James Johnson, Jr., Chair
900 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602
James Martin, Jr., Vice-Chair
William Scheuerle, Secretary
Phone: (813) 273-3660
Fax: (813) 273-3707

Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Board



Library Board Members Present:
Kay O'Rourke, Chairman, Gloria Abrams
Linda Arnold, Vice Chairman, Arnold Kotler
Catherine Kelley, Secretary, Sonja Garcia
Helen Swisshelm, Rosa Goldsmith
Library Board Members Absent:
Sandra Cameron, Dora Reeder
Nancy Crippen, Elizabeth Blue

Library Staff:
Joe Stines, Director
Marcee Challener, Asst. Director
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations
Linda Gillon, Manager
Jean Peters, Chief of Reference
USF Students:
Peggy Arcuri, Cyndee Pitts, Mark Morrow,
Laura Slavin, Donna Rosenheck, Loraine Cors
Rose Levering, Lisa Nickel, Harriet Protos

Special Guests:
Dr. Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Director & Professor
University of South Florida, School of Library & Information Sciences


Chairman Kay O'Rourke called the April Library Board meeting to order at 4:07 pm


Chairman O'Rourke called for questions regarding the March Library Board minutes. Corrections were recorded on pages 6 and 10. The minutes were approved by general consensus later in the meeting when a quorum was present.


Kay O' Rourke welcomed the students of Dr. McCook's "Seminars in Public Libraries" class and asked them if they would like to make their presentation to the Library Board. Rose Levering introduced herself and said she would moderate and summarize the class's findings. She reminded the Board that they had written to Dr. McCook in December of 1996 asking her to design a use survey which would target the Brandon Regional Library. Rose said Dr. McCook presented the request to her Seminars in Public Libraries class. The students accepted the assignment and worked on the project during the spring semester.

Beginning with the historical background, Rose said the class was interested to learn that the Brandon Library began in 1960 in a small corner of the Women's Club and had expanded into a 25,000 sq. ft. facility. She said that, because of the rapid growth in the Brandon area, there had been sharp increases in circulation and reference inquiries. For example, in FY95 525,000 items were circulated; in FY96 this figure jumped to almost 700,000 items. Reference queries went up almost 18% during this period. With this in mind, the class designed a user study for a library serving a large, widespread population. Rose introduced Mark Morrow to discuss the design of the study.

Mark began by saying that the class designed the survey to better understand users and non-users in the Brandon area. "Non-users" were defined as those who use the library two times a year or less. He said the survey consisted of 16 questions. Some questions were directed toward non-users, some were to be answered by users and others targeted individuals in both categories. The questionnaire was administered at two sites in Brandon--the Wal-Mart on Lumsden and at the Brandon Regional Library itself. The students were on location to answer questions. They collected 173 surveys from the Wal-Mart site and 225 from the Brandon Regional Library. The surveys were conducted on both weekdays and weekends.

Mark explained that two survey questions were designed to show where users are coming from. Results indicated that 96% of the users were from the Brandon area. Interestingly enough, while the minority population of Brandon is only 6%, 18% of the users fell into the ethnic minority category. Mark said this indicates that the Brandon Regional Library may be attracting a culturally diverse group of patrons.

Sandra Cameron asked if those coming from outside the Brandon area were from Polk County. Mark said he wasn't sure; however, four of the zip codes could not be located on the area map. (Marcee Challener pointed out later that one zip code was from West Palm Beach and one was from Lakeland. The two others may have been incorrectly recorded.)

Peggy Arcuri continued with the presentation by explaining more about the data. She noted the following:

51% of the people surveyed said they used the Brandon Library more than 2 times per month 27% said they frequent the Brandon Regional library between 4 and 12 times per year 10% said they use the Brandon Regional Library less than 3 times per year 12% said they never use the Brandon Regional Library

Peggy continued by saying that two questions were designed for non-users only. 50% of the people in this category did not fill out this portion of the survey. Those who did named the following reasons for not using the library: "distance from residence," "no need for library," "no library card." One person did not know where to find the library in Brandon.

The great majority of users indicated that they use the Brandon Regional Library for "personal interests." 52% said they use the library for their children while 39% said they come to find materials on hobbies. Another 39% indicated that they use the library for class or course work. Other common interests included videos, health information and work-related materials.

Most of the users indicated that the Brandon staff is helpful and pleasant. Patrons did indicate that they would like more Internet access, computers, parking, popular materials, and instruction on how to use the library.

Helen Swisshelm asked Peggy to define "popular materials." Peggy responded that popular materials would include bestsellers and current fiction. She continued by saying that the overwhelming majority of users indicated that the Brandon Regional Library meets their needs. Suggested improvements included: increased collections, more parking and more computers. Cyndee Pitts noted that Sunday hours had been very well received.

Rose Levering summarized as follows: 1) the majority of people who use the Brandon Regional Library live in the Brandon area. 2) the majority of non-users find distance to be a problem. 3) the overwhelming majority of patrons are very pleased with staff, collection, facility and services.

Helen Swisshelm asked if there were any other conclusions. Rose responded that the survey did not test any hypotheses. She said the class was surprised that a greater percentage of patrons were not coming from outside the Brandon area. Joe Stines said the survey seemed to indicate that there would be an increasing need for more library service to meet the growing demand in this part of the County.

Helen Swisshelm asked where the proposed Southeast Regional Library would be located. Joe responded that this library would need to serve Bloomingdale and Valrico. This would take some of the burden from the Brandon Regional Library and accommodate the new housing developments going along Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Linda Arnold agreed.

The Library Board thanked Dr. McCook and her students again for coming and applauded them on a very fine presentation.


Planning Committee:
Sandra Cameron said the Planning Committee had not met again since the last Library Board meeting. She asked Joe to give an update on the Unfunded CIP. Joe responded that staff had made site visits to North Tampa, West Gate and Lutz. The items were ready to be added to the County's unfunded CIP list. Joe said he would also request additional land for the Jan Platt Regional Library.

Joe continued by saying that things look positive for Lutz and West Gate. While North Tampa requires land acquisition, he did not see that as a problem. He said Port Tampa and the Jan Platt Regional Library would appear on the Funded CIP list. He added that it would not be necessary to do additional cost estimates for a South County Regional Library until the next budget year.

Helen Swisshelm asked Joe to differentiate between the CIP and the CIT. Joe said the CIT is the funding source and the CIP the County's list of capital improvement projects. Calling attention to the Unfunded CIP list mailed out to the Board, he explained that the items would be probably be funded in years 7-30 of the CIT (Community Investment Tax). Joe explained that items remain on the Unfunded CIP list until they are approved by the BOCC for funding beyond year 6 of the CIT. Helen asked if there was any mention of the South County Regional Library in the next few years. Joe said there was $500,000 to begin the process; however, completion could not come until after the sixth year.

Helen asked about the decision units ranked by the Library Board during their March meeting. Joe explained that there were no CIT or CIP projects in the decision units as the latter are all budgetary items.

Budget Committee:
Helen Swisshelm said the Budget Committee had not met recently. She asked when the Library would present its budget to Mr. Kleman. Joe responded that May 22nd and 23rd had been set aside as possible dates. He called attention to the fact that the 22nd is a Library Board meeting day. He suggested that the Library Board may want to consider foregoing their usual business meeting to attend the budget presentation. He said he would notify Library Board members of the day and time as soon as the schedule is definite and the format is established by Mr. Kleman.

Helen Swisshelm asked who would attend the presentation. Joe said he would make the presentation to Mr. Kleman. Mr. Keel, Budget staff and Library staff will also be present. There will be no input from the public.

Catherine Kelley asked if Dan Kleman would make any decisions or simply accept the information. Joe said Mr. Kleman would ask for clarification especially regarding items not included in the continuation budget. For example, he might ask why Sunday hours at Ruskin is ranked #1, etc. Kay O'Rourke asked where the presentation would take place. Joe said it would probably be held in County Center on the 26th Floor.

Internet Use Subcommittee:
In the absence of Sonja Garcia, Elizabeth Blue presented a report from the Internet Use Subcommittee. Liz said the subcommittee met for the first time on April 11, 1997 time and would have regular meetings on the Friday before each Library Board meeting in the future. Committee members include Sonja Garcia, Chairman, Dora Reeder, Rosa Goldsmith and herself with Kay O'Rourke invited as an ex officio member. Liz said that Judy Iglesias attended the first meeting and demonstrated various types Internet searches. Judy displayed the Library's new homepage, which is designed to make it more difficult for patrons to inadvertently access graphics. She also discussed the pros and cons of filtering.

Liz continued by saying that the committee had asked the Assistant County Attorney for Library Services to research the County's responsibility regarding obscenity and pornography on the Internet. Kevin Collins will attend the next Internet Use Subcommittee meeting being held on May 16, 1997, 9:00am. The subcommittee will also research companies that sell filtering devices.

Nancy Crippen asked if it is legal to use filtering software. Joe said the committee's goal would be to formulate a policy using ALA guidelines that would allow for "de-selection" and an appeals process. He added that this should satisfy the legality issue. He added that the Internet Use Subcommittee would also look at strengthening the Library's code of conduct policy. Further concerns regarding the legality of filtering should be addressed by the County Attorney's office.

Helen Swisshelm asked if the Board had been given a copy of the code of conduct policy. Joe said it could be found in the Policy Manual (Policy #502). He stressed that the policy needs revision. Library staff are looking at several models. Joe said he would supply copies of the current policy to the Board.

Helen commented that once the library purchases a book it is very hard to remove it from the shelves. Joe agreed and said de-selection needs to be done up front before materials are purchased; once items are on the shelf and access is limited, it becomes "censoring." Helen pointed out that the same concept may apply to the Internet. Joe agreed that there was a very fine line. He said the Library's mission and long-range plan would need to be taken into consideration in the de-selection process.

Liz pointed out that pornography is not the only issue concerning the Internet; chat rooms, games and commercial e-mail also need to be considered. She said these options might warrant limiting use of computers in the library. Joe agreed and said people should not be allowed to use the library's computers to conduct business on the Internet either. He noted existing meeting room use restrictions.

Kay O'Rourke asked about using chat rooms for conversations with celebrities, etc. Liz responded that this issue had not been addressed. Joe said this has not become a problem because the Library is setting time limits on the few machines that have Internet access.

Liz summed up by saying that the Committee would be working on the following: 1) education of the public 2) a strong code of conduct policy 3) exploration of filtering devices 4) and an Internet Policy. She read the current Internet Use Guidelines and asked for comments. The Library will use these guidelines until a firm policy can be formulated.

Helen Swisshelm asked how patrons would know what the Library's code of conduct is. Joe said it is available in the Policies and Procedures Manual at every site. He said the Library would consider posting it in the future. Helen agreed that this would be an excellent idea. She stressed that people need to know what the Library's code of conduct is. Joe said anyone asked to comply would be given a copy.

MOTION: Dora Reeder made a motion to accept the Internet Usage Guidelines as read by Elizabeth Blue. Sandra Cameron seconded the motion. (Reeder/Cameron)

         - The motion passed 8-0.


E-Mail Notification:
Joe began with the good news that the patrons can now be notified via e-mail when their holds become available. He said he hoped this would take some of the pressure off the ENS system. Catherine Kelley asked if the public had been informed. Joe responded that the Library would be getting out public service announcements. Customers can now request that e-mail addresses be added to their records.

Hillsborough County's Annual Financial Report:
Joe said he would like the Library Board to thank Richard Ake for highlighting the Library in his annual report. Joe displayed a copy of the report which made use of several Burgert Brothers photographs. He said he would be glad to prepare a letter for Kay O' Rourke's signature.

Motion: Catherine Kelley made a motion that the Library Board write to thank Richard Ake for highlighting the Library in his annual financial report and to thank staff for the information they provided to Mr. Ake. Linda Arnold seconded the motion. (Kelley/Arnold).

         - The motion passed 8-0.

78th Street & New Tampa:
Joe said opening day is moving closer and closer for these branches. Representative Carl Littlefield is included on the program for New Tampa's dedication. Rep. Fay Culp will also be present to deliver the Library's State Aid check.

John F. Germany Public Library:
The pre-construction meeting for the lighting project in Humanities was held on Monday, April 28. Because there is asbestos in the ceiling, the east building will be closed for a day or two. The lights in the art gallery have been restored. The auditorium has be re- painted and a section of new lights is being evaluated by staff. The sprinkler system in front had been repaired and re-sodding will be done soon. Joe also said that the old John F. Germany Public Librarysign is gone and the new sign is in purchasing.

Helen Swisshelm asked if the fountains were working and Joe said "no". He explained that it has been difficult to regulate the water flow. He said a part was on order and the repair should be completed soon. Helen Swisshelm asked how long the fountains had been turned off. Joe replied that it had been two weeks.

North Tampa:
NTA will close on May 5th for lighting and ceiling work. The branch will remain closed through June. The ceiling will be torn out and the old lighting will be removed and replaced. Landscaping and sprinkler repair will also be done at this time.

Construction Grant:
On May 1 the Library would submit an application for a construction grant for the Jan Platt Regional Library. The floor plans of the New Tampa Regional were used in the application. Two automobile entrances from the street and 3,000 sq. ft. for the Talking Books collection had been worked into the plans. He said the grant would be considered for funding during the next legislative session.

Sandra Cameron asked if anyone had considered putting in a drive-thru at the John F. Germany Public Library. Joe said no one had explored it because it would require more staff. She suggested that it might be worth studying. Liz Blue asked about a walk-up window for the Jan Platt Regional Library. Joe said would also require extra staff but the drive-thru idea could be explored after the grant application is accepted.

Helen Swisshelm asked for an update on signs. Joe said he had nothing new to report. He added that Tim McNulty had been assigned to the project and some of the signs are in purchasing. He said he would get an update. Helen asked how long the signs had been funded. Joe responded that they have been funded for four years. Helen asked that it be recorded in the minutes that after four years only one sign has been installed.


Egypt Lake Project: Joe reviewed the particulars of the Egypt Lake Elementary School project. He reminded the Board that Phase I, II and possibly III had been taken into consideration during the budget process. He said Egypt Lake Elementary School has requested an outreach program for the summer of 1997. The current school library facility will be used; additional staff and books would be provided by THPL. This will extend library hours and expose the children to more reading materials during the summer. Joe said the project can be funded through temporaries. Materials will be limited to children's books.

Dora Reeder asked how long the outreach program would last. Joe responded that it would be for the summer of 1997 only (approximately 5 weeks). This would give the Library time to evaluate the project to see if Phase II is feasible.

Motion: Helen Swisshelm made a motion that the Library enter into a joint pilot venture with Egypt Lake Elementary School for the purpose of extending public library service to the children during the 1997 summer session. Linda Arnold seconded the motion. (Swisshelm/Arnold).

         - The motion passed 8-0.


Nancy Crippen requested that items mailed out to the Board be hole punched. Joe said this would be no problem.

Helen Swisshelm gave an update on the New Tampa Regional Library public art. She said it had been requested that the dedication of the art and donor wall be separate from the dedication of the Library. She said school children would be invited to come and it should be a nice celebration. She added that the Board would be receiving invitations.

Catherine Kelley asked if the Board would consider commending Dr. McCook and her students for their Brandon, Eastlake and South County surveys. Joe recommended sending a letter to Dr. McCook with a copy to Betty Castor. Helen Swisshelm said she would like to encourage Dr. McCook and her students to do future research projects.

Motion: Catherine Kelley made a motion that a letter and certificate be sent to Dr. McCook thanking her and her students for the excellent work they have done on their studies for the Library Board. The motion was seconded by Sandra Cameron. (Kelley/Cameron)

         - The motion passed 8-0.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:05pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: May 22, 1997
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: John F. Germany Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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