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, Sandra Cameron
Linda Arnold, Vice Chairman, Arnold Kotler
Sonja Garcia, Dora Reeder
Helen Swisshelm, Rosa Goldsmith
Nancy Crippen, Elizabeth Blue
Library Board Members Absent:
Arnold Kotler, Gloria Abrams
Catherine Kelley, Secretary

Library Staff:
Joe Stines, Director
Marcee Challener, Asst. Director
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations


The meeting was called to order at 3:10pm by Chairman Kay O'Rourke.


Chairman O'Rourke asked if there were any questions or corrections regarding the January 23, 1997 and February 27, 1997 minutes. As there were none, both sets of minutes were approved as written.


Marcee Challener asked the Library Board to declare 4/17/97 "THPL Library Assistant Day" in honor of the "unsung heroes" who staff the circulation desks and work behind the scenes in the collection area. She said the Library Assistants work very hard and should be recognized. Marcee explained that April 17 falls during National Library Week and said there would be planned activities in all branches.

MOTION: Helen Swisshelm made a motion that the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Advisory Board approve the recognition of Library Assistants and other Library support staff on April 17, 1997 for the fine work that they do to promote Hillsborough County Libraries. The motion was seconded by Sandra Cameron and Dora Reeder. (Swisshelm/Cameron, Reeder).

Chairman Kay O'Rourke called for discussion of the motion. Nancy Crippen asked if the Friends of the Library groups would be notified. Marcee said she would mail out a proclamation announcing the event. Kay O'Rourke asked if it would be an annual event. Marcee said she would like to start with 1997 and progress from there. Joe Stines said he would ask the Friends of the Library to vote to honor the Library Assistants as well.

The motion passed 9-0 and April 17, 1997 was declared "THPL Library Support Staff Day."


Internet Use Committee:
Kay O'Rourke asked Sonja Garcia to give a report on this new subcommittee which falls under Policies and ByLaws. She said the importance of the committee could not be stressed enough especially in light of recent press coverage regarding pornography on the Internet. Sonja explained that she had been asked by Arnold Kotler to chair a committee comprised of herself, Rosa Goldsmith, Dora Reeder and Elizabeth Blue. She said Mr. Kotler would assist as much as he could.

Sonja said it would be the job of the Internet Use Committee to study the issue and then establish guidelines and policies to ensure that all citizens of Hillsborough County can appropriately enjoy Internet access at the Library. She said no policy decisions would be made without approval of the full Board.

Joe updated the Library Board by saying that, on March 26, he had been interviewed by reporters from Channel 13 and the Tampa Tribune. He said at least three more press items would appear in the papers in the near future.

Sandra Cameron asked what the City thought they could do about the issue. Joe said City Council passed a motion asking that the Library Board to explore every possibility for screening the Internet. He said he would have their motion in writing before the next Library Board meeting and added that he would make a similar presentation before the BOCC on April 2. He stressed that it would be the Library Board's decision to formulate an Internet Use policy.

Kay O'Rourke said the Library Board would have to walk a fine line in dealing with such a sensitive issue. Joe agreed especially as the Library has no control over the selection. He said he would work with the Internet Use Committee to see that the Library Board is kept informed.

Helen Swisshelm said she found it interesting that the Library Board is being asked by the press for opinions on the issue when the Supreme Court is still struggling with it. Joe said he didn't expect the Library Board to make any final decisions until after the Supreme Court ruling. He added that a combination of approaches may have to be considered.

Sandra Cameron asked what the Library is doing currently to handle problems that arise. Joe said librarians are treating Internet use situations as code of conduct violations. He stressed that none of the computers with Internet access are located in the children's areas. All are visible from the reference desks. He said three branches do not currently have Internet access at all (BRD, THO and COL). However, the Library will continue with the plan to upgrade computers in these branches.

Sandra asked how difficult it is for children to access pornography on the Internet. Joe replied that it is difficult currently. However, future upgrades may make it easier. He stressed again that the computers are in the adult sections of the Library and are closely monitored.

Planning Committee:
Sandra Cameron began by saying that the Library Board would need to vote on the Library's proposed additions to the County's unfunded CIP list. She said the Planning Committee met on March 26, heard a presentation from Mike Kelly and Peggy Hamric of the Real Estate Dept., and developed following unfunded CIP list:

North Tampa Expansion:
Land is available for expansion and can probably be purchased from common owners on the south and/or west. Although a study would need to be done, Israel Grajales suggested that expansion out the back might be feasible. Parking would not be adversely affected.

South County Regional:
Several parcels are available for consideration of a 40,000-50,000 square foot facility designed to serve the communities of Apollo Beach, Sun City Center, Wimauma, etc. Borders of the service area include Big Bend Rd. on the north, Manatee County on the south, Tampa Bay on the west and Polk County on the east. Sandra Cameron said Mike Kelly and Peggy Hamric of Real Estate attended the March 6th meeting of the Planning Committee and discussed possible sites for this library. They included:

                I-75 and Big Bend Rd.: A good location with plenty of land for a two-story library
                with a 25,000 square foot footprint. There is a park there now.

                301 and S.R. 672: County-owned ELAPP land which would require EPAPP
                Board approval. 5-10 acres is available. Good location.

Southeast Regional (Greater Brandon area):
Joe made the distinction between the South County Regional and Southeast Regional libraries noting that the latter would serve the Greater Brandon area. A 30,000-35,000 square foot facility would include the service area bordered by Bloomingdale Ave. on the north, Big Bend Rd. on the south, Bell Shoals Rd. on the west and Polk County on the east. Linda Arnold asked that this facility be referred to as the Southeast Regional Library. It was pointed out that an approved DRI is in place in the Fish Hawk Ranch area. The developer has set aside 6 acres for a library/learning center. Joe said he would invite Lucia Garsys and Gene Boles to the May Library Board meeting to discuss the possibility of re-locating the donated parcel closer to the main road.

Helen Swisshelm suggested that the Library Board should not consider particular sites for the items to be placed on the Unfunded CIP list. Sandra Cameron agreed and said the general locations of new facilities should be approved in concept only. Helen also asked if the square footage should be included with the recommendations for the Unfunded CIP list. Joe said "yes a range should be included".

Lutz Expansion:
Possibilities are excellent for expansion out the front because the County owns the land out to Hwy. 41. Parking would not be affected. Joe added that Israel Grajales would look at expanding "every inch possible to max out the site." Helen Swisshelm commented that she understood that the Lutz Branch is smaller than the other medium-size branches. Joe agreed and said it is approximately 500 sq.ft. smaller than College Hill.

West Gate Expansion:
Expansion is very possible because the Library's 1.6 acres adjoins a 6-acre park. This project would require the cooperation of the Parks & Recreation Department. The building can probably be expanded another 5,000 sq. feet, making it only slightly smaller than Brandon Regional. Elizabeth Blue asked what would be done about parking. Joe replied that it would need to be assessed.

Joe said he had added more projects to the Unfunded CIP list, pulling out any major projects from the Budget Checklists which would extend the life of a building and/or add greater value. He said the following projects were added:

                    John F. Germany Public Libraryelevators. (not picked up by CIT)
                    Northwest Friends workroom
                    John F. Germany Public Librarychiller replacement
                    John F. Germany Public Libraryfacia repair
                    New John F. Germany Public Library

Joe asked for permission to add any other overlooked projects pertaining to existing buildings as the budget deadline approaches. Marcee Challener had a question about the Unfunded CIP list which was voted on and approved last year. She said the only items not completed were a new John F. Germany Public Libraryand elevators for John F. Germany Public Library. Joe said they were not picked up by the CIT. He added that West Tampa's needs would need to be added also. Dora Reeder asked if anything had been done with the basement. Joe said the beams had been reinforced so that the building is safe. He said there is already money set aside for West Tampa; however, the Planning Committee needs to recommend how it should be spent as it is not enough to renovate the building completely. He added that the monies would not be available until the sixth year of the CIT.

MOTION: Sonja Garcia made the motion that the Unfunded CIP list be accepted as prepared with the understanding that small projects to enhance current buildings can be added if necessary to meet the April 17 budget deadline. The motion was seconded by Dora Reeder. (Garcia/Reeder).

Sandra Cameron asked for a reprint of the Unfunded CIP list with the inclusion of square footage. Joe said he would be glad to provide one and added that the Planning Committee would probably meet again before the budget is finalized.

Helen Swisshelm asked if the items on the Unfunded CIP would be ranked? Joe said "no." Helen asked how priorities would be set. Joe explained that a new CIT committee would determine the ranking. Elizabeth Blue asked if Library Board members could set their own priorities. Joe said Library Board members could certainly set priorities. He noted that South County Regional would have to be placed before a Southeast Regional Library because the former is partially funded. The following items were ranked 1, 2 and 3 with others being addressed as needed.

Full funding for a 40,000-50,000 sq. ft. South County Regional Library. Funding for expansions of North Tampa, West Gate Regional and Lutz. Funding for a 30,000-35,000 sq. ft. Southeast County Regional Library

Joe reminded the Library Board that the above rankings would put repairs to John F. Germany Public Libraryin the distant future. Helen Swisshelm commented that she would like to focus on libraries with the highest circulation as recommended by the Performance Audit. She suggested that John F. Germany Public Libraryshould not be neglected but stressed that the recommendations of the audit should be adhered to.

Nancy Crippen pointed out that the relevance of John F. Germany Public Libraryhad been a point of discussion in the past. Joe agreed and said that a study of John F. Germany Public Library's function is being conducted by staff. He said the study should be completed before John F. Germany Public Libraryis moved up on the priority list. Marcee Challener pointed out that John F. Germany Public Libraryis a City building; the County may or may not want to spend a lot of money to refurbish it. Kay O' Rourke commented that the Library should be proud of what has been done thus far to renovate Main; she said it looks beautiful when lit up and night. Rosa Goldsmith commented that more people would utilize John F. Germany Public Libraryif parking were not such a problem.

As the motion regarding the addition of items to the Unfunded CIP required no further discussion, Kay O'Rourke called for a vote.

The motion to approve the additions to the Unfunded CIP, as stated above, passed by a vote of 9-0.


Helen Swisshelm said the Budget Committee had met several times since the last Board meeting. She began with a discussion of the continuation budget defining it as "the present-day budget with additions which allow the Library to operate for the next two years." She pointed out that it would include the two new libraries (New Tampa and the 78th Street Community Library). In response to a question from Sandra Cameron, she explained that the Library is in part two of a two-year budget. Her presentation included a discussion of the Continuation Budget, Required Mandates and Desired Services.

Continuation Budget:
An average 4% pay increase for employees has been factored in by the County for years 1998 and 1999.

A large increase in electronic services and support is needed in order to upgrade the computer system prior to the opening of the Jan Platt Regional Library. Joe commented that the Dynix system is maxed out with New Tampa and 78th St. The upgrade will involve hardware, software and communications charges. He said FY 98 would see an increase of over $800,000 in this area. Helen Swisshelm pointed out that the projections for Electronic Services and Support (Characer 60) increase from $298,361 in FY97 to $513,361 in FY98 and $700,000 in FY99. Software (Character 30) increases from $50,000 in FY97 to $200,000 in FY99. Telecommunications (under Utilities) jumps from $98,548 in FY97 to $250,000 in FY99. Joe said it might be possible to bring a South County and Southeast Regional Library on line with the new upgrades.

An increase of 42.5% is needed for building maintenance. Helen stressed that this, too, is a very large increase. She said that over 50% of the needs noted by staff on the Budget Checklists pertained to maintenance rather than new projects. Joe pointed out that the figure for "General Building Maintenance" had gone up from $130,504 in FY97 to $285,000 in FY99. He added that the Library's figures are compatible with the County's overall maintenance budget which is also being increased. He said the Library would have input regarding maintenance this year as Don Harwig will be working from the Checklists.

Helen said the Library Board should pay close attention to the maintenance line item each month to be sure that routine maintenance is being taken care of. Dora Reeder asked why maintenance is not being handled if maintenance is in the budget. Joe explained that there has not been enough money in this line item to keep up with requests. He added that Mike Kelly has assured the Library that this line item will be used more effectively in the future.

Helen said she would like to review the Checklists periodically throughout the year to see if maintenance requests have been taken care of. Joe agreed and said the Checklists were designed to be a plan of action. He added that Suzy Preuss would be referring to them often. He suggested including a maintenance update in his monthly Director's Report and Helen agreed that that would be a very good idea. She said there should be accountability when an item has been increased almost 50%.

Helen called attention to the next item on the Continuation Budget Sheet and pointed out that no monies have been allotted for Miscellaneous Facilities Projects in FY98 or FY99. She said there would be rollover money for this item. She said the Library's total operating budget would be increasing by 11.1%. Joe said the figure would fluctuate during the next two months but would level out near the 10% figure. He added that Becky Milburn, the Budget Analyst for the Library, felt this was a very reasonable increase considering the opening of two new libraries. Joe said he felt very comfortable with the estimates on the continuation budget. Kay O'Rourke suggested inviting someone from Facilities to address the Library Board on the subject of maintenance. Joe said he would extend an invitation to Mike Kelly.

Sandra Cameron asked if the line item for Indirect Costs would change when the new branches are opened. Joe said no changes were anticipated. He said he would inform the Board if it did change.


Continuing with her presentation, Helen Swisshelm discussed the Library's required mandates which are funded automatically before other requests are considered. These include $198,199 for FY98 for the opening of the Port Tampa/Commerce Bank Building and $317,516 for the FY99 opening of the Jan Platt Regional Library.

Desired Services:

The following optional services were discussed:

Sunday Hours for Ruskin ($66,704):

funding would pay for part-time staff to open the branch from 1-5 on Sundays and provide better service for the South County area. Joe said item was tied to the performance audit and could be easily justified.

Custodian Support Position ($18,400):

This would pay for an additional full-time custodian dedicated to Library Services in addition to the two custodians currently assigned by Facilities Management. Joe explained that the Library would pay the salary of a custodian who would be housed at John F. Germany Public Libraryand report directly to Suzy Preuss. Elizabeth Blue suggested that one custodian is needed for every two libraries. She compared the Library system to the school system. Joe said much of the work is now contracted out, e.g., window cleaning, cleaning ,etc. Joe stressed that the custodian would work with Suzy on the Checklists to ensure that maintenance is being handled routinely.

Storekeeper III at John F. Germany Public Library($27,550):

This new position would assist with the increased demand for supplies, inventory and ordering. It has been supported by the audit. Joe explained that the Library keeps a store in John F. Germany Public Librarywhich is used by all of the branches for supplies. Because of the opening of the two new branches, more help is needed in this area. Helen Swisshelm asked how many people the Storekeeper III would supervise. Joe replied that he or she would supervise one other person.

Nancy Crippen asked what kind of qualifications someone applying for this position would need. Joe said he or she would have to go through the Civil Service process. Helen Swisshelm what the salary for this position would be. Joe replied "approximately $10.00 per hour." She said she felt that was high as compared with the salary of the custodian.

Additional Book Returns ($25,000):

Joe said there is one bookdrop in every branch with the exception of MOSI and College Hill. Some of the larger branches still need more. Joe said the $25,000 would pay for 10 bookdrops

Collection Security System ($104,000 in FY98, $113,000 in FY99):

Joe said he was concerned especially about security in Brandon. Year one would put a 3M system in Brandon and West Gate. In FY99, Northwest and Peninsular would be added. Joe said the checkpoint in Northwest needs to be replaced as it is not working properly. He said he would focus on the large, busy libraries rather than smaller branches such as Port Tampa.

Telephone Reference Center ($247,160):

This is another item strongly supported by the Performance Audit. The proposal would establish a centralized telephone reference department and allow librarians to focus on walk-in customers. Telephone reference would begin with John F. Germany Public Libraryin phase one and then extend to the regional libraries. Helen Swisshelm said the stats would support the idea. Joe did caution that if the Telephone Reference Center was the #1 priority, there would not be much money left for other projects. Nevertheless, it was still a strong option.

Adaptive Technology (FY98, 19,605, FY99, $11,524) and ADA Equipment:

Joe said that much had already been accomplished through grants; however, grant funding would not be an option in the near future. He said much of the equipment is not being used frequently. Elizabeth Blue asked where the equipment is housed. Joe replied that it is in each region. Brandon, Peninsular, Northwest, Ruskin and Main have some. New Tampa will need some.

Youth Programming ($172,500):

Another recommendation of the Performance Audit, this proposal would make more efficient use of youth service specialists systemwide. This would allow children's librarians to specialize rather than spending time in reference and other departments. Joe said staff time would be saved and more children would be reached.

New Proposals:

The following new proposals were introduced and discussed

Expansion of service hours at Thonotosassa (FY98 $22,356):

This would add staff and allow THO to open on Thursdays. Hours would be increased from 46-57. The staffing complement would be similar to that of other branches its size. Joe noted that the circulation is up 27.9% for this branch. He added that there have been complaints about the branch being closed on Thursdays.

Expansion of service hours at College Hill (FY98 $15,483):

Hours would be increased from 46-50 hours per week. Staffing level would be similar to that of 78th Street. and THO.

Joint school/public library service to Egypt Lake Elementary for FY98-99 (FY98 $24,886):

Joe said much could be done with a small amount of funding for staff and materials as Egypt Lake will provide the facility and some of the books. The joint project would fund after-school hours and summer hours for the children in this part of the County. The project would be done in three phases. Joe pointed out that the emphasis would be on serving children; however, others in the community would also benefit. He noted that Egypt Lake is 4.8 miles from North Tampa, over 5 miles to West Gate and over five miles to West Tampa. He added that the school has the second highest circulation among elementary schools and over 1,000 children within walking distance. He strongly supported the project. He said he would like to offer a summer program as a test, using temps. He said the project could be pulled and scrapped if it did not work well.

Brandon Regional Shelving ($42,000 for FY97):

The old, law library shelving at Brandon is in need of replacement. Joe said this item was in the last two-year budget and was not funded. The shelving on the second floor is over 30 years old and is not safe.

John F. Germany Public LibraryShelving Replacement ($270,000 in FY97):

Joe said the John F. Germany Public Libraryshares Brandon's problem with old, donated shelving.

Systemwide Access to Serials ($29,225 for FY98):

This would provide electronic access to periodicals and can be accomplished with one Library Assistant and one Library Page. Joe said he had been trying for some time to get periodicals into the database, hence, this was another item on his high priority list. Joe explained that it would provide bibliographic access only. Customers would then have information regarding the locations of the Library's periodicals.

Continued support for growing electronic systems ($93,831):

Additional staff is needed for the Automated Services Department in order to keep up with new sites and upgrades to on-line systems. Joe said that he strongly supported hiring one (1) Senior Librarian for Internet Services at a cost of $39,094. Sandra Cameron said the $93,831 sounded reasonable to support over $1 million in upgrades and computers. Joe agreed. He said a Software Specialist and PC Specialist would help keep the system running.

Increased demand on Materials Staff ($35,150):

One more librarian is needed to work with new selections and weeding.

Public Service Staff:

Funding is needed to add staff to very busy agencies such as Brandon, Northwest and North Tampa. North Tampa would benefit from one new Library Assistant as the branch has seen large increases in circulation stats. Northwest would acquire one part-time Librarian, one part-time Library Assistant and two Library Pages. Brandon Regional would acquire one Library Page. Joe said funding for North Tampa was high on his priority list.

Hillsborough Literacy Council($54,038):

This request came from Karen Siegel of the Hillsborough Literacy Council. The Hillsborough Literacy Council has requested a full-time Librarian and clerical support from two part-time Library Assistants. Joe said the Library has provided this kind of support in the past.

Helen Swisshelm asked if Joe had added up the total cost for staff. He said he didn't think he could get all of the necessary staff in one year. However, he would work them in with the Library Board's permission at different intervals during the two-year budget cycle. He said he would do some studies to see how THCLP compares to other library systems.

The Library Board ranked the following priorities with starred items sharing a lower priority:

             Sunday hours for Ruskin
             Custodian dedicated to Library Services
             Electronic Systems Support Staff
             Systemwide access to serials
             Egypt Lake Elementary School Project
             Telephone Reference Center
             Storekeeper III
             Bookdrops ($5,000 in FY98 and $5,000 in FY99)
             Brandon Shelving Replacement

                   *Youth Programming
                   *Adaptive Technology
                   *Literacy Council The rankings were approved by general concensus.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:05pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: April 24, 1997
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: Seminole Heights Branch Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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