Minutes — October 14, 2016


The one hundred fifty-eighth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on Friday, October 14, 2016 by Board Chair Susan Brown at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Marty Beets, Jill Billman-Royer, Susan Brown, Karen Davis, Joe Greenward, Chris May, Travis McAfee, Michael Penrod, and Becky Schultz.

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



Jill Billman-Royer motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Chris May seconded. There was no discussion, so Chair Susan Brown called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


The Chair called for public participation.

Beverly Cain introduced Brad Schmidt, an undergraduate intern at the State Library this semester. Beverly also reported that the Ohio application to become a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Service Hub had been approved; the State Library will now hire three people to work on establishing and managing the Hub. Nathan Tallman from the University of Cincinnati provided technical information to DPLA on a pre-approval phone call that Stephen Hedges was unable to attend.

Doug Evans thanked the Board again for their support of the Ohio Library Council (OLC) Convention and Expo; there were 681 attendees, and OPLIN's support was prominently acknowledged. Doug reported that Public Library Fund revenue is a little lower than expected, but is still projected to be about $380 million in 2016. Michelle Francis is traveling around the state presenting information at twenty libraries about the upcoming state budget; the legislature will have to renew the current formula to maintain current funding. There are fifteen local library levies on the November 8 ballot. Doug also reported that this is the last day for OLC members to vote in a special election regarding changes to the OLC organization, including dissolving the five OLC Chapters. Doug explained the history of the Chapters and the reasons for the proposal to dissolve them.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of August 12 meeting

Karen Davis motioned to approve the minutes of the August 12 meeting as presented; Becky Schultz seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye, with Jill Billman-Royer abstaining.


Jamie Pardee presented budget information as of the end of September 2016, the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Expenditures for Information Resources and for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) have already been paid under annual contracts. Anticipating a discussion coming up later in the agenda, Jamie pointed out that the amount currently in the Unplanned Spending Authority line could be moved by the Board to any other budget line to pay for special projects. Jamie reported that the current cash balance is much lower than it was at the end of June because of the expenditures already paid under annual contracts and delays in receiving E-rate reimbursements. The E-rate delays relate to setting up the new system for receiving reimbursements, as now required, but everything is ready and OPLIN should start to receive E-rate monies again.

Michael Penrod motioned to accept the Financial Reports; Chris May seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.


6.1. Approve plans for network enhancements

Stephen Hedges reviewed Board discussion at the August meeting concerning some possible network enhancements, after which the Board had asked for more detailed plans. Stephen provided a document with information about five possible projects, including advantages and disadvantages, cost estimates, and other options. Stephen talked through this information first and asked that the Board make motions to open discussion on any projects that interested them.

The first project would be replacing routers at the library sites. Manufacturer's support for most of the current routers will end in July 2018, and Karl Jendretzky pointed out this means there would be no more software patches to correct bugs and security vulnerabilities after that date. The last time OPLIN replaced routers the project took two years. Stephen described the recommended new routers and discussed the pricing. Most routers would be smaller and quieter than the current routers.

The second project would upgrade all OPLIN public library circuits to at least 100 Mbps, a total of about 100 upgrades except for a few sites where 100 Mbps is not yet feasible. Usage data indicates that many small libraries would not use that much bandwidth, but that is the minimum bandwidth recommended for public libraries by the Federal Communications Commission. Because that is also the bandwidth recommended for many schools, pricing from telecommunications vendors for 100 Mbps circuits is usually very competitive, and with OPLIN's E-rate discount the increase in annual cost would not be substantial.

The third project would replace the current security appliance at the OPLIN core with a hosted security service. OPLIN bandwidth will soon exceed the capacity of the current appliance, and buying a second appliance may not be a possibility due to company acquisitions. A hosted service would be more expensive over time than a second appliance, but has the advantage of being maintained and monitored 24x7x365. Purchase of such a service would most likely require Ohio Controlling Board approval. Karl Jendretzky noted that the proposed plan for this project would require more work before the project could be started.

The fourth project would add a second OPLIN core router at the State of Ohio Computer Center (SOCC) and upgrade the current router to create two identical routers that would be operated in tandem but located in separate areas of the SOCC, providing seamless redundancy in the event one of the routers fails. Almost all OPLIN data passes through the core router, so this would eliminate a single point of failure in the whole network. Stephen discussed pricing from one vendor; if the purchase were to proceed, quotes from three vendors under State Term Schedule contracts would be collected. Karl Jendretzky explained that the new core hardware would be able to do MACsec encryption, if this were ever required by the government. In response to a question from Travis McAfee, Karl noted that our current support agreement for the core router is next day replacement, meaning if some components of the current core router failed, the network would be down for a day.

The fifth project would provide equipment rack space in the SOCC free of charge for servers that provide services to more than one library. This would allow consortia to place their servers in an extremely stable, protected and secure building at the heart of the OPLIN network in an area dedicated to public libraries. SOCC charges are calculated by the rack, with a set monthly lease cost plus the cost of power used. It may also be possible to sub-rent rack space to libraries that want to house their own servers at the SOCC, and OPLIN could bill them for the monthly costs, but there are some questions that would need to be clarified with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to know if this is possible.

Michael Penrod motioned to approve all the projects; Jill Billman-Royer seconded. The Chair called for discussion.

At the request of the Board, Karl provided more detailed information about the two models of new site routers that OPLIN and OIT have chosen. Jill noted that replacement of the routers would be a proactive step to maintain the network in good condition. Marty Beets noted that he had been in a situation in the past where routers with no available vendor support were used, and it was not a good experience.

Michael noted that duplicating the core router would not be as visible an improvement as new site routers, but was no less important to maintaining the network. He also noted, however, that the project to upgrade network security needed more planning and information. As background, Karl provided more information about network attacks and the current and proposed ways of stopping them. Karl and Stephen both agreed that the security proposal needs more work, but Stephen noted that something will need to be done within the next year due to the capacity limitations of the current security. Travis asked if duplicating the network core now would affect decisions about a future security method; after some consideration, Karl diagrammed the various network options to provide security under both methods currently under discussion.

Michael Penrod moved to revise his original motion to approval for just the purchase of upgraded site routers and the hardware necessary to duplicate the OPLIN core router, as well as related maintenance support, instead of approval of all five projects; Jill Billman-Royer seconded the revision.

There was no further discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the revised motion.

Recorded vote: Marty Beets, aye; Jill Billman-Royer, aye; Karen Davis, aye; Joe Greenward, aye; Chris May, aye; Travis McAfee, aye; Michael Penrod, aye; Becky Schultz, aye; and Susan Brown, aye

The Board now reviewed the other possible projects.

Karen Davis motioned to approve providing at least 100 Mbps circuits to all libraries wherever feasible; Travis McAfee seconded. The Chair called for discussion.

Susan Brown pointed out that OPLIN already provides adequate bandwidth based on each library's actual needs, regardless of what the FCC may recommend; Michael Penrod agreed. Travis McAfee noted, however, that meeting the FCC recommendation could be a point of pride for many smaller communities, and the additional cost would not be substantial. Marty Beets shared that Cincinnati had upgraded all of their branches, regardless of size, to the same very large circuits and it was very well received, even though actual circuit usage did not change. Karl Jendretzky noted that such a large batch of upgrades would eliminate the need for the many small batches OPLIN currently does, and would also provide some spare bandwidth if a smaller library has a temporary internal network problem. Marty asked Stephen Hedges for his opinion; Stephen replied that he personally did not favor spending money on unnecessary things, but in this case the amount of money involved compared to the good will created makes these upgrades the politic thing to do.

There was no further discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion.

Recorded vote: Marty Beets, aye; Jill Billman-Royer, aye; Karen Davis, aye; Joe Greenward, aye; Chris May, aye; Travis McAfee, aye; Michael Penrod, aye; Becky Schultz, aye; and Susan Brown, aye

Karl informed the Board that some of the upgrades would involve some contract negotiations and may take longer than others; they would not all be completed immediately.

The Board set aside the other two possible projects pending gathering of more information.


7.1. Discuss website audits

Stephen Hedges reported that Laura Solomon's webinar on September 13 about common library website problems was very well attended and received. One of the participants asked if OPLIN offered any consultation or budget advice for library websites, which prompted an OPLIN staff discussion about the possibility of doing library website "audits" for a fee. Stephen suggested that a standardized checklist of things to look for on a website could be developed and used for such audits. OPLIN would not work with any website designers the library may have hired, nor would OPLIN offer discounts to libraries that subsequently decide to purchase a Dynamic Website Kit. OPLIN would simply use a standardized checklist to do the audit, would then create a report and delivery it to the library, and then invoice the library. Initially the fee could be based on the time spent, calculated using the same hourly rate as custom work on website kits.

Laura Solomon made some additional suggestions. Free audits might be requested quarterly or twice a year by current website kit customers. Laura has been doing performance tuning on many websites and has noticed that images are often used improperly; she has in fact planned a webinar on this topic on November 16. Laura also suggested that she might offer to do banner images for website kit customers for a reasonable price, since these images are sometimes particularly bad.

Jill Billman-Royer motioned to approve offering website audits to Ohio public libraries for a fee; Becky Schultz seconded. The Chair called for discussion.

Jill remarked that website audits would be beneficial to the library community and asked if there was a general estimate of how much time an audit might require; Laura replied that a basic audit would probably take about an hour, and assumed most libraries would only be interested in a basic audit.

There was no further discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.



Becky Schultz, the Search Committee Chair, confirmed that Stephen Hedges' new retirement date is September 30, 2017. Based on that date, the committee has developed a new timeline, expecting to have the new Executive Director start on October 2, 2017 after appointment by the Board at the regular August 11, 2017 meeting. The committee does not feel that the special meeting planned for May 12, 2017 will be needed and recommends that it be removed from the Board meeting schedule. The committee will be meeting immediately after this Board meeting to finalize the job description, and plans to post the position in mid-April 2017. Becky also noted that her second term on the Board will end before the Search Committee work ends, but she would like to continue on the committee until the work is finished; there were no objections from the Board.

There was no discussion regarding the Search Committee's recommendation to revise the Board meeting schedule, so the Chair called for a vote on the recommendation; all aye.


Stephen Hedges added some information to Beverly Cain's news about the approval of the application to DPLA to create an Ohio Service Hub, and reminded the Board that he will be serving on the Executive Committee of the Ohio Digital Network, as the Service Hub will be called. Stephen described his experience at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) annual conference August 14—19 in Columbus, where OPLIN displayed a floor banner on the Library Boulevard; more than 3,200 librarians from 145 countries attended. Stephen also reported on the OPLIN booth at the OLC Convention and Expo in Sandusky (September 28—30) and the OPLIN Annual Update at the convention, which was better attended now that it is no longer called the "Stakeholders Meeting." Finally, Stephen reported on a meeting Beverly Cain scheduled for October 11 with Paolo DeMaria, the new Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Ohio Department of Education, and the Libraries Connect Ohio partners, where there was a good discussion about INFOhio's funding.

Regarding the OPLIN office activities calendar, Stephen highlighted visits Karl Jendretzky made to Wauseon Public Library, Southwest Public Libraries and the Northeast Ohio Regional Library System, and also several training sessions Laura Solomon had done for librarians. Stephen also reported that he had attended Sandi Plymire's retirement reception at Muskingum County Library System and met with the CLEVNET Directors Committee at the SOCC.

9.1. Library Services Manager report

Laura Solomon noted that everything that would have been in her report had already been discussed as new business.

9.2. Technology Projects Manager report

Karl Jendretzky reported on several recent circuit changes, some of which should enable OPLIN to have a free headend from AT&T at the SOCC. Karl has also examined the Who's On My Wifi software that the State Library will be providing to libraries and can answer any questions libraries have. Turning to OpenDNS, Karl noted that 21 CLEVNET libraries are now using it since the advanced licensing became available, so there are 136 libraries statewide now using OpenDNS. Karl is also working on new secure proxy access for some libraries to their databases, and has also been working on moving the website kit servers to a hosted server company that will provide weekend support.

9.3. Database usage

Stephen Hedges reported that usage of documents retrieved from the databases was about 6% more than it was last year, even though the number of searches was about the same.


Chair Susan Brown had nothing to report.


On motion of Jill Billman-Royer and second of Michael Penrod the Board adjourned at 12:00 p.m.