OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTIETH REGULAR MEETING of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Minutes — October 5, 2018
1. WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER
The one hundred seventieth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 5, 2018 by Board Chair Michael Penrod at the Mangrove Room, Kalahari Resort, in Sandusky, Ohio.
Present were Board members: Angela Baldree, Jamie Black, Jeff Garringer, Travis McAfee, Michael Penrod, Tara Sidwell, and Garalynn Tomas.
Also present were: Mandy Knapp, Karl Jendretzky, Laura Solomon, Eric Vescelius, and Don Yarman (OPLIN); and Doug Evans (Ohio Library Council).
2. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Jamie Black motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Travis McAfee seconded. There was no discussion, so the chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
The Chair called for public participation.
Doug Evans thanked the OPLIN Board for its support of the OLC Convention and Expo, which boasted 652 attendees.
4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of August 10 meeting
Tara Sidwell motioned to approve the minutes of the August 10, 2018, meeting as presented; Garalynn Tomas seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.
5. ACCEPTANCE OF THE FINANCIAL REPORTS
Don Yarman presented the financial reports prepared by Jamie Pardee, who was not able to attend the meeting. Yarman expects that the final report for FY2018 will be close to if not identical to that presented, showing $4,564,163.12 in disbursements. There have been $2,867,330.05 in disbursements so far in FY2019, most of which is in payments for databases – OPLIN’s portion of the Ohio Web Library content agreement as well as genealogy and Lynda.com subscriptions. This is for one year; similar payments are projected for subsequent fiscal years. Yarman will meet with Pardee to discuss tweaks to the projected budget for fiscal years 2020-2021. Currently, projections show a cash balance of $2,892,152.17 at the end of FY2021.
Angela Baldree motioned to accept the financial reports; Travis McAfee seconded. There was no discussion, so the Chair called for a vote on the motion; all aye.
6. OLD BUSINESS – none
7. NEW BUSINESS
7.1. Request for OPLIN funding in FY2020-FY2021 state budget
Yarman reported that he had submitted his budget language to the State Library. As the questions have not changed since the last biennium, the answers are the same. This includes a description of how the source of OPLIN’s funds has moved between the state’s General Revenue Fund and the Public Library Fund over the years, and how PLF funding does pose a barrier for OPLIN’s participation in cooperative projects with other state government organizations and other library networks. Yarman finds this “barrier” to be an effective tool for OPLIN planning: because the PLF is intended to support local public library activities, OPLIN’s services should remain focused on returning value directly to all public libraries in the state. Jamie Black said it isn’t necessary to draw extra attention to OPLIN’s funding during the budget process by asking to change the source of funds, and Doug Evans agreed, saying that it appears that the Government Relations Committee will wish to ask for an increase in PLF, and it works to the libraries’ advantage to have the example of OPLIN’s collaborative impact. The Lynda.com subscription in particular has gained a lot of positive attention; for example, Representative Carfagna recently filmed a PSA with Westerville director Erin Francoeur about the valuable access to Lynda content. Michael Penrod said he believes having OPLIN in the PLF makes the services more secure. Travis McAfee said he hasn’t heard small and medium-sized libraries wanting OPLIN’s funds returned to them, and that they are happy to have OPLIN do the negotiating for their internet access and database subscriptions. Evans said that when OPLIN was put back into the PLF after having been out for a little while, there was some grumbling about the loss of that revenue, but he thinks that the return on that investment by the libraries in this service is multifold.
7.2 Drupal Upgrade RFP
OPLIN hosts about 80 public library websites on Drupal version 7. Laura Solomon and Karl Jendretzky have been monitoring the Drupal release schedule, but functional deficiencies have prevented OPLIN from beginning to move library sites to Drupal 8. Last month, it was announced that both Drupal 7 and 8 will be end-of-life (i.e., not supported) in November 2021, due to the end-of-life of some of Drupal’s component dependencies. Drupal 9 does not yet have a firm release date, but it should be in 2020, a year before support for the older versions ends. At a relatively brisk pace of one library website per week, it will take just over a year and a half to move Webkit sites to the latest platforms, and Yarman proposes that the migration project should start in July 2019. When the Webkit sites were upgraded from Drupal 6 to 7, OPLIN hired a third party to assist, and Yarman expects to bring a proposal to the December board meeting for a similar plan. Initial estimates suggest that the project could cost approximately $70,000 over the two year span. Penrod asked whether libraries should be charged an extra fee for migration costs; Yarman said he is considering it, but also is looking into grant funding to help cover the extra costs.
8. OPLIN DIRECTOR'S REPORT
Yarman reported that by the announced September 1 start date for the Lynda.com subscription, all but a few libraries were connected to the service; common barriers were properly configuring firewall rules, or licensing problems with previous Lynda.com subscriptions. The last library on the statewide Lynda subscription was the Morley Library, whose implementation was delayed due to their pending migration to CLEVNET. Yarman reported there has been no further communication after he responded to the FOIA/Open Records request for the Lynda.com contract details. Some librarians have raised questions about Lynda’s privacy policies and the selection process; conversations have generally been positive.
8.1. Library Services Manager report
In addition to preparation for the Drupal 8 migration, Solomon has been working on a new feature for the Webkits – a digital resources page that works similar to the database listing. It is currently being beta-tested by the Granville Public Library. Solomon is working carefully to make sure that new features added to the service do not pose additional problems during the Drupal 8 migration project. Despite concerns with the migration, Solomon praised some of the back-end improvements in Drupal 8, including a package manager which improves control over different modules and plug-ins. Solomon has also been working with the Euclid Public Library to find integrate the LibCal services (room reservation, event registration, etc.) that CLEVNET has begun providing their members.
8.2. Digital Resources Manager report
Mandy Knapp reported that Ancestry continues to draw the highest usage of the OPLIN-provided resources, followed by the EBSCO package. She is looking into different models for visualizing and presenting statistical data, as some resources – notably Lynda.com and Transparent Language – do not fit with the model of showing counts of searches entered and documents accessed.
Because Lynda.com does not provide an enterprise-level view of usage stats, Karl Jendretzky wrote scripting that logs into the Lynda Stats API with each library’s admin credentials to collect the numbers OPLIN needs. Library directors or their designees will receive an email each month with the Lynda usage numbers (or, if the script login fails, they will receive an email asking them to contact the OPLIN office to update password information). Travis McAfee praised the simplicity of the new stats page, finding it much easier to use than most vendors’ stats interfaces. Jamie Black asked whether, because Lynda is owned by LinkedIn, users had to have LinkedIn accounts. Knapp explained that users can link their LinkedIn accounts, but it is not required. She discussed how unlike other OPLIN-provided resources which authenticate use based on IP address, Lynda.com checks the user’s library card against their library’s local database.
8.3. Technology Projects Manager report
Karl Jendretzky discussed a few projects with tight deadlines that popped up unexpectedly. The NEO Regional Library System moved to new office space, initiating a scramble to install cable internet access in advance of the longer process to get a fiber connection built to the office. The Toledo Public Library has closed their main library for renovations, and OPLIN’s services needed to be redirected to maintain library system operations. The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library had purchased a new hosted telephone system on the state’s contract with Cincinnati Bell (CBTS), and although CBTS is supposed to notify OPLIN and the state’s Office of Information Technology well in advance of such projects, no one was notified until less than a month before it was to go live. Equipment was found for the library in state salvage, and the necessary configuration settings were added to the OPLIN router to accommodate the phone system’s requirements.
Jendretzky explained that usually OPLIN has a minimal role when libraries are on the CBTS service; libraries usually configure their firewalls to accept static routes of state IP addresses into their local networks. Because of the tight timeframe and the availability of technical staff at the library, more of the work is being handled in OPLIN router configuration; the library was in a pinch, and OPLIN staff stepped in to help them out. Board members voiced concerns. Garalynn Tomas asked whether OPLIN would have to keep providing and supporting equipment; Jendretzky replied that the library was advised to purchase spare switches, rather than relying on reclaimed salvage equipment. Penrod and McAfee were concerned that, once this has begun, OPLIN will be forced to continue direct support of voice services for libraries. Black wondered where OPLIN should draw boundaries – with CBTS or with the libraries.
Yarman suggested that OPLIN staff meet with Findlay to discuss that while OPLIN staff stepped in to make things work for them under the crunch of a deadline, on-going support for telephone services needs to be moved off OPLIN equipment. Knapp suggested that OPLIN staff review the CBTS contract to identify the company’s obligations, then OPLIN and OIT staff can meet with CBTS to clarify those.
Jendretzky reported that he is still pressuring AT&T to bring up new head-end port. The delay is typical, and so far is not inconveniencing libraries, just delaying some of OPLIN’s networking projects – most notably completing the CLEVNET core move.
A webinar has been scheduled for October 16 to introduce libraries to the new SecurityIQ phishing vulnerability and education service. At least 20 libraries had requested SecurityIQ licenses within the past week, and as it includes the largest libraries and consortia, about half of the licenses have been allocated.
The Worthington Libraries have deployed new servers into the co-location space in NR3, and the Jendretzky has been discussing the service with the Euclid Public Library. Jendretzky predicts that OPLIN will expand the co-location space into a second network cage in the State of Ohio Computer Center sometime in the coming year, as more libraries are planning to move racks and equipment in.
Jendretzky has added more sophisticated error-handling to the SMS service by pulling more information out of message vendor Trumpia’s API. By learning what exactly causes a delivery error, the system can send more granular messages to libraries automatically, giving libraries a better idea of what went wrong and how to fix it.
9. CHAIR'S REPORT
Penrod said he had nothing to report.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 11:04 a.m.