Minutes — October 10, 2014


The one hundred forty-sixth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 10, 2014 by Board Chair Jill Billman-Royer at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

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

Also present were: Stephen Hedges and Laura Solomon (OPLIN); and Jamie Pardee (State Library).


Susan Brown motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Don Barlow seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Chair called for public participation, and there was none. Stephen Hedges noted that Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council) intended to visit the meeting briefly before it ended to offer remarks. The Chair will also allow public participation at that time.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of August 8 meeting

Don Barlow motioned to approve the minutes of the August 8 meeting as presented; Jamie Mason seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


Jamie Pardee reported on the completed Fiscal Year 2014 finances and the beginning of FY 2015 finances, which are on track to be generally the same. Regarding the Revenue/Cash Balance report, Jamie noted that the timing of E-rate reimbursements affects the balance on hand on June 30, but she currently anticipates a balance of slightly more that $1.1 million on June 30, 2015. Jamie also reported that the formal budget proposal for FY 2016-17 was submitted to the Office of Budget and Management the previous Wednesday.

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


6.1. Reconsideration of attack protection device

Stephen Hedges reminded the Board of discussion during the April planning meeting about the possibility of purchasing a device to keep library servers from being compromised by Internet intruders and used as part of a network launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on other targets. At that time, it was decided that good firewalls should be able to handle the problem.

Since then, there have been several instances of DDoS attacks in which a library was the target, overwhelming the library's Internet connection and knocking them offline. Stephen provided details to the Board, and reported that OPLIN and Office of Information Technology (OIT) staff believe that a Juniper DDoS protection device would work well with OPLIN's Juniper core router. Stephen also shared a vendor quote for such a device in an appropriate size.

Although the device can protect routers, it is primarily intended to protect web servers, and OPLIN website servers are also beginning to be targeted by aggressive probes for vulnerabilities. The device monitors Internet traffic to learn what is typical, and then takes action to limit traffic that is atypical when an attack occurs. As a byproduct of this monitoring, it provides detailed network statistics. Stephen noted, however, that an attack of sufficient size and duration can exceed the capacity of a protection device, and that it is possible that one of the recent attacks may not have been stopped by this particular device.

Marty Beets commented that he has some experience dealing with DDoS attacks in a previous private-sector job, and it is difficult. Jamie Mason asked if the device could stop probes and malware, but Stephen replied that the device is triggered by the amount of traffic on a circuit, not the type of traffic.

Doug Evans joined the meeting at 10:20.

There was also general agreement that action should be taken quickly, and that we cannot wait for the capital budget process to provide funds for a protection device. In response to questions, Jamie Pardee noted that OPLIN currently happens to have a fairly large reserve of funds that could be used for this purchase. Stephen suggested that OPLIN could also purchase a one-year license for now and work on a capital budget request for a long-term license later, but the Board felt this would end up being more expensive in the long run.

Jamie Mason motioned to authorize the director to spend up to $216,606 to acquire a denial of service attack protection device with perpetual license for the OPLIN network; Don Barlow seconded.

Susan Brown asked if OPLIN had broadcast any information about the attacks to the library community; it was generally agreed that it would not be wise to publish too many details of the attacks and our responses, but OPLIN should let the library community known that protection measures are being taken.

Don Barlow asked what the upgrade path to a larger device in the future might be. Susan Brown asked what would happen with the licensing in the event of an upgrade. Stephen will put these questions to the vendor.

The Chair called for a vote on the motion.

Recorded vote: Don Barlow, aye; Marty Beets, aye; Susan Brown, aye; Karen Davis, aye; Joe Greenward, aye; Jamie Mason, aye; Michael Penrod, aye; Becky Schultz, aye; and Jill Billman-Royer, aye.

The Chair recognized Doug Evans, Ohio Library Council, for Public Participation.

Doug Evans thanked the Board for supporting the OLC Convention as the Platinum Sponsor, noting that he had received good comments about the wi-fi access OPLIN sponsored. The e-book video OPLIN supported, part of the eBook Access For All campaign, is previewing throughout the convention and will be sent out to libraries for their own use next week. OLC is hosting a meeting on October 22 with US Representatives Tiberi, Stivers and Beatty, and digital content will be one of the topics discussed.

Doug Evans left the meeting at 10:32.

6.2. Discuss Ohio Web Library marketing: survey results and comments, and OLC Chapters program proposal

Stephen Hedges presented the results of a just-completed survey of librarians regarding their use of the ohioweblibrary.org search and general Internet search engines. There were 362 responses to the fifteen questions, and 58 additional comments. Stephen noted that 50% of respondents do not use ohioweblibrary.org, and 21% were not familiar with the Ohio Web Library.

Frequent responses indicated that many librarians use their library's portal to the statewide databases and prefer searching within individual databases rather than using a federated search. Several Board members noted that reflects their experiences in their libraries, too. Respondents who use ohioweblibrary.org rated it better than general search engines for accuracy and trustworthiness, but almost half felt that general search engines have improved in the past few years.

Stephen noted that it makes little difference how librarians get to the statewide databases, so long as they know about them and know they are purchased by Libraries Connect Ohio. He has submitted a program proposal, "An exploration of ohioweblibrary.org," to all the OLC chapters for possible inclusion in their spring conferences.


7.1. Discuss support for Hayes Ohio Obituary Index

Stephen Hedges described email correspondence from Becky Hill, Head Librarian at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont. The Hayes Center is in the midst of redeveloping their entire website, including the Ohio Obituary Index, and wants to know if OPLIN would make a monetary contribution toward that cost in return for acknowledgement on the new website. The Index has already been incorporated into Ancestry Library Edition; when Ancestry users search for a name, they might get results from the Index, and clicking on those results takes them to the Index search results page, where they can either order a copy of the obituary from Hayes (if Hayes has it) or be directed to a Hayes partner library that holds the obituary. A similar arrangement is being offered with Ohio Web Library, or perhaps even better; Ancestry just gets periodic updates, so they never have the complete current index file.

There was no apparent interest from the Board in such an arrangement. Don Barlow pointed out that any such arrangement would involve sending public library funds to a non-public library. Stephen noted that the Index is now included in the genealogy sources on the ohioweblibrary.org resources page, which could result in increased traffic to the Index and possible increased revenue from the sale of obituaries.

7.2. Approve building and hosting an Ohio public library digital collections database

Stephen Hedges reported on a meeting with Lisa Long from the Ohio History Connection (OHC) regarding OPLIN's building and hosting a website for finding digital collections in Ohio public libraries. Lisa is working on a Library Leadership project that would include such a searchable directory, and liked the way the OPLIN Find-A-Library site functions. After further consideration, Lisa and OPLIN staff agree that a combination of the Find-A-Library interface and the ExploreOhio interface could be adapted for use in this project, assuming Lisa and her team are responsible for developing the specifications of the database that would support the search interface.

While Stephen noted that OPLIN's portion of the project could be completed in a few days, he also has cautioned Lisa that once the directory expands beyond Ohio public libraries, a different arrangement would need to be made for hosting the database.

The consensus of the Board was that this would be a valuable project, and OPLIN could build and host the database website so long as the data is limited to Ohio public libraries.


Stephen Hedges provided an update on the activities of the Digitization Hubs, listing meetings since the last OPLIN Board meeting. The Hubs project communicates closely with the Ohio Digitization Interest Group, and has had conversations with the Digital Public Library of America, so a wide variety of digitizing organizations are aware of the project and interested.

Stephen announced that the presentation slides from the OPLIN Stakeholders Meeting at the OLC Convention have been posted to slideshare.net/OPLIN. He also highlighted Laura Solomon's service as a member of the OLC Convention Program Committee.

8.1. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon reported that there are now 74 library website kit customers, and she has had inquiries from one additional library. The upgrades from Drupal version 6 to version 7 are progressing at a rate of about one per week, with 34 upgrades remaining. Drupal version 8 has been released in beta, but she does not expect it to be stable for a couple of years.

8.2. Database usage

Stephen Hedges reported that after working with EBSCO staff to develop a multi-step process to remove federated search statistics from the database usage statistics, he is including search statistics again in his report to the Board, and has used the new procedures to revise statistics over the last two years. He feels the usage charts now look more "normal." Nevertheless, they still reflect a gradual but constant decline in the usage of the Ohio Web Library databases. Considered together with the survey results he presented earlier in the meeting, Stephen thinks the databases may be a major point of discussion at next April's Board planning meeting.


The Chair had nothing to bring to the Board's attention at this time.


On motion of Jamie Mason and second of Susan Brown the Board adjourned at 11:10 a.m.