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



Chairman Linda Arnold called the meeting to order at 4:00pm


In the absence of the Secretary, Sandra Cameron called the roll.

Library Board Members Present:
Linda Arnold, Dora Reeder
Catherine Bartolotti
Elizabeth Blue, Sandra Cameron
Fred Hearns, Kay O'Rourke
Helen Swisshelm
Library Board Excused:
Nancy Crippen
Arnold Kotler
Josie Gracia
Library Board Absent:
Kay O'Rourke

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director
Marcee Challener, Manager of Public Services
David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations
Jean Peters, Chief of Reference & Information
Marilyn Sheck, Manager, Automated Systems & Services

Janet Lorenzo, Chief of Community and Access
Priscilla Lakus, Chief of Youth Services
Suzy George, Facilities Officer
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
Linda Gillon, Manager, Staff & Administrative Support

Special Guests:
David Barberie, Assistant County Attorney
Nancy Becker, USF Intern
Members of the Public:
Jerusha Tyson, President, West Tampa Friends of the Library
Barbara Edwards, West Tampa Friends member.


The Chairman called for corrections and/or additions for the January 28th Library Board Minutes. Since there were none they were approved as written after a motion by Linda Arnold and a second by Fred Hearns.


No members of the public or special guests were present at the meeting.



West Tampa Library: Sandra Cameron said the report West Tampa was very positive. She said the Planning Committee would like to bring the following 4-part motion to the Library Board.


The Planning Committee offered a motion that the present Carnegie site at West Tampa be renovated and expanded to 5,000 sq. ft., that THPL pursue a temporary partnership with the Urban League while the building is being renovated, that the computer lab established in Urban League facility remain with that organization and that the County creatively pursue buying additional property for West Tampa while it is still available.

Joe Stines shared sketches prepared by Architectural Services. The most favored would allow for the use of the existing footprint and the building of a new addition. The original façade would remain. Additional land would be needed for parking and expansion. Joe said the project could be done for approximately $1.2 million, land included.

Helen asked if there would be a meeting room. Joe said "yes-there might be two or three of different sizes." Helen agreed that the proposal looked wonderful. She said it would be the best of both worlds-a renovated building and new library as well.

Dora Reeder said to do whatever needs to be done to acquire the additional land.

In response to a concern about the Urban League, Sandra said the move to the Urban League would be a temporary measure. It would be a way to offer library services while the current West Tampa Library facility is being renovated. She commented that they would benefit because the partnership with computer training would continue. Renovation and expansion would take approximately two years.

Sandra asked if the community would be as active in lobbying for funds as the Port Tampa City community was. Joe said "yes." He felt they would be glad to go to Tallahassee to lobby for support through grants.

Sandra called for a vote.

      - The Library Board approved the motion from the Planning Committee unanimously.

Fred Hearns commented that the space the Urban League needs to lease until they get into their new quarters may be available much sooner than the renovation can begin. In other words, he said: "The timing may not be perfect between what we need and what they have. They might be forced to find another tenant." Sandra Cameron agreed and said that was why the motion was phrased as it was, using the word "pursue." Fred's main concern was that service not be interrupted in West Tampa. He said it may be necessary to have other options in mind as well.

Helen Swisshelm said the Planning Committee would need to monitor the situation in the event that some other contingency plan is called for. All those present agreed.

Carver City Lincoln Gardens: Joe said Suzy George would be setting up a meeting with Library staff and Reginald Williams, President of the Carver City/Lincoln Gardens Homeowners Association. Cathy Bartolotti said she would attend.

Replacement Northwest Regional Library: Sandra reported that the Planning Committee is still looking at sites. The favorite, supported by the Library Administration and W.D. Charities, is located .6 mile east of the Interstate in a wooded area on Bearss Avenue. The building site could accommodate a drive-through window. Joe said Charlie Prather and W.D Charities are negotiating with the owners of the property.

Helen asked if the land would have to be rezoned. Joe said "no." Kay pointed out that there is a home for elderly people very close by. They could make use of the library if it were located on that site. To the east of the site is a beautiful citrus grove that may be up for sale. That would also improve the zoning problem. Joe said another home for older people might be built on that site.

Joe said Architectural Services staff members are studying the traffic flow in case this presents a problem. Kay said she investigated one other option just in case it was needed but said she favored the Bearss Ave, site because it is in such a beautiful location and doesn't favor either Northdale or Carrollwood. The proposed site is in the middle and will serve both communities.


The Planning Committee made the motion that the site on Bearss Avenue be pursued.

      - The motion passed unanimously.

Long-Range Planning Taskforce: Sandra Cameron announced that the next Long-Range Planning Taskforce meeting would be held on March 16, 1999, 4-6pm She invited the Library to attend in the John F. Germany Public LibraryAuditorium.


Continuation Decision Units: Helen Swisshelm said the Budget Committee met prior to the Library Board meeting to discuss the Library's Continuation and Desired Service Level Decision Units (DU's). The Continuation Budget allows the Library to operate at the current level with no new staff. The DU's with the highest numbers are those which would be cut first in the event of drastic budget cuts. She shared the rankings and explained the Budget Committee's reasoning. The lowest priority Continuation Decision Units were as follows:

Peninsular Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #26
Science Library at the Museum of Science & Industry .  #25
Ybor Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #24
Seffner/Mango Branch Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . #23
Interlocal Agreements/Plant City & Temple Terrace . .  #22
West Tampa Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #21

She said the Peninsular Branch Library was chosen as the lowest priority for continuation because it is only two miles from the site of the Jan Platt Regional Library. South Tampa residents would not be without adequate library service. The Science Library at the Museum of Science and Industry was second because it is a very specialized library that does not serve a specific community; it is not viewed as being indispensable. The Ybor City Branch Library is close enough to the John F. Germany Public Librarythat Main could pick up the slack. The Seffner/Mango Branch Library could be closed easily as it is a rental. It is small and does not have any meeting room space. The Brandon Regional Library could handle its circulation if necessary. The West Tampa Library was a higher priority than the Interlocal Agreements with Plant City and Temple Terrace because it is already part of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

Helen said making these cuts would probably never be necessary; nevertheless, setting priorities is a necessary part of the budget process. Sandra Cameron asked if the Library would lose its state aid if it lost the interlocal agreements. Joe said "no" in regard to the current interlocals.

Helen continued by saying that John F. Germany Public Libraryis the #1 priority in the continuation budget. The other regional libraries would be next and so on. She reviewed the handout prepared by Library staff and said the Budget Committee switched the Decision Units for West Tampa and the Interlocals, making West Tampa #21 and the Interlocal Agreement #22.


The Budget Committee made the motion that the continuation Decision Units be accepted as prioritized with West Tampa being #21 and the Interlocals being #22.

      - The vote passed unanimously.

Desired Service Levels for FY2000: Helen continued by saying that the Desired Service Level Decision Units were evaluated, first for FY2000 and then for FY2001. She said the Desired Service Level Decision Units are the "extras" that are above and beyond continuation.

For FY2000, the Budget Committee approved the following rankings:

Jan Platt Regional Library . . . . . .  #1
Egypt Lake School Partnership . . . . . #2
Additional staff for West Gate . . . .  #3
Sunday Hours-Ruskin . . . . . . . . . . #4
Cash Registers . . . . . . . . . . . .  #5
Custodian/Facilities Management . . . . #6

For FY2001 the Budget Committee approved the following rankings:

Electronic Reference Center- Phase II . . . . #1  
Youth Srv. Programming Team . . . . . . . . . #2
Shelving Capacity Expansion . . . . . . . . . #3
Carpet Replacement/Lutz & Ybor . . . . . . . .#4

She said these priorities would be presented to the Department of Management & Budget and then to the County Administrator & Board of County Commissioners.

She asked if there was any discussion of the rankings. She highlighted some of the items. Cash registers, were recommended by the 1992 Internal Audit, for example, and still have not been purchased. The Youth Services Programming Team was recommended by the 1995 Performance Audit. The team would allow selected staff members to focus on nothing but programming and implementation for the entire library system.

Helen noted that most of the Desired Decision Units focus on more staff. Shelving Capacity and Expansion and carpeting for Lutz and Ybor are both capital items that need to be done.

Helen called for further discussion. As there was none she made the following motion.


The Budget Committee brought forward a motion that the Library Board adopt the Decision Unit rankings as approved.

      - The motion passed unanimously.


The report from the Policies and ByLaws Committee was deferred until the next meeting.


Elizabeth Blue said that the Code of Conduct and Internet Access Management Plan needed review in light of recent legal developments. In his presentation to the Library Board on January 28, 1999, Assistant County Attorney David Barberie made it very clear that it has been ruled unconstitutional for libraries to use filtering software for adults. He also said Senator Campbell has introduced a bill into the Florida Senate, requiring public libraries to install filters on ½ of their computers. He said a bill in the House would follow.

Code of Conduct: Jean Peters presented a revised Code of Conduct to the Library Board. The following changes were noted:

  1. Parents or guardians are responsible for the conduct and safety of persons under their care would be added to the second paragraph.
  2. The following would be added to the list of unacceptable Library behaviors:
    • Displaying, printing, or sending material that is obscene, threatening or harassing
    • Violating copyright laws or software license agreements
    • Disruptive use of cell phones, radios, televisions or other electronic products

Helen asked how "persons" was being defined. Jean replied that this could refer to a anyone-- a senior citizen in the care of a younger adult, a person with a mental problem under the supervision of a caretaker, children under the supervision of a teacher, parents with their children, etc. Elizabeth said they wanted to get away from using the word "children" because there are too many other scenarios that apply.

Fred Hearns asked that the word "disabled" be substituted for "handicapped."


Elizabeth made a motion that the revised Code of Conduct be approved, as recommended by the Internet Use Subcommittee, with "disabled" being used in place of "handicapped."

The changes in the Code of Conduct as stated above were approved unanimously. They will still need review by David Barberie.

Internet Access Policy: Jean Peters pointed out that the "Internet Access Policy" appears on the computer screen when users log into the Internet. Customers are asked to read and accept this policy. If they do not accept, they are not given access to the Internet.

The following changes in the policy were discussed:

  1. Total, unfiltered access to the Internet for all users (No filtering)
  2. Total, unfiltered access to the Internet for adults; configure selected children's machines with WonderWeb and activate WebSense for additional protection of minors. (No filtering for adults; filtering for children)
  3. Unfiltered access to the Internet for all users but selected children's machines would be configured with WonderWeb and library-approved sites. A teen page could be created for those under the age of 18 who do not feel comfortable in the small children's section. (A second version of no filtering)

Under each option, privacy screens would be attached to most machines, the Library's campaign to educate users about the Internet would continue, and a concerted effort would be made to place computers for adults and children in separate, but easily monitored areas. Joe said it was important to know that the Library has purchased WebSense. It is installed but is being used for the Firewall only; Chat has been blocked. The only exception is the electronic library in Beaslville. At the request of the Parks & Recreation Department, these computers are being filtered. Joe said David Barberie approved of this and didn't feel it would be a problem since Bealsville does not offer full service and is not considered a "public library." The electronic library extends the homework center concept for youth only.

Helen Swisshelm asked how "children" was being defined. Joe responded that the legal definition would be used- anyone under age 18. She commented that there is no question about filtering for adults and everyone would agree that Wonderweb is appropriate for the children. However, the teen group presents a problem. Elizabeth Blue agreed and said teens don't feel comfortable sitting in the children's section.

The use of a registration card could be explored though this would be time-consuming for staff to implement. Elizabeth suggested that some sort of teen page could be developed. Joe said this would be easy to do; it could be called "TeenWeb." Warning signs could indicate that the computers offer open access. Elizabeth commented that there would still be a question of whether to filter for teens.

Helen Swisshelm asked what filtered machines for teens would be like. Joe Stines responded that the teen user would be denied access to many legitimate sites unless the machines were filtered on the light setting. He said this would still be a viable alternative. It may or may not be legal.

Sandra Cameron said she was concerned that parents will become complacent if they know a filter is turned on. The downside is that many parents aren't concerned about it anyway. At least the small children would have additional protection with the filter.

      - The Library Board did not approve any of the above options.
      - The Library Board elected to bring the issue back during the March meeting.

Internet Access Management Plan: Joe handed out copies of the Internet Access Management Plan that was approved by the BOCC on March 18, 1998, upon the recommendation of the Library Board. He said it would be Mr. Kleman's option to bring a revised plan to the Board of County Commissioners for further consideration.

The following changes were proposed in the articles of the Internet Access Management Plan:

Article IV. The words "for youth" were deleted.

Article VI. This article was re-written as follows: "Privacy screens will be affixed to every open access Internet Computer."

Article VIII. This article was re-written as follows: "The Library has modified and strengthened its Code of Conduct and Internet Access Policy for patrons to include references to statutes regarding improper use of Computers. The Code will be posted in all library facilities." (The word "ordinances" was deleted.)

Approval of the revised Internet Access Management Plan was tabled until the next meeting.


No report from the Public Art Committee.


Circulation Stats: Joe said staff members are still investigating the recent drop in circulation. The Bookmobile showed a 60% decline last month. He said there may be a problem with the reporting.

Lighting Improvements: Ybor is getting new outdoor lighting and Riverview's indoor lighting has been retrofitted.






The meeting was adjourned at 5:59pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: March 25, 1999
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: John F. Germany Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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