Services

OPLIN provides a wide variety of additional, Internet-related services to Ohio public libraries.

 

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Internet

OPLIN (Ohio Public Library Information Network) provides Internet services to the public library systems of Ohio. For the most part, we provide one broadband connection to the main library of each system, and access to the commodity Internet for any public library which routes Internet-bound traffic through our network core in Columbus, Ohio. While OPLIN also provides some other services to libraries, none of them are possible without our dependable, robust, broadband network connections.

One of the unusual characteristics of OPLIN is the fact that it provides and manages this physical network connecting libraries to the Internet; most other library “information networks” primarily deliver content and services over a physical network provided by some other organization. When OPLIN was established in 1995-96, the network was built from copper-wire ‘T1’ circuits. In 2006, fiber-optic ‘Ethernet’ circuits began replacing the older T1 circuits.

Service objectives:

  • Incident Response: OPLIN staff will respond within one hour to malfunctions of Internet connections 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. After-hours support is provided 24/7/365 through the Ohio Office of Information Technology (OIT): AFTER HOURS NUMBER FOR NETWORK OUTAGES ONLY, 614-644-6860.
  • Incident Resolution: OPLIN staff and/or OIT staff will open an incident ticket with the telecommunications vendor(s) and will work collaboratively toward resolving the incident within 4 hours.

 

How does OPLIN decide how much bandwidth my library will get?

We try to buy circuits big enough so every OPLIN participant has an Internet connection that is large enough to insure that the participant's average circuit utilization does not exceed 70% during peak hours.


Does our library have to go through OPLIN for network services?

No. Libraries can purchase network services from any vendor. However, since OPLIN offers a free connection between each library system and the Internet, OPLIN network service is almost always the best deal.


Does my library have to go through OPLIN to get network connections for branches?

No. We recommend you first contact your local telephone company and any nearby cable or wireless providers for their circuit rates. We also offer the option to go through our state contracts (at discounted rates) for library branch connection circuits. Each library must decide the best compromise of quality, price, and performance to meet their needs. The OPLIN Support Center will be happy to review any plans provided by local vendors and give advice.


Does OPLIN provide any help with network planning?

To help you keep up with the network demands of your libraries, OPLIN staff can prepare bandwidth usage reports and a review of options available through the State of Ohio. Contact the OPLIN Support Center for more information.


How far in advance do I need to contact the OPLIN Support Center if my library needs to get a new circuit or move an existing circuit?

We recommend that you contact the OPLIN Support Center for information and costs prior to placing any circuit request, and we also recommend that you place your circuit request at least ninety (90) days before your library needs to have the circuit installed or removed.

 

Network Testing Service

While OPLIN's responsibility for Internet connection management ends with the OPLIN router placed at the library end of OPLIN-provided circuits, it is not uncommon for libraries to have internal network issues that affect the throughput capacity of their Internet connection. These problems sometimes come to light in conversations with libraries or in the course of monitoring OPLIN network performance, and over the years OPLIN staff have more and more frequently assisted local library IT staff with some problem solving. OPLIN wants to be sure local libraries are able to take full advantage of the bandwidth OPLIN provides to them.

In April 2013, the OPLIN Board expressed an interest in formalizing this practice and providing free network testing for libraries that seem to be having internal network problems. This document provides a description of this new OPLIN service.

When will local network testing be provided?

The need for network testing will be identified by contact with local library IT staff who report slow network response time while OPLIN monitoring tools indicate that a significant portion of the OPLIN-provided bandwidth is not being used. OPLIN staff may also identify a potential problem based on the characteristics of the data flow over the library's OPLIN circuit, and then initiate contact with local library IT staff. In either case, once the library has agreed to allow OPLIN testing of their internal network, OPLIN staff will perform the testing within two months.

What will the network testing provide?

OPLIN will provide local library IT staff and/or consultants with data about their internal network and help them interpret the meaning of the data. This data will consist of:

  • A diagram or description of the topology of the high-level network devices in the library that connect to the OPLIN router
  • The bandwidth throughput from:
    • the OPLIN router to the OPLIN core at the SOCC
    • the internal library network to the OPLIN router

With the possible exception of simple physical changes, OPLIN staff will not take action to remedy any identified problems; that responsibility remains with the library IT staff and/or consultants.

How will the network testing be done?

OPLIN staff will travel to the library where the OPLIN router is located and use various software and hardware tools to test the network and gather data. This will involve connecting computers to the OPLIN router and to various points in the internal library network. It will be the responsibility of the library to provide safe physical access to the network devices and cabling. Once testing data has been gathered, OPLIN staff on site at the library may verbally discuss network issues with library IT staff and/or consultants, but in all cases a written diagnostic summary will be sent to the library after the testing data has been processed and analyzed at the OPLIN office.

How much will the network testing cost?

This service will be provided free of charge to any OPLIN participant that appears to have internal network problems.

Connections and Network Infrastructure

The OPLIN Support Center can assist you with obtaining circuits under state contracts ("Contracts" tabs) as well as other connectivity services. There are currently several state contracts with several telecommunications vendors that offer a wide variety of services, prices, and options. You can contact OPLIN Support at 888-966-7546, support@oplin.org, or http://support.oplin.org to receive assistance with finding the connectivity package that is best for your library.
 

Ohio Public Library Connectivity Data

Each spring, the State Library of Ohio asks all the public libraries in the state to update basic information about their Internet connections and use of Internet within their library buildings. This data may also reflect contracted services that are in the process of being installed. You can download a spreadsheet of the latest data or simply view the data online.

 

Internet filtering

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The OPLIN Board has negotiated a contract with OpenDNS to set up a statewide Internet content filtering system that will be available to all public libraries. OPLIN is charged by the Ohio Legislature "...to help local libraries use filters to screen out obscene and illegal internet materials." For many years, OPLIN fulfilled this requirement by distributing individual grants to libraries, but the earmarked funds were never enough to provide assistance to more than about 40-50 library systems. Clearly, a "central" filtering system available to all libraries would be better.

After several unsuccessful tests over the years, OPLIN finally identified OpenDNS as a filtering solution which can effectively provide content filtering for all Ohio public libraries, while still allowing each library to have complete control over how, or if, the filter is to be used in their library system. (See the screenshot attached to this page for an idea of some of the options which libraries can control.)

If you have questions about our free, statewide filtering, please contact http://support.oplin.org.

Service objectives:

  • Incident Response: OPLIN staff will respond within one hour to malfunctions of the Internet filtering 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 attempt to resolve every Internet filtering malfunction within 4 business hours of Incident Response.

More technical information:

Rather than filtering content using a proxy based or span port appliance, OpenDNS is a filtered Domain Name Server (DNS) service. You set up an account and associate IP address blocks with said account, and then you can control what types of content you want your users to see much like a traditional content filter. For any request to access a website that falls outside what you deem appropriate, OpenDNS returns the IP of one of their block servers, instead of the IP for the real web server. The block can be bypassed on a per session basis by inputing a ticket code you create in the web admin interface. This ticket creates a cookie in the user's browser, which the block server detects and proxies the user to the content. Unless a ticket code is in use, the user is never proxied, so there is no worry of interfering with IP authenticated resources. There are also quite a few other options for how you can specify which machines are held to which rules.

In addition, since OpenDNS does not have to handle the actual traffic after the initial DNS request, you do not have to worry about bottlenecks like you would with an appliance. Add to that the only thing you need to do to achieve redundancy is use the state's DNS server as your tertiary forwarder.

See our Steps for obtaining an OPLIN-paid OpenDNS Enterprise account document for more information.

Steps for obtaining an OPLIN-paid OpenDNS Enterprise account

  1. Send an email to support@oplin.org stating that you would like to participate, along with the contact information for the person to whom we should email the account login details.
  2. The contact's account will be set to an administrator level for your library account. This user will have the ability to send out additional invitations to other staff members, and also elevate them to administrator status.

From now on, your library is in complete control of your OpenDNS account and will not need to contact OPLIN unless you need assistance.

OpenDNS first steps

Step 1: Add your first network

OpenDNS uses the term "network" to describe either a single IP address, or multiple IPs to which you can assign filtering rules. Before you can select any filters you have to create a network.

  1. Login to OpenDNS (http://opendns.com)
  2. Click "Dashboard"
  3. Click "Settings"
  4. Enter your outbound IP into the boxes provided. We recommend to only do a single IP, rather than your entire network block. This way you can easily have different rule sets for different IPs. A quick way to find out what IP you're currently using is with a website like http://whatismyip.com
  5. Select the library account from the "Organization" drop down
  6. Click "Add this network"
  7. OpenDNS will send you an email in which you'll need to click on a link while coming from the IP you're registering.

Step 2: Set rules for your new network

Now that you've created a network you can modify its settings.

  1. Login to OpenDNS (http://opendns.com)
  2. Click "Dashboard"
  3. Click "Settings"
  4. Select your newly added IP from the large drop down box in the middle/top of the screen

You'll be presented with the settings page for that network. All the options are presented in a traditional web form layout and have a lot of helpful hints on the same page. We recommend clicking around the option categories to see what's available. At this point the service still isn't live on your network, so you can't hurt anything.

Step 3: Going live

The final step is to use the OpenDNS name servers on your network. The IPs for those servers are 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220. If you want to test out the service before making it live on the entire network, you can always change the DNS servers on just your workstation to those two IPs and verify the filtering is working as you want it to. If you're ready to make filtering live, the place to use those two IPs will vary depending on how your network is currently configured.

  • If you statically define every workstation with its DNS settings (ex. the state DNS servers at 156.63.130.100) then you would need to change every workstation to use these two new IPs. You can leave the state IPs in, but they have to come after the two OpenDNS IPs.
  • If your workstations point to a local device for DNS (ex. a firewall/router/ActiveDirectory server) then the place you would use the two OpenDNS IPs would be in the forwarders settings of that device. Changing the IPs on a top level device like this will make filtering live for every workstation pointing to said device.

FAQ

None yet. Ask us a question at http://support.oplin.org.

Internet Policies for Ohio Public Libraries

Policies for Ohio Public Library Use of OPLIN Services

Policy on Public Library Use of OPLIN

Policy on Public Library Use of OPLIN

Ohio Public Libraries connected to OPLIN must supply the following services to their communities:

  1. In-library use of all OPLIN-provided reference and information services.
  2. Access to the worldwide Internet.
  3. Access to the electronic "e-government" services of the State of Ohio.

Ohio Public Libraries connected to OPLIN may not use the Network to supply the following:

  1. Public e-mail accounts on the OPLIN server.
  2. Internet or Web services for which the library charges a fee other than cost recovery fees.
  3. Any services that will cause degradation of OPLIN-provided services.
  4. Any obscene and illegal materials as defined in the Ohio Revised Code.
  5. Access to OPLIN-licensed databases to schools, local government or any other entity not covered by OPLIN licensing agreements.

Policy adopted by the OPLIN Board June 14, 1996
Revisions adopted May 11, 2001, June 10, 2011 and February 14, 2014

Policy on the Provision of Network Services by OPLIN to Public Libraries

OPLIN provides broadband telecommunications to every OPLIN participant, as defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 3375.64, in order to meet the Code requirement to ensure “…equity of access to electronic information for all residents of this state.”

In order to carry out that objective, OPLIN will:

  1. Provide broadband telecommunication connectivity to each OPLIN participant. The amount of bandwidth provided under this section shall be determined under procedures to be established by the Director and reviewed at least annually by the Board;

  2. Facilitate and encourage the connection of branch buildings to this broadband line or directly to the OPLIN hub;

  3. Offer to provide Internet access services through the OPLIN hub to all participant locations and buildings.

Where OPLIN participants cede control of their network services to a consortium, OPLIN will:

  1. Request notice in writing that the OPLIN participant has delegated responsibility for its network services to a consortium;

  2. Continue to pay for broadband lines covered by this policy;

  3. Work directly with those consortia in matters impacted by network architecture, including all matters associated with ensuring adequate capacity on connections to the OPLIN hub;

  4. Provide help desk services for such consortia members in matters of database content issues and any other non-network services OPLIN may provide.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board May 11, 2001; Amended February 9, 2007, December 14, 2007, February 12, 2010, and February 10, 2012.

Policy on Acceptable Public Library Staff & Trustee Use of OPLIN

The goal of the Ohio Public Library Information Network is to provide all of Ohio's citizens equity of access to information. This means that all citizens of the state will have equal access to information, regardless of location or format of the information, and regardless of the location of the user.

Objectives

OPLIN's service objectives are to:

  1. establish and maintain network connections among Ohio's public library systems and the global information network;
  2. establish and maintain access to electronic reference and information resources for Ohio public library users;
  3. provide education, training, and support for public library staff and trustees.

Guidelines for Using OPLIN

Use of OPLIN shall be consistent with the Network’s goals and objectives.

OPLIN is a resource which is shared by a community of diverse interests with the common purpose of achieving access to global information to support the best possible public library service to all Ohioans.

Ohio public library staff and trustees shall conduct themselves in a responsible, ethical, and professional manner in using OPLIN, including respecting the opinions, rights, and privacy of others who use the network.

The following uses of OPLIN are encouraged:

  • sharing data, information, and knowledge to assist the staffs of public libraries of Ohio in providing information services to their customers;
  • assisting public library users in using the network and advancing their knowledge, skill, and/or ability to grow in their community.

The following uses of OPLIN are prohibited:

  • illegal activity (violation of local, state, and/or federal laws);
  • commercial activity; including but not limited to operating a business for personal gain;
  • disrupting the use of OPLIN by other users.

Directive

Each OPLIN public library staff and trustee user shall be provided the information regarding the appropriate use of the Network and shall be responsible for the security of his/her OPLIN account and password. OPLIN accounts and passwords are not transferable to others. Users are responsible for notifying system administration immediately of any unauthorized access to his/her accounts.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board February 16, 1996; Revised September 12, 1997; Amended February 9, 2007.

Policy on Extending OPLIN to Other Institutions

We are sensitive to the importance of cooperation between public libraries and other entities in their local communities including schools, local government, non-profit organizations and businesses. OPLIN, however, was established to provide direct services only to OPLIN participants as defined by Ohio Revised Code section 3375.64.

Libraries are encouraged to cooperate with other local entities for the good of the community. Under no circumstances, however, may an OPLIN participant:

  • Allow sharing of their OPLIN broadband connection in such a way that will, in OPLIN's judgment, damage or cause degradation to the network as a whole.
  • Allow sharing of their OPLIN broadband connection in such a way that it will interfere with OPLIN's access to and ability to manage the OPLIN-provided connection, which terminates at the library.
  • Provide IP addresses issued by OPLIN for participant use to be used by any entity other than an OPLIN participant.

Should libraries elect to share their OPLIN broadband connection with any entity other than another OPLIN participant, they will be ineligible for additional bandwidth as provided for in OPLIN's Policy on the Provision of Network Services.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board 11 May 2001, replacing an earlier policy of 27 March 1998. Revised 9 February 2007, 11 June 2010, and 10 August 2012.

OPLIN Community Good Neighbor Policy

 

OPLIN Community Good Neighbor Policy


In order to maintain the integrity of the Ohio Public Library Information Network members, the following procedures will be followed in the event malicious, objectionable, or inappropriate activity is detected and is originating from the OPLIN network.

 

·        The originating site will be contacted and informed of the activity.

·        The originating site will be provided with information regarding the source and type of activity that is occurring.

·        If no immediate action is taken by the site contact, the offending computer will be blocked from further access from the necessary portion of the network.

·        Proactive steps to stop communication will be taken when the activity is deemed harmful to any other Internet host.

·        Service will be restored as soon as the owner takes protective action.

The intent of this policy is to be very non-specific but some examples of “malicious, objectionable, or inappropriate activity” are as follows:

 

1.      Open mail relay – Permitting unauthorized users to relay mail through your email server. Most abuse results in unauthorized SPAM generation. If mail systems are relaying unwanted or unsolicited email, they will be blocked from further mail (TCP port 25) communication. In such cases, outbound email will be shutdown.

2.      Insecure hosts – Compromised hosts can be launch points for Internet attacks. If such attacks are detected, the offending host will be blocked from further communication with the Internet until the problem has been resolved.

3.      Third Party Attacks – Many denial of service attacks use an insecure host as a launch point for a directed attack. While the owner of the host is most likely unaware of the attack, the problem must still be addressed. Network access will be blocked for the offending host upon detection of its use in this manner.

This list is obviously not all-inclusive. There are many other forms of questionable activity that could result in the blocking of a machine from the Internet. Our goal is to insure our OPLIN members are good Internet neighbors. To the Internet community, OPLIN is just one large network. Questionable activity by one OPLIN member may result in reprisals to all OPLIN members. All libraries could be blacklisted due to activity coming from a single pc in a single library.

Approved by the Board on December 13, 2002.

 

Policy in Regard to Library E-list Hosting Service

OPLIN is able to host e-mail distribution lists (commonly called "e-lists" or "listservs." Using OPLIN's preferred e-list software, e-lists will be hosted for no charge under the following circumstances:

  1. The list topic is of direct interest to staff in Ohio’s public libraries, centering on specific library issues not already addressed by existing discussion lists.
  2. The list is owned and moderated by an individual employed in Ohio's public libraries.
  3. The majority of a proposed list's subscribers will be library employees. Subscribers need not live in Ohio, and their libraries may be of any type (K-12, academic, etc.).

OPLIN's Responsibilities

  • OPLIN staff will train up to two individuals on the list moderation interface.
  • The Support Center will respond to support requests from list moderator(s) only.
  • OPLIN will apply the same procedures and policies to the hosted list as it does to its own lists, treating a service interruption to a hosted list as it would an interruption to its own.

List Administrator's Rights and Responsibilities

  • The List Administrator will provide the OPLIN Support Center with list specifications, including:
    • Administrator name and e-mail address
    • Proposed name and i.d. of list
    • List description, including scope of discussion
    • List subscription and administration preferences
  • Administrators will perform administrative duties on demand; subscribers should expect a delay of no more than two working days for the completion of administrative tasks (i.e., subscription approval, message releasing, etc.)
  • Administrators are encouraged to contact the OPLIN Support Center for assistance with list problems.
  • Administrators will notify the OPLIN Support Center immediately regarding a transfer of list administration to another individual. New administrators must be members of the Ohio public library community.

Termination

OPLIN may delete an e-list from its servers under the following circumstances:

  • The designated List Administrator requests termination of the list.
  • List traffic consistently violates established law or any of OPLIN's standing policies.
  • External complaints about a list will be treated as a reported violation of OPLIN's Community Good Neighbor Policy. The list owner will be contacted regarding the complaint, and proactive steps will be taken to halt activity if it threatens the health of the OPLIN network.

OPLIN makes every effort to maintain the security and reliability of its services. Security measures include maintaining a firewall to protect OPLIN's servers, scanning traffic for viruses, and requiring reverse DNS look-ups to minimize spoofed addresses and "spam." OPLIN will not lower its security procedures to accommodate access from less secure network environments. No security can be foolproof, and OPLIN will not accept responsibility for damages to local systems should security measures fail.

In any networked environment, outages are sometimes unavoidable. OPLIN disclaims responsibility for lost messages or productivity during service interruptions.

It is possible that at some future date OPLIN may develop, for its own uses, the capability to provide other means of communication, such as BBS/Web Forum or Weblog/RSS capability. At such time those tools may be made available to the Ohio public library community under this policy.

Approved by the OPLIN Board on June 11, 2004.

Policy in Regard to Public Libraries that Withdraw from OPLIN Network Services

As part of its mission, OPLIN provides broadband telecommunications connections to Ohio's public libraries.

On rare occasions, a library may choose to forego the OPLIN connection. This might occur when a library is able to obtain free network and Internet services locally, or finds it expedient to collaborate with other entities in its local community.

Should a library make such a decision the following will occur:

  1. Traffic between that library and other libraries on OPLIN will travel over other networks, and most probably over the public Internet. OPLIN will not be responsible for speed, capacity or security for the library's Wide Area Network and cannot guarantee general quality of service (QoS).
  2. OPLIN-provided routers will be returned to DAS Network Operations.
  3. OPLIN will lose the ability to manage, track or account for the library's OPLIN-supplied IP addresses since they are outside its network, and cannot be accountable for those addresses to the greater Internet community or to law enforcement. In order to maintain the integrity of the OPLIN address block, any library leaving OPLIN's network must return OPLIN's IP addresses.
  4. The library may supply OPLIN with IP addresses to be used for in-library database authentication.
  5. OPLIN will continue to provide remote authentication for patrons of the library, and to track database usage.
  6. The library should be aware that some problem resolution may be less effective and take longer when OPLIN does not manage a library's IP addresses.
  7. The library must reimburse OPLIN for disconnect penalties that result from early termination of telecommunications contracts for network service to the library. The library will only be liable for the portion of the penalties that apply to the term of the library's current Letter of Agency filed with OPLIN.

Approved by the OPLIN Board on June 11, 2004; Amended February 9, 2007 and February 8, 2013.

Policy on Internet Connections to Library Systems That Have Merged

In the event that an OPLIN participant as defined by O.R.C. 3375.64(B)(1) merges or consolidates operations with another OPLIN participant and is no longer governed by an independent board of trustees, that entity will no longer qualify as an OPLIN participant and the OPLIN-provided Internet connection must be terminated. In order to allow time for a transition to a new Internet connection, however, OPLIN will maintain the existing connection for a period of 90 days after the effective date of the merger or consolidation. Upon request from the board of trustees governing the newly composed OPLIN participant, or its designate, the OPLIN Board may agree at one of their regular meetings to extend this period for an additional 90 days.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board October 8, 2010

Policy on OPLIN Sponsorship of Events Planned by Others

OPLIN has a limited ability to sponsor events, professional development opportunities and training for the Ohio public library community. We cannot provide assistance for training or events outside OPLIN's core mission. However, OPLIN wishes to encourage and foster development by others of workshops, training and events in the following areas:

  • Network skills on all levels
  • Network Security
  • Development of Web-based services to patrons.
  • Server implementation and management for digital services or email.
  • Training, awareness and usage of any kind related to OPLIN-provided databases
  • Management, including economics, in areas such as acquisition of electronic databases, and technology planning.
  • E-rate procedures, policies and related matters.
  • Public access policy and management.
  • The Digital Divide

For events of that type, OPLIN may supply direct financial assistance, equipment donation, or some specific service, such as providing connectivity and access for the event.

Entities that wish OPLIN to participate financially should be aware that:

  • Dollar amounts over $500 require a contract in order to meet State accounting requirements
  • Dollar amounts less than that require a memo of understanding that outlines the agreed upon deliverables, compensation and recognition for OPLIN.
  • No invoice can be paid until after the event.
  • OPLIN will expect clear recognition and possibly complementary attendance in exchange for sponsorship. Details can be negotiated.

Partnering for Events Planned by OPLIN

Because our staff is small and our service area is statewide, we often rely on partnerships to provide venues for OPLIN-managed training. We might ask a group to supply a training lab or meeting room. We might ask them to manage signup and reservations for their part of the state. We might ask a group to be an end-point for a statewide video conference. Or, we might ask the group to recruit speakers and organize an event within an OPLIN-managed agenda.

  • OPLIN will pay up to a $75 administrative fee per day for use of facility, coordinating reservations and registration, and supplies such as name tags, and coffee/break service. This assumes that OPLIN is supplying speakers, presentation materials, folders, and handouts.
  • OPLIN will pay up to $300 per day to an entity to fully manage training or event at the entity's facility according to an agenda or curriculum supplied by OPLIN. This assumes that the entity will supply speakers, presentation materials, and handouts.
  • Such events must be open to all libraries free of charge.

Because OPLIN provides T1 lines free of charge to Ohio Public Libraries and to Regional Library Systems OPLIN does not pay any of them to host an OPLIN-presented video conference. In the unlikely event that a video conference training session requires services similar to on-site training, (reservation, sign-in, supplies and/or coffee service) the $75 administrative fee would apply.

In addition, we sometimes seek a training provider to actually create training on our behalf. In such cases a fee is negotiated with the provider to create curriculum and materials, and possibly to actually present the training. A contract will spell out the terms of that activity. Any material created for OPLIN becomes the property of OPLIN who will make it freely available to Ohio public library staff members as circumstances dictate. OPLIN fundamentally believes that content (including training) created with tax dollars should be made freely available. In the case of material, such as training, designed for library staff, it should be made freely available to the audience for which it is intended.

Approved by the OPLIN Board April 9, 2004

Statements Regarding OPLIN Participation & the Requirements of CIPA

Statements Regarding OPLIN Participation & the Requirements of CIPA

  1. OPLIN services will always be available to all libraries. The OPLIN Board affirms its belief that all matters of policy dealing with public access are a matter for local control. We respect the right of each local board to set policy regarding public access for each library.
  2. OPLIN will annually require a Letter of Agency from all libraries that receive OPLIN services. This letter will signal the libraries' willingness to receive services, comply with OPLIN policies, and authorize OPLIN to apply for Universal Discount refunds for any services provided to the library for which OPLIN pays the bill. The letter may ask the library to indicate whether their technology plan is up-to-date, and to acknowledge that they have a current written acceptable use policy.
  3. OPLIN will annually provide a copy of Form 479 to every public library that receives services. All libraries will be asked to return it, and indicate whether they are compliant or not.
  4. In the future, OPLIN will apply for those discounts and refunds available to it from the Universal Service program for those eligible services to which CIPA does not apply on behalf of all libraries that accept service from OPLIN. It will also apply for discounts and refunds available to it for services to which CIPA does apply, Internet service, provided to those libraries that certify that they are fully compliant with the program rules.

Resolution passed by the OPLIN Board on August 8, 2003; Amended October 10, 2003

 

Procedures and Guidelines for Ohio Public Libraries

OPLIN E-List Guidelines

OPLIN E-List Guidelines

In carrying out is mission, OPLIN provides a number of e-lists. All OPLIN e-lists are subject to the following guidelines:

Each e-list has its own topic focus and scope. Postings should be limited to topics within the scope of the list.

There can be no solicitation on OPLIN’s e-lists. The exception to this guideline is the posting of training, workshops, seminars and so on designed for the staff or trustees of public libraries for which a fee is charged. Such postings are encouraged.

Campaign material for elections of any kind (local, state, federal, professional or other organizational) shall not be posted to any of the e-lists.

Material about local practice that may be of general interest to the library community is frequently a beneficial topic. However, the OPLINList is not an appropriate forum for discussing the details of a dispute that is internal to any library system. Information about internal disputes is not permitted.

Items posted to a e-list are not normally removed from the archive. However, when a poster contacts OPLIN and indicates that a posting was made in error, it will be removed. Items posted in violation of these guidelines will also be removed.

Specific e-lists are subject to some limitations in the scope of discussion and/or in subscription.

They are as follows:

OPLINList

Subscription: Open to anyone interested in Ohio public libraries Who may post: All subscribers. Postings from non-subscribers are moderated and reviewed for appropriateness Scope: Any topic of broad general interest to the staff or trustees of Ohio Public libraries. The OPLINList is a professional tool. It should be used for topics of professional interest.

OPLINUpdates

Subscription: Library directors and one other contact—others upon request Who may post: Only OPLIN staff. There is no comment or discussion Scope: Limited to announcements from OPLIN staff

OPLINTech

Subscription: Open to any technology managers, specialists and consultants in public libraries. Who may post: All Subscribers Scope: Limited to discussion of network, library applications, and other library-related technology issues

Single Purpose Lists

Subscription limited to members working groups or committees. Examples are the Teen Editorial Advisory and Statewide Delivery groups. Posting is limited to the working topic.

Approved by the OPLIN Board of Trustees, November 9, 2001

OPLIN Guidelines for Libraries Offering Patron Access to the Internet

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Sample Public Access Policy (DOC)31 KB

OPLIN Guidelines for Libraries Offering Patron Access to the Internet

Established policy and constitutional principles are the context from which the constantly changing issues arising from the developing technology of computer mediated information generation, distribution, and retrieval need to be approached by librarians. In making decisions on how to offer electronic information, each library should consider its mission, goals, objectives, cooperative agreements, community standards, and the needs of the people it serves.

Requirements

Each Board of Trustees of all libraries participating in The Ohio Public Library Information Network must adopt a policy that controls access to obscene and illegal materials as defined in the Ohio Revised Code. These local policies must be on file with the OPLIN Board by October 31, 1997 and annually thereafter.

Provision of the OPLIN funds, goods, and services are contingent upon these local policies.

Recommendations

Before offering patron access to the Internet the following suggestions should be considered:

  1. Seek the advice of the library's legal counsel.
  2. Use a document, such as "OPLIN Sample Policy: Patron Access to the Internet" to create your own library policy before offering access.
  3. Make available a statement relating the provision of electronic resources directly to the library's mission statement.
  4. Alert parents to the possibility of access to material that is inappropriate for children.
  5. Make available a statement on online safety for children such as the pamphlet entitled "Child Safety on the Information Highway" which is available from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  6. Make available a statement relating to online manners and ethics.
  7. Post time limits for Internet use.
  8. Combine all of the above in a manual for online use specific to your library.
  9. Post Acceptable Use Policy and have copies readily available for patrons.

Adapted From: Youth Access to the Internet Through Libraries, Michigan Library Association.

Other Options Boards may consider are:

  1. requiring parental authorization to access the Internet;
  2. requiring parental supervision of their children's use of the Internet;
  3. providing separate workstations for use by children;
  4. limiting terminal use to only one person at a time (except for parental supervision);
  5. providing privacy screens;
  6. requiring all users to have a valid library card;
  7. requiring all Internet users (regardless of age) to sign a disclaimer;
  8. providing training sessions for parents, teachers, and children;
  9. providing staff procedures for dealing with viewing objectionable material;
  10. limiting terminal use to reference purposes;
  11. filtering.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board June 14, 1996, Revised September 12, 1997

OPLIN Security Procedures

OPLIN Security Procedures

From time to time the OPLIN Support Center receives complaints (by phone call or e-mail) alleging illegal activity from an IP address within OPLIN.

  1. The OPLIN Support Center verifies that it is an OPLIN IP address.
  1. If the IP address is assigned to an OPLIN library, the OPLIN Support Center always contacts the library regarding the incident.  Such contact comes through e-mail, telephone, or both depending on the situation, the urgency and the source of the inquiry.  It is up to each local library to decide how to respond to the inquiry. 
  1. The OPLIN Support Center provides the identity of the library only to legitimate, appropriate authority who then follow up with the library.   The Support Center verifies the organization and the person calling before releasing any information to them.
  1. If the contact is from a third party (that is, not a staff member of the library involved) or from a party that cannot be verified as a legitimate, appropriate law enforcement agency, the OPLIN Support Center does not give out information regarding the public library to which the IP address is assigned.  In that case it is up to the library to decide whether or not to follow up with the party who sent the complaint.
  1. The OPLIN Support Center contacts the library immediately after a call of any kind. In the case of contacts from Law Enforcement, they call again within 48 hours of the initial incident to make sure the library has the information they need. 
  1. Should OPLIN receive a request under the USA Patriot Act, and OPLIN has verified that the specific request is covered by that law, we may not be permitted to contact the library.
  1. Each library operates under its own local policies and may reserve the right to wait to be contacted directly by a law enforcement agency before acting.
  1. The OPLIN Support Center logs the incident and the actions taken on the incident. The OPLIN Support Center updates the log on the situation as needed.

Approved by the OPLIN Board of Trustees, November 9, 2001; and updated October 8, 2004

 

Procedures for Local Library Compliance with OPLIN

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Complaint Form (PDF)38.07 KB

Procedures for local library compliance with OPLIN policy to control access to obscene or illegal materials as defined in the "Ohio Revised Code"

  1. Every attempt must be made to resolve the complaint locally. If a successful resolution cannot be achieved, OPLIN requires that the complainant provide documentation, such as Board minutes or letter of action taken by the Board, for submission with the complaint form.
  2. In the event a complaint is forwarded to OPLIN, the OPLIN Board-adopted complaint form must be used. It may be obtained from the OPLIN office or online. (Please disregard the address on the form and use the current OPLIN contact information.)
  3. The Executive Director shall contact the local library within one week of receipt of the Complaint Form. The Executive Director shall also verify that the local library's Board adopted policy dealing with Patron Internet Access is on file with OPLIN and is being implemented by the local library.
  4. Following the investigation, the Executive Director will notify the involved parties of his or her findings and decision based on those findings.
  5. If either party is not satisfied with the Executive Director's decision, that party has the right to appeal to the OPLIN Board.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board on September 12, 1997

Public Usage Policies for Ohio Public Libraries

Every Ohio public library that offers Internet access to the public via the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) has a written policy in place that states the terms of that access. Each local library board has the privilege and responsibility of spelling out policy for the communities they serve. If you have complaints, questions or concerns about individual library policies, those should be addressed to your local public library.

OPLIN's only requirement is that the library (OPLIN "participant") meet the condition of our defining legislation (Ohio Revised Code section 3375.64) that it "...establish and enforce procedures designed to keep juveniles who use the participant's services from having access to materials or performances that may be obscene or harmful to juveniles and to keep persons who are not juveniles and who use the participant's services from having access to materials or performances that may be obscene." If you already have approached the local library director and board with concerns about local policy, and do not believe your concerns have been addressed, please contact OPLIN to issue a formal complaint. OPLIN will require documentation, such as board minutes, that demonstrate that your concerns have already been raised at the local level.

OPLIN Sample Policy: Patron Access to the Internet

INTRODUCTION:

The [insert name] Public Library, in keeping with its mission, [highlight mission statement] provides public Internet access and access to the resources of the Ohio Public Library Information Network to [describe service area].

This service may used to access any resource, engage in any communication, or conduct any activity available on the worldwide Internet or the Ohio Public Library Information Network provided such activity can be done with standard Web browsers, with these exceptions:

EXAMPLES OF GUIDELINES FOR USE: [insert your local guidelines]

  • You may not send, receive, or display text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene.
  • You may not use this resource for any illegal purpose.
  • You may not in any way alter, reconfigure, or damage the public access workstations of [name of library].
  • You may not modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging or altering software components of any network, host server, or database.

Because this is a public resource, the rights of others must be respected and therefore:

  • Time will be limited to [insert local policy].
  • [local policy regarding noise or disturbance might go here.]
  • [local policy regarding material offensive to others in public space might go here.]

In order to prevent viruses, protect the integrity of our workstations, and ensure that workstations will serve the greatest number of people, we ask that the following guidelines be observed:

  • Do not install software of any kind.
  • Do not download any plug-ins without consultation with library staff.
  • Do not save or download files except on disks provided by the library [insert cost or instructions].

DISCLAIMERS:

[insert disclaimer regarding responsibility for content or any other recommended by local counsel.]

The Library's OPLIN computer accesses the Internet, which is a global entity, with a highly diverse user population, and Library patrons use it at their own risk.

As with other library materials, it is the parent or legal guardian of minor children who must assume ultimate responsibility for supervising access to Internet resources in the Library.

Misuse of the Library's OPLIN computer or Internet access will result in loss of Internet privileges.

Note: This document is intended as a sample only. Every Ohio Public Library that offers Internet access to the public via the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) has a written policy in place that states the terms of that access. Each local library board has the privilege and responsibility of spelling out policy for the communities they serve. OPLIN’s only requirement is that each library have a such policy and that it addresses the use of State resources for illegal purposes.

Adopted by the OPLIN Board December 15, 2000.

 
OPLIN Sample Policy: Patron Access to the Internet
  This document is an example of how to construct a local usage policy. The examples within it do not represent official OPLIN policy on Internet usage. Adopted by the OPLIN Board December 15, 2000.
 
Sample Library Policy Statements
  The State Library of Ohio Provides sample library policies for libraries that are preparing or editing their own.
 
The Internet, Libraries & Matter Harmful to Juveniles: A Brief Legal Perspective
  Prepared for the Ohio library community by the Ohio Library Council (OLC).
 

 

Sample Library Policy Statements

Please click here to see Sample library policy statements from the State Library of Ohio.

 

The Internet, Libraries & Matter Harmful to Juveniles: A Brief Legal Perspective

The Internet, Libraries & Matter Harmful to Juveniles: A Brief Legal Perspective

Prepared for the Ohio Library Community
by The Ohio Library Council

Stripped of the misinformation and unsupported statements of library critics, library-sponsored Internet access, coupled with clear and conspicuously available library policies on parental responsibilities for determining the appropriateness of Internet material for their children, would not appear to violate Ohio's "Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles" statute. Librarians should understand, however, that the Ohio statute may be implicated where the librarian is actively involved in the selection of an Internet site for viewing by a juvenile, and most specifically where they participate in the actual location of that site.

Although presently very much in a state of limbo, the Communications Decency Act intriguingly seems to offer a safe harbor to libraries through the defense available in 47 U.S.C. §223(e)(1), even if library-sponsored Internet access does somehow violate subsections (a)(1)(B), (a)(2) or (d) of the CDA. Of even more interest, 47 U.S.C. §223(f)(2) might even provide libraries with a defense to prosecution under the Ohio "Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles" statute, at least as it relates to the Internet.

Discussion

There are at present no decided cases which interpret the applicable State and Federal statutes in the context of library Internet access. However, the text of the applicable statutes themselves and analogous cases decided under those statutes strongly suggest that Internet access sponsored by Ohio's public libraries, in the form in which most Ohio public libraries provide it, does not violate either Ohio's "Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles" statute (Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.31) or the Federal Communications Decency Act, found at Title 47, United States Code, Section 223.

For the purposes of this analysis, a violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.31 is committed when a person

(1) Recklessly

(2) With knowledge of its character or content

(3) (a) sells, delivers, furnishes, disseminates, provides, exhibits, rents, or presents to a juvenile any material that is obscene or harmful to juveniles, or offers or agrees to do any of the foregoing; or

(b) allows a juvenile to review or peruse any material that is harmful to juveniles.

For criminal liability to arise, a prosecutor must establish the existence, beyond a reasonable doubt, of each and every one of the elements numbered 1, 2 and 3 above.

First, a person acts recklessly when, "with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that his conduct is likely to cause a certain result or is likely to be of a certain nature. A person is reckless with respect to circumstances when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that such circumstances are likely to exist." Ohio Revised Code Section 2901.22(C). Well publicized and actively distributed library policies which clearly and unmistakably enunciate library policy that it is the parents' responsibility to supervise the content of the material their children review via the Internet would seem to offer some defense to a claim that a library was reckless in providing Internet access to children.

Second, a librarian needs to have knowledge of the character or content of the material in question. Given the vast information available over the Internet, absent active participation with the juvenile, it is difficult to perceive how a librarian could charged without evidence that the librarian was aware of specific content in a specific instance.

Third, the librarian needs to have sold, delivered, furnished, disseminated, provided, exhibited, rented or presented material to the juvenile, or allowed the juvenile to review or peruse material, known by the librarian to be obscene or harmful to juveniles.

Although none of the decided cases are directly on point, there are three cases which are useful in interpreting the statute. One case, State v. Loshin, 19 Ohio Op. 3d 141 (Ham. Cty. App. 1980), held that an interior store display of obscene materials which could be seen through the store window by juveniles was not "presenting to a juvenile" within the meaning of the statute. The second case, State v. Zeh, 7 Ohio App. 3d 235 (1982), followed Loshin in holding that in the context of an obscene radio program the statute required a "direct presentation to a specific juvenile or group of juveniles as opposed to a presentation to the general public." A third case, State v. Watkins, No. 94-CA-1006, 1995 Ohio App. Lexis 2756 (June 30, 1995), which involved an obscene photograph in a book, differentiated between intentionally directing a juvenile's attention to the photo (which supported a criminal conviction) and simply leaving the book containing the photo in a place where a juvenile might see it (which, under the facts of that case, supported non-criminal negligent behavior and not criminal reckless behavior).

These cases would appear to require that a librarian be actively involved in the access by a specific minor to material which the librarian knows to be obscene for criminal liability to arise. Moreover, the act required under the statute (e.g., sell, deliver, furnish, etc.) similarly requires some affirmative act by the librarian. It would appear very unlikely that merely providing a terminal in the library with Internet access and knowing that juveniles will use it could be construed as reckless or be otherwise sufficient to give rise to criminal liability.

Finally, librarians do have available to them an affirmative defense under the statute:

It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section, involving material ...that is obscene or harmful to juveniles, that the material ... was furnished or presented for bona fide medical, scientific, educational, governmental, judicial, or other proper purpose by a physician, psychologist, sociologist, scientist, teacher, librarian, clergyman, prosecutor, judge or other proper person. Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.31(C)(1). (emphasis added)

Obviously, the availability of this defense would hinge on the librarian being able to establish that conduct otherwise proscribed by the statute was for an "educational" or other proper purpose.

Some of the critics of library-sponsored Internet access have also claimed that by offering access to minors libraries also risk violating the Federal Communications Decency Act ("CDA"). First, as two court decisions have held, that Act has presently been declared unconstitutional, at least as it applies to the dissemination of obscene or patently offensive material to juveniles over the Internet. American Civil Liberties Union v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (E.D. Pa. 1996); Shea v. Reno, 930 F. Supp. 916 (S.D.N.Y. 1996). Second, and more intriguingly for libraries, even if the CDA was constitutional, it does not appear to prohibit the type of Internet access provided by public libraries in Ohio and may even pre-empt enforcement of Ohio's "Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles" statute as it applies to the Internet.

Library-sponsored access to the Internet would appear to implicate two provisions of the CDA. The first, 47 U.S.C. §223(a)(1)(B), criminalizes conduct which "knowingly ...makes, creates or solicits, and ...initiates the transmission of ..." an obscene or indecent communication to a juvenile. On the face of the statute, a library's mere providing of access to the Internet would not appear to have anything to do with "making, creating, or soliciting" or "initiating the transmission of" any obscene or indecent communication.

A related provision, 47 U.S.C. §223(a)(2), prohibits anyone from permitting a "telecommunications facility under such person's control" from being used for an activity prohibited under (a)(1)(B) "with the intent that it be used for such activity." Proving that a library initiated Internet access with the "intent" that it be used for making, creating, soliciting or transmitting obscenity would appear to be a very difficult proposition.

The second applicable CDA provision, 47 U.S.C. §223(d)(1), criminalizes the "knowing" use or "knowing permission" of use" of an interactive computer system to send to or display to a specific person under the age of 18 certain patently offensive communications. Under this provision, a library would almost certainly not be "sending" patently offensive communications to specific minors. There may be some argument that a library could somehow be "displaying" the offensive communication, but it seems more likely that the statute requires active participation rather than the passive availability of a tool that can be used for this purpose.

In any event, a defense provided under the CDA would seem to offer Ohio public libraries with protection from prosecution under the above-mentioned Sections even if §223(d)(1) was interpreted to extend to library-sponsored Internet access:

No person shall be held to have violated subsection (a) or (d) solely for providing access or connection to or from a ...system, or network not under that person's control, including transmission, downloading, ....access software, or other related capabilities that are incidental to providing such access or connection that does not include the creation of the content of the communication." 47 U.S.C. §223(e)(1).

The Internet is most certainly not under a library's control, and since a library will be serving as a mere provider in almost all instances, this defense should be applicable to an Ohio public library.

Finally, and most interestingly, subsection (f)(2) of the CDA, in somewhat confusing and ambiguous language, provides that

No State or local government may impose any liability for commercial activities or actions by commercial entities, nonprofit libraries, or institutions of higher education in connection with an activity or action described in subsection (a)(2) or (d) that is inconsistent with the treatment of those activities or actions under this section...... 47 U.S.C. §223(f)(2). (emphasis added)

Although this conclusion is more than a little speculative, subsection (f)(2) at least offers the possibility that, since subsection (e)(1) of the CDA arguably offers libraries a defense where they simply are a conduit for material, to the extent that the Ohio statute does not offer this defense it is pre-empted by the Federal law.

As always, libraries should understand that this is not legal advice. Ohio's public libraries should seek the counsel of their statutory legal representative, their county prosecutor, and should follow their county prosecutor's advice.

The OLC's legal counsel, Jonathan Iten, of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease (614-464-5653), is available to discuss this memorandum with and to provide supplemental information to your county prosecutor.

The OLC gratefully acknowledges Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney's Opinion #96-35, Liability for Internet Communication of Harmful/Obscene Information, dated September 13, 1996, which was an invaluable resource in preparing this memorandum. All statements in this memorandum, however, are solely those of the OLC.

Dynamic Website Kits

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Website Kit Brochure (PDF)622.95 KB

Website Kits logo
 

 

 Are you thinking of upgrading your library's website?

Read Web Kit testimonials here

Is your library ready to replace its outdated site with something that:

  • Looks more professional?
  • Is easier to manage and doesn't require a tech?
  • Meets current standards for handicapped accessibility?
  • Displays clearly across mobile devices?
  • Provides advanced Web 2.0 features and integration with many social media web sites?
  • Presents your library to your community as a strong, credible institution?

OPLIN is pleased to offer Ohio's public libraries Dynamic Website Kits, a new service that provides all of these features and more at a modest cost.  We understand that, in these budget-strapped times, it is more important than ever for public libraries to show their communities that they are vital and trustworthy institutions that can provide the same advanced features as other kinds of sites.  We also know that library staff have even less time to manage their websites.  OPLIN's Dynamic Website Kits offer a host of options for little investment of time and funds. 

Download the Website Kit handout for additional information.

 

Why would your library want an OPLIN Dynamic Website Kit?

  • The kit includes a full content management system (CMS).  This means that library staff can control the entire content of the site without needing anyone to change back end code.  It's as simple as writing an email or filling out an online form!  Create new pages with a few clicks.  Post news stories to your front page with no technical knowledge required. The Dynamic Website Kit makes managing your library's web site simple...finally!
  • It's Web 2.0 ready.  Want an RSS feed?  Discussion forums?  Polls?  Basic blogs?  Comments?  The ability to share content out easily with Facebook and Twitter?  All of these are featured in the basic, fixed-cost package and many social media add-ons are also available for a small cost.
  • More advanced features.  The kit also provides:
    • Built-in site search AND the ability to search your library's catalog AND the Ohio Web Library;
    • Ability to moderate comments (if your library chooses to have comments);
    • Ability to categorize your content easily by keywords;
    • An online contact form that can send to different email addresses, depending on the subject matter;
    • A Word-like WYSIWYG editor for entering your content, so you don't have to know any code to put your items online;
    • Function to upload and attach documents like PDFs to specific web pages;
    • Automatically generated printer-friendly pages;
    • A version of the site that is mobile-device friendly;
    • A calendar and event listing system;
    • Online photo albums, with easy uploading capability;
    • A basic web analytics package to help your library see how your site is being used by its visitors.
  • We do the upgrades for you. Don't have a tech?  No worries!  OPLIN not only hosts your site, but we do all of the required upgrades as needed to the site's systems.
  • We do the graphics work for you.  Each basic kit includes: (Additional custom work can be arranged for an additional cost. Please contact OPLIN for details.)
  • Meets basic web accessibility standards. Website kits typically meet basic standards for Section 508. (Some third-party widgets and/or custom scripting requests may not be able to meet these standards.)
  • Free training.  We provide up to 3 hours of free, hands-on training for at least one staff person at the OPLIN office.  We also provide some documentation and additional phone support.  Additional training for up to 20 people on-site at your library is also available; please inquire for pricing.
  • Free guidance during the design process.  Our professionally-certified web designer staff will help you with incorporating basic usability and good design principles.
  • No tech required.  OPLIN does the installation, the design, the configuration and the hosting.  All your library has to do is plug in its content.
  • Lots of options.  For a small fee, many useful add-ons are available for your Kit.  You can see some samples here.


PRICING

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 $340 per year. (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.

TIMELINE

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!

Service objectives:

  • Incident Response: OPLIN staff will respond within one hour to malfunctions of Dynamic Website Kits 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 attempt to resolve every Dynamic Website Kits malfunction within 4 business hours of Incident Response.

 

Who hosts the website?

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:

  • Firewall to protect the site against intrusion
  • Regular upgrades to software used to maintain and publish the site
  • Upgrades to server hardware when advantageous
  • Retaining current web site domain name
  • Pro-active fixes for network, system and software vulnerabilities
  • Mirroring of server hard drives to allow quick recovery from hardware failures
  • Problem resolution through the OPLIN Support Center

Will the web address of my website change?

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.

How will I know how to use the website?

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.

What if I have problems later?

Contact us (http://support.oplin.org) and we will work with you to resolve the problem.

What is usability and why does it matter?

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.

Dynamic Website Kits--Selected Portfolio

Click the red star icons & numbers on the map to see websites for all current Website Kit clients

 

 

Auglaize County Libraries

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Mechanicsburg Public Library

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Ashtabula County District Library

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Monroeville Public Library

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Ida Rupp Public Library

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Bossard Memorial Library

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Burton Public Library

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Brown Memorial Public Library

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East Palestine Memorial Public Library

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Licking County Library System

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Oak Harbor Public Library

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Website Kit documentation

Documentation for Website Kits using Drupal 6http://www.oplin.org/webkitdoc/indexNEW.html

Documentation for Website Kits using Drupal 7http://www.oplin.org/webkitdoc/v7/index.html


How do you decide what side block graphics get added to a site?

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!

What is a favicon?

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.

What is the rotating ad banner at the footer that shows databases?

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.

What does "uploading files for staff" mean?

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.

Custom Websites for Libraries

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:

  • in-house changes that break W3C standards compliance;
  • changes that require modifications to a standard Drupal module or the Drupal code;
  • changes that require any special server configuration; and
  • changes that require custom scripting that accesses web resources outside of OPLIN's control.

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.

"Kit & Caboodle" newsletter (2009-2012)

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

 

How to make your website process easier

 

 
How to Make Your Website Process Easier
 
  1. Ditch “design by committee.” As tempting as it is to have a team of some sort, in our experience, this almost always leads to either delays and/or disasters. You can never make everyone happy! Feel free to gather your staff’s input prior to your first phone call with Laura, but we strongly recommend that only 1-2 (MAYBE 3) people from your library should be involved in the actual phone conference. Because it is difficult to please everyone, typical Web Kit projects that are managed by committees tend not to only run longer, but can be more expensive because of constant revisions. To save your library time and money, designate 1-2 people to be in charge of the process and who can step in to make a decision as needed.
     
  2. Remind your staff who the site is for. In our experience, library staff doesn’t always recognize that the primary (and only) audience for a public website is the public! Attempts to include resources specifically for the reference desk or to organize content just so it’s easier for the staff will generally be opposed by OPLIN. Remind your staff, when seeking input, that patrons not only come first, but are the entire audience for your new site.
     
  3. Filter the input from your staff. If you are collecting suggestions from your staff, please filter the list (or have your designated liason/leader do so) to just those things that are things you would actually consider. For example, if a staff person suggests that the site should primarily be orange and the library’s branding scheme is primarily blue, remove this from the list. It will save a great deal of time for everyone involved.
     
  4. Changes to an approved site architecture will cost money.  The site architecture is typically the first step in planning your new Website Kit. Once your library has signed off on that, any changes will incur additional charges, at the custom work rate.  Keep this in mind when you are looking at the first design draft; changes to the top level navigation or side blocks, for instance, after the approval was already signed, will increase your library's cost.  This is why it is important to make sure you're happy with the architecture, before you sign it.
     
  5. Remember that your library gets three (3)  design drafts—total. Although this is almost always mentioned in the initial call with OPLIN (and is on our website, too), it’s worth mentioning again. As part of the standard Website Kit, your library gets 3 design drafts—total. Beyond that, the custom rate is charged per hour of work. Asking for a sample website in your color scheme will be counted as one of the drafts, as will any tweaks requiring the creation of a new image. If you’re not sure what will be counted, please ask! We’d much rather save you the money.
     
  6. Outside design work is charged at the hourly rate.  Please remember that,  if OPLIN does not do the design, it is considered to be custom work and will be charged at the hourly rate for implementation and as an additional fee.  While we will implement outsourced (or library in-house) 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. 
     
  7. Don’t use print copies of the design drafts to make decisions.   When you get a design prototype from OPLIN, it can be very tempting to print it out to show to other staff. However, most printers automatically scale things to fit the paper. This means that you will not see it in the same way you will see it on a computer monitor. Be sure to pull up the .jpg OPLIN sends you in a browser so you can see it on your monitor!
     
  8. Understand that part of OPLIN’s job is to educate. We focus strongly on current best practices in usability and accessibility, as well as site navigation and site design. If we veto something, we’ll always explain WHY and often provide you with third-party resources where you can learn more about current standards.  
     

 

Testimonials

  • "I also want to take a minute to thank you for all your help with this website.  You have taken a big portion of my job and turned it from drudgery to so much fun!   I also don't have to spend enormous amounts of time editing and messing around with a nasty, cantankerous dinosaur anymore. ...I have to say that I'm extremely excited about the new site.  It makes me feel good.  It's simple, clear, concise, has all the necessary info and is really easy and fun to learn and work with!"--Grafton-Midview Public Library
     
  • "We're looking forward to having a more responsive site for our library and community.  Your help has been appreciated."--Milton-Union Public Library
     
  • We are so pleased with how smooth the website transition has gone! We really haven't had any significant difficulties today. Yay! Thanks so much for all your work and such prompt responses to everything that has come up."--Orrville Public Library
     
  • “ OPLIN WEBKITS ROCK!”— Granville Public Library
     
  • "I have just been visiting Web sites of a number of libraries across the country. It just reinforces what a great job you did on our new Web site. It looks beautiful, it reflects the atmosphere of our community, and it functions well. (And it doesn’t take 15 minutes for people to find our phone number!)"--Wright Memorial Public Library
     
  • "The work estimate is right on target.”— Marion Public Library
     
  • "I'm very happy that you're doing this project, and I know our web site will be much better for having your expertise."--Cuyahoga Falls Library
     
  • "BULLSEYE!  I love it, Laura!" & "By the way, the dynamic webkit was the best thing we ever did! Just love our site. Thank you. --"Tuscarawas County Public Library
     
  • "It looks wonderful!!!"--Logan-Hocking County District Library
     
  • "Love it…perfect…"--Harbor-Topky Memorial Library

     

 

Website Kits in progress

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 7/27/15)

  • Coshocton Public Library
  • Norwalk Public Library

 

OPLIN Dynamic Website Kit Style Guide

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.

Website Kit Style Guide

SMS Notifications

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.

 

Prerequisites:

  • Your existing Integrated Library System (ILS) must be capable of sending notifications to patrons' email addresses.
  • You must inform OPLIN of the IP address of the server (usually your ILS server) that sends your email notifications.

Procedure

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.

Example

If the patron wishes to receive notifications at their cell phone number 614-123-4567, then you would put
6141234567@sms.oplin.org
in 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.

Message format

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.

  • If you send an email to the system and no occurrence of *** is found, the system will discard the email.
  • If you send an email with one occurrence of *** the system uses that as the beginning of your 152 character message.
  • If the system finds two or more occurrences of *** it uses whatever you have between the first pair as your text message, taking the first 152 characters of that snippet.
Good examples of notices we've seen:

This is a reminder from the UAPL that 1 item(s) will soon be due. Please return or renew them by their due date. Visit www.ualibrary.org for more information.
You have items ready to pick up at the Lane Libraries.
Your hold is available from the Lakewood Public Library. It will be held for 10 days. Call 216-226-8275 for more information.

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.

Service objectives:

  • Incident Response: OPLIN staff will respond within one hour to malfunctions of sending notifications to cell phones 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 messaging vendor(s) and work collaboratively toward resolving the incident within the timeframe specified in the vendor's agreed service objective.

Questions?

Contact OPLIN Support (http://support.oplin.org).

 

E-Rate Information and Training

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 lorrie.germann@gmail.com

 

E-Rate Technology Planning

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 aknapp@library.ohio.gov.

 

E-Rate changes FAQ

The following information was prepared by Mandy Knapp, State Library of Ohio.

What's E-Rate?

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.

What's happened?

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.

What does the FCC mean by 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.

What is included in managed Wi-Fi?

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.

What does the FCC mean by non-broadband services and voice services?

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.

When is the phase out of non-broadband services happening?

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

Phased out

FY2015

July 1 2015-June 30 2016

Voice services reduced by 20%; No funding for email, voice mail, web hosting and other non-broadband services.

FY2016

July 1 2016-June 30 2017

Voice services reduced by 40%

FY2017

July 1 2017-June 30 2018

Voice services reduced by 60%

FY2018

July 1 2018-June 30 2019

Voice services reduced by 80%

My library's budget depends on the E-Rate reimbursement for telephone service. What can we do to plan for the phase out voice services?

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.

At my library system's branches, broadband needs are very small. Are there any changes that affect it?

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.

How is the funding for Wi-Fi calculated?

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 my library is planning to upgrade our Wi-Fi, is it best to plan this to happen in 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.

Are technology plans still required to be filed with the State Library of Ohio?

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 (aknapp@library.ohio.gov) for more information.

Other important updates include:

  • A simplified process for multi-year contracts of 5 years or less.
  • Required electronic filing.
  • Clarification on consortium purchasing.
  • Waiver requests available for internet connections between schools and libraries.

I'm overwhelmed by these changes. How can I get assistance?

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.

Sample CIPA review questions

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

  • Have you provided reasonable public notice to address a proposed technology protection measure and Internet safety policy?

Yes_____     No________

  • If Yes, list the date(s) in month/year format when you provided THE FIRST reasonable public notice to address your technology protection measure and Internet safety policy.

Date that reasonable Public Notice was first given: ________

  • Please provide supporting documentation for the public notice requirement (e.g. newspaper references, web site references, letters to the public etc.).

2. Public Hearing

  • Have you held at least one public hearing to address a proposed technology protection measure and Internet safety policy?

Yes _____  No _____

  • If Yes, list the date(s) in month/year format when you held THE FIRST public hearing to address a proposed technology protection measure and Internet safety policy.

Date that the first Public Hearing was held: _________

  • Please provide supporting documentation for the public hearing requirement (e.g. School Board letter or agenda, School Board meeting minutes etc.)

Internet Safety Policy

An Internet Safety policy must address the following issues:

  • Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web
  • The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications
  • Unauthorized access including "hacking" and other unlawful activities by minors online
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors
  • Measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors
  • Monitoring the online activities of minors and must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyber bullying awareness and response

Did you have an Internet Safety Policy in place?  Yes ____  No ____

If Yes, please provide:

  • The date in month/year format that the policy was first established: _________
  • A copy of your Internet Safety policy.

DNS Services

DNS (Domain Name Server) servers allow you to reach another computer on the Internet from your computer without having to provide the explicit Internet address. Users prefer to use friendly computer domain names like "library.com" instead of its IP address "172.16.23.44". The DNS is a program consisting of a database of name and address information. The program responds to queries from other programs. DNS servers can communicate amongst themselves to update one another with new information. This mechanism is what allows you to reach a webpage on a new server when a friend sends you a link. You do not have to know the IP address of the server that contains the webpage.

If you would like OPLIN to serve as the primary DNS service provider for your domains, you must notify us via email along with a list of all records in each zone. We will have the zones defined on the state DNS servers, and once completed you'll need to update your registrar with the four state DNS servers below. If you do not know who is currently providing your service, you can go to www.networksolutions.com/whois to find out. The information for the State's DNS is as follows:

State of Ohio
ns1.state.oh.us
156.63.130.100
ns2.state.oh.us
156.63.130.68
ns3.state.oh.us
156.63.130.75
ns4.state.oh.us
156.63.130.120

Service objectives:

  • Incident Response: OPLIN staff will respond within one hour to DNS-related malfunctions 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 work collaboratively with the Ohio Office of Information Technology (OIT) toward resolving the incident within 4 business hours of Incident Response.

about:books

Adding an about:books widget

To make a search box that will search the OPLIN "about:books" web page, you need to make a web form that:

An example of this is below.


<form action="http://aboutbooks.info" method="get">

    <input type="text" name="query" />

    <input type="submit" value="Search" />

</form>

...which makes a search box like this: br>

Keeping You in the Know

Technology Information

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.

 

OPLIN listservs

OPLIN hosts a number of listservs, which can be accessed at lists.oplin.org. The most popular listservs are listed at the bottom of this page – click on the list name for more information.

OPLINLIST and OPLINTECH are also searchable using standard Internet search engines. Using Google, for example, add site:lists.oplin.org after your search term.

Service objectives:

  • Incident Response: OPLIN staff will respond within one hour to malfunctions of the listservs 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 attempt to resolve every listserv malfunction within 4 business hours of Incident Response.

OPLIN also provides libraries with two publications dedicated to Ohio government news, which are distributed through listservs: The Hannah Report, and the Gongwer Ohio Report. Email the OPLIN Director to have your address added to these lists.

 

How can I subscribe (or unsubscribe) to one of the OPLIN e-lists?

OPLIN public email lists can be found at http://lists.oplin.org. From here you can subscribe or unsubscribe to a particular list, and access list archives and rosters of subscribers.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, simply click on the list which interests you. On the next page, follow the instructions to subscribe to your selected list. You will need to enter a password to create and manage your list subscriptions.


Can OPLIN host an e-list for my library?

Yes. See the current policy at http://www.oplin.org/content/policy-regard-library-e-list-hosting-service.


I am trying to send an attachment to the members of OPLINLIST or OPLINTECH, but they never receive it. What's wrong?

To help prevent the spread of viruses and worms, messages to the list are limited to 2 MB (2,000 KB) in size. Some attachments are larger than that, so the messages will be blocked. However, you can still send attachments directly to individual email addresses.

 

 

Guidelines for OPLIN Email Lists

This is the policy currently in effect governing OPLIN e-lists:

OPLIN E-List Guidelines

In carrying out is mission, OPLIN provides a number of e-lists. All OPLIN e-lists are subject to the following guidelines:

  • Each e-list has its own topic focus and scope. Postings should be limited to topics within the scope of the list.
  • There can be no solicitation on OPLIN e-lists. The exception to this guideline is the posting of training, workshops, seminars, and so on designed for the staff or trustees of public libraries for which a fee is charged. Such postings are encouraged.
  • Campaign material for elections of any kind (local, state, federal, professional, or other organizational) shall not be posted to any of the e-lists.
  • Material about local practice that may be of general interest to the library community is frequently a beneficial topic. However, the OPLINList is not an appropriate forum for discussing the details of a dispute that is internal to any library system. Information about internal disputes is not permitted.
  • Items posted to a e-list are not normally removed from the archive. However, when a poster contacts OPLIN and indicates that a posting was made in error, it will be removed. Items posted in violation of these guidelines will also be removed.
  • Specific e-lists are subject to some limitations in the scope of discussion and/or in subscription. They are as follows:

    OPLINList
    Subscription: Open to anyone interested in Ohio public libraries.
    Who may post: All subscribers. Postings from non-subscribers are moderated and reviewed for appropriateness.
    Scope: Any topic of broad general interest to the staff or trustees of Ohio public libraries. The OPLINList is a professional tool and should be used for topics of professional interest.

    OPLINUpdates
    Subscription: Library directors and one other contact; others upon request.
    Who may post: Only OPLIN staff. There is no comment or discussion.
    Scope: Limited to announcements from OPLIN staff.

    OPLINTech
    Subscription: Open to any technology managers, specialists, and consultants in public libraries.
    Who may post: All subscribers.
    Scope: Limited to discussion of network, library applications, and other library-related technology issues.

    Single Purpose Lists
    Subscription: Limited to members of working groups or committees. Examples are the Teen Editorial Advisory and Statewide Delivery groups.
    Who may post: Limited to the working topic.

Approved by the OPLIN Board of Trustees, November 9, 2001

 

OPLINUPDATES

WHAT?

OPLINUPDATES is an email list used by the OPLIN office to announce news about new OPLIN services and important changes to existing OPLIN services.

WHO?

At least every library director and one other staff person should be subscribed to this list, but we encourage everyone to subscribe. There is absolutely no better way to keep up with OPLIN news. Since it's an announcement-only list, and only the OPLIN office can post to the list, it won't put anything but important messages in your e-mail inbox.

HOW?

To join OPLINUPDATES:

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplinupdates.
  • Follow the instructions under the heading "Subscribing to OPLINUPDATES." You will enter your e-mail address and password to manage your subscription.
  • You will be sent an e-mail confirming your subscription request. Simply reply to the e-mail and your subscription will be activated.

To leave OPLINUPDATES:

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplinupdates.
  • At the bottom of the page, enter your e-mail address and click the Edit Options button.
  • You will need your list password to unsubscribe. If you have forgotten it, click the Email My Password To Me button.
  • Enter your password under the heading "Unsubscribing from OPLINUPDATES."

List Settings

All subscription settings can be managed from the list's information pages.

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplinupdates.
  • At the bottom of the information page, enter your e-mail address and click the Edit Options button
  • You can change any subscription options; enter your password, and click the Submit My Changes button

 

OPLINLIST

OPLINLIST - the email list for all non-technical OPLIN discussions

WHAT? The OPLINLIST is an online discussion of any and all non-technical topics related to OPLIN or Ohio libraries and the Internet. While the list will be unmoderated, OPLIN staff will be reading the postings and will respond to the list or the poster as appropriate.

OPLINLIST is a discussion group that takes place online through the use of Internet email. For example, if you wanted to ask all other Ohio public libraries a question, you would create a typical Internet email message with your question typed in as the body of the message. The "To:" address would be oplinlist@lists.oplin.org). Once you send your message, a copy goes to every subscriber on the list. So, if the list has 2,000 subscribers, the one email message you created will be seen and read by 2,000 individuals. If any of these subscribers want to respond, they can post their response to the list where it will be seen and read by all 2,000 subscribers...including you!

WHO?

Anyone who works in or does business with Ohio libraries is welcome to subscribe.

HOW?

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplinlist.
  • Follow the instructions under the heading "Subscribing to OPLINLIST." You will enter your email address and password to manage your subscription.
  • You will be sent an email confirming your subscription request. Simply reply to the email and your subscription will be activated.

To leave OPLINLIST:

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplinlist.
  • At the bottom of the page, enter your email address and click the Edit Options button.
  • You will need your list password to unsubscribe. If you have forgotten it, click the "Email My Password To Me" button
  • Enter your password under the heading "Unsubscribing from OPLINLIST."

To post a message to OPLINLIST:

WHEN?

The best way of answering the question "When should I use OPLINLIST?" is by thinking about those times when this wouldn't be the best solution:

  1. A question that needs to be answered by the OPLIN Executive Director or OPLIN Managing Editor is best handled by contacting them directly.
  2. If you have questions about using a specific OPLIN service (your Internet connection, the reference databases, OPLIN webMAIL, etc.), call the OPLIN Help Desk at 1-888-96-OPLIN (1-888-966-7546).
  3. If you have a technical question, consider joining the OPLINTECH listserv.

If one of the above options doesn't provide a better alternative, then post your question to OPLINLIST.

List Settings

All subscription settings can be managed from the list's information pages.

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplinlist.
  • At the bottom of the information page, enter your email address and click the Edit Options button.
  • You can change any subscription options; enter your password, and click the Submit My Changes button.

OPLINTECH

OPLINTECH - the email list for all technical OPLIN discussions

WHAT?

The OPLINTECH e-list is an online discussion of any and all technical topics related to OPLIN or Ohio libraries and the Internet. Only subscribed members of the list can submit postings.

WHO?

Anyone with Internet email and an interest in technical discussions related to OPLIN is encouraged to subscribe.

HOW?

To join OPLINTECH:

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplintech.
  • Follow the instructions under the heading "Subscribing to OPLINTECH." You will enter your email address and password to manage your subscription.
  • You will be sent an email confirming your subscription request. Simply reply to the email and your subscription will be activated.

To leave OPLINTECH:

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplintech.
  • At the bottom of the page, enter your email address and click the Edit Options button.
  • You will need your list password to unsubscribe. If you have forgotten it, click the Email My Password To Me button.
  • Enter your password under the heading "Unsubscribing from OPLINTECH."

To post a message to OPLINTECH: * Send an email message to: oplintech@lists.oplin.org

WHEN?

Whenever an OPLIN technical issue needs discussion, clarification, advice, input, etc., use the OPLINTECH list to reach your peers in the Ohio public library community.

List Settings

All subscription settings can be managed from the list's information pages.

  • Go to the web page http://lists.oplin.org/mailman/listinfo/oplintech.
  • At the bottom of the information page, enter your email address and click the Edit Options button.
  • You can change any subscription options; enter your password, and click the Submit My Changes button.