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



Sandra Cameron, Chairman of the Library Board, called the meeting to order at 4:10pm


In the absence of the Secretary, Dora Reeder called the roll:

Library Board Members Present:
Catherine Bartolotti, Elizabeth Blue
Sandra Cameron, Fred Hearns
Josephine Gracia, Kay O'Rourke
Dora Reeder, Anniece Ross
William Scheuerle, Helen Swisshelm
Library Board Excused:
Linda Arnold

Library Board Absent:

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
Janet Lorenzo, Chief of Community and Access

Maureen Baez, Site Coordinator,
West Tampa Branch Library
Jean Fletcher, Administrative Assistant


Special Guests:
Marian Torretta, City of Tampa
Jerusha Tyson, President, West Tampa Friends
Members of the Public:



Sandra Cameron called for comments regarding the minutes from the July 22, 1999 Library Board meeting. Bill Scheuerle moved that they be accepted as written. Helen Swisshelm agreed. The minutes were approved by general consensus.





Long-Range Plan for FY00-03: Joe Stines explained that the Long-Range Plan for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System (THPLS) would cover three years instead of five as originally planned, i.e., FY00-03. Staff and members of the Long-Range Planning Taskforce agreed that technology is changing too rapidly to make a five-year plan relevant. He reviewed each section of the plan and explained that action plans would be developed for each strategy.

The Library Board reviewed the document and suggested several wording changes. Joe said the changes would be made and a final draft brought before the Board for approval on September 23rd. Joe also offered to provide the revised Collection Plan for consideration of the Board at that time.

Fred Hearns suggested that a citizen's guide explaining the process of approaching the Library Board and highlighting the types of library services available should be made available for the public. Joe agreed and said he would have staff work on it.

New Northwest Regional Library: Kay O'Rourke thanked the Library Board once again for their approval of the Bearss Ave. site as the location for the new Northwest Regional Library. She said she was very disappointed to discover that the back-up site in Northdale has already been stripped of trees. She confirmed with Israel Grajales, Architectural Services, that this would not be the case with the Bearss Ave. site. Mr. Grajales agreed that the intention is to preserve as much of the natural setting as possible.

West Tampa Library: Jerusha Tyson, President of the West Tampa Friends, asked for a status report on the purchase of land for the West Tampa expansion. Joe said negotiations are underway. Charlie Prather, Real Estate Department, will be contacted for an update.

Downtown Revitalization: Joe reported that there had been no further communication from the City regarding the proposed plan for revitalizing downtown Tampa. David Wullschleger is maintaining a file of John F. Germany Public Librarydesigns that have been used around the country. In fact, Jan Platt recently referred a brochure about the new Greensboro Public Library in North Carolina to him. Ron Rotella has also been advised to bring any concrete proposals to the Library Board.


Sunday Hours for South County: Helen Swisshelm reminded the Board that they voted to have the Chairman Sandra Cameron send a letter to County Administration in support of Sunday hours for the Ruskin Library, providing that funding is available. This was done. Sunday hours for Ruskin was 4th on the Library Board's Desired Decision Unit List. The first three priorities were recommended for funding. With an additional $40,940 in funding, a tremendous service could be provided to South County residents who do not have Sunday service currently.

Helen said she had spoken to Commissioner Platt. The Commissioner noted that the BOCC would receive public comment during two September public hearings. Helen said she was advised that Library Board members should appear at the September 8th Budget Public Hearing to support this proposal. It was agreed that Helen Swisshelm, as Chairman of the Budget Committee, and Josephine Gracia, as representative of District 4, should be present to explain the Library Board's position to the BOCC.

Joe Stines said that, during a meeting with the Management & Budget Department to address an Administrative Referral, two solutions to the funding issue were offered:

  • Take the money from planned Contingency Reserves, reducing the current $600,000 by a relatively small amount which may be replaced later if revenues come in higher.
  • Reduce the planned operating or book budget elsewhere.

Helen Swisshelm argued that the Library Board was under the impression that the funding could come from an unanticipated increase in ad valorem taxes. Joe responded that this did not appear possible. However, the two other options suggested by Management & Budget could be considered.

The Board agreed that reducing the operating or book budget is not an option. However, borrowing temporarily from Contingency Reserves was. It was suggested that Dan Klein be invited to the September Library Board meeting to address Library Taxing District revenues.


Elizabeth Blue made the motion that the Library Board ask the Management & Budget Department to provide a written overview of revenue projections for the Library Taxing District, FY00-01. Helen Swisshelm seconded the motion.

      - The motion passed 9-0.






An e-mail from Jan Stein on 8/13/99 indicated that the lights were shipped in mid-August. Installation should take place within 30 days of the Notice to Proceed.


Media Reports: Joe Stines shared newspaper articles relating to the Library. The electronic library in Progress Village received excellent coverage.

September 1, 1999 BOCC Agenda: Several important Library Service Agenda Items will go before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on September 1.

Acceptance of three grants including:

  • a Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant in the amount of $33,021 for the "Born to Read" program
  • a LSTA grant in the amount of $13,305 for creation of an electronic library at the Keysville Recreation Center
  • A Gates Foundation Grant in the amount of $183,149 for the purchase of additional computer hardware and software for eleven branches. The branches were selected according to poverty level guidelines. The 78th Street Community Library and the electronic libraries at the Bethune and Wimauma Recreation Centers will receive several each. A Gates Lab will also be set up at the West Tampa Library.
  • Approval of a Cooperative Interlocal Agreement with the Cities of Plant City and Temple Terrace. This five-year agreement between Hillsborough County and the Municipalities of Plant City and Temple Terrace will create the Hillsborough County Cooperative Interlocal Agreement. Formation of this cooperative will maximize funding available under the State Aid to Libraries Law of 1961. All parties will benefit.
  • Approval the Library's State Aid Application for funding in FY99-00.

Northwest Regional Library: Northwest has continued to have air-quality problems during the hot, humid months of summer. However, the building is basically stable at this time.

Use of Alcoholic Beverages on County-Owned Property: A policy regarding the use of alcoholic beverages on County property is being drafted at this time. This proposal bans all alcohol from county-owned buildings with exceptions being made for functions held at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Center Place, etc. County Administration has requested input from Library Services and other county departments that could be affected. The Parks & Recreation Dept. is opposed to the use of alcohol in its facilities under any circumstances. After consulting with the Friends of the Library, Joe responded that the issue is not critical to Friends functions. Nor did he see it as a threat to library functions; however, it remains to be seen how City-owned library facilities would be affected by the county policy. Research is being done on this issue. The Library Board agreed that there are more pressing issues to be concerned with.


Director's Salary: Fred Hearns brought up the need to monitor the Director's salary to be sure that it is in line with that of his counterparts in Florida. Joe responded that Pricewaterhouse Coopers is doing a study for the County. Fred said he would like the minutes to reflect the Library Board's concern that salaries for management be continually upgraded.

78th Street Community Library Sign: Fred Hearns asked for an update on the installation of the sign at the 78th St. Community Library. Joe said he would get an update from Suzy George. The sign will be blue, with white letters like all of the others.




The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 PM

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: September 23, 1999
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: John F. Germany Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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