OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)
ONE-HUNDREDTH REGULAR MEETING of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Minutes – February 9, 2007
1. WELCOME & CALL TO ORDER
The one-hundredth meeting of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) Board of Trustees was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on Friday, February 9, 2007 by Board Chair Donna Perdzock at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
Present were Board members: Jim Kenzig, Terry Casey, Bob Richmond, Donna Perdzock, Anne Hinton, Mary Pat Essman, Gayle Patton, Sandi Thompson, and Richard Murdock.
Also present were: Stephen Hedges (OPLIN), Joel Husenits (OPLIN), Karl Jendretzky (OPLIN), Diane Fink (State Library), and Carol Verny (OHIONET).
2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (1)
The Chair called for public participation, and there was none.
3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Terry Casey motioned to approve the agenda, Richard Murdock seconded. All aye.
4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Mary Pat Essman motioned to approve the minutes from the December 8, 2006 Board meeting, Gayle Patton seconded. All aye.
5. FINANCE REPORT
Diane Fink gave a detailed finance report.
Report A covered budget and expenditures for fiscal years (FY) 2006 and 2007. FY2006 is technically completed. OPLIN spent a little over $2000 on the new logos, but had some savings in the area of salaries, with both Don Nuss and Don Yarman recently departing. All monies have been paid to Wright State for OPLIN’s share of the LCO databases. One payment is left for Rotunda. Some unused spending authority for paid-for databases remains. Stephen Hedges noted that he is still waiting on a few libraries regarding filtering grants. Within the next month, all monies should be paid out to the public libraries that were awarded the grants. The goal is always to obligate all general revenue funds by the end of the fiscal year.
Report B covered non-General Revenue Fund (GRF) cash balance for FY 2006 and 2007. Diane explained that one particular database vendor offered a lower price to a public library than the one they paid through OPLIN as part of a group contract. A refund was requested from the vendor and that money was given to the library involved.
Report C covered Gates Staying Connected Grant funds, which started in FY 2004. All monies have now been obligated for this Grant, which runs through FY 2007. OPLIN purchased videoconferencing equipment for training purposes, which is available to the public libraries. Once the final invoice arrives, that will conclude the grant.
Report D covered revenue and cash balance for FY 2006-2007, estimating receipts and disbursements. This cash balance will carry over from year to year in Fund 4S4 monies.
Report E tracked budget requests and projections for FY 2007 through FY 2009, and showed what the State Library submitted for OPLIN for the FY 2008-09 budgets. Recommendations will come out when the new Governor presents his State of the State Address, around March 15.
Diane noted that on January 19, OBM implemented a “temporary hiring control process” (a hiring freeze) and identified any positions that were essential. Otherwise, open state positions will not be filled until after March 31. On the same day the memo came out, OPLIN was doing final interviews for the Technology Project Manager vacancy. A memo was prepared stating the urgency of filling that position which had been vacant since September. The State Library’s budget analyst said to go ahead and send it to the Governor’s office, so a personnel action to put Karl Jendretzky into Don Nuss’ old position is in the Governor’s office, with a memo from the State Librarian about the importance of filling the position. Both OPLIN and the State Library have vacant positions that will have to wait until after March 31 to fill.
Diane also reported that the state is converting to a new human resources and financial system called OAKS. OAKS was implemented in January, and the state has already issued three paychecks out of the system. They are still working a few things out, but as a whole it is working well. The next major piece of the project is financials, which will affect OBM a lot. This piece is slated to roll out July 1, 2007. The next budget for FY 2010-2011 will be in OAKS, and work will begin on that in the summer of 2008.
Terry Casey motioned to approve the finance report, Jim Kenzig seconded. All aye.
6. OLD BUSINESS
a. Approve policy changes (to align with new Goals & Objectives)
Stephen Hedges introduced the changes he was proposing for the four policies.
i. Provision of
Network Services by OPLIN to Public Libraries
The first policy (item 6.a.i) is the most important. Stephen’s proposed version replaced various language items that were out-of-date (“broadband” instead of “T1” for example), and made minor changes to OPLIN’s mission summation, etc.
ii. Extending OPLIN to Other Public Institutions
The second policy proposal (item 6.a.ii) has similar changes.
iii. Public Libraries that Withdraw from OPLIN Network Services
The third one (item 6.a.iii) quoted the original (now outdated) mission statement, so Stephen took that out and summarized the new one instead.
iv. Acceptable Public Library Staff & Trustee Use of OPLIN
The fourth one (item 6.a.iv) he simply took out the number “250.”
These proposed changes would be in alignment with the new “Mission, Goals, and Objectives” document, which was recently approved by the Board.
Gayle Patton motioned to approve the policy changes as presented, Sandi Thompson seconded. All aye.
1. NEW BUSINESS
a. New Board member
Stephen Hedges reported that he was contacted by Clyde Scoles, who felt that he could not devote as much time to the OPLIN Board as he should and has resigned. In the interests of keeping the Board as diversified as possible, both Stephen and Donna Perdzock think we should look for a technology person and an administrative person as candidates, preferably someone from a metro library.
Sandi Thompson thinks we should look for several names before we make a selection. Everyone seems to think a metro library person would be appropriate.
There was a general discussion about potential candidates, followed by a general agreement to hold off until the next meeting, and to look for potential candidates in the meantime. It was noted that there would be several departing Board members in the near future.
b. Accept resignation of Don Yarman
Stephen Hedges read Don Yarman’s letter of resignation. Don is now the Assistant Director of the Delaware County District Library, but he remained on the search committee for the Technology Project Manager position.
In answer to Board questions, Stephen feels that the pay range was not a factor in Don’s decision to leave, and that the position is competitively paid.
Donna Perdzock thanked Don Yarman, on behalf of the OPLIN Board, for his contribution to OPLIN and its success during his time here.
2. OPLIN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT -- Stephen Hedges
a. Strategic plan activities
Stephen Hedges highlighted some of the noteworthy OPLIN activities that fit into the new strategic plan. Staff have been researching potential new Internet connections for the public libraries. There are 17 public libraries under the new formula that qualify for more bandwidth. In regard to the CLEVNET libraries, Cleveland Public Library will probably be putting in equipment to handle fiber connections at their hub, but not until later this year. They want to bring all of their branches onto the fiber. As a temporary measure, T1 lines will be added to the qualifying libraries, which can be done under the SOMACS contract. When the fiber is ready to go, OPLIN can turn off the T1s without any penalty.
Stephen noted that staff have also started discussions with AT&T about Ethernet connections in the Cincinnati area. This would cross a LATA into Cincinnati Bell territory. AT&T has to have an agreement with Cincinnati Bell in order to place a fiber hub that connects with the OPLIN hub in Columbus in that area, which is more of a legal discussion than a technical one. OPLIN will use T1s if it is going to take a long time to install fiber. Columbus Metro is in the works, but they might have to upgrade their infrastructure before they can install the line.
The new connections will be part of the new state contract – when the “Son of SOMACS” is signed, it will encompass Ethernet with new T1s in one contract. Right now, Ethernet is kind of a sub-contract.
Donna Perdzock noted that OPLIN’s new formula was well-received at the last ETM meeting.
Stephen Hedges introduced Karl Jendretzky to the Board. Karl is going to be Don Nuss’ replacement as soon as OPLIN gets the official approval from the Governor’s office. Karl has been setting up the new e-mail server.
Stephen reported on recent discussions with OIT about their billing for Internet access. Dan Orr (OIT) and Dan Farslow (E-Tech) looked at the OIT bill to see what they could change in order to make it more E-ratable. OIT is going to come back with a revised bill.
Karl Jendretzky has been developing new reports to help track bandwidth usage for each public library on the OPLIN network, and also working on mirroring OPLIN network servers at the SOCC and the OPLIN office. AT&T has to flip the switch to turn this on.
Karl is installing Evergreen software on a test server; Georgia is using it for their PINES project. Staff will examine and test it. A lot of public libraries are interested in it, and it has been built to handle a consortium of libraries of all sizes.
Stephen recently spoke with the Plinkit collaborative project at Jo Budler’s recommendation. As part of this project, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and some Illinois libraries are using Plone (an open source content management system) to construct generic web pages for libraries. Staff have been looking into it, and the fee is $25,000 a year to be part of the collaborative. That would not save OPLIN much; Jo Budler is going to investigate it further.
b. New logo(s)
Stephen Hedges noted that the new OPLIN logos are presented on the front and back of the printed agenda for this meeting. Joel Husenits worked with the same graphic designer who did the State Library logo about six months ago. The designer came up with a couple of dozen different design ideas, and Joel did the final work on them.
Stephen Hedges noted that these logos will not be used as much in front of the public as in the front of the library community. Terry Casey was unsure that these logos adequately communicate what OPLIN does.
c. E-rate activity
Stephen Hedges explained current E-rate activities. Yesterday, Stephen decided he can E-rate all of OPLIN’s OIT bill instead of just one small part, so he re-filed the application and significantly increased the refund requested from E-rate. He will cancel the first application made to E-rate and keep the second.
Stephen also explained what we have applied for, and that OPLIN is looking at a total of about $1.3 million in requested discounts. We don’t expect to see all of that; we will be transitioning circuits throughout the year, and that will change the specifics.
Stephen reported that OPLIN and OIT have been talking about canceling all of the diagnostic lines to libraries. OIT engineers indicated they are not necessary and will be disconnected. Instead of fixing the router by phone, OIT will dispatch someone to the building. Even if OIT is dispatching someone, OPLIN will save money over time.
Stephen went over OIT’s sequence of events when they are diagnosing a problem. OIT has given permission to disconnect the modems though disposition has not been determined.
Stephen reported that OPLIN is being audited for E-rate year 2004. The auditors came to the office on Monday. They are from KPMG, which is under contract with the FCC to do 150 audits this year, and OPLIN is one of those. The E-rate auditors have pointed out that paper work can be filed when transitioning from T1s to fiber. No major findings from the auditors are expected. They are just looking at the funding request for discounts on the T1s.
The appeal for 2005 is still percolating.
d. Library Technology Project Manager search
Stephen Hedges reported that the search committee last met on January 19th, and thanked both Gayle Patton and Jim Kenzig for serving on that committee. After the second round of interviews, Karl Jendretzky was promoted from the OPLIN Support Center to the Library Technology Project Manager position. The request was submitted to OBM as a promotion, and it was sent to the Governor’s office as an unclassified position.
Karl’s position may not be replaced in the OPLIN Support Center, as his position was funded by E-rate, rather than general revenue funds.
The Library Services Manager position cannot be addressed until after March 31.
The next item covered on the agenda was Item 8.h.
e. RFQ status
From Item 8.h.
Stephen Hedges reported that the RFQ process is on hold at this point. Stephen put out a second draft of the committee’s recommendations on how to proceed.
Stephen has been hearing from Governor Strickland’s people. They are open to the idea of having the private sector manage the last mile segment of the network, instead of the government. That is the service the RFQ is requesting.
f. Circuit upgrades
Stephen Hedges showed a list of circuit upgrade requests, and where we are in the process. He went over some of the particular cases, and how we discovered some billing errors in the process.
g. Caching (Stratacache)
Stephen Hedges related that OPLIN never got the caching devices to work correctly. They may be given to one of the public libraries that generate a lot of traffic. Cleveland Public Library is interested in having them; they worked well when tested in Cincinnati.
On to Item 8.i.
h. Database previews
This followed Item 8.d.
Stephen reported that all of the database vendors are currently contacting him about setting up the spring database previews. Stephen met with Carol Verny and Christine Morris (OHIONET) to discuss the annual database preview period and OHIONET’s handling the paid-for databases. OPLIN's involvement with this service originated during the years when OPLIN was LLGSF-funded.
Stephen has developed a plan to partner with OHIONET for handling paid-for databases. Public libraries do not have to be OHIONET members to buy databases though them, and OHIONET would handle all negotiations, contracts, billing, etc. OPLIN can handle the technical support for databases.
Stephen suggested the following plan:
This plan should not increase traffic in the OPLIN Support Center appreciably, but we will need information from OHIONET in order to solve problems with some databases.
The Board discussed the question: do we need a replacement Library Services Manager if we go down this path? Negotiating contracts for OPLIN statewide databases is a much simpler process.
Terry Casey expressed concern that this would take some of the image away about OPLIN’s purpose. If there is a better way to handle the paid-for databases, then great, but you cannot keep shrinking what OPLIN does.
Donna Perdzock wondered if there might be a way to realign positions; save some money on one job and put it into something different. Perhaps redefine what “Library Services Manager” means.
There was a general discussion about the evolution of OPLIN’s involvement in databases.
Back to Item 8.e.
i. Office activities
Stephen Hedges reviewed a list of recent office activities. The State Library Board has hired a new CIO, who starts February 20. In mid-December, a new marketing person started work at the State Library, and revised their logo a little.
Stephen discussed some of the meetings he has been to recently. On February 2, there was a meeting at the State Library for Ohio Broadband (ONE Ohio), discussing the future of the state network.
j. Databases and Network REPORTS
i. Database usage
Stephen Hedges noted that database activity was down in December, which follows the usual trend. Other traffic is mixed versus the previous year.
ii. Support Center -- (December & January)
Stephen discussed recent activity in the Support Center. E-mail is a big part of it, as usual.
Terry Casey asked Stephen Hedges about OPLIN, OLC, and the State Library, and what the plans are for when the state budget comes out; is there any organized plan for reacting to it. Stephen said he has not had much contact with Lynda Murray (OLC) about the budget. The State Library submitted two budgets, one flat and one with a 3% increase that had to be tagged to a new program. The media seems to be suggesting that the budget crunch is bad and that we will not see that extra 3%, but there is no talk of cutting anything. Diane Fink agreed with Stephen, and suggested that we will probably see flat funding. Diane also reported that the State Library’s capital request from the fall of 2005 was not funded.
The State Library got a request from OBM this week to explain how they were addressing the Strickland vision. Their response mentioned that OPLIN enables public libraries to be community computer centers, and this message seems to resonate with the Strickland administration. When we recently sent letters to the public libraries about filtering, three legislators called to ask about our filtering assistance grants to public libraries, etc.
Terry Casey noted that there has been a lot of legislator turnover. Public libraries may have contributed a lot towards the filtering discussion; that there is no such thing as a statewide standard for decency, etc. But he thinks libraries need to be better prepared. The cycle is shortened this year for the state budget, and the state has even less dollars than they have had.
Stephen noted that 150 out of 250 libraries filter, including some major libraries. Technically, a statewide filter is possible, and it is even technically possible to set individual standards for each library. However, CIPA standards say that adults have to be able to turn the filter off, and that is the issue. How do you enable that when you have a central filter?
Terry Casey feels that some legislators will want to do something in this area. Jim Kenzig noted that if you filter on a state level, OPLIN will probably lose the libraries that do not want to do it. Terry thinks some legislators will want state funding to be tied to filtering to some extent.
9. CHAIR'S REPORT
Donna Perdzock reminded Board members to fill out and submit their ethics forms.
Donna thanked Stephen Hedges and the OPLIN staff for picking up the slack with the open positions.
10. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (2)
The Chair called for public participation, and there was none.
Terry Casey motioned to adjourn the meeting at 12:08 p.m.