Minutes — October 12, 2012


The one hundred thirty-fourth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 12, 2012 by Board Chair Jamie Mason at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Jill Billman-Royer, Gary Branson, Karl Colón, Karen Davis, Jamie Mason, Sandi Plymire, Becky Schultz, and Jeff Wale.

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


Jamie Mason requested approval of the meeting agenda.

Jill Billman-Royer motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Sandi Plymire seconded. All aye.


Jamie Mason called for public participation.

Doug Evans encouraged Board members to register soon for the OLC Widen the Lens conference, since only a few openings remain.

Beverly Cain noted that applications for ILEAD USA are now open, which will involve five Ohio mixed teams of five librarians from at least two different types of libraries. Teams will work on using technology to improve patron services. The sessions will take place simultaneously in five states.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of August 10 meeting

Jamie Mason requested approval of the minutes of the August 10 Board meeting.

Sandi Plymire motioned to approve the minutes of the August 10 meeting as presented; Gary Branson seconded. All aye.


Jamie Pardee presented the Financial Reports as of September 30. Report A detailed fiscal years 2010 and 2011, which are now closed and unchanged. In response to a question from Jamie, the Board agreed that they no longer need to see these fiscal years unless they request them specifically. Report B detailed fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Jamie summarized these fiscal years, and noted that the FY 2012 report now reflects revenue and expenditure activity that was originally budgeted in FY2012, rather than being reflected in FY 2013 when it may have actually occurred, to make budgeting clearer. Report C, however, showing cash flow, reflects activity when it actually occurred, while noting the fiscal year in which it was budgeted.

Stephen Hedges mentioned that OPLIN had not yet received an invoice from OhioLINK for the first payment toward the cost of the Ohio Web Library databases this year, but he has asked OhioLINK to investigate.

Gary Branson motioned to accept the Financial Reports; Jeff Wale seconded. All aye.


6.1. Digitization project update

Stephen Hedges reported that he has been in contact with Kim Fender about the planned grant proposal to extend the digitization lab developed at the Cincinnati library to other locations across the state. A possible collaboration with OhioLINK for presenting the digitized materials on the Internet would not affect the need to first set up digitization labs. Kim is checking with other metro libraries to confirm their interest in hosting labs and will also draw up an equipment list. Beverly Cain confirmed that the LSTA grant application would not be due until next spring. Beverly also noted that the Ohio Historical Society has a nice digitization lab.


7.1. Discussion of statewide IT projects

Stephen Hedges began by presenting background materials on statewide information technology (IT) projects in which OPLIN might join. He explained an August reorganization of OH-TECH, the higher-education technology consortium being developed by the Board of Regents. John Magill has been replaced by Gwen Evans as OhioLINK director. Ohio State University is now the fiscal agent for all components of this consortium, including OhioLINK. OARnet network operations and the Ohio Supercomputer Center have been combined, while OARnet research has been moved to a separate innovation lab associated with OSU.

Lynda Murray from OLC was in touch with Chancellor Petro about a year ago to talk about OPLIN working with this consortium. Stephen presented recent correspondence between Lynda and the administration about moving OPLIN funding out of the Public Library Fund (PLF) and including OPLIN in statewide IT consolidation projects. This correspondence has resulted in a meeting being scheduled on October 18 involving Randy Cole from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM), OLC, OPLIN, the State Library, the Board of Regents, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), OhioLINK, INFOhio, and eTech.

In order to provide the Board with background information relevant to discussions about including OPLIN in statewide IT consolidation projects, Stephen reported on OARnet, K-12, and OIT network projects.

Most of Ohio's universities are OARnet members, and they pay for their use of bandwidth. Portions of the OARnet backbone have been upgraded to 100 Gbps and connect directly to the Internet2 network, which entails significant additional costs for the universities. This upgrade project was scheduled for completion this month.

The K-12 network connects 3,500+ school buildings to the Internet. School districts get an average 6% subsidy from the state for their last-mile costs to connect to an Information Technology Center (ITC), then a middle-mile circuit connects each ITC to the OARnet backbone. Starting in 2015, the Department of Education will be looking for funding to support these middle-mile connections. K-12 and OARnet contend that this aggregation of circuits at the ITCs saves money. About 80% of school buildings have at least a 100 Mbps circuit, and the state proposes that all schools should meet this standard, at local district cost.

OIT's strategic plans call for "network operating consolidation" to save money. Their published plans are not detailed, except for a proposal to eventually cut the current 561 state employees that work on IT infrastructure to 200 individuals. OPLIN currently buys Internet bandwidth in partnership with OIT and pays OIT to manage OPLIN circuits, making OPLIN OIT's largest customer. Beverly Cain noted that OIT has just begun assessing a sizable "IT Development" fee on all state agencies, but has exempted OPLIN from paying this fee.

Karl Colón asked if incorporating OPLIN into IT consolidation efforts would affect the ability of the State Library to secure federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds. Stephen Hedges responded that since OPLIN is a line item in the State Library budget, reducing or removing OPLIN funds from the SLO budget would also reduce the state match for federal funds and result in less LSTA money. Beverly Cain noted that participants in the upcoming meeting are aware of this problem.

Doug Evans explained that one of OLC's goals is to move OPLIN funding out of the PLF, but without reducing the PLF by a corresponding amount. They also want to maintain the OPLIN governance, and are very interested in providing financial support for branch connections. None of Lynda's dealings with the administration have yet dealt with the technical specifics of accomplishing these goals, but financial discussions have been promising.

Discussion turned to whether or not the OPLIN Board would be effective if it were to become an advisory board. It was noted that policy decisions and the evaluation of the OPLIN Director and OPLIN services may not be within the purview of an advisory board. Karl Colón noted, however, that ultimately the question is, how would changing OPLIN benefit the public? Other questions, like the role of the Board, are secondary. That being said, Board members noted that in some circumstances, a loss of control by the Board could result in less robust service to public libraries and the public they serve.

The Board felt that they needed to see some specific proposals before they could provide meaningful guidance. On the other hand, they were aware that there may be a need for some quick decisions in order to accomplish changes within the budget timeline.

Jamie Mason directed Stephen to communicate at least weekly with the Executive Committee and provide information about efforts to incorporate OPLIN into statewide IT consolidation projects.

Karl Colón was excused from the meeting with the consent of the Board at 11:05 to attend the OLC Government Relations Committee meeting.

7.2. Branch connection for CLEVNET

Stephen Hedges reported that OPLIN has been approached by the CLEVNET consortium with a request to pay for a large connection to the Cleveland Public Library's Lakeshore facility. Cleveland was the only metro library to express serious interest last year in OPLIN's proposal to provide redundant Internet connections to large libraries. They now plan to develop a backup center at Lakeshore for CLEVNET libraries and have asked if OPLIN would pay for the Internet connection there. Stephen has replied that OPLIN may be undergoing some changes, including possibly providing some support to all libraries for branch connections, but promised to ask the Board if they want to respond to the request or postpone action until more is known about OPLIN's future within statewide networks.

The Board made no motion to act on the CLEVNET request, preferring to wait until they had more information.


Stephen Hedges reported that he and State Library Board President Steve Wood had traveled to Topeka at the invitation of Kansas State Librarian Jo Budler to talk about OPLIN as part of a planning session on ways to provide broadband connections to libraries. The Kansas legislature has directed that all schools, libraries and hospitals with a state KAN-ED Internet connection move to a commercial broadband Internet connection by June 30, 2013. Stephen also reported that the committee that will work on the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) for the next five years of Ohio Web Library databases met for the first time on August 27, and also that OPLIN has contracted with Time Warner Cable for some "Type II" connections that are not covered by state contracts in order to replace some of the few remaining T1 lines. Stephen also reported that Gov. Kasich has signed a resolution making October Information Literacy Month.

Regarding OPLIN office activities, Stephen highlighted his travel to Cleveland Heights for the ETM Libraries meeting, Karl Jendretzky's travel to Cincinnati to work on network equipment at the library and the SWON office, and a meeting with OIT and AT&T to discuss ongoing problems with the Columbus library connection.

8.1. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky reported that all the Juniper routers except a few that need special configuration have been installed, and also that parts for the 10 Gbps upgrade of the core router have started to arrive. A new website kits server has been launched to handle new library websites. At the SWON office in Cincinnati, OPLIN and OIT are testing a Time Warner Cable coaxial business class type of connection, which could possibly be used for the smallest public libraries if all the networking issues can be resolved. Karl also reported that the Barracuda spam filter license has been renewed for the fourth year; the filter is blocking about 66,000 spam emails a day, at a cost of about $1 per user per year. Karl also mentioned that he has had to do some upgrading to the SMS service, prompted by automated messages generated by some library automation software which should not be sent as text messages to a cellphone.

8.2. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon reported that there are 53 dynamic website kits in production and 14 more in development, so OPLIN is providing website services for over a fourth of the public libraries. In November, upgrades will be made to all kits, providing new events management and file upload capabilities, as well as direct links to the help manual. Laura is also going to pre-load website kits with a supply of high-quality graphics to discourage librarians from inserting low-quality clipart into their web pages.

8.3. Database usage

Stephen Hedges reported that database usage declined slightly compared to a year ago, and that this statistic is now accurate, since we have had the Mango Languages and the Ancestry databases for more than a year now.


9.1. Nomination process for Board member replacement

Jamie Mason appointed Don Barlow, Sandi Plymire, and Becky Schultz to a Nomination Committee that will work with Stephen Hedges to fill Jason Buydos' term on the Board. The bylaws permit this committee to recommend a candidate for appointment directly to the State Library Board, which will meet on December 11 and can appoint a new Board member to start at the December 14 OPLIN Board meeting. Jamie asked the Nominations Committee to share their choice with the Executive Committee before sending it to the State Library Board.


On motion of Jeff Wale the Board adjourned at 11:34 a.m.