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 Sandra Cameron called the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m. A quorum was present.


Library Board Members Present:
Sandra Cameron, Josephine Gracia
Mary Sherman, Dora Reeder
Anniece Ross, Kay O'Rourke
Liz Blue, William Scheuerle
Catherine Bartolotti
Ian Greig, and Helen Swisshelm
Library Board Excused:

Library Board Absent:

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
Marcee Challener, Manager Public Services
Jean Peters, Chief Librarian

Janet Lorenzo, Chief Librarian
Jackie Zebos, Administrative Services
Barbara Marquette, Administrative Assistant
David Wullschleger, Operations and Technology Services, Manager
Linda Gillon, Staff & Administrative Support, Manager

Special Guests:
Assistant Cty Attorney Linda Davidson
Members of the Public:



The minutes from the September 28, 2000 Library Board meeting were approved as written.


Included in the Committee Reports.







Budget Committee Chairman, Helen Swisshelm, reported on the Board of County Commissioners' October 18, 2000 meeting. Several members of the public were at the BOCC meeting to support the library. Eric Johnson presented a report to the BOCC outlining the Library Board's proposed use of the $5 million. The BOCC had a concern with the short-term borrowing necessary to complete Option One. Commissioner Norman proposed an amendment to Option One which had been proposed by the Library Board that the completion date for South Brandon and the Upper Tampa Bay libraries be moved up from 2006 to 2004. The BOCC directed staff to bring back a report on November 15 showing what the financial impact would be if those two libraries were to be advanced.

There was a motion by Commissioner Storms to eliminate the Lutz expansion. The motion failed (5-2) with Commissioners Storms and Hart voting for the motion. Mr. Stines explained that the Lutz expansion is currently funded through CIT funds and he believes a public hearing would have been needed before those funds could be eliminated. Ms. Swisshelm asked whether the Library Board should take any further action. Ms. Swisshelm asked whether this Board needed to agree with Commissioner Norman's proposal to move the order of the libraries. Bill Schurele stated that the Board had planned that the proposed projects could be moved ahead if, for example, land was acquired or donated earlier than in the proposed plan.

It was stated that what Commissioner Norman had done was to offer a friendly amendment to Option One. Some concerns the Library Board might have are 1) Option One tries to meet the needs of libraries across the county and 2) does the amendment put the library in any unfavorable financial situation. Mr. Stines did not feel that the amended plan would pose any serious financial difficulties; however, the Library Board has not seen the amended financial analysis. He also pointed out that the Library Board would not be meeting again, unless it called a special meeting before the November 15 BOCC meeting.

Sandra Cameron stated her concern regarding Commissioner Norman's feeling that the Board had not communicated with him. Her assumption is that the BOCC reads the Library Board minutes and asked whether the Board needed to communicate the budget more clearly to the Commissioners. Bill Scheuerle felt that Board members should not assume the BOCC has time to read everything that is sent to them. The only other possibility would be to visit them individually. Does Commissioner Norman understand that the $5 million will build two libraries but not open them? The consensus of the Board was to continue to support Option One.

Ms. Reeder asked about the status of the West Tampa Library. Joe Stines stated that there are two grant applications pending. The construction grant is ranked number 5, which is the highest-ranking possible. The preservation project grant was submitted in August. If funded, the construction grant will be awarded by the State Legislature and will become effective July 1. If we are awarded the grants we will still be short $600,000. If Option One passes there will be enough money to complete renovations; however, if Option One is defeated, the Library Board will have to go back to the BOCC and ask them to appropriate funds from reserves or the library will have to refuse the state grant.

Helen Swisshelm made a motion to write Commissioner Norman a letter thanking him for his support of the library after the November 15 BOCC meeting.

Sandra Cameron stated her concern regarding the definition of the term "urban service" by the BOCC. She stated that they may use it as a means to deny citizens who live in rural areas library services. The Board's philosophy has been that no matter where people live they are entitled to libraries and their services. Ms. Cameron has recommended that Jim Hossler of the Planning Commission be invited to meet with the Library Board to discuss the concept of "urban services."






Library Board Chairman, Sandra Cameron, Library Director, Joe Stines, Automated Systems Manager, Operations and Technology, Manager Operations & Technology, David Wullschleger, and Hillsborough County Public Affairs Officer, Helen Levine, met with County Administrator, Daniel A. Kleman on Wednesday, October 27, 2000 to discuss Hillsborough County's vision of the library as it relates to the Cultural District. Ms. Cameron stated that she felt very satisfied with the role of the library as outlined during that meeting.

Ian Greig reported on the October 9, 2000 committee meeting. Various members of the committee have attended several meetings and expressed the feelings of the Library Board. He stated that there is a feeling that the library building may not need to be in the Cultural District. He also stated that the committee disagrees and that a letter should be sent to the Mayor stating that the library has no intention of moving and that it would take a special act by the legislature to move the library from its present location. Mr. Greig made a motion to that effect and added that the letter should be ready for approval by the Library Board at the next meeting. Bill Scheurele seconded the motion. Discussion followed. Joe Stines advised that the Board's letter should be sent before the next Library Board meeting and that the report should be reviewed at the December 7 meeting. The motion was amended to include that the Chairman of the Library Board draft a letter stating the desire of the Board for the John F. Germany Library, the John F. Germany Public Library, to remain in its current facility. It was suggested that library staff draft the letter to be sent to Mayor Greco and County Administrator, Daniel A. Kleman and that the Board direct staff to continue working with the Cultural District Ad Hoc Committee to develop a full analysis. A report will come to the full board at the December meeting. Ian Greig restated his motion: "Send a letter stating that the John F. Germany Public Library is not moving, stipulating the reasons and requesting a representative from the Library Board on the City's committee." The Cultural Ad Hoc Committee will review the letter for immediate mailing. The motion was seconded by Bill Scheurle and passed unanimously.

Helen Swisshelm made the motion to direct staff to work with the Cultural District Ad Hoc Committee to complete a report and pursue through the Library Director and the County Administrator presentation of that report to the Board of County Commissioners. Dora Reeder seconded. Discussion followed. Anniece Ross asked for a clarification of the motion. Sandra Cameron restated the motion to read that a joint committee of the Planning Committee and the Cultural District Ad Hoc Committee work with staff to develop a report and that the Library Board would request the report be taken to the Board of County Commissioners in December, with an analysis of the John F. Germany Library building that substantiates the points made in the letter being sent to Mayor Greco and County Administrator, Dan Kleman. The motion passed unanimously.

Helen Swisshelm asked for a chronology of the Board's action on the Cultural District Ad Hoc Committee to be distributed at the next meeting.


Mr. Grieg asked whether the parking wheel stops had been installed at North Tampa Library. Staff will research and respond to Mr. Grieg by e-mail.


Kay O'Rourke asked that a tour of the new Northwest Library be organized for the Board. Staff will organize and contact the Board members. Mr. Grieg asked about traffic control at the Northwest Library. Joe Stines stated that the county is constructing a deceleration lane/turn lane and that the sidewalk is in and that work is beginning on the rear entrance. The only other thing that can be done is to install a traffic signal at Smitter Rd. and Bearss Ave. Staff have no control over this and it will have to be done through citizens' petitions to the Road and Street Department.

Anniece Ross stated that the Library was not included in the "Celebrating the Arts" event and suggested that we should be involved in the upcoming event "Celebrate Downtown" that is sponsored by the Downtown Partnership. Staff was instructed to contact the Downtown Partnership. Ms. Ross also stated the need for additional signage within the library. Staff will address this issue.


Joe Stines discussed the report on Internet Use that was given to the Board. This data for this report was collected within the last two weeks, using a sign in sheet. The plan is to track customer preferences for filtered or unfiltered computers on a monthly basis. The only Internet sites that have been requested to be unblocked involve chat. Since some of the figures in the report did not seem to be accurate, the data will be rechecked.

The final year-end budget report was distributed and reviewed. Bill Scheurele asked whether the County absorbed the balance of the budget that was left unspent. Joe Stines stated that the balance becomes the Fund Balance and is rolled over into the new year's budget.

Anniece Ross stated her concern that the Travel & Training Fund were not fully expended and that Freenet use is down. Joe Stines stated that it is to be expected as we are upgrading the program. Ian Greig stated that he would like to have staff report on computer usage. Joe Stines stated that Freenet has been given a low priority as the staff is concentrating on upgrades and making all electronic features more accessible to home users.

Ian Grieg and Anniece Ross attended the opening of the Egypt Lake Partnership Library.

Helen Swisshelm asked whether MOSI's upcoming expansion would affect the Science Library. Joe Stines responded that he is meeting with MOSI's director, Wit Ostrenko, in the near future. He will report at the next meeting.

Marcee Challener reported that Chris Crutcher was our special guest at the Popular Library. Students and reading teachers from nineteen different schools attended the morning session where Mr. Crutcher autographed for the students paperback books purchased by the Friends of the Library. In the afternoon session, the creative writing students from Blake Senior High School walked over to the library. The evening session, by invitation only, was attended by Hillsborough County Media Specialists, Language Arts teachers, Library Science students, and members of the Young Adult Literature classes from the University of South Florida and St. Leo College. Over 100 people were in the Popular Library. Future programs are scheduled with funding from the State and the Friends of the Library.


  • November 15: Board of County Commissioners meeting
  • November 28: Cultural District public meeting
  • December 5: Library Board meeting at John F. Germany Library
  • December 11: Jan K. Platt Library dedication


Board adjourned at 6:00pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: December 5, 2000
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: John F. Germany Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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