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Library Governing Authority

CHAPTER 84-443

House Bill No. 1022

An act relating to Hillsborough County; creating within Hillsborough County, as a department of the County, a Public Library System; enlarging the library district as described in Chapter 65-1661, Laws of Florida, to include the City of Tampa; authorizing certain further enlargement; restricting the use of library funds to library purposes; creating a Public Library Board, prescribing its powers and duties; providing for the lease by the County of the City of Tampa's current library buildings; providing that the main library located at 900 North Ashley Street shall remain the main library of the Public Library System; providing for maintenance and landscaping; providing for general liability for insurance; providing for ownership of library materials and equipment; providing for the transfer of City library employees and retirement benefits; providing for funding; providing for the preservation of obligations; providing for severability; repealing Chapter 69-1655, Laws of Florida, which establishes the public library of the City of Tampa providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1. Purpose.--

There is hereby created in Hillsborough County a Public Library System, as a department of the County, for the purpose of providing a unified system of free library services for all citizens within the library district of Hillsborough County.

Section 2. Library district.--

(1) The library district of Hillsborough County as described and authorized in Chapter 65-1661, Laws of Florida, shall be enlarged to include the area within the corporate limits of the City of Tampa, and any authority granted the County for library purposes shall extend to said area.

(2) The district may be enlarged to include the municipalities of Plant City and/or the City of Temple Terrace upon the majority vote of the governing bodies of the respective municipalities of Plant City and/or the City of Temple Terrace.

Section 3. Funds for Public Library System.--

All funds donated or in any way acquired for the Public Library System shall be kept for the use of such system separate and apart from all other funds of the County and shall not be used or disturbed for any other purpose or in any other manner.

Section 4. Public Library Board.--

There shall be a Public Library Board consisting of twelve (12) residents of Hillsborough County, three from each of the four (4) county single-member districts appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of Hillsborough County for staggered terms of three (3) years; and they shall serve at the pleasure of the County Commission. A majority of the membership of the Public Library Board shall constitute a quorum. This Board may make and adopt such by-laws, rules and regulations for its own guidance and for the government of the Public Library System as it may deem expedient and not inconsistent with law.

Section 5. Powers and duties.--

The duties and responsibilities of the Public Library Board are as follows:

(1) serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the Public Library System and library services.

(2) Furnish information to and advise and counsel the Director of Library Services in respect to the appropriate means and methods by which adequate library facilities and services may be provided to all residents of Hillsborough County.

(3) Assist the Department of Library Services in the evaluation of its operations.

(4) Recommend to the Director of Library Services new and innovative methods for library operations and programs.

(5) Make continuing studies of all existing and future needs of the library system in respect to public library facilities and services.

(6) Review the financial position of the library system and make reports and recommendations for a sound, feasible program for financing the costs of said system.

(7) Keep constantly aware of public library standards, trends, regulations, and legislation.

(8) Formulate and recommend to the Director of Library Services actions to raise the quality of service and utilization of professional and financial assistance from state, national, and other sources.

(9) Review with the Director of Library Services all book and material selection programs, plans and policies to insure that all views of the community are represented in the selection process. Further, work with the Director in the preparation and adoption of written policies relative to the selection process within which the library staff must work.

(10) Promote and solicit bequests, donations, and contributions to the public library system and develop policies governing acceptance of such donations.

(11) Establish, promote, and participate in a planned public relations program for the Public Library System. Interpret to the community, through the personal contacts and involvement of its members, the various services provided.

(12) Recommend to the Director of Library Services contracts with the State of Florida, or any county or municipality thereof, or any non-profit library association, relative to matters connected or associated with the operation of a public library or public library services and such other things as the Board deems proper.

(13) The Board shall, by its policies and/or by-laws establish an appellate procedure to hear and determine grievances and other complaints relative to the removal of books or other library materials from the library system. Final resolution of such complaints and requests shall be resolved by the Board pursuant to the philosophy that a library is to represent the views of the various interests of the community.

Section 6. Amendment of public library board rules by the Board of County Commissioners.--

Any by-law or rule or regulation established by the Public Library Board may be amended by the Board of County Commissioners, upon recommendation of the County Administrator.

Section 7. Lease by County of current library buildings.--

(1) The County shall lease those buildings which are currently being used for library purposes and which are located within the City of Tampa for $1.00 a year per building, as long as said buildings are appropriately suited for such purposes. In the event that new buildings are constructed by the County within the City of Tampa for library purposes, those new buildings will be the property of the County and are not subject to lease from the City. The main library presently located at 900 North Ashley Street, Tampa, shall continue and remain the main library of the Public Library System.

(2) The space currently occupied by offices and equipment of the City's Management and Information System, part of the 3rd floor and the entire 4th floor of the main library annex, shall be available to the City's use for a period of ten years free of charge, subject to the provisions of Section 8.

Section 8. Maintenance and landscaping.--

The County shall preserve, repair and maintain the public library buildings leased from the City of Tampa, including landscaping. The City of Tampa shall reimburse the County for maintenance and repair costs associated with those areas used solely for City related activities, to include a mutually agreed upon pro rata share of utility expenses to support those areas. All capital improvements or renovation projects for library related activities in leased library buildings shall be considered new work and reflected in the County's annual budget. The City of Tampa, as owner of the leased buildings, must approve all capital projects before they are incorporated into the long range capital improvement plan.

Section 9. Insurance; indemnification.--

(1) The County shall provide limits of general liability pursuant to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, for the buildings and associated properties leased from the City that are used solely in support of library services, for as long as said buildings are leased and for the purpose of protecting the County and the City against any and all claims for injury to persons (including death) or property occurring in, upon or about said buildings. The City of Tampa shall provide limits of general liability, as set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, covering exclusively those areas under the City's care, custody and control within those buildings leased to the County as set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statutes.

(2) Neither County or City shall be liable for any damage, injury or liability that may be sustained by any person or entity whatsoever, arising from or with respect to areas under the care, custody and control of the other.

(3) The County and the City shall indemnify, fully protect, keep safe, and hold each other harmless from, and be solely responsible for, any and all demands, causes of action by reason of personal injury or damage to property, or any other damages, injuries and liabilities arising from or out of or as a result of the occupancy of those sections of the leased buildings, under their respective care, custody or control, and from any loss, damage, or liability arising from any fault or negligence on their own part or by failure on their own part to comply with any of the terms and requirements of this act.

Section 10. Ownership of library materials and equipment.--

All books, magazines, sound reproductions, audio-visual materials, computers, other equipment, furniture and accessories, art work of any kind or description, and any other items of personalty owned by the City of Tampa, prior to commencement of the current interlocal agreement dated July 20, 1982, shall remain the property of the City. Ownership of all other such items of personalty shall be equitably apportioned in accord with the interlocal agreement dated July 20, 1982. Any items purchased after the effective date of this act shall be the sole property of Hillsborough County. All items named above shall be available in perpetuity for the use of all citizens of the, County through the Public Library System. An inventory of all print and non-print volumes, periodicals, and other library materials in the Tampa main library and all library branches within the City shall be accomplished as soon as practicable and, thereafter, the number of such volumes, periodicals and material shall not fall below the inventoried numbers, but shall be increased and kept current and up to date, unless otherwise agreed by the County and the City. The County shall purchase from the City, at an appraised cost, existing mobile units and other vehicles specifically designed for library purposes and, in addition, may purchase any other vehicles belonging to the City and used for library purposes.

Section 11. City employees to be transferred to County; election pension plan; costs of plan for employees electing to remain in the city's pension plan.--

All City employees who are at the effective date of this act assigned to the department of library services of the City shall be transferred to the County in positions commensurate with the positions held by them with the City. Each City employee so, transferred shall have, within the time allowed by law, the right to elect to become a member of the Florida Retirement System, with all its attendant rights, or may elect to remain a member of the City's pension plan. In this latter event, the County shall pay to the City the employer's share of the pension cost for each employee; and, further, the County shall deduct and remit to the City the employee's share of the pension cost from the employee's county salary. All persons hired by the County for its library system after the effective date of this act shall become members of the Florida Retirement System.

Section 12. Funding of public library system.--

The Public Library System shall be funded by the County from funds derived specifically from or on behalf of the district, including, but not limited to, grants of the state and federal governments as well as donations, grants and gifts of the private sector, and funds collected from fines or fees.

Section 13. Obligations of contracts preserved.--

No debt or obligation of contract of the city made on or in behalf of its library shall be impaired as a result of this act, but all such debts obligations shall pass to and be binding upon the County.

Section 14. Severability.--

If any section, portion or clause of this act may be void or unconstitutional, such invalidity or, unconstitutionality shall not affect or invalidate the remaining sections, paragraphs, clauses or provisions, and the remaining paragraphs and clauses thereof shall be and remain in full force and effect.

Section 15. Chapter 69-1655, Laws of Florida, is hereby repealed.

Section 16. This act shall take effect October 1, 1984.