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 4:05pm


Secretary Linda Arnold called the roll:

Library Board Members Present:
Linda Arnold, Sandra Cameron
Dora Reeder, Cathy Bartolotti
Helen Swisshelm
Kay O'Rourke, Bill Scheuerle
Library Board Excused:
Josephine Gracia, Arnold Kotler
Elizabeth Blue

Library Board Absent:
Fred Hearns

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
Marcee Challener, Assistant Director
David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations

Suzy George, Facilities Officer
Jeannie Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
Patrice Koerper, Public Relations Coordinator
Linda Gillon, Manager of Staff & Administrative Support
Marilyn Sheck, Manager of Automated Systems & Services

Special Guests:

Members of the Public:



After two corrections were noted for the record, the minutes from the June 24, 1999 minutes were approved by consensus.

As there were no special guests or presentations from the public, Sandra Cameron proceeded with the agenda. She announced that congratulatory letters had been sent to Prissy Lakus and Virginia Rivers to commend them for their hard work on the Storytelling Festival. She also shared Nancy Crippen's resignation letter.




The 1999-2000 list of committee members was reviewed and updated. The following assignments were made:

Budget Committee: Helen Swisshelm, Chairman, Elizabeth Blue, Fred Hearns, Sandra Cameron, ex officio.

Planning Committee:Kay O'Rourke, Chairman, Dora Reeder, Josephine Gracia, Fred Hearns, Catherine Bartolotti, Bill Scheuerle, Linda Arnold, Sandra Cameron, ex officio.

Policies & ByLaws Committee: Dora Reeder, Chairman, Arnold Kotler, Catherine Bartolotti, Sandra Cameron, ex officio.

Internet Use Subcommittee: Elizabeth Blue, Chairman, Dora Reeder, Kay O'Rourke, Sandra Cameron, ex officio.

Long Range Planning Subcommittee: Elizabeth Blue, Sandra Cameron, ex officio.

Public Art Liaison: Fred Hearns (Jan Platt Regional Library).


Kay O'Rourke, Chairman of the Planning Committee, thanked the Library Board for their support at the June 30th meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). She expressed her delight that the motion to approve the Bearss Ave. site as the location for the new Northwest Regional Library was approved by a vote of 7-0. She said it would be a wonderful location and wonderful library. She then reviewed the updated projects list and Planning Committee assignments for FY99-00. Joe Stines gave the status of each project:

Egypt Lake Elementary School: This project continues to go well. The ribbon-cutting for the new media center should take place at the end of the next school year. In the meantime, summer programming has been a great success. Egypt Lake might well become a model for future cooperative ventures. Library staff members are completing a Library Services and Technology (LSTA) grant for the project. The completed joint facility on the Egypt Lake campus should open in the spring of 2000.
(Kay O'Rourke and Dora Reeder)

North Tampa Expansion/Parking Lot Improvements: This project will be done in two phases:

Phase I:    Improve on the existing parking (FY2000)
Phase II:   Pursue the possibility of purchasing land, obtaining a state grant or building a new facility instead of renovating the current building which is 30 years old. A recommendation from the Library Board will be needed this year in regard to Phase II.
(Bill Scheuerle)

Expansions of Lutz Library and West Gate: Since these expansions will not have Community Investment Tax (C.I.T.) funding until FY06 and FY05 respectively, these projects are not an immediate priority. They remain on the Planning Committee Project List for the future.

Northwest Regional Library: Now that land acquisition is no longer an issue, it is time to review building plans. Joe said he would set up a meeting with Israel Grajales in Architectural Services to begin the process. Kay O'Rourke agreed.
(Kay O'Rourke)

West Tampa: Funding for the purchase of two properties adjacent to West Tampa is available through the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) fund. Contracts should go before the Board of County Commissioners before the August Library Board meeting. C.I.T. funds will be available in FY03. THPL will submit a construction grant to the State next May. The land must be secured before the grant application can be submitted. The County may seek state funds for this project during the FY2000 Legislative Session.
(Dora Reeder, Catherine Bartolotti, Fred Hearns)

Carver City/Lincoln Gardens Electronic Library: Joe said he would be meeting with Joe Abrahams, Director of the City Parks and Recreation Dept., now that the City has funded a new recreation center in this area. The possibility of including an electronic library in the recreation center will be explored. Joe said he would go back to the citizens on August 5 to make a report.
(Catherine Bartolotti)

Tampa Heights Project: The possibility of providing expanded library service to the people in Tampa Heights will be explored since citizens of the area have expressed an interest.
(Fred Hearns)

Cooperative Interlocal Agreement: The final draft of the Cooperative Interlocal Agreement was ready to go before the Board of County Commissioners when the State Library objected to some of the wording. The old interlocals with Plant City and Temple Terrace were approved by the Board of County Commissioners on July 22. As soon as the Cooperative Interlocal Agreement is modified, it can replace the current interlocals. The Cooperative Interlocal Agreement should go before the BOCC before the end of September.
(Sandra Cameron)

SE County Regional Library: This project has no funding but it does have strong community support. Sites continue to be noted.
(Linda Arnold)

Sun City Center Library: Sun City Center (SSC) officials have expressed an interest in restoring relations with the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System (THPL). Marcee Challener and staff met with the new City Manager and SSC Library staff to discuss the restoration of library resource sharing to the Sun City Center community. A proposal containing the following elements was reviewed:

  • Reinstate SSC as a pick-up point for THPL materials
  • Consider SSC an electronic library; provide access to THPL databases.
  • Provide electronic resources training on-site or in a Gates Lab.
  • Explore feasibility of getting vendor's discounts for SSC acquisitions.
  • Resume faxing information to SSC patrons.
  • Future requests for enhancement of service must come to the Library Board.

Helen Swisshelm asked how people get books from electronic libraries. Joe said a mailing system is currently being used. When customers place holds, the books are mailed out as soon as they become available. He said it has not been expensive to do this so far and explained that electronic libraries are designed to be used primarily as homework centers. Only those who live within the zip codes served by the electronic library can have books mailed to them. He went on to say that, SSC would not be like the other electronic libraries in this regard. SSC would actually serve as a pick-up point for materials. Materials would not be mailed out to SSC patrons.

Helen said the Library Board needs to understand the electronic libraries better. She asked if they're so complicated that customers would be reticent to use them. Joe said "no". Marilyn Sheck pointed out that the use electronic libraries depends largely on the cooperation of recreation center staff. Bealsville is not being heavily used; however, Progress Village serves 50-60 people per week. Staff members in Progress Village are turning the computers on regularly.

Cork Facility: This project will be left on the Planning Committee list because it was discussed at a community meeting. Sandra Cameron asked to be notified if it comes up again. She said the School Board is preparing to renovate the old Cork school building and suggested that this might be a good partnering opportunity.
(Sandra Cameron)

Bealsville Facility: The electronic library in the Bealsville Recreation Center is operational. A permanent facility has been requested by citizens in community meetings.
(Sandra Cameron)

South County Regional Library: Funds are available to buy the land for this facility. Real Estate is looking for sites along 19th Ave. The goal is to have a contract to the BOCC in early 2000. Mike Kelly, Director of Real Estate, is working toward that end.
(Josephine Gracia)

John F. Germany Public LibraryStudy: It is necessary to start thinking about the future of the John F. Germany Public Library. Ron Rotella, City of Tampa, has been asked to address the Library Board and Friends of the Library if the City has any intentions of including the John F. Germany Public Libraryin a downtown re-development plan.
(Helen Swisshelm)

Revised Long-Range Plan: The Staff Long-Range Planning Taskforce has worked on strategic goals and objectives. The Citizen Taskforce will meet again on August 17th.
(Elizabeth Blue and Sandra Cameron)


Helen Swisshelm reported that the Library Board received their top three Desired Decision Units in the FY00-01 budget:

  1. Funding for Jan Platt Regional Library staff (28 positions)
  2. Funding of the Egypt Lake School partnership to allow for the continuation of this project in the school's new media center
  3. Additional staff for West Gate (2 positions)

Sunday hours for Ruskin was not funded. Helen suggested that, if there is extra money from ad valorem taxes, the Library Board may want to request funding for this Decision Unit before the end of the current budget cycle. Any other additional monies would probably go into Reserves.

Bill Scheuerle asked if enough people in Ruskin had requested Sunday hours. Helen Swisshelm explained that the Board of County Commissioners supports Sunday service at all libraries in Hillsborough County. Sunday hours have been provided so far in steps-- beginning with the regional facilities. Ruskin is a higher priority than other branches because it serves all of South County.


Helen Swisshelm made a motion that the Chairman of the Library Board send a letter to Dan Kleman to say that the Library Board is happy with the recommended budget for FY00-01, but asking that Sunday hours for the Ruskin Library be given consideration if ad valorem tax funds become available. Kay O'Rourke seconded the motion.

      - The motion passed 6-0.

The following Desired Decision Units also remain unfunded:

  • Cash registers
  • Custodian position
  • Electronic Reference Center
  • Outreach Programming Team
  • Carpet replacement (various libraries)


Chairman, Dora Reeder, said she would call a meeting of the Policies & ByLaws Committee this Fall. The ByLaws will be reviewed in January.


On July 12, the FBI requested copies of the Library's Internet sign-up sheets after an individual allegedly sent a threatening e-mail from one of THPL's computers. The records were provided after the appropriate subpoena was obtained. Helen Swisshelm noted that Susan Oliver was a speaker at the American Library Association Convention last month. She asked that Susan be invited to a Library Board meeting in August or September to share information on filtering.


According to Jan Stein, Public Art Coordinator for Hillsborough County, the Port Tampa City Library benches look beautiful. When the lighting is finished they will be one of a kind. They are ready for installation.


Good News for Library Volunteers: As of July 20, 1999, Library volunteers can park in Poe Garage and have their tickets validated by the Library. The new policy will apply to all volunteers.

Programming Guidelines: Upon the recommendation of the Board of County Commissioners, the Library will emphasize millennium activities this coming year. Programs will continue to emphasize reading, books, community interest and library awareness.

Y2K Compliance: Marilyn Scheck reported on the Library's preparedness for Y2K. She said the Library Department is ready and doesn't anticipate any problems unless there is a loss of power. Automated Systems & Services staff members prepared a Business Continuity Assurance Plan required by the County.

Public Relations & Partnerships Updates: Patrice Koerper was on hand to review several of the projects mentioned in the Director's Report. She said a picture of Ms. Steele, the first librarian who worked in the first Carnegie Library on 7th Ave., would be hung in the restored building now being used for City offices. Ms. Steele worked there from 1917-1947. Dora Reeder said it would be nice to have picture of Ada Payne also. She was the first Afro-American librarian in Hillsborough County and was responsible for getting books to the community when Afro-Americans couldn't go into the library. Joe agreed that it was a good idea and said he would pursue it.






As there was no unfinished or new business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:40pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: August 26, 1999
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: West Tampa Branch Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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