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 Staff:
Joe Stines, Director

David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant

Special Guests:
Catherine Jasper, USF Library School Intern


Chairman, Kay O'Rourke called the meeting to order at 4:00pm


Roll Call was conducted by Rosa Goldsmith, Secretary of the Library Board.

Library Board Members Present:
Kay O'Rourke, Chairman
Linda Arnold, Vice Chairman
Rosa Goldsmith, Secretary
Nancy Crippen, Dora Reeder
Helen Swisshelm, Gloria Abrams
Fred Hearns, Arnold Kotler
Sandra Cameron
Library Board Excused:

Library Board Absent:
Elizabeth Blue, Catherine Cottle


The minutes were approved by general consensus.


Nominating Committee:

Kay O' Rourke announced that the following Library Board members agreed to serve on the Nominating Committee: Linda Arnold, Nancy Crippen, Gloria Abrams. Linda Arnold consented to be chairman. Kay added that she would serve in an ex officio capacity if there were no objections. The committee was directed to present a new slate of officers at the July Library Board meeting.

Planning Committee:

Unfunded Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) List: Joe Stines said Dan Kleman would present the County's Budget and Unfunded CIP List to Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on July 8th. The latter is a list of capital projects that will be considered for the next round of Community Investment Tax (CIT) funding. Library Services projects include: 1) the completion of a South County Regional Library 2) the purchase of additional land for the Jan Platt Regional Library 3) the expansion of the North Tampa Branch Library. Expansions of the Lutz Library and West Gate Regional Library were not included on the recommended list for new CIT funding.

Joe went on to say that the CIT List being presented by Mr. Kleman is only a recommendation. The list is designed to address Unfunded CIP needs: however, the Board of County Commissioners can modify it. He announced that a very important CIT workshop would be held on July 22nd at 6:00pm in the BOCC Boardroom and encouraged interested Library Board members to attend. The workshop will be open to the public and citizens will be able to offer input. No final decisions on the budget or CIP list will be made until after the required public hearings in September.

Helen Swisshelm asked if it would be appropriate to make a motion authorizing the Chairman of the Library Board to speak before the Board of County Commissioners in support of the North Tampa, West Gate and Lutz expansions. Joe said it would be very appropriate. He suggested waiting until County Administration's final recommended CIP List is available. He said it could be argued that the budgetary impact of the expansions would be minimal but the effect on service would be great.

Arnold Kotler noted that the County's Budget Director went on record as saying that the County's policy is to repair existing facilities before building new ones. Arnold suggested that the Library Board write a letter to let the Board of County Commissioners know that this procedure is being followed by the Library system.

Linda Arnold agreed with Arnold's suggestion; however, she reminded the Library Board that the BOCC would be looking at funding for projects more than five years out. She said long-range projects should be brought to the attention of the Commissioners. Otherwise, the Library Board will be working with five years only instead of looking further ahead. Joe Stines agreed and said the BOCC would be looking at 7-10 years of CIT funding during the July 22nd workshop. Library projects will compete with needs for roads and sewers, etc. He offered to prepare an annotated list of Unfunded CIP projects which would qualify for CIT consideration. It was agreed that this would be helpful.

Linda Arnold mentioned that there has been talk in Brandon of selling the current facility and locating the library in Founder's Square. She said that the Library Board would need to become outspoken if this option is preferable to building a new library in the Bloomingdale area. She said it would be important to study the proposed plan and attend the meeting in Brandon scheduled for the end of July. Joe agreed that it would be advisable for Library Board members to attend the meeting but said he wasn't aware that the move to Founder's Square was proposed as an alternative to a new regional library in the Bloomingdale area.

Helen Swisshelm pointed out that the expansions of North Tampa, West Gate and Lutz were promised to the citizens when they approved the Community Investment Tax. She said it would seem strange to change or eliminate projects now that the tax has passed.

Gloria Abrams asked if the Library's approved Unmet Capital Needs List had changed. Joe said "no." He reviewed the list and said the following projects were ranked and approved by the Library Board before the Community Investment Tax became a reality:

  1. Additional Land for the Jan Platt Regional Library
  2. North Tampa Library parking/ building expansion
  3. West Gate Regional Library expansion
  4. Lutz Library expansion
  5. South County Regional Library ($500,000 already funded for the year 2000)
  6. Southeast County Regional Library
  7. John F. Germany Public Libraryreplacement facility

Helen Swisshelm asked which projects were promoted when the County pushed for the passage of the CIT. Joe replied that funding for a South County Regional Library, West Tampa repairs, carpet/roof for Riverview, and carpet at Ruskin were highlighted.

Helen commented that the land purchase for the Jan Platt Regional Library would be assured. Joe didn't agree because of the cost involved. He said the Library Board still needs to lobby for the additional land as well as the expansions of North Tampa, West Gate and Lutz. The South County Regional is still on the County's list as it is already partially funded.


Sandra Cameron made a motion that Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Advisory Board continue its present course of renovating/expanding current branches and building new ones where population growth indicates in accordance with the Library's prioritized Unmet Needs List and that this information be shared with the Board of County Commissioners through a letter prior to the July 22nd Community Investment Tax workshop. Helen Swisshelm seconded the motion.

      - The motion passed 9-0.


Helen Swisshelm moved that the Library Board Chairman or her designee be authorized to appear before the Board of County Commissioners, as an official representative, to support the Library's Unmet Needs List. The motion was seconded by Gloria Abrams.

      - The motion passed 9-0.

Northwest Regional Library Sites: Several sites are being explored. Mike Kelly, Director of the County's Real Estate Department, will be invited to attend the July or August Library Board meeting.

West Tampa Library: In response to a letter from the Chairman of the Library Board, Mr. Kleman will tour West Tampa on August 11, 1998 at 2:00pm The Library Services Department is still requesting a complete analysis of the building.

Internet Use Subcommittee:

Joe Stines distributed the minutes from the last Internet Use Subcommittee meeting as part of the Internet Use Subcommittee report. He said there had been no recent developments in this arena. Judith Krug is still planning to bring her education program to Tampa Bay. Joe said he and Sonja Garcia have been invited to speak about Internet issues at the Riviera Beach Public Library in Palm Beach County.

Nancy Crippen asked if the Library was continuing with plans to re-register children. Joe said "yes" and explained that implementation of this part of the Internet Access Management Plan is contingent on the 5th modification of DYNIX (the software package that operates the library systemís computers).

The Library is also going ahead with plans to purchase WebSense. He explained that this does not mean that the filter will have to be activated once it is installed on the main server in late August or early September. WebSense offers other valuable features such as a firewall, reporting mechanisms and the ability to block chat and games.

Helen Swisshelm quoted from the May 15, 1998 Internet Use Subcommittee Minutes and asked if it was true that the Library could eventually offer some unfiltered computers for adults. Joe explained that the latest release of WebSense offers this capability. While no decision has been made to do so, the option will be available.

Joe reminded the Library Board that the Assistant County Attorney for Library Services feels that the Supreme Court will eventually rule that filtering for adults is unconstitutional. If this happens, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System will be prepared to offer selected unfiltered machines. Helen agreed in theory but said that she was under the impression that all computers in the Library system would be filtered.

Gloria Abrams asked if adults would be able to access pornographic materials. Joe replied that the Library's Code of Conduct would prevent that. Librarians would still refer such people to the State Statute prohibiting this activity. Kay O'Rourke pointed out that librarians would also be able to unblock sites for people doing legitimate research.

Budget Committee:

Helen Swisshelm handed out a list of important budget dates. Joe Stines reviewed them and strongly advised Library Board members to attend the Community Investment Tax Workshop on July 22nd. He went on to say that the required Budget Public Hearings will be held on September 3rd and 17th. After the hearings, the County will be in a position to adopt the FY99 budget. He said it would not be necessary for Library Board members to attend the hearings unless some problem with the Library's budget surfaces.

Helen Swisshelm asked what would happen if revenues were much higher than anticipated. Joe said extra funds would go into the Library's reserves. Helen asked how much the Library has in contingency reserve currently. Joe replied that there is approximately $400,000 but $1 million would be preferable.

Public Art:

Helen Swisshelm commented that the public art for the Port Tampa City Library sounds beautiful. Two glass benches with embedded symbols will be placed in a lighted part of the crepe myrtle garden.

Helen also commended Joe and staff for the hard work that went into making the Port Tampa City Library opening a successful event. Joe agreed that staff did an excellent job. The event got good media coverage and the citizens were very enthusiastic.


Helen Swisshelm made a motion to congratulate the Director, Patrice Koerper and other staff members involved in the Port Tampa City Library opening and to commend them for a job well done. The motion was seconded by Sandra Cameron.

      - The motion passed 9-0.


New Tampa Regional Library: The Planning Commission gave the New Tampa Regional Library a planning award for public participation. Joe said he presented the plaque to the New Tampa Friends of the Library. It will be hung in the lobby. The award came as a welcome surprise.

Tax Watch: The Library Services Department has been working with Tax Watch as they examine the following functions:

  1. Library collection
  2. Member registration program
  3. Operation of regional libraries
  4. Operation of other libraries
  5. Reference
  6. Free-Net

Joe mentioned that the position of Public Relations Coordinator was being questioned even though it was recommended in the Long-Range Plan and audit. He said he felt his answers would justify the position and argue against moving it to a public relations department in County Center.

Lutz Library: The Lutz Library has re-opened and is greatly improved. Helen Swisshelm commented on the attractiveness of the new ceiling, lights and paint job. She said the computer tables have been rearranged and the customers are enthusiastic about the changes. Helen noted that there is more to be done. A new reference desk and chairs for the computer workstations are on order. New children's chairs will also be purchased.

Ybor Library: Gloria Abrams asked if anything could be done to improve security at the Ybor Library. She said an elderly tutor has been accosted on more than one occasion and no security guard was available. Tutors have no protection when they come in on Saturdays. She noted that the attendance of quarterly in-service meetings has also dropped. Cars have been broken into and people feel very unsafe with the bar and grill across the street.

Joe responded that the Library is working on lighting and improved guard service for Ybor. Helen Swisshelm asked if a fence would help. Gloria said the problem is deeper than that. Dora Reeder suggested asking Jodi Cohen to elicit the help of the community. Gloria responded that volunteers would not want to patrol the area.

Joe proposed setting up a meeting with City of Tampa and Tampa Police Department officials and suggested that it would be ideal to have a resource officer located at the branch. Fred Hearns offered assistance as did Dora Reeder. Fred said he would coordinate with the Mayor's office if Library staff could suggest dates and times.


Brandon Regional Library: Brandon will be closed for two weeks so that the old shelving can be replaced and the inside can be painted. The facility will be able to house 40% more books. The project should be complete by the first week of school. David Wullschleger said computer tables will be replaced and 80 new chairs will be purchased. The lobby will be kept open so people can return books and pick up reserves.


Wal-Mart Plaza Lease: Joe announced that the lease in the Wal-Mart Plaza on State Road 579 would appear on the July 8 BOCC agenda. He suggested that the Library Board propose a name for the branch to be located there.


Rosa Goldsmith made a motion that facility be named the "Seffner/Mango Branch Library." Sandra Cameron seconded the motion.

      - The motion passed 7-0.

Goodbye to Rosa Goldsmith: Rosa announced that this would be her last Library Board meeting. The Library Board expressed their regrets and said they would be sorry to lose her. All wished her well and thanked her for her many years of faithful service.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:45pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: July 23, 1998
         Time: 4pm-6pm
             County Center
             601 East Kennedy Blvd., 26th Floor
             Conference Room D

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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