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

MINUTES FROM THE FEBRUARY 24, 2000 PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
JOHN GERMANY PUBLIC LIBRARY, 4-6pm

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Sandra Cameron called the meeting to order at 4:00pm

ROLL CALL AND ATTENDANCE OF STAFF & SPECIAL GUESTS:

Library Board Members Present:
Catherine Bartolotti
Elizabeth Blue, Sandra Cameron
Ian Greig, Fred Hearns
Anniece Ross, Dora Reeder
William Scheuerle, Helen Swisshelm
Library Board Excused:
Josephine Gracia

Library Board Absent:
Kay O'Rourke

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
David Wullschleger, Chief of Operations
Janet Lorenzo, Chief of Community and Access
Jean Peters, Chief of Reference and Information
Linda Gillon, Manager of Staff & Administrative Support

Sheryl Herold, Accountant,
Wilma Moore, Business Office,
Jean Fletcher, Administrative Assistant
 

Special Guests:
Dan Klein, Budget Manager
Andrea McDonough, Budget Analyst
Bob Gorin, State Library Consultant
Members of the Public:

None

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Sandra Cameron recognized the members of the Long-Range Planning Taskforce who were present for a reception prior to the Library Board meeting. She thanked them, on behalf of the entire Board, for the hard work they did on the Long-Range Plan 2000-2003. She said the document would be invaluable for staff.

Joe Stines added his thanks and paid tribute to the unique talents, viewpoints and experience that each Taskforce member brought to the project. He said this was precisely what was needed to formulate a plan for the entire community.

APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY 27, 2000 MINUTES

After corrections and additions were noted, the minutes from the January 27, 2000 PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD meeting were approved as written.

PRESENTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC/SPECIAL GUESTS:

Dan Klein, Budget Manager with Hillsborough County's Management & Budget Department, was on hand to address the Library Board regarding the Library Department's budget. He introduced himself as the Section Manager under Eric Johnson who has responsibility for the County's operating and capital budgets--"a staggering $2.3 billion." He also introduced Andrea McDonough, the Budget Analyst for the Library System.

Dan's agenda included the following topics: Sources & Uses FY97-01, FY2000 Revenues, FY2000 Expenditures, Status of the 1/10 Mill, Indirect Cost Allocation Plan, Program Budgeting, and Performance Measurements.

  • THE COUNTY'S OVERALL BUDGET

    Dan began by saying that the County's entire is available on the web and on CD. The CD includes the Operating Budget, Capital Budget and Taxpayer's Guide. Taxpayer's Guides are also available to the public in the John Germany and regional facilities. He explained that the County prepares a two-year budget. On alternate years the budget is planned and then adjusted. FY2000 is a year to update the budget that was approved last year.

  • THE LIBRARY DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET

    Sources & Uses FY97-FY01: Dan passed out the "Sources and Uses Schedule for FY1997 through FY2001" and made the following points:
    • The Library is maintaining its per capita expenditures: $13.28 in FY97, $14.25 in FY98, $15.76 in FY99 and a projected $16.31 in FY00.
    • Property taxes provide the largest portion of revenue for the Library. In the last 3-4 years, Hillsborough County has seen extensive growth in the tax base. This translates into increased revenue for the County's General Fund and for the Library Department.
    • The average growth in the tax base over the last 4 years has been 8%. This is very unusual when compared to the trend over the last 20 years, which shows growth of 4%.
    • Times have been good so departments supported by ad valorem taxes have fared well.

    Bill Scheuerle asked why Property Appraiser's Fees had gone from $3,032 in FY97 to $44,765 in FY98 and back down to $5,473 in FY99. Dan said he wasn't sure but he offered to find out.

    Helen Swisshelm asked about the discrepancy between the budgeted tax amount for FY00 ($20,991,029) and the actual amount ($16, 700,476). Dan said that the $16,700, 476 figure was the amount collected through the end of January 2000. This amount will increase as property taxes come in at the beginning of the fiscal year.

    FY2000 Revenues: Property taxes represent 84% of the Library's revenues, or approximately $21million. Revenues from "Miscellaneous," "Other," "Intergovernmental Revenue," and "Fines" are considerably smaller sources of funds at 3%, 5%, 7% and 1% respectively.

    FY2000 Expenditures: The largest segment of FY2000 expenditures is for Personnel-- 40% or $11.1 million. Other items include 18% for Books, 15% for Operating, 9% for Reserves and 6% for Capital. The amount under Capital and Books is dependent upon whether or not a new facility is being built.

    "Other Expenditures" includes transfers of funds, and fees to the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector. Joe Stines pointed out that Character 80 would also fall into this category;

    Joe said he and staff had looked at other libraries in the state to see what percent is budgeted for books. 15% seemed to be standard. He asked Dan if Management & Budget compares Hillsborough County departments to those in other counties of similar size. Dan said "no" but added that this is where things are heading. Through the Performance Measurement Initiative, Management & Budget will begin to capture information, look at trends and start "benchmarking". THPL's unit costs, levels of expenditures per capita, etc. will be compared to the library systems of the six other urban counties in Florida.

    Joe asked if the $2.6 for Reserves included construction. Dan said "yes--it includes both operating and capital." Of this amount, $1.4 comes from the .1 mill and has not been committed as yet.

    Status of the 1/10 Mill: Dan said the status of the .1 mill is tracked in "excruciating detail" by the Management & Budget Department. From FY94 through the 2000 budget, the ad valorem taxes associated with this funding source will bring in approximately $18.1 million. Interest on this money will generate another $600,000 for a total of $18,700,000 in revenue. Capital Expenditures of $13 million will come from this amount. Another $4.3 will be spent on operating expenses, leaving $1.4 million in Reserves. The Jan Platt Library will be the last library financed through the .1 mill. Any remaining funds will be used for operating costs. Joe noted that some of the money would be used for additional land for the Jan Platt Library as well. Reserves will help with four other projects: roofs for Riverview and Thonotosassa, a main chiller for the John Germany Library, and the additional land for the Jan Platt Library.

    Helen Swisshelm asked where donated monies are accounted for in the budget. Dan replied that these amounts are not reflected on the budget sheets unless there is an exchange of money. The donated libraries show up under Assets. Cash donations to the Library are recorded. This would show up in budgeted revenues under Miscellaneous Revenue.

    Helen asked if the donation of a library facility included the books & materials. Joe said "no." The County pays for the books and materials to stock any library building that is donated. "Book Expenditures per Capita" reflects what the County has paid exclusive of donations. Hillsborough County is currently paying $4.99 for books for every person in Hillsborough County.

    Joe said it gets harder and harder to keep up because the population keeps growing. He noted the trend over the last few years. FY97 ($4.37 per capita); FY98 ($3.40 per capita); FY99 ($3.50 per capita); FY00 ($4.99 per capita, including the opening day collection for the JPL). Joe said the impact is felt every time the population figures are adjusted upward; however, THPL is still doing better than it was 10 years ago. He said other library systems in the state are having the same problem.

    Ian Greig commented that book expenditures per capita should be considered in light of how many people in the County have library cards. Dan agreed that this would certainly be another way to look at it. 63% of Hillsborough County residents have library cards. Ian suggested that this figure was high--an indication that citizens are having their needs met.

    Dan Klein commented that the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is wrestling with resource allocation. Transportation is one of the biggest issues currently. He said that the Library has an advantage because it has its own funding source-- the Special Library Taxing District. This gives it protection that other county departments don't have.

    Fred Hearns asked whether the library realizes any monies from impact fees. Dan said "no" but agreed that this would be reasonable since development has a definite impact on the need for new libraries. He did not know of any counties in the state that do have impact fees for libraries.

    In the consideration of priorities for funding libraries, long standing community requests for libraries have been bumped for new projects which promise heavy demand. The library system is having to address need brought about by new development without the benefit of impact fee monies.

    Dan said another source of funds for the Library System is the CIT (Community Investment Tax). These funds are allocated through FY2008, with the most significant portion of library's funding going toward a South County Regional facility. He added that the Board of County Commissioners recognize that the ad valorem base is not sufficient to expand and build more libraries; however, while the CIT is an excellent source for constructing facilities, it doesn't provide monies to operate them. This is where the Library feels the impact ultimately.

    Joe asked if it would be possible for the Management & Budget Department to develop projections of Library expenditures and revenues for the next three-year period as a companion piece to the THPL Long-Range Plan 2000-2003. Dan said that this wouldn't be very difficult to do. He offered his assistance and said he'd be happy to help.

    Bill Scheuerle asked Dan for the County's definition of "Indirect Costs". Dan responded that Indirect Costs can be thought of as "the total cost of providing services." In the case of the Library Services Department, for example, it would be things like Administrative costs for the County Administrator's Office and fees paid to departments such as the County Attorney's Office, Budget Dept., Human Resources, Purchasing, Real Estate, Facilities, Information Technology, etc. The Library Department's share of Indirect Costs is based on a very detailed allocation plan. The amount ($705,333) is a component of the Library's budget and actually has not changed in the last several years and is half of the actual cost.

    Cathy Bartolotti asked what Indirect Costs are based on. Dan replied that it depends upon various criteria. For example, the Purchasing Department bills Library Services according to the number of purchase orders. Human Resources costs are allocated according to the number of employees. Management & Budget Dept. charges according to the number of budget transactions and so forth.

    Cathy also asked why the County doesn't charge the full amount of $1,010,666. Dan responded that this was an administrative decision. Fred Karl set Indirect Costs at $705,000 and Dan Kleman has not changed it. Joe said that, when Mr. Karl did this, the Library was spending more on Indirect Costs than on books. Dan agreed and said the more Indirect Costs go up, the more the taxpayer is affected directly. He said that the most significant portion of the Library's Indirect Costs is $671,000 for Facilities Maintenance.

    Joe said he wanted the Management & Budget Department to be aware of one important point that has been of concern to the Library Board. He explained that the Library Services Department has had to take over more and more functions previously handled by such departments as Human Resources, Purchasing, Civil Service, etc. yet Indirect Costs remain the same. These functions are being handled internally without the addition of more staff. He commented that the Library Board understood the necessity of paying these costs but increased workloads were something of a concern.

    Dan concluded his presentation by discussing "Program Budgeting." Using a new approach, Hillsborough County will try to determine the actual cost of the services it provides. The Library System's budget is currently based on the number of facilities, for example, rather than on service components. The County knows how much it costs to operate each branch library but it has not identified the cost of reference service, programming, etc.

    Dan said Program Budgeting would put the County in a better position to analyze its per capita cost for services. While costs per facility will still be tracked, Program Budgeting would be take the process a step further. Joe said he would like to approach Management & Budget in the near future about the possibility of doing an hour study as well. He said staff time is the most important consideration when determining program costs. Dan agreed that this would be very useful especially in the event of an economic downturn when it might be necessary to decide whether it would be better to close an entire branch or eliminate a particular service systemwide.

    Helen Swisshelm asked what would be done with the .1 mill once the Jan Platt Library is built. Dan replied that the money would be used for operating costs. That is one of the advantages of the .1 mill; because of continued growth, it is probably generating more than expected. He said he didn't foresee the BOCC doing away with the .1 mill.

    Joe said he would like to put together a brochure to show the taxpayers what the .1 mill has paid for. He said it would be nice to include pictures of the three libraries built with this funding source. Joe said the Friends of the Library would probably agree to underwrite the cost but he would need help from Management & Budget staff to prepare the brochure. Dan agreed that this would be a great idea.

    Helen Swisshelm commented that, after the .1 mill was implemented, the Library Board went back to the BOCC and got a small increase for media (videos & CD's) and part-time staff for Sunday hours. Even though it was a small increase in the millage, it might be interesting show taxpayers how this money was spent also.

    The Library Board thanked Dan for coming. Dan said he would be glad to come back at any time to address the Board regarding financial concerns.

  • COMMITTEE REPORTS:

    PLANNING COMMITTEE:

    In the absence of Kay O'Rourke, Joe Stines gave the Planning Committee report. He said the committee met on Feb. 15, 2000. The Library's Funded CIP (Capital Improvement Program) list was reviewed. The Library Board's project list was also updated. He passed out a copy of the minutes and the new projects list. He encouraged all Library Board members to volunteer for projects that interest them.

    BUDGET COMMITTEE:

    None.

    POLICIES & BYLAWS COMMITTEE:

    Dora Reeder said her committee met on February 23, 2000, for two main reasons: 1) to review the Library Board's current Policies & ByLaws and 2) to begin formulating a policy on the naming of libraries. She said revisions to the ByLaws were recommended; revised copies, with changes highlighted in red, would be mailed to the Library Board. Dora said the Library Board would need to vote to approve the changes at the March 23, 2000 meeting.

    She thanked Anniece Ross for the extensive research she has already done on the naming of public library buildings. She said her report was being submitted to the Library Board by Catherine Bartolotti, Anniece Ross, Dora Reeder, Chair and Sandra Cameron, ex officio.

    INTERNET USE SUBCOMMITTEE:

    None.

    PUBLIC ART:

    None.

    UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

    Internet Update: Elizabeth Blue gave an Internet update. She started by reminding the Library Board of its decision on February 24, 2000 to filter all libraries except the John F. Germany Public Library (John F. Germany Public Library). The decision to have unfiltered computers at regional facilities was left to Management and was to be dependent upon space requirements and the availability of staff to monitor computers. She called attention to a newspaper article regarding a Michigan community that is sharply divided on the issue of filtering. Half of the citizens wanted filtering and half did not. She said the Library Board could certainly relate to their struggle. She said the vote to filter did not pass in this situation. This community now has unfiltered Internet.

    Elizabeth said that she thought the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Advisory Board had done the best they could with this issue. An attempt had made to research the issue thoroughly and to satisfy all citizen needs. She said she felt confident and good about the February 24th decision.

    Based on the Library Board's decision, Joe reported the following:

    • Filtering has been installed on all Internet computers in the small and medium size branches.
    • If a particular site is blocked, a message appears on the screen to let the customer know how to have it unblocked.
    • No one has asked to have a site unblocked thus far.
    • No incidents have been reported.
    • During a recent meeting, Site Coordinators made it clear that they do not have enough staff to monitor computers. They also raised the issue of determining a customer's age. Ages have not been captured and added to the registration records in DYNIX.
    • The Library Code of Conduct states that children (those 17 years of age and under) could not have open access to the Internet.
    • It might be possible in the future to attach birth dates to library card records; however, it is not possible at this time.
    • Site Coordinators voted for filtering.
    • Filtering would be turned on at all library facilities (including regionals) except the John F. Germany Public Library downtown.
    • The John F. Germany Public Library will be looked at to see what can be done to maximize monitoring.
    • The filter will not be turned on at the John F. Germany Public Library unless staff is directed to do so by the Library Board or the Board of County Commissioners.
    • A letter was sent from Sandra Cameron to Dan Kleman via Jimmie Keel explaining the Library Board's decision regarding filtering.
    • Commissioner Storms sent a memo to Mr. Kleman's office requesting time on the BOCC Agenda for March 15, 1:30 p.m. The Commissioner will make a presentation at this time. She has asked for a copy of the minutes from January 27th. A draft was provided. Approved minutes will be sent to her following approval. She also asked for photographs of the Library's Internet machines. These will be provided.
    • By March 15, 2000 all Internet computers will be filtered except those at the John F. Germany Public Library.
    • Management will do everything it can to allow for more unfiltered access in the future.
    • A bill introduced into the Florida House may make the filtering of 50% of a Library System's computers a requirement for State Aid. FLA (Florida Library Association) will fight the bill. FLA Advocate, Jodi Fitzgerald, will lobby that this is a Home Rule issue.
    • A group of parents is suing Broward County after an incident that they feel would not have happened had the library filtered.

    Bill Scheuerle said that, when additional staff members are added to the regional libraries, more computers could be "unfiltered." Elizabeth Blue agreed and reiterated that this decision was left to Management's discretion. Helen Swisshelm asked if there was going to be enough staff to monitor the Internet computers at the downtown facility. Joe said he would discuss the issue with staff. She noted that there are aisles of computers. Joe agreed but explained that the only unfiltered Internet machines are downstairs in the Business & Government section. There are only four unfiltered machines at this time.

    Bill Scheuerle suggested that Joe meet with Dan Kleman to say that computers in all facilities are filtered with the exception of the four in the John Germany Public Library. He said this is a clear explanation of what the Library Board has done--that the Library Board is committed to unfiltered access at the John F. Germany Public Library downtown.

    Helen Swisshelm said she felt the Library Board had done their best to accommodate all users. Ian Greig agreed and congratulated the Library Board on their hard work and careful decision. He said he agreed with the decision made on February 24 and would have voted in favor of the motion. He offered his full support for what he considered to be "an excellent policy."

    Ian asked if it would be possible to add a customer's age to his or her library card in order to monitor open access to the Internet. Joe said this may be possible in the future. The entire process would take 3-4 years as every customer would eventually have to be re-registered. Elizabeth Blue commented that this is what the Library Board wanted to do originally but the technology wasn't there to support it.

    Ian asked how far the Library is away from having the technology now. Joe said he wasn't sure. He added that the down side to this idea is that an adult and child could still be in close enough physical proximity for problems to occur. Joe went on to say that, ideally, people should be able to use their library card from home to use the products that the Library subscribes to. This is one of the Library's goals. Patron authentication would be needed for this purpose also.

    Helen Swisshelm commented that the Internet Use Subcommittee had "wrung every bit of water" out of the Internet issue. She said she hoped that they could now focus on other issues like electronic books and other positive electronic products rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the Internet. She encouraged staff to give input on other electronic products and resources.

    NEW BUSINESS:

    Sandra Cameron announced that it would be necessary to replace Linda Arnold as Secretary of the Library Board. As indicated in the ByLaws, this person is responsible for taking and monitoring attendance.

    Helen Swisshelm nominated Bill Scheuerle to serve as Secretary until June 30, 2000 when a new slate of officers will be elected. He was confirmed unanimously and congratulations were offered.

    DIRECTOR'S REPORT:

    Joe asked for questions regarding the report sent to the Library Board in the monthly mailing. As there were none, he added the following comments:

    • Staff members are working with Susan Schubert, in Management & Budget, to begin the budget process and define mandated services. Standards will be set. The Library Board will be kept informed.
    • The ADA upgrade for the John Germany Public Library is still in progress.
    • The Lutz Library roof is leaking around the air-conditioner but it will be fixed immediately.
    • Jeannie Fletcher will be leaving Library Services in on March 9 to pursue other career objectives.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    None.

    ADJOURNMENT:

    The meeting was adjourned at 6:10pm

    Next Library Board Meeting:
             Date: March 23, 2000
             Time: 4pm-6pm
             Location: Bruton Memorial Library

                     - Unless notified otherwise


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