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 4:10 p.m. A quorum was present.


Library Board Members Present:
Sandra Cameron, Mary Sherman
Dora Reeder, Anniece Ross
Elizabeth Blue, William Scheuerle
Catherine Bartolotti, Ian Greig
Helen Swisshelm
Library Board Excused:

Josephine Gracia
Library Board Absent:

Kay O'Rourke

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
David Wullschleger, Operations & Technology
Jean Peters, Community & Information

Jackie Zebos, Administrative Services
Barbara Marquette, Administrative Assistant

Special Guests:
Assistant County Attorney Linda Davidson,
Mike Kelly, Director, Real Estate

Members of the Public:
Cindy Brumbly, Upper Tampa Bay FOL
Maureen Gauzza, President, Upper Tampa Bay FOL
Catherine Sawa, Treasurer, Upper Tampa Bay FOL
Paul Gauser, Vice President, Upper Tampa Bay FOL
Grant Walters, Citrus Park Civic Association.


The minutes from the October 26, 2000 Library Board meeting were approved as written.


Included in the Committee Reports.





Sandra Cameron chaired the December 5 committee meeting due to the absence of Kay O'Rourke, Committee Chairman. Mike Kelly, Director, Real Estate, asked the Committee for guidelines in locating the Upper Tampa Bay and the Brandon library sites. Mr. Stines suggested that the meeting concentrate on the Upper Tampa Bay property since so many residents were present. Bill Scheuerle encouraged comments from the residents of Upper Tampa Bay. Mr. Stines summarized the proposal of a joint facility with Hillsborough Community College for the citizens of Upper Tampa Bay. The property that HCC proposed is on north Gunn Hwy., 3.6 miles from the Austin Davis Library. Acceptable site boundaries were noted, the east boundary being Sheldon Rd. up to Waters Ave. with Race Track Rd. to the west, Linebaugh Ave. south.

The Board stated that the siting policy suggests a minimum of five-mile distance between libraries. Ms. Gauzza suggested speaking with the Austin Davis Friends to see how they feel. Mr. Stines asked whether Upper Tampa Bay felt comfortable with the location that HCC was proposing. Ms. Gauzza stated that they would prefer the area around the Eagles, where there is a new school, or any place around Linebaugh, Countryway and Waters Ave. Ms. Gauzza stated that she had spoken to Rob Wolf and Mike Kelly about the HCC proposal and that they did not know the square footage of the building being proposed. She also has some research from St. Petersburg where it took three years to settle on the building. Ms. Gauzza raised the question of traffic congestion; the partnership with Hartline would involve a Park & Ride facility as well as traffic generated by students attending the college. Ms. Gauzza has emailed Mr. Wolf with questions regarding the square footage, expectations of the library system, the County, and completion dates. In Oldsmar, St. Pete Jr. College started a small community campus and five years later it closed. There is concern that the same thing could happen in this instance. Mike Kelly stated that one of his concerns is that HCC indicated they need the land proposal to the State by February 15 in order for them to pursue the $1.8 million funding. It may not be feasible for the county to complete the necessary agreements to comply with that date. The Planning Committee and the Library Board will be visiting the site along with the Upper Tampa Bay Friends. Sandra Cameron stated that less than a five-mile radius is a concern and that the HCC property does not meet the needs of Upper Tampa Bay residents. Bill Scheuerle asked what Upper Tampa Bay thought of the proposed boundaries. Ms. Gauzza stated that the boundaries are very similar to those proposed by the Northwest Master Plan. Paul Gauser stated that he felt a partnership with elementary and middle schools would be better suited to the needs of the community. Grant Walters commented that there are two properties at the Linebaugh and Sheldon crossroads, one on the Southwest corner at the CSX railroad tracks and Linebaugh at Sheldon. Another piece, which is on the old Linebaugh Rd. that connects to the new Linebaugh Rd., is a large island type piece on the east side of Sheldon across the street from a Circle K. Mike Kelly will investigate other properties in the vicinity. Friends of the Upper Tampa Bay will be notified of upcoming site visits.

Mary Sherman accepted the appointment of South Brandon building liaison. The immediate priorities will be West Tampa, Upper Tampa Bay and South Brandon.


Budget Committee Chairman, Helen Swisshelm, reported that the BOCC approved changing the completion dates for the Upper Tampa Bay and the Brandon libraries to 2004. A Capital Projects summary was handed out to each Board member. Ms. Swisshelm asked Joe Stines to address the issue of borrowing. He stated that the BOCC had adopted the amendment to Option One, which was the one that Eric Johnson had briefed the Board on. The BOCC's action leaves a strong possibility that a $3.4 million debt will be incurred when all new libraries are opened. The challenge will be to secure as much grant funding as possible as well as donated land to allay the debt's impact on the Taxing District operating funds. The day after the BOCC meeting, notification of a $40,000 grant award for the West Tampa Preservation Project was received from the State Division of Historical Resources. Mr. Stines will suggest that David Brown send a letter to all the Friends of the Library groups asking them to lobby the legislature for full funding for the public library construction grant program and the State Aid program for FY01. The next challenge will be managing grant applications to meet the timelines of both the Upper Tampa Bay and the Brandon library projects. The library has been very fortunate that construction funds for libraries are authorized in state statute. The CIT will help to offset the borrowing. When the CIT funded projects move forward, that money becomes available. Joe will ask the Management and Budget department to present to the Board an analysis each budget year so that it can monitor the spending for the new projects. Free or county owned land would be another way to offset the cost of the borrowing.

Helen Swisshelm reminded the Board that the .10 mil will be completely expended with the opening of the Jan K. Platt library and will be used for operating costs. A recent report from Jose Sanchez indicates that between FY94 through FY2000 $18.8 million was collected and $13.8 million was used to build 78th Street, New Tampa and the current $7.7 million for Jan K. Platt (including additional land). Approximately $3.5 million in operating funds has been spent through September 30, 2000. That totals $17.3 million and there is an additional $200,000 in the Jan K. Platt building reserve. If that money is not needed then it will go back into the Capital Reserve. $1.4 million is left for operating costs of the Jan K. Platt Library.

Ms. Swisshelm congratulated the staff and the Committee for all the successful work and thanked the Board members for attending all the meetings. Helen Swisshelm made the motion that a letter be sent to Commissioner Norman thanking him for advocating for the additional $5 million. Anniece Ross seconded the motion. Discussion followed. The motion passed unanimously.








Chairman Ian Greig stated that the committee had visited the Sarasota library. At its last meeting the committee drafted a letter to Mayor Greco. At the last Cultural District public meeting, which he and Anniece Ross attended, the committee produced several schemes: 1) divide the area into blocks; 2) included a park along the river; 3) a marina; 4) a library square; 5) boat slips. No one commented on eliminating the library but the chairman did stress that the library was an integral part of the district. Mr. Greig stated that the Poe garage has been slated for elimination but that there has been no discussion of the area north of the garage. Mr. Greig suggested to the developer that the Times Building be demolished and a parking garage built with a roof restaurant and specialty shops. It was also suggested that the Holiday Inn could be demolished and replaced with a symphony hall with additional parking and other restaurants, and shops. This is slated to become scheme 6. This would give the library more room to expand and more parking.

Anniece Ross stated that at the third meeting when the schemes were presented it was very interesting to see that one of them had library and library square and the comments were that the library needs to have a new front door and needs to be accessible, from the park. She stated that the planner had in mind when he said library was the library would occupy a portion of that building and that other resident performing arts groups would occupy a portion of this building. When they say library square they mean the library building remains its partially occupied by the library and its partially occupied by possibly resident performing arts groups and other kinds of cultural arts activities. The assumption is that the John F. Germany Library would remain functioning within this facility, but would include other activities. The Library Square scheme had the appearance of an outdoor amphitheater. Bill Scheuerle asked whether the History Center had been mentioned. Ms. Ross said that it had not. Ian Greig stated that the concept that the Performing Arts might be included into this building has come about because the Performing Arts has put out the idea that they would like to have a Performing Arts Library. Ms. Ross feels that there needs to be more activity in the cultural arts district and some of the institutions were saying we need space and we own this space so it's convenient. There is no suggestion that the library should be moved it's that other activities should be moved in here with it. The Cultural District Master Plan will be drawn up with no mention of funding. Ms. Ross stated that Ron Rotella did say that the History Museum funds seemed to be at risk with the new County Commissioners and that this is the only funding currently available for this project.

Joe Stines commented that he, Dan Kleman, Helen Levine and the full team of consultants met. Dan Kleman was very clear when he spoke to the consultants that the library had been a part of this cultural district and will remain a part of the district. The consultants no longer have any idea of building a new library. Mr. Kleman liked the library park scheme but was concerned about parking. He stressed there are 900 parking spaces there and that is obviously not enough; none of the buildings have enough parking. The consultants concluded that they need to add an additional 900 parking spaces. The parking issue became very clear to the consultants. Although it is outside the boundary, they have started looking at the south side of Ashley Dr. for possible parking. In the schemes that Mr. Greig and Ms. Ross saw there is an attempt to turn Ashley Dr. into a grand boulevard that would focus traffic and make it more difficult to cross. Most of the schemes show the front door of the library as being our current back door, coming into a park setting with the amphitheater. Mr. Kleman commented that he liked those schemes. The City commented that the one that had the library in a park would cost too much to reroute the traffic. Mr. Kleman was very clear, "in order for our library to blossom and grow, besides parking we need to slow the traffic on Tyler and Cass Streets."

The City stated that 30% of all traffic that comes into the City comes in on Cass St. There was a discussion on how to tie in the University of Tampa area as well as West Tampa so that people would feel comfortable walking and crossing the Cass St. bridge. There was some talk of building a free standing Arts Council building somewhere within one of the schemes. Mr. Kleman has asked the library to have a complete analysis of space for this building by January since there are things in this building that can be moved to other locations. Mr. Stines didn't know whether Mr. Kleman was thinking of a compromise to bring more activity to this building thus tying arts groups to our art collection. There were several comments on how the library is working with the Performing Arts Center and the Arts Center.

Mr. Stines stated that he left the meeting feeling that the library was a crucial part of the program and that it was here to stay. There's a lot of use left in the building. However, the Arts Council and others like them need space so why not maximize all the space that we have.

Bill Scheuerle commented on the trip to Sarasota. He stated that he was very impressed with the number of people in the library at any one time. He commented that it had a very large dedicated parking lot with several restaurants around. Anniece Ross stated that it was a very interesting example of how a library can be a vital part of a cultural arts district. Bill Scheuerle stated that there is a parking problem only when the opera is in season. Ms. Ross stated that this is one of the things we would have to bear in mind if we do something jointly with the Performing Arts Center if they have an event at the same time as the library. She also asked the question of the Sarasota staff "What was the primary business use of the library?" to which they responded, electronic access. Which brought up the question "What is the purpose of your physical presence in the downtown?" The Ad-Hoc Committee needs to address that question. Sandra Cameron thanked the members of the Ad Hoc Committee for their assistance in writing a letter to Mayor Greco.


Anniece Ross stated her concern with on-line programs and confidentiality. The library provides links to library patrons with companies or businesses and there should be no link to the individual. The Board does not want to be in the position of linking via a library card number or any other id of a library patron what they have been reading, what sites they have visited, what their library choices are. The Policy and By Laws committee needs to review this matter as possible legislation may be passed next session.

Sandra Cameron stated that the Board members had a copy of the agreement with the Children's Board.


The County Attorney's office has reviewed the Naming Policy and the By-Laws Committee will schedule a meeting before the next Board meeting. Joe Stines stated that Commissioner Platt has asked about the naming of the meeting room at the Jan K. Platt Library. Copies of the October 23, 1997 Board meeting was cited. At that time Mr. Touchton and Charlie Prather, Real Estate discussed the sale of the original land for the Platt library. Mr. Stines stated that at that time there was not a Naming Policy in effect. Mr. Touchton had asked consideration that the meeting room be named in memory of Mrs. Touchton's parents. Mr. Stines explained to the Board that this item could be deferred until the revised Naming Policy had been adopted or the Board could make a motion to name the room. Bill Scheuerle asked whether this request was covered by the policy. Joe Stines stated that it would fall under the donation in this case. The County Attorney Linda Davidson suggested that a limit be set as to the donation. Anniece Ross stated that in past discussions the Board had not wanted to set a schedule of donations. Linda Davidson stated that the reason for the donations in kind or cash was suggested was in case in the future someone questioned a decision that was made the Board would be able to cite criteria. She also stated that the policy might be further revised to include designees of donors. Elizabeth Blue made the motion to name the meeting room at the Jan K. Platt Library after Mrs. Touchton's parents. Dora Reeder seconded the motion. Anniece Ross stated that the reason for the Naming Policy is that the Library has intellectual property that is of value, an association with the library, which is a prestigious social institution. When we let someone put their name on or in the library that is an important social function that the Board performs. The Board should consider whether the name is appropriate, whether the timing is right and whether the portion of the library that the Board names is commensurate with gift that was made. The motion passed unanimously. Dora Reeder made the motion that a temporary sign be erected until a permanent one was available. Helen Swisshelm seconded the motion, it passed unanimously. Ian Greig stated that the committee consider deleting the statement "A significant donation shall be a donation in kind or cash all. . . " He felt that no value should be set and that the value should be determined by the Board. Sandra Cameron suggested that the sentence read "A significant donation shall be a donation in kind or cash." The By Laws Committee will take the suggestion into consideration at their next meeting.

Sandra Cameron discussed the letter sent to Daniel Kleman requesting the naming of the Northwest Library after Jimmie Keel, and read the response from Mr. Kleman. A specific time will be scheduled with the Board of County Commissioners at the December 20, 2000 meeting. The Stellar Group has projected that the building will be completed by December 15th, the Real Estate office will present to the Board of County Commissioners documentation to legally turn the building over to the County at the December 20th meeting.


Joe Stines stated that he meet with Wit Ostrenko, Director, MOSI and that MOSI's expansion is planned for 2003 and does involve major new buildings. Mr. Ostrenko assured the Board that the library would not be impacted by the renovations. However, if the Board would like to pursue a larger space and has the funding he would consider additional space for the library in the expansion. Once the plans are designed Mr. Ostrenko will show them to the Board. MOSI is also creating partnerships with Charter Schools and they have asked the library to expand the MOSI collection into areas such as Humanities. Joe Stines stated that the intent of the library was science. However, they will work with teachers to place holds through the system at large, but that he did not recommend changing the mission of that library. Mr. Ostrenko supports this position.

Revised Internet figures were included in the Board's packet. For the month of October there were 139 requests for unfiltered access, 132 for filtered access; 799 had no preference. The average wait is less than one minute for either of the machines. During peak times there were some waits of up to sixty-five minutes for a filtered machine. The goal is to have more filtered machines available. This report will be provided on a monthly basis. The Public Library Association yearly report shows that we are low in the number of Internet machines made available to the public and are particularly low in the number available to children.

The library has had an initial meeting with the School Board to explore the possibilities of a partnership at W. D. Waters, the old Jefferson High School.


Sandra Cameron presented to Elizabeth Blue a book on behalf of the Board signed by the Board members in recognition of her years of service to the Library Board.

The North Tampa Library parking lot is complete with wheel stops and lighting.

Sandra Cameron asked whether the library was working to extend Reciprocal Borrowing to Polk and Manatee counties. Joe Stines stated that Marcee Challener sits on the TBLC Committee that is working toward that and that Hernando and possibly Citrus counties are on line. Polk County is getting all its municipal libraries to come on board. Manatee and Sarasota have signed an Interlocal Agreement and have reciprocal borrowing between them. They may join shortly. Soon all ten counties within TBLC may have reciprocal borrowing.

Jan K. Platt dedication is December 11, 2000 at 11:00am


The meeting was adjourned at 6:15pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: January 25, 2000
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: New Tampa Regional Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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