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 4:00pm She asked Josephine Gracia to call the roll.


Secretary, Linda Arnold called the roll:

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

Library Board Absent:
Fred Hearns

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

Janet Lorenzo, Chief of Community and Access
Suzy George, Facilities Officer
Jean Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
Linda Gillon, Manager, Staff & Administrative Support

Special Guests:
Mike Kelly, Director of Real Estate
Elita Cobbs, Assistant County Attorney
Members of the Public:



Chairman Sandra Cameron called for corrections and/or changes to the September 23, 1999 Library Board minutes. After Anniece Ross and Bill Scheuerle noted several, the minutes were approved.


Mike Kelly, Director of Real Estate, brought several issues before the Library Board:

Alcoholic Beverage Policy: Mike Kelly distributed drafts of an Alcoholic Beverage Policy that are under consideration. He said he wanted to get the Library Board's input before placing the item on the November 16, 1999 BOCC meeting agenda. He compared and contrasted two drafts.

Draft 1 - Would prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages on County property and property controlled, leased or managed by the County, with the exception of Center Place, the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) and Legends Field. In the case of Center Place and MOSI, Library Administration would have to be notified and adequate precautions would have to be taken to prevent the co-mingling of Library patrons and guests attending the event.

Draft 2 - Would allow the use of alcoholic beverages within County libraries that are closed to the general public but open for special events. The use of alcoholic beverages would be acceptable only with the approval of the Library Board.

Joe Stines commented that the use of alcoholic beverages has been approved, in the past, for special events taking place after hours. He said such events have been few and far between in recent years.

Helen Swisshelm asked how practical it would be to have groups come to the Library Board to approve the use of alcoholic beverages. Elita Cobbs said the policy would be designed for special events that require planning so there would be time to do this. Joe agreed and said a good example would be the reception for the Legislative Delegation being held at the Port Tampa City Library. He said the library would be closed to customers that evening; at least three weeks notice was given. Joe added that some events have been planned for Friday evening when the libraries close at 5:00pm

Helen Swisshelm asked how groups would know that they must apply to the Library Board for permission to use alcoholic beverages. Joe responded that Library Administration would need to develop a procedure. All requests would have to come through the Director's Office to the Board. A similar process is already in place for special after-hour use (alcohol not requested) although requests are not forwarded to the Library Board for approval.

Anniece Ross asked what the County is trying to prevent. Elita Cobbs responded that a clear policy would ensure that certain standards are maintained--the need for indemnification insurance to protect the County, for example. She said the Board could require security or whatever would protect County property.

Anniece said that Draft 2 sounded reasonable. Bill Scheuerle agreed and said that Draft 2 acknowledges that libraries are more than books.


Helen Swisshelm made a motion to accept Draft 2. Anniece Ross seconded.

Kay O' Rourke asked if this would open the door to allowing libraries with coffee shops to serve Irish coffee. Joe said no. This proposal does not involve alcohol for sale. Helen Swisshelm added that an organization would need a liquor license in that case.

      - The motion passed 6-0 in favor

Real Estate Issues:

Peninsular Library Parking Mike Kelly said that a license agreement has been entered into to expand the leased offsite parking at the Peninsular Branch Library by ten spaces. The agreement has been approved by the BOCC. Joe commented that all staff cars are now being parked off site.

Additional Land for West Tampa Agreements with two landowners have been signed. Mr. Kelly explained that he wanted to bring this matter to the Library Board because of the amount of money involved. The first parcel appraised at $9,000 and can be acquired for $10,000. He said this did not present a problem. However, the second property, the quadriplex just west of the library building, is another matter. It appraised for $75,000 and the owner is asking $180,000. Helen Swisshelm asked if the price could go up if the County waits much longer to purchase it. Mike Kelly responded that it could. Anniece Ross asked when the parcel would be purchased. Mr. Kelly responded: "the first quarter of 2000." He added that the amount is budgeted.


Bill Scheuerle made a motion that the Library Board approve the purchase of the land west of the current West Tampa facility. Helen Swisshelm seconded.

Anniece Ross asked if the amount for the property could go down. Mike Kelly said it could go either way. He added that it could also get hung up in the estate, in which case the purchase would be delayed indefinitely.

      - The motion passed 6-0 in favor

South County Library Site Mike Kelly said he'd met with the School Board on 10/27/99 and the latter indicated a desire to partner with Hillsborough County. The consensus of the School Board and South County Coalition is that a South County Regional Library should be sited next to the elementary school located on 19th Ave. between U.S. Hwy. 301 and U.S. 41. Joe Stines commented that funding to purchase the library site is already available through the Community Investment Tax (CIT). The site next to the school is high and dry and citizens have expressed interest in it serving as a hurricane shelter. Mike Kelly commented that the Parks & Recreation Department is interested in siting a park in the area as well. He said he did not need a motion from the Library Board regarding this matter. All agreed, however, that the site on 19th Ave. is a good location.

Status of Site Acquisition (New Northwest Regional Library) Mike Kelly said probate has been settled on the parcel to the south of the primary site on Bearss Ave. The County is now clear to proceed in January with the purchase of the Henderson property. He said the Real Estate Department is still negotiating with the Church to acquire additional land for the access to Smitter Rd. Mike said he was optimistic that an agreement would be reached in the next 30 days.

Helen Swisshelm asked when the new Northwest Regional Library would open. Kay O'Rourke responded that the Stellar Group is moving very quickly. The new facility could open as soon as fall of 2000.

John Germany Library Carpeting Joe commented on the poor condition of the 4th floor carpet that was installed in 1996. He said it had not been cleaned and maintained properly. Joe asked Mike to follow up to be sure that the same thing doesn't happen with the new carpet on the 1st and 2nd floors. Suzy George said she'd met with Doug Dennis, Head of the Custodians, and representatives of the cleaning contractor. All parties signed a paper stating that manufacturer's cleaning recommendations would be followed. Mike said he would follow up with Don Harwig.

Joe Stines brought up the fact that the date for the re-naming chosen by the City conflicts with another commitment made previously by the Board of County Commissioners. Richard Blau commented that MacDill AFB had already been contacted and a fly-over had been planned for the October 15th event. Anniece Ross said that the fly-over would be wonderful but suggested that it would be even more appropriate to select a date when the Commissioners could attend. Dora Reeder agreed that the people who would have to miss the event are the ones who should be there. Mr. Blau said he would call Mr. Yerrid's office to see if another date could be arranged. Sandra Cameron thanked Mr. Blau for coming.



There will be a meeting of the Planning Committee on January 27, 2:30pm, prior to the Library Board.


Dan Klein, Budget Manager, will attend the February 24, 2000 Library Board meeting to discuss funding sources. Helen Swisshelm announced that Sunday hours for Ruskin start on 11/7. This has been included in the budget.






Friday, December 3, 5:30pm is slated for the unveiling of the public art at the Port Tampa City Library. The ceremony will be combined with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The first Jan Platt Regional Library Art Committee was scheduled for November 4, 6:30pm-7:30pm at the Interbay Boys and Girls Club, 4002 Collidge Ave. Joe Stines said everyone was welcome to attend and become involved.


Jan Platt Regional Library Update The Winn Dixie is torn down. Joe said he met with members of the Fair Oaks Community Association. They are very excited about the library. Groundbreaking should take place early in December. The Notice to Proceed has gone out.

Re-Naming Ceremony The re-naming ceremony for the John F. Germany Public Librarywill take place November 1, 12 noon. After that date the library at 900 North Ashley Drive will be called the "John F. Germany Public Library." A large crowd is expected. Food will be provided by Holland & Knight and C.Steven Yerrid. Mr. Germany seems very excited and pleased.

North Tampa Library Update North Tampa will re-open next week. $45,000 was spent to clean the books and install new ductwork. The air-conditioning system was bringing in too much air from the outside and the building was saturated with water. The same cleaning and re-engineering may have to be done at the Thonotosassa Library.

Ruskin Library Open House An Open House celebrating the re-opening of the Ruskin Library will be held Tuesday, November 2, 1:30pm Tours and a reception will follow.

Burglaries Joe reported that five branches have been robbed recently. In the case of the Riverview Branch Library (RIV), the entire safe was carried off. Helen Swisshelm suggested that a new policy including weekend deposits might be necessary. Joe said measures would be taken to tighten security.

Oral History Project The oral history project called "Juniors to Seniors: Hillsborough Remembers" is progressing well. Twenty high school students, from four schools, were chosen to participate by interviewing seniors who lived through the WW II era. Joe said the Library Board would be invited to a presentation when the project is complete.

Support for Additional State Aid Joe encouraged the Library Board to request Secretary of State Katherine Harris to ask for an additional $1.2 million in aid to library cooperatives and a $15 million increase of State Aid to public libraries above and beyond the FY2000 budgeted amount.


Helen Swisshelm made a motion that the Library Board send letters to Governor Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris in support of the initiative to acquire an additional $1.2 million for library cooperatives and $15 million for public libraries in general. Bill Scheuerle seconded the motion.

      - The motion passed 6-0 in favor

Draft Reference Policies Drafts of the revised Reference Policies for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System (THPL) were reviewed by the Library Board. Marcee Challener said the current policies were condensed into five. She said that the committee members who wrote the policies worked hard and did a lot of research. She noted that the American Library Association's Code of Ethics was incorporated and adapted to the THPL model. Anniece Ross suggested several changes and Marcee noted them for the record. Joe Stines assured the Board that the changes would be made and that training would follow when the new policies are distributed.


Anniece Ross made a motion to accept the draft Reference Policies as amended. Kay O'Rourke seconded.
(Ross/O' Rourke)

      - The motion passed 6-0 in favor

The Library Board commended staff members on a job well done.

New Circulation High Joe Stines pointed out that THPL circulation passed the 4 million mark for the first time. He said this new high was very impressive considering that a number of branches were closed at some point during the year. Helen Swisshelm commented that circulation for Lutz was up 23%. Seffner/Mango, Austin Davis, Port Tampa City and 78th Street also showed strong increases.






Sandra Cameron adjourned the meeting at 5:55pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: December 9, 1999
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: John F. Germany Public Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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