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
Janet Lorenzo, Chief of Community and Access

David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations
Suzy George, Facilities Officer
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant

Linda Gillon, Manager of Staff & Administrative Support

Special Guests:


Chairman, Kay O'Rourke called the meeting to order at 4:05pm


Rosa Goldsmith conducted the roll call for the meeting.

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

Library Board Absent:

Library Board Member Chairman Kay O'Rourke began the meeting by extending her congratulations to all the Library Board members who participated in the February 26, 1998 meeting. She said she was proud of the way the Board asked in-depth questions, expressed concerns and then made a very careful decision regarding Mr. Kleman's presentation.


Kay O'Rourke asked for comments on the February 26, 1998 minutes. As there were no corrections or additions, the minutes were approved as written.


Planning Committee:

Joe Stines said the Planning Committee had not met. In the absence of the Chairman no report was given.

Internet Use Subcommittee:

Joe Stines said the Internet Use Subcommittee had not met again; however, David Barberie, Assistant County Attorney for Library Services suggested that they meet again within the next 30 days to discuss the implementation of the Library Board's Internet Access Management Plan. Joe said he would talk to Sonja Garcia about setting a date.

Joe said he'd had a number of calls regarding the Internet since the February Library Board meeting. Most were from vendors wanting to sell products. He said he would look into the possibility of installing WebSENSE before the 5th Modification of DYNIX. A second priority will be to amend the current policies and procedures for Internet access.

Joe announced that Judith Krug, ALA's spokesperson on Internet, will be speaking at a Phi Beta Kappa dinner on 4/27, 7:00pm, in downtown Tampa. He invited any interested Library Board members to attend. Ms. Krug will speak on intellectual freedom; the cost is $25.00 per person. Details on the location will be forthcoming.

Gloria Abrams asked if libraries using keyword blocking are being sued. Joe said "yes," and explained that they block out health information, etc. as well as pornography.

Gloria asked how long WebSENSE has been on the market. Joe replied that it has been available for a while but has been refined in the last year and a half. He said Orange County was one of the first public libraries to contract with them. Gloria also asked if Orange County had ever published a report on WebSENSE. Joe replied that he was not aware of one though they have been using the product for over a year.

Budget Committee:

Joe explained that FY99 is the second year in the two-year budget. Consequently, there will be no major changes. Items to be reviewed include: Eastlake, Jan Platt Library, the 3.4 million book budget, Egypt Lake Project. He said Eastlake would have a minor impact. He explained that a $50,000 donation had been received for Egypt Lake and added that he would need direction from the Board on this issue in the near future.

Nancy Crippen asked if the $50,000 donation for Egypt Lake was included in the budget. Joe said it was not. He explained that Egypt Lake Elementary School is second on the County's list to receive a new media center. If they do get the center, it would have to be expanded by 1500-2000 sq. ft. in order to accommodate a joint facility. School officials are working hard to get the expansion. However, it had been suggested that the $50,000 donation could be used for this purpose if necessary.

Dora Reeder asked if the money should be used to fund the second phase of the project. Joe responded that it could be; however, it might be more advantageous to spend the money on a permanent joint facility rather than on Phase II which would only benefit the community temporarily. He said he would like to bring the project to the Budget Committee in April. Dora stressed that there is a tremendous need for library service in the community.

Joe said he expected other schools in Hillsborough County to ask for similar projects. He said he could justify the project at Egypt Lake because there is no library within a five-mile radius. A joint venture with the school would provide library service in the area not only for children but for the adults as well.

Joe went on to say that 107 Library Services employees will benefit from pay compression. He said this would have an impact on the personnel budget. All personnel funds will be expended in 1999. Helen Swisshelm asked if the personnel budget would have to be increased. Joe responded that it already had been increased to accommodate 1999 merit increases; however, it might be necessary to do so again.

Helen Swisshelm scheduled April 14, 1998, 3:00 for the next Budget Committee meeting. It will be held in the Library Board room. All Board members are invited to attend.

Public Art:

Helen Swisshelm said there would be a public art meeting for the Port Tampa City Library on 4/8, 4:30-5:30 P.M, at the Port Tampa Recreation Center. The preliminary proposal, submitted by Susan Gott, will be discussed. She invited any other interested Board members to attend.


Northwest Regional Library:
Joe said he had good news regarding NRW. The attempts to seal the building seem to have been successful. There has been no more moisture intrusion. The air quality has improved and the building has been stabilized. However, the great news is that a donor has offered to build a new Northwest Regional Library. The Library Board was overjoyed and expressed their gratitude.

Gloria Abrams asked how the site would be selected. Joe responded that the County would purchase the land. One good possibility is the property behind the Target store at Ehrlich and Dale Mabry on a side street called Carrollwood Springs Blvd. Joe said Lowe's wants to build a store on the property; however, they have offered to give the County the unused portion. As the land is not needed by Parks & Recreation purposes, the Library System may have an option of using it. Joe said the land being offered is 10 acres, including some wetlands.

Joe went on to say that the land at Ehrlich and Dale Mabry would be an ideal site for a library; however, it would be necessary to move quickly to acquire it. Everything hinges on the re-zoning issue. He said the Library Board could be asked to meet with the citizens in the area who might want to fight the re-zoning.

Joe went on to say that the plans for the New Tampa Regional Library would be used. Kay O'Rourke suggested that they could be modified somewhat to make the library very special.

Helen Swisshelm commented that the beauty of the new facility is that it will have minimal impact on the library's budget. The books, shelving, furniture, can be re-used. Joe agreed and said the County is still pursuing grant funding from the State also. It is possible the funding could be applied to the new facility. He said the facility would not impact the operating budget significantly.

Gloria Abrams asked what would happen to the current NRW facility. Joe responded that it would be used by the County for some other purpose. In the meantime, Don Harwig has said he would do everything possible to keep the building stable.

Port Tampa City Library:
Joe said the Port Tampa City Library is on schedule. The dedication has been set for June 14, 1998, 3:00pm The public art remains to be completed, however. Dora Reeder asked about the small property in the front of the building. Joe said the County is still working with the City. The new name has been approved.

Jan Platt Regional Library:
Joe said he should be able to bring something visual to the next meeting. The facility will not be finished until summer of 2000. The County is pleased with the first drafts from the architect though some changes have been made to make the design more practical. The shape will be rectangular but will have several attractive features including a drive-thru window. The rotunda has been omitted from the plans; however, a facade will be built inside to create a "rotunda" effect.

Kay O'Rourke said she attended a meeting with the architect. She strongly agreed that the County does not want to use any substandard materials or building techniques. Joe agreed and said Israel Grajales will not settle for anything less either.

Ybor Signage:
The sign has been approved by the City; a sample should be available in the next two weeks. Installation is expected in summer '98.

Eastlake Branch Library:
The decision to re-locate needs to go to the BOCC. Joe said he should have a timetable by the next Library Board meeting. So far, no opposition to the move has been expressed by civic activists in the area. An Administrative Referral supporting the move was received. Dora Reeder asked if the name would change and Joe Stines said "yes." He added that the new site will house a collection at least as large as Eastlake's. It is anticipated that circulation will be high. All furniture will be re-used.

Linda Arnold asked if it would be possible to ask Hartline to offer more frequent service to the area. Joe said he had asked the same question in a County meeting. The response was that it would not be likely for Hartline to agree. Dora Reeder pointed out that the new Temple Terrace Library is also open to citizens in the area. She noted that citizens in the area will have ample library service with Temple Terrace, College Hill and the new location.

Temple Terrace:
The new facility will open on April 1 and is beautiful.

Library Support Staff Day:
Janet Lorenzo spoke for Marcee Challener in requesting that the Library Board vote to support a day of recognition for Library support staff. She said it was a way of saying a special thank you to staff who work behind the scenes. She said no money would be involved; supervisors are asked to do whatever they feel is appropriate.


Helen Swisshelm made a motion to approve a day of recognition for Library Support Staff on April 22, 1998. Rosa Goldsmith seconded the motion.

Fred Hearns asked if security people are considered support staff. Janet explained that they are not support staff because they are hired on contract. However, she said security guards would be included because of the nature of the activities.

      - The motion passed 7-0.

Air Quality Issues:
Because a staff member has problems with allergies, air quality testing has been done at New Tampa. Joe said he was happy to report that New Tampa's air is clean and acceptable.

Gates Grant:
Joe announced that THPL was one of two library systems in Florida to receive a grant from the Gates Foundation. The money will be used to set up computer learning centers at John F. Germany Public Library, College Hill and Ybor. There will be 20 computers at Main, 6 at Ybor and 4 at COL. Organizations like the Urban League will be encouraged to use them for job training. Joe explained that the Library does not offer courses in WordPerfect, for example. This would be a way for organizations to use Library computers for their own training programs and classes.

Helen Swisshelm asked about the problem of parking at John F. Germany Public Library. She questioned whether the computers would be used for that reason. She said it was too bad that West Tampa had not been chosen. Joe agreed and explained that Main, Ybor and COL qualified because of the poverty levels. However, he felt strongly that the computers at John F. Germany Public Librarywill be used.

Gloria Abrams suggested that Saturday openings should be considered for Ybor in light of this new development.


Joe Stines pointed out that the May meeting was originally scheduled for Brandon. Since the Library Board met recently in Brandon, he wondered if the Board would want to meet at Northwest. It was agreed that the May Library Board meeting should be held at the Northwest Regional Library.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:25pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: April 23, 1998
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: John F. Germany Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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