBank search results are now
available through the EBSCO search interface.

8.1.2. Support
Center (August and September)

Karl Jendretzky reported that for a couple of libraries we are
ready to add a fourth T1 line; however, he is investigating the
possibility of purchasing DS3s locally (not from State contract), which
may be cheaper than four T1 circuits.


9.1 Establish FY 2009 Board
Meeting Schedule

Gayle Patton asked for approval of the Board schedule through
Fiscal Year 2009 as well as two meetings to start FY 2010. (Normal
meeting dates are the second Friday of even-numbered
months.) All meetings except the April Board Retreat begin at
10:00 AM and
will be held at the State Library of Ohio, 274 E. First Avenue,
Columbus unless otherwise noted.

  • August 8, 2008
  • October 10, 2008
  • December 12, 2008
  • February 13, 2009
  • April 10, 2009 (9:00 - 3:00 Board retreat)
  • June 12, 2009
  • August 14, 2009
  • October 9, 2009

Bonnie Mathies motioned
to approve the proposed meeting schedule; Bob Richmond seconded. All

9.2. Remarks

Gayle requested that
OPLIN staff prepare public relations plans for marketing any
services to accompany future proposals for these services.


Bob Richmond motioned to
adjourn the meeting at 11:50 p.m. Jim Kenzig seconded.