Minutes—October 9, 2009


The one hundred sixteenth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 9, 2009 by Board Chair Karl Colón at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were Board members: Don Barlow, Gary Branson, Ben Chinni, Karl Colón, Jim Kenzig, Sandi Plymire and Jeff Wale.

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


The Chair called for public participation and there was none.


Gary Branson motioned to approve the agenda as presented; Sandi Plymire seconded. All aye.

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of August 14 Meeting

Don Barlow motioned to approve the minutes of the August 14 meeting; Jeff Wale seconded. All aye.


Diane Fink presented the Financial Reports as of September 30, 2009. Report A showed the budget and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009; Report B showed the budget and expenditures for Fiscal Year 2010; and Report C showed the revenue and cash balances for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010.

Report A: Diane explained that state agencies have until November to pay off purchase orders after the close of a fiscal year, so the FY 2009 expenditures report still shows one open purchase order for an unemployment claim. Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 had several budget cuts mandated by the Office of Budget and Management (OBM), and those reductions totaled $1,056,551 for the FY08-09 budget biennium.

Report B: Diane pointed out that the budget for rent shown in this report for the current fiscal year is much less than in previous fiscal years, because of a reduction negotiated with the landlord; in response to a question, she clarified that OPLIN makes quarterly rent payments. The consulting contract with Past, Present & Future is also less than it has been previously due to a re-negotiation. Payments to Wright State University reflect scheduled payments for the OPLIN portion of the Ohio Web Library databases. The payment for E-rate consulting covers the second year we have contracted with eTech Ohio for this service.

Jeff Wale asked Stephen Hedges if he is happy with the eTech Ohio E-rate consulting and Stephen replied that he is, noting that they have fielded a lot of calls for E-rate assistance from the public libraries. While Stephen was not able to report a specific increase in our E-rate funding attributable to eTech's consulting, he did note that they increased the speed of our E-rate cash flow by applying for semi-annual instead of annual E-rate reimbursements. In response to a question about discounts for internal connections, Stephen noted that OPLIN has had discussions with eTech about the possibility of qualifying virtual servers as E-ratable internal connections, but that any such discounts were likely to benefit individual libraries rather than OPLIN.

Diane noted that all OPLIN accounts now draw from Fund 4S4, which is a combination of money transferred from the Public Library Fund (PLF) plus $2 million in "spending authority" that allows us to spend E-rate reimbursements and other money not collected from the PLF.

Report C: Diane explained that this report tracks the cash flow into and out of Fund 4S4. The balance at June 30 was approximately $1.5 million. Diane called attention to an OBM document authorizing one transfer of $3,702,150 from the PLF to Fund 4S4 on August 31. She noted that this differed from the practice in Fiscal Years 2002-2004, when funds were transferred monthly from the Library and Local Government Support Fund (LLGSF). Diane speculated that the difference in procedure was due to the fact that $5 million was also transferred from the General Revenue Fund (GRF) into the PLF to cover the transfer of funds out of the PLF, and she assumed that the same procedure would be followed next fiscal year. In response to a question, Diane clarified that money in Fund 4S4 carries forward from year to year.

Diane noted that payments from libraries for website kits and refunds from telecommunications companies are reflected in the "Other Revenue" column of Report C. She also called attention to the increased frequency of E-rate reimbursements.

Miscellaneous: Diane reported that she is awaiting instructions from OBM for the FY2011-2012 Capital Budget. OPLIN intends to apply again for capital funds to purchase more replacement routers for the network. She also noted that state revenues are currently running slightly ahead of estimates. In response to a question, Diane explained that OPLIN does not invest cash balances, but the state treasury does, and the treasury retains any earned interest.

Jeff Wale expressed appreciation for Diane's good management of the OPLIN finances.

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

6. OLD BUSINESS — none


7.1. Approve nominations of Board candidates

Jeff Wale presented a summary of the discussion of the Nominating Committee, comprised of Jeff and Gayle Patton, regarding candidates to replace Holly Carroll and Mike Wantz on the Board. After looking at the group of candidates who recently expressed interest in the two Board vacancies created at the end of regular terms in June, the Nominating Committee proposed that Jason Buydos, Technical Services Director at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and Jamie Mason, Deputy Director at Rocky River Public Library, be submitted to the State Library Board for appointment to the OPLIN Board. Both individuals are highly recommended by their library directors. Stephen Hedges noted that the Board should recommend one individual to fill the final year of Holly's unexpired term, while the other individual would be recommended to fill Mike's full three-year term.

Jim Kenzig motioned to recommend to the State Library Board that Jamie Mason be appointed to fill the unexpired board term of Holly Carroll, and Jason Buydos be appointed to a full board term; Don Barlow seconded. All aye.

7.2. Approve Internet filtering assistance grants

Stephen Hedges reminded the Board that OPLIN has $81,000 earmarked in the budget for filtering assistance grants to libraries. After approval of the grant procedures at the last Board meeting, libraries were invited to apply online, with applications due last Friday, October 2. As per the procedures, applications were ranked with new filters receiving first priority, upgrades to existing filters receiving second priority, and requests for filtering maintenance funds ranked third, with requests for maintenance from libraries with lower overall total revenue taking precedence over libraries with higher revenue.

Stephen reported that 50 applications were received, totaling $93,267.29. After making some corrections and removing some unrelated expenses, OPLIN will be able to fund 48 of the applications, and partially fund a 49th request; OPLIN will not have enough funds to fulfill the 50th request, from Akron-Summit County Public Library. He presented a list of his recommendations, divided into three groups to make it possible for Board members to abstain from voting on grants to the libraries which employ them.

Group 1

    Canal Fulton Public Library: $2,565.50
    Kingsville Public Library: $2,850.00
    Washington-Centerville Public Library: $4,454.24
    Delaware County District Library: $3,424.50
    Briggs Lawrence County Public Library: $2,247.24
    Brown Memorial Library: $1,443.00
    Mount Gilead Public Library: $4,500.00
    Mount Sterling Public Library: $1,795.00
    Twinsburg Public Library: $4,500.00
    Mary L Cook Public Library: $1,443.00
RENEWALS (ranked least to most Total Overall Revenue)
    Forest-Jackson Public Library: $129.00
    Rock Creek Public Library: $1,850.00
    Grand Valley Public Library: $375.00
    Mechanicsburg Public Library: $225.92
    Alexandria Public Library: $199.00
    Wagnalls Memorial Library: $199.00
    Henderson Memorial Library Association: $250.00
    Kinsman Free Public Library: $625.00
    Harbor-Topky Memorial Library: $810.00
    Delphos Public Library: $312.00
    Plain City Public Library: $199.00
    Newton Falls Public Library: $1,125.00
    Carnegie Public Library (East Liverpool): $350.00
    Hubbard Public Library: $1,025.00
    Brown County Public Library: $1,718.00
    Lebanon Public Library: $1,005.00
    Perry Public Library: $450.00
    London Public Library: $1,200.00
    Pickerington Public Library: $199.00
    McKinley Memorial Library: $1,000.00

Jim Kenzig motioned to provide Internet filtering assistance grants to this group of libraries in amounts not to exceed the amount recommended for each library by the Director; Sandi Plymire seconded.

Roll call: Don Barlow, aye; Gary Branson, abstain; Ben Chinni, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff Wale, aye; and Karl Colón, aye.

Group 2

RENEWALS (continued)
    Madison Public Library: $950.00
    Putnam County District Library: $858.28
    Marysville Public Library: $398.00
    Troy-Miami County Public Library: $3,408.00
    Ashtabula County District Library: $1,300.00
    Reed Memorial Library: $1,525.00
    Kent Free Library: $2,825.00
    Rodman Public Library: $1,585.00
    Nelsonville Public Library: $1,953.00
    Portage County District Library: $2,500.00
    Portsmouth Public Library: $1,079.72
    Muskingum County Library System: $1,636.00
    Grandview Heights Public Library: $199.00
    Morley Library: $2,750.00
    Fairfield County District Library: $2,568.00
    Geauga County Public Library: $3,500.00
    Upper Arlington Public Library: $2,227.50
    Warren-Trumbull County Public Library: $4,500.00

Jeff Wale motioned to provide Internet filtering assistance grants to this group of libraries in amounts not to exceed the amount recommended for each library by the Director; Don Barlow seconded.

Roll call: Don Barlow, aye; Gary Branson, aye; Ben Chinni, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Sandi Plymire, abstain; Jeff Wale, aye; and Karl Colón, aye.

Group 3

RENEWALS (continued)
    Greene County Public Library: $2,769.10

Stephen Hedges explained that Greene County Public Library had requested $4,500, but only $2,769.10 will be left from the available $81,000 once all the other grants are awarded. He noted, however, that it is not unusual to find that a library cannot meet all the grant requirements when a contract is sent to them, and he suggested that any such unused grant funds could be applied toward the balance of Greene County's original request.

Gary Branson motioned that Greene County Public Library be awarded an Internet filtering assistance grant in an amount not to exceed $4,500, the exact amount of the award to be determined by the balance of funds available once all other grant recipients come into contract for their awards; Sandi Plymire seconded.

Roll call: Don Barlow, aye; Gary Branson, aye; Ben Chinni, aye; Jim Kenzig, aye; Sandi Plymire, aye; Jeff Wale, aye; and Karl Colón, abstain.


Stephen Hedges commended the OPLIN staff for creating an interactive website for presenting the Annual Report to Stakeholders. He reported that about 40 people attended the accompanying online meeting on September 18, and the response to the online format was generally positive. The software used for the online meeting was a free trial version of DimDim, so Karl Jendretzky is now looking into installing the open source version of DimDim, or some other open source online meeting software, for possible OPLIN use in the future. Stephen had originally planned to do next year's Stakeholders Meeting in conjunction with the Ohio Library Council (OLC) Expo, as normal, but now asked for Board reaction to the idea of using the online format instead. After brief discussion, the Board recommended doing both, perhaps recording the meeting at the Expo and making the recording available online.

Stephen reported that he submitted an application for $123,600 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the USDA's Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) to buy more replacement routers for our library sites. Using data from Connect Ohio, Stephen identified 56 libraries in underserved areas of the state that could qualify under the program. He also submitted materials to allow funding through NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) should the BIP application be rejected; if we should be funded under the NTIA program, we will have to supply a 20% cash match. Stephen reported that there is a lot of competition for these funds. He hopes to have some indication of the success of OPLIN's application in about a month.

Stephen also reported that Karl Jendretzky and Terry Fouts, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) engineer who does frequent work on the OPLIN network, have almost finished configuring the first of the replacement site routers for use at Stark County District Library. Karl explained that once the first router is successfully configured, that configuration can then be copied to the other new routers. Karl also gave an update on the status of the new OPLIN core router, which is awaiting approval for power use in the State of Ohio Computer Center (SOCC).

Stephen informed the Board that Time Warner Cable has a new state contract for Ethernet connections. This provides OPLIN with a choice of competitive vendors in many parts of the state for the first time. Stephen hopes to leverage this competition to control some connection costs which would otherwise be rising due to the demise of the Ohio Broadband Network. This network, which was put together by OIT and OARnet last year, and which OPLIN was using to carry Ethernet traffic from remote locations back to the OPLIN core, is being dismantled due to lack of funds to maintain it. This means that OPLIN would need to purchase long-haul connectivity for the AT&T and tw telecom Ethernet connections we have outside central Ohio, paying the vendors to carry our traffic back to Columbus rather than to the nearest Ohio Broadband Network node. In some cases, this could triple our current connection costs. Time Warner Cable does not charge extra for long-haul connectivity.

Stephen reported that he and Karl met with representatives from Index Data to discuss new software they are developing for building "connectors" to websites that we want to include in the Ohio Web Library search. Stephen plans to keep in touch with them as they continue development of this product. OPLIN currently pays $19,600 a year for WebFeat "OpenTranslators" that perform a similar function, and Stephen thinks OPLIN can save money by switching to the Index Data product. Karl also noted that he had received a call from EBSCO, who are impressed with the volume of Z39.50 searching the Ohio Web Library is doing within their databases.

Stephen also reported that he and Laura Solomon met with Lynda Murray and Mackenzie Betts from OLC to discuss using social media to support library funding, and specifically to decide what to do about the SaveOhioLibraries.com website that was created following the June 19 announcement of the Governor's intention of cutting state funding for libraries. As a result of that meeting, Laura rebuilt the SaveOhioLibraries website so it could be used to support the local library levies on the November ballot.

8.1. Databases and Network Reports

8.1.1. Database usage

Laura Solomon presented statistics on Ohio Web Library searches and document retrievals. Because of ongoing problems WorldBook is having with delivering statistics, they are not included in this report. While searches were down slightly compared to last year—perhaps due to the lack of WorldBook statistics—the number of documents retrieved is again well ahead of last year.

8.1.2. Support Center (August and September)

Karl Jendretzky called attention to the higher than average number of email issues, and explained that some of this was activity resulting from offering libraries the option of using their own domain name in accounts hosted on the OPLIN mail server. Other activity was the result of compromised library servers that were being used to send email spam, which required OPLIN intervention. Karl noted that he sees a possible problem with servers operating the Innovative Interfaces integrated library system software (III); four libraries in the last three months have had their III servers compromised.

Jeff Wale asked if OPLIN had received any complaints about canceling subscriptions to Ohio Web Library databases at the end of the fiscal year. Laura replied that librarians were sad to not have NoveList anymore, and Stephen noted that much of the response OPLIN has received concerning NoveList has come from school librarians. Jeff also asked about the status of NetWellness; Stephen replied that the University of Cincinnati library has left the NetWellness partnership, and Case Western and Ohio State universities are now actively seeking funding to continue the project. Stephen has heard that if they are successful in their search for funding, some other division of the University of Cincinnati may re-join the partnership, but not the library.


Karl Colón noted that there have been several recent court cases which could impact the state budget, and possibly necessitate a budget corrections bill. OPLIN will need to watch developments carefully and be ready to respond to any further budget pressures.


Sandi Plymire motioned to adjourn the meeting at 11:09 a.m.