OPLIN provides a wide variety of additional, Internet-related services to Ohio public libraries.
OPLIN's pricing is modest. Our goal is to provide Ohio's public libraries with websites that can better meet the needs of both patrons and staff and be competitive in the rapidly-evolving environment of the World Wide Web. The cost of your Dynamic Website Kit will be $795 for initial setup (original design and up to two revisions). Annual maintenance and upgrades cost $300 per year as of July 2014; that price will increase by $40 each year until the target price of $340 per year is reached (July 2015). (Please note: Due to the extensive extra time it takes to create designs that render legibly in the Internet Explorer 9 browser, design support for this legacy version of Internet Explorer is an additional $300 flat charge. As of January 1, 2014, OPLIN will not support versions 6, 7 or 8 of Internet Explorer. Additionally, we will not do any compatibility work on a site, to render in legacy versions of Internet Explorer, after any design work has been performed. Version 10 is not affected by this.) Please see the list, above, for a description of all the features included in a standard Website Kit. Limited customization and graphic design service is also available; please call toll-free 1-888-96-OPLIN (1-888-966-7546) for pricing. For information about more extensive customization, including using designs not created by OPLIN, see the "Custom Websites for Libraries" link, below.
As you might suspect, completion time varies depending on the specifications laid out during the planning stage. Don't hesitate to call us for further discussion of what a timeline for your library's site might be. But we're ready to get rolling with your library's site!
We host your website on the OPLIN web servers. That allows us to keep all the software that runs the site up-to-date and secure. Our hosting service includes:
No. When your site is ready, we will replace your current site at the same address. So if your current site address is mylibrary.org, your new site address will also be mylibrary.org.
We ask each library that uses one of our websites to send some selected staff to our office in Columbus for two or three hours of training. The next step is for you to begin adding content to your site before it goes "live" on the Internet. Throughout this process we are available to assist you. Finally, when you are confident that your site is ready and you know how to keep it current, we launch it.
Contact us (http://support.oplin.org) and we will work with you to resolve the problem.
The most basic definition of web site usability is whether or not users can quickly accomplish a given task on a website without obstacles. Obstacles can be long download times, scattered navigation, poor design, dated styles and many more issues, all of which can affect how users access your site and/or perceive your library.
Many of the web sites developed by public libraries do not adhere to web design standards or best practices. When Laura Solomon did a study (PDF) of Ohio public library websites in 2004, she found that only 17% of Ohio libraries met more than 80% of accepted criteria for usability. As new devices for accessing the Internet, such as the iPhone and other such smartphones, become more prevalent, it will become ever more critical for public libraries to have well-designed and mobile web sites. OPLIN can help by fulfilling an original purpose – enabling libraries to compete with other Internet information providers – in a new way, focusing on building good library web sites as well as building good library Internet connections.
Click the red star icons & numbers on the map to see websites for all current Website Kit clients
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Context: Menu Block allows the Menu Block module to be aware of contexts provided by the Context module by informing menu blocks of active menu context reactions. Basically, it provides context-sensitive side menus for your site. Especially good for libraries with a significant number of pages to their site!
The Evanced Events Importer module integrates features from Evanced Solutions' Events calendar product in to your Website Kit site. With this module installed you can continue to use Evanced Events as a stand-alone product to create events, manage event registration, record attendance statistics, run reports and manage room reservations (in conjunction with Room Reserve).
The Frequently Asked Questions (faq) module allows users with the 'administer faq' permission to create question and answer pairs which they want displayed on the 'faq' page. The 'faq' page is automatically generated from the FAQ nodes configured. FAQ_Ask is an add-on to the FAQ module that allows users with the new 'ask question' permission to create a question which will be queued for an 'expert' to answer.
The Five Star voting module adds a clean, attractive voting widget to pages and/or front page stories.
Access photos on Flickr's site via their API. The module provides a filter for inserting photos and photosets and blocks for a user's recent photos and photosets. An example of use: a library can add photos to their Flickr account and they will automatically show up on the library's website, simply by providing the photo's ID to a form field.
The Links checker periodically inspects the content of all nodes and tries to detect broken hypertext links by checking the.remote sites and evaluating the HTTP response codes. It maintains a table which can be viewed through the administrative interfaces and contains all its findings. It runs in the background, initially going through all nodes, and subsequently only checking updated and newly created content. This cycle can be set to run from zero every week or month.
SimpleNews publishes and sends newsletters to lists of subscribers. Both anonymous and authenticated users can opt-in to different mailing lists. Various add-on modules can extend the functionality of this considerably as well.
This module provides a site map that gives visitors an overview of your site. It can also display the RSS feeds for all blogs and categories.
This module provides a rotating banner/slideshow of graphics on your library's website. Items can be paginated or not.
Other Drupal modules can be requested by library clients on an "as-needed" basis. Please contact OPLIN Support for additional information.
Documentation for Website Kits using Drupal 6: http://www.oplin.org/webkitdoc/indexNEW.html
Documentation for Website Kits using Drupal 7: http://www.oplin.org/webkitdoc/v7/index.html
We only require one side block, and that's the KnowItNow block of services (you can see an example on Perry County District Library's site). For the rest, we work with your library to determine what is needed and what will work best. We're pretty flexible!
A favicon (a mishmosh of “favorite” and “icon”) is a small icon that shows up in the address bar of your browser when you visit a site, and it also shows up in your list of favorites/bookmarks when you bookmark a site. It makes your site easier to find in a bookmark list, if it has its own special icon. Learn more at Wikipedia.
This is a free feature included in all OPLIN Dynamic Website Kits. In the Kits, this banner ad for the Ohio Web Library databases will pull directly from the OPLIN servers; this means that we'll update it for you periodically with additions/deletions to the database collection. The banner will change approximately 1x/week.
This means that your staff will be able to upload (for example) a PDF document that will be attached to a particular web page in your library's site. For instance, you could attach a PDF version of an event flyer to the calendar listing of the event. Keep in mind that this is an attachment; it works just like with email. So the content of your attachment will not show up inline with the other web site text; rather, it will show up as a link that the visitor will click at the bottom of the page content.
The OPLIN Dynamic Website Kits depend on a standardized software installation and design template that allows us to keep the cost low. We do offer limited customization, but some changes "break" our standardized model. For example:
When a library customer requests such changes, we suggest that it consult with an outside vendor. OPLIN is not able to accommodate these types of development needs.
Working with third-party designs
When a library requests that OPLIN use a design created by the library or by an outside designer/vendor, the implementation is charged at the hourly rate and as an additional fee. While we will implement outsourced designs, they typically increase work time in constructing custom CSS files, re-working graphics to work with the Drupal theme template and communications required between OPLIN and the third-party designer. Please note that, as of March 2013, additional charges will also be included for the construction of a mobile-only site. Designs created by OPLIN use RWD (Responsive Web Design), which does not require a separate mobile-only site to work on different devices. OPLIN will not use RWD with designs done by outside designers.
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OPLIN provides this helpful newsletter on a semi-regular basis to its Webkit customers. All are in PDF format.
Fall 2012: Replace that tacky clip art; Is it time to redesign your site? Is your site readable? Please stop screaming; wrapping text around images.
Summer 2012: Are your navigational terms clear?, new file browser coming, Focus On: Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, purge those side blocks that look like ads, how to re-order front page stories.
Winter/Spring 2012: Spring cleaning checklist for your library's website, new calendar system coming, Focus On: Germantown Public Library, re-thinking your library's staff directory, why you might be having attachment problems.
Fall 2011: Making sure you use alternative text tags, cleaning up your library's side blocks, Stop using exclamation points, improving site usability by not using "click here," , why underlining is problematic on the Web.
Summer 2011: Making your lists meaningful, (Another) important note about IE9, Focus On: Williams County Public Library, Stop using all caps, getting a photo album
Winter 2011: Putting colors together, An important note about IE9, Focus on: Cuyahoga Falls Library, Get rid of the exclamation points, What's that "Access Denied" message?
Fall 2010: Quick Tips, Stop putting out the welcome mat, Focus On: Tuscarawas County Public Library, ALT tags, Can calendars be color-coded?
Summer 2010: Quick Tips, Make your links jump off the page, Optimizing your images, Writing better FAQs, Adding visitor comments
Winter 2010: Quick Tips, Labeling PDFs, Better blogging, Avoiding library jargon, Adding modules after initial construction
Fall 2009: Quick Tips, Consistency matters, Writing for the Web, Creating headlines that get attention, Categorizing events
Summer 2009: Quick Tips, Making your site more professional-looking, Re-evaluating web graphics, Why OPLIN upgrades Web Kits so often, Why you can't underline text with the Web Kit editor, Additional resources
More than 70 Ohio public libraries currently have OPLIN Dynamic Website Kits. You can see the current map at http://www.oplin.org/portfolio.
The following libraries are currently under construction: (Last updated 1/22/14)
Please refer to this when creating graphics and text content for your library's website. It is a succinct collection of best practices for your site, many of which also have links to additional information about each.
OPLIN provides information about technology and trends through many different communication tools, including:
Also see the OPLIN reports and the special information items listed below.
Many public libraries and library-related organizations in Ohio maintain Facebook accounts to communicate with their patrons. Please send updates or additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPLIN offers a free service that allows libraries to send notification messages directly to patrons' cellphones via standard Short Message Service (SMS) "text messages" instead of sending messages to their email accounts.
NOTE that you can only use this service to send individual messages to individual people. Because there are strict laws regulating the sending of a "blast" message to a group of phones simultaneously, you cannot use the OPLIN SMS service for such messages.
To use the service, you should ask a patron if they wish to receive messages by cell phone instead of by email; their normal text messaging charges will apply. (There is no cost to the library.)
If they want cell phone messages, you will enter their email address in your ILS as <cellphone_number>@sms.oplin.org.
email@example.com the email field of their patron record. Notifications will now be sent to their cell phone rather than to their normal email address.
If you would like notices of errors and patron STOP requests via email, please let us know which email address the messages should go to.
By default nothing is done with patron replies. To change this let us know which email address you would like the replies forwarded to, or provide us with a message you'd rather be texted back to the patron.
The OPLIN SMS system accepts notices 24 hours a day, but only sends text messages between 9 AM and 9 PM. This is to allow libraries to continue sending email notices in the middle of the night, without possibly waking up patrons who keep their phones on the night stand.
All notifications sent to patrons' cell phones will be limited to 152 characters, which is the maximum length of a single text message, so your standard notification language must include all important information (library name, phone number, etc.) within those 152 characters.
The OPLIN SMS system uses *** as its delimiter to determine what text from your regular email messages will be sent to people's cell phones.
The Microsoft SMTP daemon typically uses an encoding for plain text that can cause "=" to appear at the end of lines. The OPLIN SMS system automatically strips those unwanted characters from your message.
The system also strips out any carriage returns or new-line codes that may be embedded in your message, so your message is formatted for optimum cell phone display.
The system automatically handles any base64 encoded email.
Contact OPLIN Support (http://support.oplin.org).
Did you know that every public library is eligible to receive E-rate money? At the very least, by filling out a few forms you can get as much as a 90% discount on your telephone bills!
The telephone companies and the federal government collect this money from every telephone customer, but unless you ask for it, this money just sits in Washington.
NOTE: For information about 2014 E-Rate changes, see http://oplin.org/eratechanges
Because it is so important that libraries claim their E-rate money, OPLIN supports workshops on E-rate for public libraries each fall. The workshops are presented by Lorrie Germann, State E-rate Coordinator. Lorrie is also available to answer individual questions from public libraries about E-rate issues. You may contact Lorrie at 740-253-1153 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Any public library filing for Priority 2 E-rate discounts must have an approved technology plan. In Ohio, Mandy Knapp, Library Consultant–Technology is the person who approves these plans.
Mandy recommends that libraries use TechAtlas when creating their technology plans; WebJunction Ohio has a set of slides illustrating E-Rate Technology Planning with TechAtlas. She highly recommends that all public libraries write a technology plan even if one is not required for E-rate purposes. If you have questions about technology planning or your Plan, Mandy can be reached at (614) 466-1710, (800) 686-1532 or email@example.com.
The following information was prepared by Mandy Knapp, State Library of Ohio.
E-Rate, or Universal Services Schools and Libraries program, is a discount set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) that schools and public libraries receive on telecommunications, internet and internals connections. Depending on a library's organizational structure the director, the fiscal officer and the IT staff may be involved in E-Rate filing.
On Friday, July 11, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved an Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to make significant changes to the E-Rate Program. The Order maintains E-Rate's current budget and makes available additional funds to support Wi-Fi over the next two years. The program will phase out support for non-broadband services and voice services, such as pagers and phones, in order to use those funds for broadband services.
The FCC is focusing services eligible for Category 2 (also known as Priority 2) reimbursement on broadband service. This includes routers, switches, wireless access points, internal cabling, racks, wireless controller systems, firewall services, uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) and software supporting those components. It also includes equipment that combines functionality such as routing and switching. Further, managed Wi-Fi support and equipment that supports caching or caching functionality is also included. A full list of eligible services will be made available in the fall.
Eligible managed Wi-Fi expenses include the management and operation of the LAN/WLAN, including installation, activation, and initial configuration of eligible components, and on-site training on the use of eligible equipment.
Voice services includes all costs incurred for the provision of telephone service and circuit capacity dedicated to providing voice services including: local phone service, long distance service, plain old telephone service (POTS), 800 services, Centrex, wireless telephone service and interconnected VOIP.
Non-broadband services include paging and other services that may use broadband but do not provide it such as email, text messaging, voicemail and web hosting.
Beginning in E-Rate fiscal year 2015, the FCC will no longer provide E-Rate funding for paging, email, voice mail and web hosting and other services that are not related to providing broadband. Applicants may continue to seek funding for individual data plans and air cards but only when they can demonstrate that that is the most cost-effective way to connect library locations to the Internet.
In addition, the FCC will reduce funding for voice support in each E-Rate fiscal year by subtracting the discount rate applicants receive for voice services by 20 percent in each funding year. In E-Rate fiscal year 2015, the discounts applicants receive for voice services will be reduced by 20% from their discounts rates for other eligible services. In E-Rate fiscal year 2016, the discounts applicants receive for voice services will be reduced by 40% from their discounts rates for other eligible services.
After the first two years of the phase down of non-broadband service, the Bureau will issue a report evaluating the impact of the reduction in support for voice services. If the FCC takes no further action, the voice services phase down will continue.
E-Rate Fiscal Year (FY)
Calendar Dates of FY
July 1 2015-June 30 2016
Voice services reduced by 20%; No funding for email, voice mail, web hosting and other non-broadband services.
July 1 2016-June 30 2017
Voice services reduced by 40%
July 1 2017-June 30 2018
Voice services reduced by 60%
July 1 2018-June 30 2019
Voice services reduced by 80%
Although costs and quality will vary by service provider, generally Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) telephone service is less costly than POTS (regular telephone service). If your library's budget depends on E-Rate reimbursement for telephone service, you may want to consider moving to a VOIP system.
The FCC has created an exemption to the competitive bidding rules for Internet access services that offer at least 100 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream and have a pre-E-Rate discount price of $3,600 or less annually. This $3,600 annual limit is the pre-discount amount per library branch. For example a library system with three library branches could qualify for this exemption if it purchased 100 Mbps and 20 Mbps upstream internet access services for each of its three branches at a cost of $250 per month per branch.
Funding for Wi-Fi for most public libraries is calculated at $2.30 per square foot or a floor for libraries at or below 4000 square feet of $9,200. This means that if a library is smaller than 4000 square feet, the library would apply for Wi-Fi funding at the same level as a 4000 square foot library. If a library serves a population of more than 250,000 in an urban or suburban area or a population of less than 250,000 but more than 100,000 in an urban area, the calculation is $5.00 per square foot. Note that the definition is per library location, not per library system. This is a new model that the FCC will be testing for the next two years.
If a Wi-Fi upgrade in E-Rate fiscal year 2015 or 2016 makes sense to your library, you might want to ask for the funding in those funding years since a new vote by the FCC commissioners would be required after fiscal year 2016 to allocate funding for Wi-Fi specifically.
No, certified technology plans are no longer required for E-Rate funding. However, the State Library of Ohio encourages libraries to have a technology plan either in addition to or integrated in to an overall strategic plan. Consultants at the State Library are happy to assist you in future technology planning or to provide feedback on an existing technology plan. Contact Mandy Knapp (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
This year, because of these changes, OPLIN and State Library are planning to do many more E-Rate workshops in locations around the state and are also looking into improving online delivery of the workshops. As in previous years, Lorrie Germann, state E-Rate Coordinator will be the presenter. For details, including registration, see http://oplin.org/go/erateworkshops.
Form 486 includes certifications on technology plans and CIPA compliance, and may be subjected to random Form 486 reviews. CIPA reviews are apparently done on a non-random basis triggered by specific CIPA concerns. The questions asked by USAC in a CIPA review serve as a useful reminder of the types of documentation applicants should retain to prove CIPA compliance if asked. The following is an example of a USAC CIPA compliance review [cf. http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step06/cipa.aspx]:
Listed below are the three requirements that all applicants must meet in order to be considered CIPA compliant. Please answer the following questions.
Technology Protection Measure (Filter)
A technology protection measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access. It must protect against access by adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or — with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors — harmful to minors. It may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes. For schools, the policy must also include monitoring the online activities of minors.
Do you have a technology protection measure in place? Yes____ No____
If Yes, please provide documentation that demonstrates you have a specific technology protection measure in place for FY 20xx that blocks or filters Internet access (e.g., invoice for Internet filtering services, work orders showing when the filter was installed or will be installed, and/or a report demonstrating the web sites that have been filtered, etc.).
Public Notice and Hearing
CIPA requires that a school or library must provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing to address a proposed technology protection measure and Internet safety policy.
1. Public Notice
Date that reasonable Public Notice was first given: ________
2. Public Hearing
Yes _____ No _____
Date that the first Public Hearing was held: _________
Internet Safety Policy
An Internet Safety policy must address the following issues:
Did you have an Internet Safety Policy in place? Yes ____ No ____
If Yes, please provide: