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

Library Staff:
Joe Stines, Director
Marcee Challener, Assistant Director
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations
Linda Gillon, Manager Staff and Administration
Janet Lorenzo, Chief of Access
Suzy George, Facilities Officer


Chairman Kay O'Rourke asked for corrections of the April 24, 1997 minutes. As none were noted, the minutes were approved as written.


As Tim McNulty was unable to attend the Library Board meeting as planned, Suzy George, presented his report on signage. Suzy explained that Tim McNulty of Architectural Services has taken over the sign project from Bill Hand and progress is being made. He had just submitted a third design for the Ybor Branch Library which has special requirements because of its location in an historical district. She said this latest design seemed to meet with the City's approval. Suzy said Mr. McNulty has completed all of the other sign drawings and is seeking the approval of the Planning Commission. All of the signs will then be submitted as one project; the project should go out to bid in June.

Suzy also said that a bid was accepted on May 21 for the construction project at Port Tampa. Construction will begin very soon. Joe added that the awarding of the bid will ensure that the Library's grant applications will be submitted on time. Helen Swisshelm asked how long Tim McNulty had had the signage project. Joe said it had been assigned to him approximately six months ago. Helen asked that the minutes reflect that the Library Board received a report on May 22, 1997 from Mr. McNulty indicating: 1) that he is seeking the necessary right-of-way permits and 2) that the signs will go out to bid in June. Helen said she had been hearing the same report for 2-3 years. She said she would like another update next month. Joe suggested that the Library Board make a motion to direct Kay O'Rourke to write a letter to Bernardo Garcia, the new Director of Public Works with a copy to Tim McNulty.

MOTION: Helen Swisshelm made a motion authorizing the Chairman of the Library Board write a letter to Mr. Garcia asking him to ensure that progress is made on the sign project. The motion was seconded by Elizabeth Blue. (Swisshelm/Blue)

Helen Swisshelm commented that the sign project is the only one which has been left dangling through the years. She said she would like to see it finished. Kay O'Rourke asked for a vote on the motion.

         - The motion passed 8-0.

Suzy continued her report by saying that the target date for opening the 78th Street Community Library is June 2. She asked for questions on the Director's Report. Helen Swisshelm commented that she was glad to see the fountains working.


Internet Use Subcommittee:

Sonja Garcia said the committee met on May 16 and had a very productive meeting. Kevin Collins, Assistant County Attorney for Library Services attended and discussed the legal ramifications of writing an Internet Use Policy for the Library. Rosa Goldsmith, Dora Reeder, Joe Stines and Jean Peters were also in attendance. After hearing Mr. Collins presentation, the Committee decided that the Library's Internet Usage Guidelines needed to be revised and posted immediately. She said this would be an interim measure to deter people from accessing pornography on the Internet. Sonja passed out copies of the revised guidelines noting the reference to State Statute 847.011 (1) a which makes it a criminal offense to access pornography. Joe cautioned that the word "pornography" is open to subjective interpretation; if the Library were to be challenged in court by a patron, it would be difficult to prove that what was on the screen at the time was pornographic. Nevertheless, he said the warning would be posted on all computers providing Internet. Helen Swisshelm asked if the warning had already been posted. Joe replied that an earlier version had been. She also asked if people are required to sign in to use the Internet. Joe said "yes--in most cases." He added that the reference to the State Statute would also be added to the sign-in sheet.

MOTION: Sonja Garcia made a motion that the revised Internet Use Guidelines be accepted by the Library Board and posted on computers that provide Internet access. Rosa Goldsmith seconded the motion. (Garcia/Goldsmith)

         - The motion passed 8-0.

Sonja continued her report by saying that the Committee also discussed server and client-based filtering software, noting the advantages and disadvantages of each. Joe noted that Kevin Collins cautioned against using systemwide filtering which would might infringe on the First Amendment Rights of adults. He also commented, however, that software on individual machines is costly and difficult to maintain. Library staff members are currently researching and testing various products. Joe said a staff would make a full report on filtering software at the next Internet Use Subcommittee meeting on June 20.

A third topic was a revised code of conduct for patrons which is now covered by Policy #502. Joe said this should come to the full Board in June along with the overview of filtering. He added that Bob Buckhorn has asked for copies of approved Internet Use Subcommittee minutes. Joe said he would consult Mr. Keel about copying the BOCC as well.

Sonja announced that the next Internet Use Subcommittee meeting will be June 20, 1997, 9:00 at the USF Library. All members are welcome to attend.

Planning Committee:

In the absence of Sandra Cameron, Kay O'Rourke presented a Planning Committee update. She said Library staff had received three items: 1) a petition from 125 citizens in Bealsville requesting a library in their area 2) an Administrative Referral regarding Sun City Center and 3) a copy of a petition which will be circulated at the Brandon Library. She said she would write letters explaining that the items would be referred to the Planning Committee. He said he would talk to Sandra Cameron about scheduling a Planning Committee meeting.

Joe said the Brandon parking petition would be coming to the Library Board soon. The individual initiating the petition is not happy with the County's response to the problem. Linda Arnold asked if the patron had another plan? Joe said "no." Linda said these concerns should be aired at community meetings; unfortunately this has not happened in Brandon. Helen asked why the parking lot could not be paved. Joe responded that there were environmental problems; there would be no room for run-off and the trees cannot be removed. Joe said he would talk to Ed Radice about it before responding. Helen suggested marking the lot in some way as it looks very unstructured. Nancy suggested using concrete blocks similar to those used in some parks. Joe said Mr. Radice had rejected the idea because of the expense. Joe said there might be some other options. Helen Swisshelm asked how much the parking lot is used. Linda Arnold replied "very seldom." Helen said she objected spending a lot of money for something which isn't used. Joe said there is heavy use when there are programs at both the Library and Center Place.

In Sandra Cameron's absence, Linda Arnold presented two other Planning Committee items. First, she reported on the Egypt Lake Elementary School project which was approved by the Library Board in April. She said Phase I would start as the school's summer school program begins. The program will run from June 11-July 18; the temps are being hired for this period of time only. Hours of operation will be 10am-6pm this will extend the current hours and allow time to evaluate the response of the community. Joe said Ed Radice would be involved in the project as there is a Recreation Center nearby. Events will include a library card sign-up, puppet shows and other types of programming. He said the Library would provide a computer to place holds; all other materials would be geared to children. Helen Swisshelm asked if books would be picked up at the school. Joe said "no"--they would need to be picked up at a THCPL branch. Joe said this may change with Phase II.

Nancy Crippen asked what would be used to evaluate the program. Joe said stats would be kept. An exit survey is another possibility. He reiterated that the focus would be on school-age children rather than on adults or pre-schoolers. He said it would be a worthwhile pilot project and has received much support from Mr. Cathcart, the Principal of Egypt Lake Elementary.

Linda Arnold also shared a newspaper article regarding the Sun City Board noting that the Board voted "to reject a 1,305 signature petition asking that Sun City Center residents vote on whether to oust them from the board." She called attention to the last two paragraphs of the article alleging that the association has "wrongly enjoyed tax-exempt status as a charitable organization for 10 years."

Concluding the Planning Committee update, Joe reported that he and Marilyn Mulla attended a community meeting at Mort Elementary School. He said he was happy to see Nancy Crippen and supporters of the North Tampa Library who expressed concerns about expansion and parking at that branch. He said it was important to get the needs listed. Joe said that the information from the community meetings will be looked at carefully. He said he would have to do summaries on library issues mentioned. These include: South County, Egypt Lake, North Tampa and Progress Village. Joe commented that he would like to provide an electronic library for the latter. He said there would be two more meetings; then the summaries will be shared with the Library Board. Dora Reeder asked how far it is from Progress Village to Riverview. Joe responded "3-3 1/2 miles." Helen Swisshelm asked about the distance from Progress Village to 78th Street and Joe responded that it would be about the same.

Joe mentioned that the Library has received its first complaint regarding New Tampa. Neighbors are complaining that the outside lights are too bright. Suzy commented that Library staff say the lights are too dim. She said Israel Grajales would be going out to look at them soon.

With two branches successfully dedicated in May, library planning continues. Dora Reeder suggested that staff speak to Mr. Glen Cross who may have land to donate in the Fishhawk area. Arnold Kotler said he knew Mr. Cross and would be glad to speak to him.

Budget Committee:

Helen Swisshelm explained that Mr. Kleman had asked department to be prepared in the event that it becomes necessary to cut their budgets by 3% for FY98-99. She said the cuts would exclude equipment and maintenance. Two options were prepared:

Option 1: Close Eastlake ($317,066) and reduce the materials budget ($216,925). This option would be possible if the video collection was not increased and fewer duplicate copies of books were purchased. Joe commented that the video collection is new and in good condition; reducing the number of copies would mean people would have to wait longer for materials.

Option 2: Close Eastlake ($317,066) and cut hours of service systemwide with the loss of 18 part-time positions ($223,983).

Joe pointed out that the goal would be to cut limits of service rather than the quality of service. Sonja Garcia expressed concern that cutting the book budget could effectively do just that. Joe said the reduction would not be drastic; it would involve only a few titles. She acknowledged that the book budget is "sacrosanct" but did say that the Library has enjoyed a $3.1 million book budget for 2-3 years and has built up a good collection of videos.

Joe asked the Board to compare the cost of operating Eastlake with the cost of operating branches of equal size. He attributed Eastlake's high expenses to rent payments. Rosa Goldsmith commented that Eastlake was only to be a temporary move. Joe agreed and said he did not feel many people would be impacted if the branch closed.

Referring to Option 2, Linda Arnold asked how service hours would be cut. Joe replied that mornings and Fridays would be looked at.

MOTION: Helen Swisshelm made a motion that Option 1 be offered in the event that a 3% cut is necessary. Rosa Goldsmith seconded the motion. (Swisshelm/Goldsmith).

Sonja Garcia asked if staff at Eastlake would be protected. Joe replied "yes." Vacancies would be eliminated and new hires would be terminated in order to accommodate the reduction. Arnold Kotler asked when Eastlake's lease would expire. Joe said it was due for renewal in June but the County can terminate it at any time for insufficient funds.

         - The motion passed 8-0.


Joe passed out a corrected edition of Library Notes saying that he inadvertently left out Sunday hours at Ruskin.

He called attention to several celebration items: FLA's calendar featuring a picture of Tampa's first librarian, a bibliography of Spanish materials published by TBLC, FLA'S "Heart of Community Partnerships" in which several THCPL entries appear, and the publicity coming from the MCI grant written by Marilyn Mulla. Joe commented that the latter is bringing national recognition to THCPL.

Joe asked for volunteers to serve as Art Liaisons for Port Tampa. Both Dora Reeder and Helen Swisshelm responded. They will work together on the public art for PTM.

Lastly, Joe asked the Board members to call their federal legislators in support of LSTA funding. He said the calls should be made from May 23-June 2. He explained that LSTA is the Library's source of federal dollars. Joe provided phone numbers. Nancy Crippen asked Joe for examples of programs. Joe mentioned the Library's telecommunications system and special services to disadvantaged.


As there was no unfinished or new business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:50pm.

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: June 26, 1997
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: New Tampa Regional Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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