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

Library Staff:
Joe Stines, Director
Marcee Challener, Assistant Director
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations
Patrice Koerper, Community Relations
Suzy George, Facilities Officer
Special Guests:
Mike Kelly, Director, Real Estate
Don Harwig, Director, Facilities


In the absence of Chairman, Kay O'Rourke, Linda Arnold called the meeting to order at 4:10pm


Linda Arnold called for correction of the May 22, 1997 minutes. Sandra Cameron noted an error in the 2nd paragraph, page 2. The correction was recorded.

MOTION: Sandra Cameron made a motion that the minutes be approved as amended. The motion was seconded by Helen Swisshelm. (Cameron/Swisshelm)

      - The motion passed unanimously 9-0.


Linda welcomed Mike Kelly, Director of Real Estate and invited him to give his presentation. Mike introduced himself and asked the Library Board for their support as the Real Estate Department adjusts to Mr. Kleman's reorganization. He explained that the Real Estate Department has been merged with Facilities Maintenance. He said he had been asked to formulate a comprehensive management plan not only to acquire buildings but also to maintain them. This is in keeping with Mr. Kleman's focus on maintenance.

Mike went on to explain that maintenance activities have not been adequately funded in recent years. He displayed a graph showing the increase in maintenance and repair calls for Hillsborough County facilities. He said the number of buildings had risen from 155 in FY92-93 to 188 in FY96-97. While the number of facilities increased by 33, only two more staff members had been hired. He said it would only get worse as the number of Hillsborough County facilities climbs to 196 in FY 98-99. He said Mr. Kleman recognizes the importance of preventive maintenance and has made a commitment to maintain all current assets. Mike asked the Library Board to support Mr. Kleman's initiative during the public hearings scheduled for July. He stressed that there is competition for a limited number of dollars and added that maintenance has not been a popular concern in the past.

Joe asked about the maintenance position for the library system. Mike said it had not seen it in his budget. Joe said the Library Board ranked this as their #2 priority above continuation, recognizing the need to maintain the increasing number of library facilities.

Don Harwig pointed out that his staff used to visit each library once a day. However, once every 2-3 days has now become the norm. He said Facilities staff clean the restrooms, replace light bulbs, police the grounds, etc.; the heavy-duty cleaning crews come in to do the rest at night. Like Mr. Kelly, he advised the Library Board to support maintenance needs at the budget hearings.

Don Harwig offered the following overview of Library projects:

1. ADA Modifications - four buildings are currently being revamped through CIT and CDBG funds. He said block grant monies would fund most of the projects but CIT funds will also be needed. He said the following branches are being modified: Thonotosassa, Peninsular, Brandon Regional and John F. Germany Public Library. Brandon will also have a new restroom.

2. John F. Germany Public LibraryFire Alarm - this is an additional ADA modification to the John F. Germany Public LibraryAnnex. Don said he met with the Fire Marshall and will try to fund a new sprinkler system for John F. Germany Public Libraryin the next four years. Facilites will use consultants to determine if a system can be installed without an asbestos abatement.

Sandra Cameron said that Library Board was under the impression that, if other devices were in place, it would not be necessary to have sprinklers. She commented that sprinkler systems can do more harm than fires. She asked how many of the new buildings have sprinkler systems. Joe responded that New Tampa, 78th Street and College Hill have them. Don Harwig added that sprinklers are required by code. He explained that they go off only in areas where the heat is intense.

Helen Swisshelm asked if the County is insured in the event that the sprinklers came on accidentally. Mr. Harwig responded that the County is self-insured; however, other insurance options are being considered. He said the Dept. of Real Estate is trying to access each building and its contents to see if self-insurance needs to be offset by some other type of coverage. Joe pointed out the Miami-Dade has special insurance on their book collection. This had been invaluable after Hurricane Andrew.

3. Future Funded CIT Projects:
               -Replace 25 ton Condensing A/C Unit - NTA (FY99)
               -Replace roof - Seminole Heights Library (FY99)
               -Replace roof - West Gate (FY99)
               -Replace 10-ton A/C Condenser Unit and air handler and re-roof Ybor (FY99)
               -Replace roof - Lutz (FY99)
               -Replace carpet - Riverview (FY99)
               -Replace carpet - Ruskin (FY99)
               -Structural/drainage repairs - West Tampa (FY2000)

4. Future Unfunded Library Projects
               -A 25 ton condenser A/C unit for West Tampa
               -A new elevator system for John F. Germany Public Library
               -Exterior facia modifications for John F. Germany Public Library

Mr. Harwig commented that any one of the funded projects could be moved up if necessary. He said the West Gate roof is one of the highest priorities as it probably won't last until FY99.

Mr. Harwig continued by saying that all buildings are inspected annually using a 12 point check list. Every time a need is identified it is added to the unfunded list. He said Mr. Kleman has been funding many of these projects. He felt encouraged about the possibility of keeping up with needs. Rod Kelly has been working on lighting upgrades; PEN has been retrofitted, the Fine Arts section of the John F. Germany Public Libraryhas been re-done and North Tampa was finished recently. The Library will be getting a rebate on two of the projects. The John F. Germany Public LibraryAuditorium will also be re-done.

Sandra Cameron asked if lights which turn on and off automatically are more energy-efficient. Don said "yes." Sandra asked if they could be used more extensively. Don said they are being considered for conference rooms and areas that are not used extensively.

Don said Facilities staff would complete most of the work on the Northwest garage enclosure; the remainder will be done under contract. Joe said Mansour Yazdi has done preliminary sketches for WEG, NTA and Lutz. The expansion of the latter does not conflict with the County's master plan; in fact, it will complement the Parks & Rec. plan to add more parking spaces.

Joe asked about the timeline for the next phase of the CIT. Don said plans for the next 6 years are already being formulated. The County will ask for staff input, hold community meetings and then present a list to the BOCC in October. Joe commented that it is important to inform the library community regarding the public meetings. Don agreed.

Don thanked Joe and his staff for working so well with Facilites as a team. He said he appreciated the cooperation. Helen Swisshelm complimented Mr. Harwig on the fine work he had done in the last two years to get the libraries back in shape. She thanked him for his efforts. She said it was an eye-opening experience when the Library Board asked each Site Coordinator to submit a list of budget items for their facilities as 80% were maintenance requests. Helen stressed that the Library Board is committed to maintaining the increasing number of THCPL facilities.

Mike Kelly asked once again for the support of the Library Board is securing budget dollars for maintenance. Helen asked what the Library Board could do to help. Mike encouraged the Library Board to attend the public budget hearings on July 23 and 30th. Helen asked Joe to prepare a fact sheet for those who would like to address the BOCC. Gloria Abrams suggested writing letters and Joe agreed that this would be helpful. He encouraged the Library Board to inform their Friends groups. Helen asked Joe to consult with Kay O'Rourke.

Arnold Kotler asked about the mechanism for adding staff as the number of facilities increases. Mike Kelly responded that his department is implementing a sophisticated program called FIMS (Facilities Information Management System) which gives feedback on maintenance activities. Don Harwig explained that the program will account for every dollar spent in every county-owned facility. He said a cost analysis on the maintenance of each facility would help with the projection of future budget needs. Mike Kelly said that the addition of a fiscal person in his department will also help.

Noting some items of interest to the Library Board, Mr. Kelly said his department would be renewing the lease for Eastlake at the next BOCC meeting. Joe said he had asked for a one-year renewal and Mike responded that he would confirm that. He said a new lease would help with the parking situation at PEN. The agreement allows staff to park in a nearby location. This frees up 15 spaces for customers. The closing for the Jan Platt Regional Library site is scheduled for October 15.

Linda Arnold thanked Mr. Harwig and Mr. Kelly for coming and addressing the Library Board.


Planning Committee:

1. Brandon Parking Petition- Sandra Cameron reported that two dozen petitions regarding the parking situation at Brandon Regional Library had been sent to the Director's Office. Joe met with Parks & Recreation staff, Linda Arnold and members of Center Place and the League of Fines Arts to discuss what has been tried in the past and what can be tried in the future. One alternative may be a storefront facility in the Seffner/Dover area. This would take some of the pressure off of the Brandon facility. A turn-around in the back of BRD will also be explored.

2. Expansion of Lutz- the expansion of the facility will be coordinated with the County's master plan. The addition of parking spaces by Parks & Recreation will complement expansion of the library.

3. Carver City/Lincoln Gardens- Library Administration received a letter from Commissioner Scott with a request from Carver City residents for an 8,000 sq. ft. library. The request will be added to the Planning Committee's project list for further study. Joe said it should be considered along with the need for a more adequate West Tampa facility.

4. Bealsville Petition- Sandra said she attended the community meeting in the Bealsville area and met Mr. Davis. A petition in favor of a library for this area was received by the Director's Office. Responses were sent to each person who signed. Sandra said books-by-mail should be considered for this area; however, she did not feel there was enough population to warrant a library in the near future. The Bealsville petition was added to the Planning Committee's list of projects.

5. Sun City Center- A letter from Phil Lange came to the Library as an Administrative Referral from Jan Platt's office. Mr. Lange is still asking for a county-owned facility in Sun City Center. Janet Wilson and members of the Sun City Center Civic Association are still insistent upon operating a private library. Sandra said the Planning Committee would start meeting with residents of Sun City Center in July as part of the siting process for a regional library in south county.

6. Liaison for Library Board- A staff member of Planning & Growth Management suggested that the Library Board would benefit from a PGM liaison. The individual would work primarily with the Planning Committee and could offer valuable information, maps, etc. Sandra said she favored the idea as the Planning Committee is dealing with so many complicated projects. Joe said Mr. Boles would be attending the next Library Board meeting and could be approached then. The other alternative would be to have Kay O' Rourke write a letter to make the request officially.

MOTION: Sandra Cameron made a motion that the Library Board Chairman write to Gene Boles to request that a liaison from Planning and Growth Management be assigned to the Library Board. Nancy Crippen seconded the motion. (Cameron/Crippen)

      - The motion carried 9-0

Budget Committee:

Helen Swisshelm commented that the Library's continuation budget had been included in Mr. Kleman's recommended County budget; however, none of the items above the continuation budget were included. Joe explained that the continuation budget includes all items necessary to keep the library system operating at its current level. A large increase in money for computer upgrades and maintenance had been covered along with mandates (costs associated with new buildings). It remains to be seen whether or not any of the Library Board's prioritized items above continuation will be approved. He said the following prioritized items were among those submitted.

      - Sunday hours for Ruskin
      - A maintenance position for libraries only
      - Two positions for electronic services
      - Provision of serials on-line systemwide
      - Phase II of the Egypt Lake project

It was suggested that the Library Board attend the public hearings to thank Mr. Kleman for what he has allowed in the continuation budget and to request that the other items be funded if and when the library millage will allow. Joe said extra revenues will be added to the contingency fund if not budgeted. Helen Swisshelm commented that she would not support asking for another millage increase.

Joe said Mr. Kleman is supporting a utilities tax along with a reduction of property taxes so as to make the taxing system in Hillsborough County more equitable. He said the utilities tax would affect people in unincorporated Hillsborough County. It would not bring in any more money for the Library; however, it would affect the Library indirectly.

Arnold Kotler asked if the items above the continuation budget depend upon the passage of the utilities tax. Joe said "no." He reiterated that the Library would benefit indirectly.

Speaking on a positive note, Joe said a new FCC ruling allows libraries to qualify for telecommunications discounts. It appears that the Library could get as much as an 80% discount on all telecommunications charges.

Internet Use Subcommittee:

Sonja Garcia said the Internet Use Subcommittee met on June 20, 1997. She distributed copies of the approved minutes. The following items were discussed:

1. Code of Conduct Review: Sonja passed out copies of a revised Patron Code of Conduct. She complimented Library staff on their efforts to write a comprehensive but user-friendly code. After being modified slightly the document had been approved by the Internet Use Committee. Joe added that it had also been reviewed by the County Attorney's office. Each facility will post a framed copy.

Helen Swisshelm questioned the sentence: "If necessary the authorities will be called." Sonja explained that the code is kept intentionally vague. The Committee did not feel that the police should be mentioned by name as the "authority" could also be the security guard, the Library Director, etc. depending upon the nature of the incident. Elizabeth pointed out that the original version was much harsher.

MOTION: Sandra Cameron made a motion that the Library Code of Conduct be accepted as written. Helen Swisshelm seconded. (Cameron/Swisshelm)

Gloria Abrams asked where parental responsibility for unruly children would fall. Elizabeth Blue said it would come under "unruly/offensive behavior." Joe agreed and said the librarians know they can call the authorities if necessary. Enforcement of the code will be discussed at staff meetings.

Sonja wondered if it would be advisable to hand the code out to people getting library cards. Joe said the code is really geared toward the people who create problems. Helen said she felt it would be better to have the document laminated and posted.

Sonja asked if the Library's mission is posted. Joe said "yes," and added that the Site Coordinators will decide where to post the new Library Code of Conduct.

      - The motion to accept the Library Code of Conduct carried 9-0.

2. Filtering Software Update: Sonja said Susan Oliver gave an update on filtering software. She said Susan had been asked to test Cyber Patrol, a product is now being adapted for use by schools and libraries. Although not strongly in favor of filtering, Susan noted several pros as well as cons. She said the product performed better than she expected it to. In light of the Supreme Court's decision to overrule the 1994 Communications Decency Act, filtering will now be looked at even more closely by the Internet Use Subcommittee. Sonja said Susan would provide a more detailed report at the July meeting. A decision regarding the use of filtering should come in August.

3. Library Board Home Page: Sonja reported that a Library Board homepage is now up and running. She said the following items are on the web: a list of Library Board members, a list of the committees and what they do, draft agendas, approved minutes, and a schedule for 1997. She said the Library Board now has an e-mail account that needs to be monitored. Options include having the Library Board Chairman or Secretary check the account or having the Director's Office do the monitoring. The other option would be to give all Library Board members passwords. Sandra Cameron said she preferred to have the Director's Office do the monitoring.

Helen asked for more discussion at a later date. It was agreed that Jeannie will monitor the account for the time being.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: July 24, 1997
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: John F. Germany Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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