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

Library Staff:
Joe Stines, Director
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
Janet Lorenzo, Chief of Community and Access
Pam Hoepner, Site Coordinator
Special Guests:
Dr. Lonnie Langston, Pastor
    - Tampa Tabernacle Community Church
Lana Langston
Tino Bonilla, President,
    - Palm River P.O.I.N.T
Mandia L. McKay,
    - Winston Park Boys & Girls Club


At 4:00pm, Chairman Kay O'Rourke called the meeting to order and began by welcoming Fred Hearns, the newest member of the Library Board. She applauded Fred for all the work he had done on behalf of the 78th Street Community Library and said he would be a wonderful asset to the Library Board.


Sandra Cameron pointed out an error in the membership roster update. The correction was noted and a re-distribution will be made. As there were no other corrections, Sandra Cameron made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Dora Reeder seconded. (Cameron/Reeder). The minutes were approved 10-0.


78th Street Community Citizens:
Fred Hearns asked several members of the 78th Street Community to introduce themselves. Dr. Lonnie Langston, Mrs. Langston, Tino Bonilla and Mandia McKay did so and Chairman O'Rourke welcomed them to the Board meeting. Fred explained that the Children's Board had identified the 78th St. Community as one of three sites in the County for the P.O.I.N.T. Program, with the other locations being Plant City and Sulphur Springs. Mr. Bonilla, President of Palm River P.O.I.N.T. (Priority Outcome Initiative Neighborhood Team) added that this organization would soon become a 501 3C. Joe asked how much money they would have to spend over the allotted three-year period. Mr. Bonilla responded that they anticipated spending $460,000 annually on projects designed to assist with the social and spiritual growth of children ages 1-12 and their families. Fred commented that one of the first projects had been to plant a community garden. He said he hoped the Library would become involved the P.O.I.N.T. projects in all three areas of the county. Joe agreed and said he'd already spoken to Ann Haywood about the program in Plant City. He added that he hoped the 78th Street Community Library would prove to be a useful resource.

Goodbye to Pam Hoepner:
Joe asked the Library Board to say "hello" and "goodbye" to Pam Hoepner, Site Coordinator of the 78th Street Community Library. He explained that Pam would be moving to Michigan in September. The Library Board wished her well and said they were sorry to see her leave. Joe agreed and said Administration would be very sorry to lose her.

Joe asked Pam to give the Library Board an update on the artwork for 78th Street. Pam said the artist is scheduled to come to Hillsborough County on October 3rd, 4th and 5th to install the artwork. Books will be imbedded in tile along with other designs. She added that the books had been donated by the community. The artwork will be called "The Knowledge Path."


Kay O'Rourke presented a plaque to Sonja Garcia on behalf of the BOCC to thank her for her service on the Library Board. Kay said Sonja had been a true friend and enthusiastic worker. She will be sorely missed. Sonja said she would miss the Library Board as well, and added that she would be serving as a liaison on the Internet Use Subcommittee until their work is finished. She thanked the Library Board for their support over the years.


Planning Committee:

Sandra referred the Library Board to the current Planning Committee Project List and gave a status report on each project.

  • Egypt Lake Elementary School Partnership -
    This project was undertaken by THPL in cooperation with Egypt Lake Elementary School in order to extend library service to the students during the summer. Nancy Crippen reported that statistics were not available but would be shared with the Library Board in September. Sandra Cameron said decisions regarding funding Phase II and III would depend upon the statistics from Phase I.

  • North Tampa Branch Expansion -
    Nancy Crippen commented that the North Tampa Branch has taken on a new look now that is has been reorganized. She commented that the new shelving arrangement makes the facility look much larger. Lighting improvements have also made a tremendous difference. Joe commented that the landscaping has been upgraded as well; parking and expansion will be addressed through the CIP.

  • Eastlake Branch/Seffner/Dover Exploration -
    As part of an study of the needs in Seffner and Dover, the Planning Committee will continue to monitor Eastlake. This study is an ongoing concern for the Planning Committee.

  • Southeast County Regional Library -
    This is one of the Planning Committee's newest projects and will involve a major study. A Southeast County Regional Library will be designed to meet the needs of Fish Hawk and other large developments coming into the Greater Brandon area and take some of the burden from the Brandon Regional Library.

  • Brandon Regional Library Parking/Center Place Initiative -
    Joe called attention to a copy of his September 3 Staff Report to the BOCC regarding this issue. The report was written in response to Commissioner Chillura's initiative to deed Brandon Regional Library to Center Place and build a new library facility with CIT funds. Joe said Parks & Recreation and Real Estate would also submit documents as part of the back-up for this item. Joe said the Commissioner's suggestion had elicited a strong reaction from Center Place in favor of maintaining the current relationship with the Brandon Regional Library. He explained that his report would focus on ways to address the continuing parking problem at this facility.

    Joe explained that the County purchased land across the street from the Brandon Regional Library to provide additional parking. However, it has not been well used. Helen Swisshelm pointed out that the Library Board had suggested some time ago that improvements should be made. She agreed that paving would be out of the question but suggested that spaces could be marked off. Rosa Goldsmith agreed that parking spaces should be delineated. Joe said another entrance could be cut from the lower east side next to the lake. However, this option would eliminate two more parking spaces.

    Fred Hearns asked if it would be a violation of anyone's rights to put time limits on parking spaces. Joe responded that metering had been discussed; Center Place was not in favor of the idea. Sandra Cameron suggested that there could be "short term" and "long term" parking to accommodate those who want to go into the library for a few minutes. Joe said it might be possible to set up a few meters for that purpose.

    Fred Hearns asked if any provisions had been made for drive-up service. Joe responded that this is offered through the book drops; however, customers cannot conduct business without getting out of the car. This option would take away even more parking spaces. Pam Hoepener interjected that during the four years she worked at the Brandon Regional Library she had several requests from patrons for parking spaces with time limits. She said it would definitely help those who want to come into the library to conduct one transaction and leave again. Joe agreed but added that advances in technology are making it easier for people to come into the library, print out what they need and leave quickly. While documentation is not yet available, there is an indication that people are staying approximately thirty minutes. Once the new counters are installed, the statistics will be shared.

    Joe noted that, while parking has been a problem, it has not adversely affected use of the facility. Brandon continues to have the highest circulation in the system with circulation showing a 40% increase since 1992. Reference questions have increased by 137% and high activity levels make it one of the most cost-effective branches in the system.

    Arnold Kotler commented that parking at Brandon appeared to be a monstrous problem but added optimistically: "On the other, hand we were able to send a man to the moon!" He said there must surely be a solution. He noted, for example, that the USF medical clinic offers "valet" parking via golf cart for those who cannot easily walk from the parking lot. He suggested that this option be explored and added that if the off-site parking were made more attractive it might provide a workable if not "perfect" solution. Joe said the idea of using a cart for transportation had not been considered. He said he would look into the idea. Joe asked Linda Arnold if Center Place ever offered valet parking. Linda responded that she didn't think so and added that she would suggest it at the next meeting of the Center Place Board.

    Catherine Kelley asked why parking area across the street has not been used. Joe responded that it had never been legally approved as parking because of safety and transportation issues. The area is unpaved and gets muddy when it rains. Lighting is poor and people have to cross a busy street to reach the library. Catherine suggested that the EPC might be able to offer ideas regarding improvements. Joe responded that the EPC had been consulted regularly; in fact, they had approved a second entrance to the library. Sandra Cameron suggested that it might be possible to find funding for some sort surfacing. Joe said he would go back and explore all of these options to see if anything further can be done.

    MOTION: Helen Swisshelm made a motion that everything be done to improve existing off-site parking area through lighting improvements, delineation of individual spaces, signage, and transportation, etc. in order to make this parking area attractive and usable. The motion was seconded by Elizabeth Blue. (Swisshelm/Blue)

          - The motion passed 10-0.

    Kay O'Rourke asked if the Board would mind meeting at the Brandon Regional Library in September. She said this would give the Library Board firsthand experience with the parking problem. Fred Hearns asked if one of the objectives would be to see what the parking is like at peak hours. Joe said "yes" and confirmed that the 4:00 hour is very busy. . As the Library Board was in agreement, the September meeting location was changed to Brandon

    Joe asked if the Library Board would like to go on record with a motion regarding the location of the Brandon Regional Library and its relationship to Center Place. Sandra pointed out that the partnership between Center Place and Brandon Regional Library has worked well--except for the parking. She said she would like to see more partnerships like it but cautioned that future partnership ideas need to be studied carefully.

    Helen Swisshelm asked Joe if he could support partnerships in future library sites. Joe responded that he would have no problem with it but agreed with Sandra that the Planning Committee would need to do an in-depth analysis first. He said every partnership should be unique.

    Kay O'Rourke called for a motion regarding the Center Place partnership.

    MOTION: Nancy Crippen made the motion that the Brandon Regional Library remain in its current location and maintain its relationship with Center Place. Rosa Goldsmith seconded the motion. (Crippen/Goldsmith)

          - The motion passed 10-0.

  • South County Regional Library -
    Sandra pointed out that a South County Regional Library would address the needs in areas such as Sun City, Apollo Beach and Wimauma. She stressed that this library should not be confused with the Southeast County Regional Library which is designed to take some the burden from the Brandon Regional Library. She said she favored the idea of a partnership for this facility. Sandra added that Janet Austin, liaison to the Planning Committee from the Planning and Growth Management Dept., would get information regarding possible sites for this library and the Southeast County Regional.

  • West Tampa -
    Joe said he and Dora Reeder attended a meeting in the Mayor's office to discuss the West Tampa facility on August 15. The City requested the meeting to explore the possibility of re-locating the West Tampa Library into an old cigar factory on Howard Ave. The Urban League plans to re-locate there and will be paying for renovations. Dora commented that the building is huge and would provide adequate space for a 7,000 sq. ft. library, meeting rooms and parking. Urban League activities would also attract patrons. The City is proposing that the County rent the space in the building.

    Helen Swisshelm asked how close the building is to the existing West Tampa facility. Joe responded that it is about five blocks north of the current library. She asked if that would be a problem. Joe said it would put the library closer to the center of the west Tampa area. Dora Reeder and Rosa Goldsmith agreed. Rosa also pointed out that the new location would be ADA accessible whereas the current facility is not. Sandra said the Planning Committee had agreed to explore the idea. She added that they would not be willing to leave the current West Tampa Library unless there would be another good use for it. Dora agreed that it shouldn't be boarded up and abandoned. Joe agreed and said other uses for the building should be explored. He suggested, for example, that it might make a good headquarters for the Friends or the Literacy Council as the facility is inexpensive to operate.

    Joe said the City and Urban League have asked staff to prepare a building proposal to outline what would be needed for a library. He pointed out that over $400,000 in CIT money has been designated for West Tampa Library renovations; however, the purchase of additional land for expansion would be a costly and difficult process. Joe added that funds for renovation would not be available until years 2002-2003 of the CIT.

    Catherine Kelley asked if the Urban League would be purchasing the building on Howard. Joe said they would own the building through an arrangement with the City. He added that they have already raised and committed over $1 million dollars to restore it. However, the County would need funds to build out 7,000 square feet just as they did at Eastlake. There would be still be a capital investment.

    Helen Swisshelm asked about the outcome of the meeting. Dora said there would be future meetings; nothing had been decided upon. Helen offered two comments: 1) that the Library Board's Siting Document be used to analyze the new location 2) that the current building has very definite drawbacks and problems--the decaying columns in the basement being one. Joe said there would be $40,000 in CIT money to shore up the columns. Joe stressed that all options should be explored: partnering with the Urban League, renovating the current building and building a new facility similar to College Hill. Sandra said the Planning Committee agreed.

Budget Committee:

Helen Swisshelm said there was nothing new to report on the budget. She said the continuation budget had been approved; the Library got no funding over and above continuation. Joe said there would be two more public hearings, one on September 4 at 6:00 and one on September 24, at 6:00pm Joe said these public hearing are required by state law and are being held in the Board Chambers.

Joe explained that the millage has been set and trim notices have gone out. On the night of the 4th, people will have a chance to support programs not already included in the budget. On September 24, the BOCC will give final approval to the budget including the Funded CIP, CIT and Unfunded CIP. Joe said it would be important for citizens from Lutz, West Gate and North Tampa to attend on the 24th to show support for the expansions of their library facilities.

Helen Swisshelm asked if expansions to Lutz, West Gate and North Tampa had been included in the CIT. Joe responded that the Library Board had voted to add them to the Unfunded CIP in April or May of 1997.

Arnold Kotler asked if was realistic to think that any of the items would be funded in the first five years of the CIT. Joe said "no, the earliest funding date would be the year 2003." Nancy Crippen asked if citizens needed permission to speak at the budget hearings. Joe said they would simply need to sign up. He encouraged anyone wishing to speak to sign in early.

Nancy Crippen asked about the addition of a New Tampa expansion to the Unfunded CIP. Joe said he added the item after the Board gave him permission to add any additional items that seemed important. He said the activity level indicates that it could be necessary to expand at some point in the future. He cautioned that if it is not added now it might not be funded in the second six years of the CIT.

Elizabeth Blue asked where the South County Regional and Southeast County Regional fit on the list. Joe said they were higher priorities than the New Tampa expansion. Nancy Crippen asked if there would be money for a partnership in Wimauma. Joe replied that this would be covered in the regular budget. He stressed that some of the items on the unmet needs list may be funded through sources other than the CIT.

Joe called attention to list of items funded in the first six years of the CIT and noted that a new roof for West Gate has been moved up on the list. Fred Hearns noted that several of the items on the unmet needs list pertained to the John F. Germany Public Library. These included several maintenance items and possible reconstruction. He asked if he was right in understanding that several maintenance items were necessary; however, at some point a new John F. Germany Public Librarywould need to be built. Joe said that was correct.

Internet Use Subcommittee:

Sonja Garcia reported that the Internet Use Subcommittee had met several times with staff and would soon be able to make formal recommendations to the Library Board. Susan Oliver, Site Coordinator of the North Tampa Branch Library, had shared her expertise after participating in a nationwide research project on filtering software. The results will be published in book form later this fall. Sonja said Susan provided valuable information not only through her research but also through site visits to two library systems this summer. A number of options for managing Internet access have now been incorporated into a new action plan which is designed to serve a twofold purpose: 1) to protect children 2) to ensure that adults have access to the information they need. She said much of the responsibility will fall on adults to monitor their children. She reviewed the ingredients of the plan and asked for comments.

An electronic resources selection policy will be incorporated into the Library's existing Collection Development Plan.

Library staff will continue to research new products that assist with the management of Internet access in a library setting. Sonja said the Library Board would be kept abreast of any new developments so as to revisit this option as new products become available.

Internet access will be controlled through the use of a library card system. This is similar to a procedure being used in Seattle Public. This option allows parents to determine whether or not they want their children to have full Internet access.

Computers in children's areas will have restricted access. Menus for children will be enhanced through subscription to services designed especially for young people. Sonja said the committee felt this would deter use of other machines by children. Elizabeth Blue pointed out that children could use computers in other areas of the library; however, they would have to have parental consent.

Library staff will investigate the use of privacy screens on public workstations. Elizabeth Blue explained that the privacy screens fit on the each computer and prevent others from viewing what the patron is seeing. She said one would have to come up directly behind the person sitting at the computer to see what they are viewing. Sonja said that, while the library does not support the use of computers to access pornography, this would allow people to use the machines more privately. Joe pointed out that the screens are detachable; patrons could elect whether or not to use one. Helen Swisshelm asked if it would be like a voting booth and Sonja said "yes." When asked about the cost, Joe replied that the screens are approximately $200 a piece. He said he would like to find a user-friendly product and then supply 2-3 in each branch. Nancy Crippen asked what would prevent a person from using a screen to view pornography. Joe said nothing would prevent this from happening; staff would need to enforce the Patron Code of Conduct to deal with this problem. He stressed that the solution would involve a "layered" approach.

Library staff will provide educational materials on acceptable use of electronic resources. A draft brochure will be presented to the Library Board in Sept.

Library staff will continue to monitor the use of electronic resources by library customers. The Code of Conduct and Usage Guidelines will be posted and enforced.

Sonja asked for any additional questions or comments on the proposed action plan. Rosa Goldsmith commented that the work of the committee and Library staff has been well received by the State Library. She said Charlie Parker, of the State Library, will use THPL's approach as a model during a workshop on managing Internet access. He had been very impressed with what the Internet Use Subcommittee and staff had done to address the broader aspects of the issue.

Sandra Cameron expressed a concern that misuse of computers ("hacking") was not covered in the proposed action plan. Joe said it is covered by the Patron Code of Conduct and added that one person has already been trespassed for this offense. Sonja said the committee would be exploring the possibility of making patrons financially responsible. Joe said using library cards to access computers would assist in identifying individuals who do damage.

Sonja said the process of managing Internet access is far from over. The committee will continue its work and bring another report to the Library Board in September. She said they were taking a slow, methodical approach to a very complicated problem. She again complimented THPL staff on their fine research and input. Elizabeth Blue agreed and said they were "always a step ahead."

As there were no further comments, Sandra Cameron made a motion to approve the proposed action plan.

MOTION: Sandra Cameron made the motion that the proposed action plan be accepted as a model and asked that a finalized version be brought to the Library Board in September. Fred Hearns seconded the motion. (Cameron/Hearns)

      - The motion passed 11-0 with Chairman O'Rourke electing to vote.

Nominating Committee:

Kay O' Rourke asked Helen Swisshelm to give a report on the new slate of officers for 97-98. Helen said that the Nominating Committee, consisting of Dora Reeder, Rosa Goldsmith and herself, had agreed upon the following slate of officers. She said they had been contacted and had agreed to serve.
      - Chairman- Kay O'Rourke
      - Vice Chairman- Linda Arnold
      - Secretary- Rosa Goldsmith

Helen asked if there were any nominations from the floor. As there were none, she moved that the slate of officers be accepted. The new slate of officers was unanimously approved and congratulations were extended to Kay, Linda and Rosa.


Main Fountains:
Joe reported that the fountains are back on and seem to be working well.
Claude Pepper Foundation Touring Exhibit:
THPL will host this exhibit in October. There will be a reception on the evening of October 14 in the John F. Germany Public Library. Joe said the Library Board would get invitations. Sam Gibbons and Secretary of State Sandra Mortham will attend as will several County officials. He said is should be a very special evening.
New Committees:
Joe asked that Chairman O'Rourke appoint the new Library Board Committees as soon as possible.
Helen Swisshelm asked if the signs are still on schedule. Joe said they were.


Roll Call:
Kay O'Rourke asked if the Library Board had given any more thought to initiating the use of a formal Roll Call. Joe added that it would begin at the next meeting if the Board gave final approval. He explained that members should call the Director's Office if they know they will be absent and would like to be excused. The Library Board will then vote at the beginning of each meeting to excuse the absences. It was suggested that the new Library Board Secretary, be in charge of this procedure. As the idea was approved by general consensus, Roll Call will be implemented in September.
Public Art Liaison for Jan Platt Regional Library:
Joe said a liaison for the Jan Platt Regional should be appointed since the Public Art Committee for that facility is scheduled to start meeting very soon. Fred Hearns volunteered to serve and his offer was gratefully accepted. Joe said he would forward his name to Jan Stein.
Port Tampa Art:
Helen Swisshelm said she and Dora had been attending meetings regarding Port Tampa's public art. The next meeting will include a walk through the building. She invited the Library Board to attend on September 9, 4:00pm as the contractor and architect will be there to discuss options. Helen said she and Dora had agreed that a walk-through would be very helpful.

Joe asked if the preference seemed to be for interior or exterior artwork. Helen said the preference was for exterior at first. However, that had changed and options for inside were being considered. No final decisions have been made.

Joe asked Dora and Helen to look at the area surrounding the Port Tampa Library and said he was concerned about the code violations there. Helen pointed out that vandalism is a problem in this area. This, too, is affecting the decision about where to install the artwork.

Jan Platt Regional Library:
Joe reported that list of architectural firms for the Jan Platt Regional Library has been narrowed down to four. He said he would be in attendance on September 10 when their presentations are made at County Center. After the firms are scored and voted on, a recommendation will be made to the BOCC.

Eastlake/78th Street Branch Hours:
Joe said it had already become evident that the activity levels at 78th Street warrant an increase in hours and staffing levels. He reported that 78th Street had checked out as many items during its first month of operation as the Lutz Branch. In contrast, Eastlake's circulation continues decline. Referring to a report prepared by Marcee Challener, he said staff would like to suggest that three hours be shifted from Eastlake to 78th Street. This would also necessitate swapping Eastlake's full-time librarian position with 78th Street's part-time position. The shift in hours would still leave an adequate number of hours in Eastlake and increase the hours for 78th Street on Tuesday mornings. Joe said the change would not have a negative impact on Eastlake and would be very beneficial to 78th Street. He asked for a motion from the Board.

MOTION: Helen Swisshelm made a motion that the hours of operation be increased by three (3) at the 78th Street Community Library and decreased by the same amount at Eastlake with staffing levels being changed to accommodate the modification. Sandra Cameron seconded the motion. (Swisshelm/Cameron)

      - The motion passed 7-0.

Orientation for Library Board Members:

Joe said he would like to do a Library Board orientation for Fred Hearns and other relatively new members. He also invited any interested veterans to attend for a refresher course. Sandra Cameron suggested having a demonstration of the Internet and Joe agreed that this would be possible. Dates will be explored.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:30pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: September 25, 1997
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: Brandon Regional Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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