Learn more about databases

                    Libraries Connect Ohio (LCO), a partnership of OPLIN, OhioLINK, and INFOhio, built off the previous success of prior 5-year contracts to select the products in the current five-year statewide resource package which will start July 1, 2018. The five-year contract ensures optimal pricing from vendors. The selection process began in July of 2017. In that month, heads of the partner organizations met to set a project budget. A steering committee of three staff members from each partner organization was formed in order to guide the process. In the following month, that steering committee recruited and appointed five members from their respective communities to a database selection committee, joined by one person appointed by the State Library.  
                    In order to get a wide range of bids, the steering committee set broad parameters for proposals:
                                          “High-quality full-text databases or resources that cover general purpose information needs including general reference materials, business, consumer health information, news, and current affairs interest; High-quality full-texts databases or resources that cover academic curricula in upper level high school and undergraduate higher education, covering subjects such as literature, the social sciences, the sciences, health sciences, and other general education requirements; High-quality full-text databases or resources that support workforce development, career choice, and lifelong learning and certifications, including languages, test prep, etc.; High-quality full-text technical databases, materials, or collections of manuals that are of interest to a wide audience, both DIY and the trades and professions; Products related to developing early literacy skills and the reading proficiency of K-3rd graders; Full-text primary source collections of interest to a wide audience; Associated products and software of general applicability to the constituents that help deliver relevant library content, such as link resolvers, discovery layers, tutoring platforms, etc.”
                    In addition, the steering committee worked to set mandatory service elements in the RFP as well as primary and secondary service elements.   The RFP was posted by the Ohio State University, acting as fiscal agent for LCO, on September 12, 2017. Responses were due by October 11, 2017. Vendors were required to use a response form designed to align with the specifications outlined in the RFP.
                    Twenty-one (21) information vendors submitted proposals for over 60 products and product packages by the October 11 deadline.  These proposals covered a very broad range of subject areas and formats. Communicating by a closed email list, the selection committee then reviewed the submitted proposals.  The selection committee broken in to subcommittees by library type to review proposal documents and test product performance through temporary access provided by the vendors.  The goal of each subcommittee was to prioritize and review proposals using a standardized form based on the criteria outlined in the RFP. This standardized form assigned a numeric value to the review to assist in prioritization.
                    The selection committee then met in person on November 13, 2017 to discuss all the proposals and select vendors and products for further negotiation.  The day began by each subcommittee reporting out the scoring given to products and product packages. Using this scoring system allowed the committee to focus on those products which were ranked the highest. Using this system eliminated approximately half the products and product packages. The committee then dissected the product packages and discussed the priority of the component parts. By the end of the day, a prioritized list of products was decided, even though the cost of the products in the list exceeded the available funds.  OhioLINK then immediately began the process of negotiating lower prices where possible, and weeding out some lower-priority products, in order to meet the budget constraints.
                    The selection committee next met for an online update on February 5, 2018. In this session, OhioLINK updated the selection committee on the progress of the negotiations. Not all pricing goals were met. Thus, the selection committee faced some difficult decisions for which products to include in the final proposal. Each subcommittee articulated the needs of their community. Based on this information, OhioLINK continued to negotiate with vendors to get the best price possible. Another update call was held on February 21, 2018. At this meeting, a vote was held to approve the suite of resources. The suite was unanimously approved by the selection committee.
                    The final results of this selection process, and the negotiations were presented on March 15, 2018 to the State Library Board for approval of the LSTA funding component of the budget. The State Library Board voted unanimously in favor of the proposal.

Content Advisory Committee

The 2019 meeting of the Content Advisory Committee was held on March 28, 2018.  A 2019 meeting has not yet been scheduled. Meetings will be held at the OPLIN office, 2323 W. Fifth Ave., Suite 130, Columbus.

Charter

In keeping with the purpose and goal of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) as defined in Ohio Revised Code 3375.64, OPLIN acquires access to electronic information resources, and develops electronic resources, for the use of all residents of Ohio. To assist in the selection of these information resources, the Board hereby charters a Content Advisory Committee.

I. Purposes

The committee is created for the purpose of working with the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Public Library Information Network to offer recommendations and provide information relevant to the electronic information resources purchased by OPLIN and shall limit its activities to advising on those matters only. It is the role and sole prerogative of the Board to enact policy regarding electronic information resources. The specific purposes of the Committee may include the following responsibilities:

  • Review current information resource needs;
  • Prioritize content for retention, weeding or replacement;
  • Prioritize content for possible addition;
  • Recommend configuration of content for delivery via the World Wide Web;
  • Recommend changes to OPLIN and/or vendor support of information resources, including statistics.

II. Membership

The advisory committee shall consist of ten (10) members and may not include any OPLIN Board members. Members serve voluntarily at the invitation of the OPLIN Director and will constitute a cross-section of the Ohio public library community including reference and public service managers in public libraries. Members shall be recruited from library systems that invest in content beyond what OPLIN provides. Membership will be reaffirmed at the annual spring planning meeting of the OPLIN Board.

III. Relationship to Libraries Connect Ohio

This committee nominates five (5) of its members to be part of any Libraries Connect Ohio advisory committee, which would also include five members from OhioLINK and five members from INFOhio. Such a committee will meet as needed to define the core Ohio Web Library collection.

The OPLIN Board recognizes that purchasing information resources statewide through the Libraries Connect Ohio partnership (http://librariesconnectohio.org) is the most economical way to provide a core collection of information resources and library services that will help all Ohioans. The Board also recognizes, however, that the information needs of public libraries sometimes differ from the needs of libraries supporting the curriculum of a school or college. This committee will therefore define any additional information needs of public libraries, despite the fact that funding for resources in addition to the resources purchased for the Ohio Web Library may not exist at the time. Committee recommendations regarding the content of the Ohio Web Library collection will be used to inform the work of committee members serving on any Libraries Connect Ohio advisory committee.

IV. Procedural Rules

Meetings: The committee will meet at least one time a year. Because this committee may make recommendations to the OPLIN Board regarding purchases, it may be considered a "public body" under Ohio's Open Records and Open Meetings laws; committee meetings will therefore be open to the public. While members may attend by telephone or Internet connection, they must be present to participate in any vote or be counted toward a quorum. Notices of meetings will be posted at http://oplin.org in accordance with Ohio's Open Records and Open Meetings laws.

Minutes: Minutes of each meeting shall be created by OPLIN staff attending the meeting. After review by the committee, they will be posted at http://oplin.org.

Recommendations and Reports: Committee recommendations and reports will be submitted to the OPLIN Board through the OPLIN Director prior to the Board's annual planning meeting. Recommendations will include both suggested action and justification for suggestions.

V. Review

This charter shall be reviewed at the annual planning meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Public Library Information Network.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board October 11, 2013.

Meeting minutes

See the navigation panel to the left for links to annual meeting minutes.

2015 Annual Meeting

ANNUAL MEETING of the CONTENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
of the OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)

Minutes — February 26, 2015

1. WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER

The 2015 annual meeting of the Content Advisory Committee of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on Thursday, February 26, 2015 by OPLIN Director Stephen Hedges at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were committee members: Don Boozer, Tamar Kreke, Kirstin Krumsee, Francie Labriola, Chris May, Joe O'Rourke, Jeff Regensburger, and Randall Fulks; David Topoleski and Charley Voelker were unable to attend.

2. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

The agenda was approved as presented without a vote.

3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES

The minutes were approved as read without a vote.

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There was no public participation.

5. OLD BUSINESS

There was no old business to come before the committee.

6. NEW BUSINESS

6.1. Discuss Ohio Web Library collection

There was general discussion of recent interface changes by vendors. Stephen Hedges noted that they make more use of graphic elements. He also reported that database usage continues to decline by about 20% a year.

This initiated a discussion of database marketing. The committee felt it was important that libraries be able to brand the databases as their own, and might then be more likely to "sell" them. Most of the committee members put their databases under a "Research" tab on their websites. More use of social media was suggested, perhaps to promote the most useful research resources, as well as possibly developing a network of local experts who could support and promote database use.

Additional resources the committee recommended included Lynda.com, auto repair information, and foreign language instruction.

6.2. Discuss Ohio Web Library search interface

The committee reviewed some proposed changes to the ohioweblibrary.org search page. There was discussion of the single search box as opposed to "app" buttons for individual databases. There was also discussion of graphic additions to the page to make it more visually appealing. The committee favored grouping of databases within subject categories.

7. ADJOURNMENT

Stephen Hedges asked if there was any more business to come before the committee. None appearing, he thanked the committee members and adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.

2016 Annual Meeting

ANNUAL MEETING of the CONTENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
of the OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN)

Minutes — February 17, 2016

1. WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER

The 2016 annual meeting of the Content Advisory Committee of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) was called to order at 10:05 a.m. on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 by OPLIN Director Stephen Hedges at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.

Present were committee members: Randall Fulks, Tamar Kreke, Kirstin Krumsee, Francie Labriola, Joe O'Rourke, Jeff Regensburger, David Topoleski, Anne Wachs, and Holly Varley; Don Boozer was unable to attend.

2. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

The agenda was approved as presented without a vote.

3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of February 26, 2015 meeting

The minutes were approved as read without a vote.

4. OLD BUSINESS

4.1. Discuss Ohio Web Library interface changes

Stephen Hedges briefly presented the changes to the Ohio Web Library search interface that had been implemented after the last committee meeting. He also presented the graphics OPLIN created for promoting the databases.

5. NEW BUSINESS

5.1. Discuss changes to Ohio Web Library collection

Stephen Hedges explained the financial reasons for the cancellation of the contract for the LearningExpress Library resources. INFOhio suffered an unexpected budget cut in the current biennium budget, and none of the other Libraries Connect Ohio partners could cover the shortfall.

5.2. Discuss usage statistics

Stephen Hedges provided Ohio Web Library usage statistics, both from the schools and colleges and from the public library community. The public library usage no longer seems to be declining, but still lags behind school and college usage with the exception of Ancestry Library Edition.

5.3. Discuss selection methodology

Stephen Hedges presented a table of funding information for the Ohio Web Library, showing resource cost and cost allocation among the partners both before and after the INFOhio budget cut. He explained that the Libraries Connect Ohio partners have concerns about the disconnect between the cost allocations and the collection usage, and are seeking ideas for correcting the imbalance. In two years, Libraries Connect Ohio should be evaluating bids for the next group of five-year contracts for online resources. Can we tweak that process to improve the situation?

There was discussion of the current selection process, and Anne Wachs noted that more information about this process needs to be communicated to the library community, since many do not understand why certain databases are selected while others are not. Ensuing discussion raised many questions. Can the EBSCO package be broken into pieces, with some available only to certain library communities? Can the RFP be structured to request pricing on some resources for public library access only? Would better marketing of the collection improve usage?

It was noted that marketing includes offering the resources people want. Committee members' libraries tend to buy resources for lifelong learning, financial planning, and repair instructions to meet demand not filled by the Ohio Web Library.

It was suggested that OPLIN should conduct a survey, to be sent to library directors, asking the following questions:

  • What online resources are you currently buying? What is your budget for such purchases?
  • What requests for information are you unable to satisfy?
  • What online resources (up to 10) do you consider indispensable?
  • What online resources do you have now, including the Ohio Web Library, that you feel are not useful?

7. ADJOURNMENT

On motion of David Topoleski and second of Kirstin Krumsee the Board adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

2017 Annual Meeting

ANNUAL MEETING of the CONTENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
of the OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN) Minutes
February 23, 2017

1.WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER
The 2017 annual meeting of the Content Advisory Committee of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday February 23, 2017 by Mandy Knapp, OPLIN Digital Resources Manager at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.
Present were committee members: Randall Fulks, Tamar Kreke, Kirstin Krumsee, Francie Labriola, Joe O'Rourke, Jeff Regensburger, David Topoleski, Anne Wachs, and Holly Varley; Don Boozer was unable to attend. OPLIN Director Stephen Hedges was also in attendance.

2. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was approved as presented without a vote.

3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES of February 17, 2016 meeting
The minutes were approved as read without a vote

4. OLD BUSINESS
No old business at this time.

5. NEW BUSINESS.
5.1 Discuss usage statistics
            A. Tableau demo and discussion
Mandy Knapp shared current statistics for OPLIN databases from the public library community.  Ancestry Library Edition continues to be the most widely-used resource by public libraries.
            B. Best practices for reporting stats
Mandy Knapp discussed the challenges reporting vendor statistics, including lack of consistency. David Topoleski suggested that the ITN (RFP) include information from the vendor about the level of statistical reporting available. Holly Varley suggested that the ITN committee ask specifically for samples of reports from vendors. Jeff Regensburger noted that sessions appear to be the best statistic to report on at this time.
            C. Directions and suggestions based on usage statistics
5.2. Seeking Volunteers for the ITN (AKA RFP) Committee
Tamar Kreke, Francie Labriola, David Topoleski, Anne Wachs, and Holly Varley will represent OPLIN on the ITN Committee.
The committee discussed the need to gather feedback from the library community for direction on databases. Suggestions included surveys and focus groups.
A. Vendor webinar during ITN process.
After discussion, the committee decided to decline a vendor’s offer of a vendor webinar during the ITN process.
5.3 Discuss trainings to be offered
            A. Vendor-Offered trainings
Tarmar Kreke noted that librarian-lead trainings are often more helpful than the vendor-sponsored trainings.
            B. Modelling the iCoaches program
Mandy Knapp discussed the ways of modelling the iCoaches program: regionally, by consortium or by expertise. Anne Wachs noted that there are many existing experts out in the library field; they just need to be organized and recognized. Jeff Regensburger notes that it would be worthwhile to reach out to OLC to add information Ohio Web Library Information to the Ohio Reference Excellence Module.
5.4 Evaluation of trainings
Mandy Knapp asked about the evaluation of these trainings and the possibility of using the same questions as other state projects with some modifications. Anne Wachs noted that it was important to evaluate right away.
5.5. Marketing
Mandy Knapp mentioned that the state of Iowa has had some success marketing their databases through yard signs. David Topoleski noted that digital signage that libraries were able to add branding to would also be helpful and also a paragraph suitable for library newsletters would also work well. Mandy Knapp asked about the usefulness of bookmarks; several committee members noted that they are useful as handouts.

6. ADJOURNMENT
Mandy Knapp asked if there was any more business to come before the committee. None appearing, she thanked the committee members and adjourned the meeting at 12:15 p.m.

2018 Annual Meeting

2018 Annual Minutes
ANNUAL MEETING of the CONTENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the OHIO PUBLIC LIBRARY INFORMATION NETWORK (OPLIN) Minutes

March 28, 2018
1.WELCOME and CALL TO ORDER
The 2018 annual meeting of the Content Advisory Committee of the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) was called to order at 11:04 a.m. on Wednesday March 28 by Mandy Knapp, OPLIN Digital Resources Manager at the OPLIN office in Columbus, Ohio.
Present were committee members: Randall Fulks, Tamar Kreke, Kirstin Krumsee, Francie Labriola, Joe O'Rourke, Jeff Regensburger, Anne Wachs, and Holly Varley; Don Boozer and David Topoleski were unable to attend.
2. OLD BUSINESS
No old business at this time.
3. NEW BUSINESS.
3.1       Update on LCO databases Mandy Knapp updated the committee on the outcomes of the Libraries Connect Ohio Database selection committee.
*3.2     Discuss Responses to Genealogy RFP. After a lengthy and robust discussion of the needs of public libraries and the bids proposed, the committee prioritize the databases and made recommendations for how to OPLIN staff should proceed.
*3.3     Discuss Responses to Careers and Workforce RFP After a lengthy and robust discussion of the needs of public libraries and the bids proposed, the committee prioritize the databases and made recommendations for how to OPLIN staff should proceed.
3.4       Ohio Web Library site—ideas for improvement. The committee discussed the current Ohio Web Library. Tamar Kreke noted that there had been a substantial redesign 2 years ago. Committee members had new ideas for subject headings and offered to assist with descriptions of databases.
3.5       Marketing materials. The committee members discussed what tangible materials would be good for marketing new resources. Several committee members mentioned the importance of allowing libraries to brand their own items.
3.6       Committee vacancy. Don Boozer is no longer able to participate on the committee. Mandy Knapp asked the committee for ideas for new committee members. Several worthy names were mentioned.
4.ADJOURNMENT
Mandy Knapp asked if there was any more business to come before the committee. None appearing, she thanked the committee members and adjourned the meeting at 2:20 p.m.

OPLIN Database Authentication

Please see the attached chart for a full explanation of how database authentication at OPLIN works.

Service objectives:

  • Incident Response: OPLIN staff will respond within one hour to malfunctions of database authentication during regular business hours Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding State of Ohio holidays; contact us through the OPLIN Support site.
  • Incident Resolution: OPLIN staff will either resolve the incident within 4 business hours or will open an incident ticket with the database vendor(s) and work collaboratively toward resolving the incident within the timeframe specified in the vendor's agreed service objective.
What do I need to give OPLIN in order for you to authenticate one of the extra databases my library purchases?

First, the vendor has to be able to do authentication based on IP address only. This usually isn't a big issue; we've only run into one small vendor out of the hundreds that libraries subscribe to that couldn't handle it in some way.

Second, we need a generic link to the resource, that is, it doesn't have any information in the URL that is specific to any one library. We keep a database of generic links here at the office, since the same link will work for any library.

Lastly, you just need to give the vendor your OPLIN proxy IP address. All the authentication in the world won't save us if the proxy IP address doesn't have access. OPLIN proxy IPs always start with 66.213.41 and have a 4th octet of whatever their FSCS is. For example, Ada (OH0001) is 66.213.41.1. We will try to set up authentication for anything that you request.

Why must I have a static IP address for my branch libraries to authenticate access to the Ohio Web Library databases?

Technically, you don't, unless the database vendor does not allow access from outside a library building, because patrons at the branch can just authenticate to the Ohio Web Library databases as if they were at-home ("remote") users. If you want your patrons to have seamless, in-library access, however, and to have their usage of the databases automatically added to your library statistics, we have to give the vendor an unchanging, static IP address they can associate with your library.

If you have further questions, please contact OPLIN Support.