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 4:00 p.m.


Library Board Members Present:
Sandra Cameron, Helen Swisshelm
Dora Reeder, Ian Greig
Kay O'Rourke, Bill Scheuerle
Anniece Ross, Cathy Bartolotti
Library Board Excused:
Mary Sherman
Josephine Gracia
Library Board Absent:

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
David Wullschleger, Operations & Technology
Linda Gillon, Staff & Administrative Support

Jean Peters, Reference and Information
Jackie Zebos, Administrative Services
Barbara Marquette, Administrative Assistant

Special Guests:
Assistant County Attorney, Linda Davidson
Acting Assistant County Administrator, Helen D. Levine, Ph.D.
Members of the Public:



Helen Swisshelm moved that the January 25 meeting minutes be approved as written. Dora Reeder seconded the motion.








Chairman Helen Swisshelm reported that Mr. Stines explained to the committee the new budget procedure. The committee approved a decision unit for $225,000 to upgrade the library computer system and its cash collection capability. Ms. Swisshelm stated that the County Administrator is having the library complete a "what if" exercise. What would the library recommend if required to reduce its budget by 5% without cutting services? The committee identified four items:

  1. reduce operating hours at Peninsular Library
  2. reduce the security by 50% systemwide
  3. reduce reference service hours as possible
  4. eliminate extra Sunday hours at the John F. Germany Library

Five percent of the budget is approximately $1,143,000. Ms. Swisshelm went on to explain the ranking procedure and stated that if there had to be cuts the Peninsular Library was given the highest ranking since the service could be diverted. It was followed by MOSI, Ybor City, Egypt Lake, and the Interlocal Agreements. The Seffner-Mango Library was ranked above College Hill and below Port Tampa.

The Budget Committee moved that the Board reprioritize the decision units. Discussion followed. Mr. Stines explained that each year the county uses a zero-based budget. This means that it builds from the bottom up. Since state law mandates the John F. Germany Library, it has to be number one. The next priority after the collection and the computer system and support staff are the regional libraries that serve the largest communities and have the largest circulation and collections. Next are large community libraries, then neighborhood libraries, and the Interlocal Agreements with Temple Terrace and Plant City. The last three are MOSI, Ybor, and Peninsular. Ms. Swisshelm asked Mr. Stines to list the neighborhood libraries in ascending order. They are Peninsular, MOSI, Ybor, Egypt Lake, Interlocal Agreements, West Tampa, Port Tampa City, Seffner-Mango, and College Hill. Ms. Ross stated that, as she understood it the Peninsular Library was the first to go because the Jan Platt Library could provide the majority of services provided at the Peninsular Library. Ms. Swisshelm stated that it was due to the proximity. Mr. Stines stated that no where else in the county were there two large collections within a two-mile radius. Ms. Ross asked whether the John F. Germany Library would serve the patrons of the Ybor Library. Mr. Stines responded yes. Chairman Sandra Cameron called for the vote. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Sandra Cameron interrupted the meeting to introduce Helen D. Levine, Ph.D., Acting Assistant County Administrator. Ms. Levine stated that she was glad to be here and working with the Library Board.

The Budget Committee has recommended that the Board accept the Library Administration's proposal to upgrade the library's Dynix computer system to the Sunrise system at a cost of $225,000. Mr. Stines explained that the library has had the Dynix system for approximately nine years. The new software is called Sunrise. In about a year and a half Epixtech will no longer support the Dynix software. The Hillsborough County School Board and the Tampa Bay Library Consortium will also be upgrading to the new Sunrise software. The library has approximately $75,000 in this year's budget for Phase One. Phase Two will cost approximately $225,000. The library has been working with Roger Dean, Director of Information and Technology, and is on his work plan for 2002 in case we need help with implementation. We expect his support as this decision unit goes through the budget process. Ms. Swisshelm stated that all of the Decision Units recommended two years ago have been accomplished except for the cash registers. Mr. Stines stated that the major concern is that the Dynix software has a cash collection module that will work. However, the Clerk of the Circuit Court's interpretation of the law has not allowed us to use the cash collection module of Dynix. This leaves the cash register as the only option. The Clerk's Office audited the library in 1992 and we have addressed every issue except that of hand written receipts. With cash registers it would be a two step process and with Dynix it would only take one step. Ed Hunzeker, Assistant County Administrator of Management Services, feels that we should be able to use Dynix. We are still waiting for permission to use the Dynix system. Chairman, Sandra Cameron called for the vote. The motion passed unanimously.

The third item discussed by the Budget Committee was the 5% budget reduction exercise with a target of reducing the budget by $1.181 million. The Committee recommended the following:

  1. Reduce the operating hours at Peninsular to a neighborhood library level. The Peninsular Library hours have already been reduced to a "community level." What this action would do is bring it back to a neighborhood level. Dr. Scheuerle stated that this action fits in with the Decision Unit priorities. Mr. Stines explained that the Board has already taken the first action when the Jan Platt Library opened
  2. Cut security systemwide by 50%. The security guards that we would recommend cutting would be ones that the library pays for, the ones who control the teenagers and rowdy children.
  3. Reduce reference service hours as possible. The Internet has taken away quite a bit of our reference questions. We have approximately one-third of all the branches calling in reference question to Electronic Reference Information (ERI). By October all reference questions will be coming into ERI. Patrons will have their reference questions answered in a different format.
  4. Cut extra Sunday hours at the John F. Germany Library. There are currently eight hours of Sunday service here. There is only one other public library with eight hours on Sunday and that is St. Petersburg because of their union. We are serving more people by opening at eleven but there are some dead hours later in the day. Cutting this service will impact very few patrons.

These cuts would amount to approximately $1,143,000, which is within range of the 5% target.


There was no discussion.

      - The motion passed unanimously.


Chairman, Dora Reeder stated the Committee agreed to adopt Hillsborough County's Alcohol Policy as the Library Board's Policy. Copies were given to each member. Ms. Reeder stated that the committee discussed the issue of serving alcohol at a function while the library was open to the public. The County Attorney did not feel that it was advisable. Ms. Reeder stated that the Committee would ask the Board to review the policy and vote on it at the next meeting. The revised Naming Policy was given to the members. Amended copies of the Bylaws will be sent prior to the March 22 meeting for discussion at that meeting. Chairman, Sandra Cameron stated that there was no vote at this time. Mr. Stines stated that the Alcohol Policy makes only one exception for alcohol to be served in County buildings and that's the library. It does say in the policy that it assumes that the libraries are closed.

Ms. O'Rourke asked for a clarification to the Naming Policy. Stating that she remembered from the last meeting that the phrase "public library" was to be included in the title. She also said that there seems to be a difference between the regional libraries and the branch libraries. Mr. Stines stated that in the Naming Policy the Board would consider on a case by case basis if the word public should be included. The standard would be public library. Chairman Sandra Cameron asked whether there was any further discussion. There was none.






Mr. Greig asked whether there were any updates on the Charter Review Board. Acting Assistant County Administrator, Helen Levine, Ph.D. replied that the Charter Review Committee had disbanded last Thursday. They voted to place one item on the 2002 ballot, which will create an auditor/budget analyst position. That issue will be before the voters in the fall of 2002.

Cultural District - Rene Williams, Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs for the City of Tampa, made a presentation to the Board. Mr. Greig stated that he had seen this presentation before at the public meetings. The Board is involved since the library was targeted for removal or relocation in the City's preliminary plans. Now the library has been incorporated into the master plan. At the first meeting Mr. Greig attended it was stated that parking was not an issue; however, during the presentation Ms. Williams stated that parking is currently a problem and will be more so when the district is in place. Mr. Greig suggested that the committee make the need for additional parking its emphasis. Mr. Stines stated that having Dan Kleman and Helen Levine representing the county had an impact, but the Library Board and the Friends of the Library attending the public meetings had the most impact on changing the designs of the city. The History Center is crucial to the County element and will be discussed on February 21. Ms. Williams' reference to closing streets to slow down traffic will certainly be in the best interest of the library. Ms. O'Rourke asked where the water would come from to support all the massive landscaping that is proposed. Much of the plan is built around the water. With the water shortage how will they maintain these areas? Mr. Stines stated that the landscaping around the John F. Germany Library would be refurbished. The entire area would become one large park. He felt certain that the city would be using reclaimed water. Ms. Ross stated that this is a much better plan than what was initially proposed. Ms. Swisshelm stated that if there were more parking this library would be used more. Mr. Greig suggested that the committee should continue to follow this project closely. Mr. Stines stated that with the county's involvement he felt that the Board would be a major contributor. Ms. Ross stated that the library should continue to working with the other institutions involved in the Cultural District.

FY2001 Legislative Session - Mr. Stines stated that each year the Florida Library Association and the Friends of the Library groups from across the state contact delegates to discuss things that are of benefit to libraries. Governor Bush's budget includes full funding for all the construction projects that have been presented from the State Library. We have requested $500,000 for West Tampa. Mr. Stines encouraged the Board to let their legislators know of their support for this item. State Aid is a major source of funding for us. The governor didn't make any significant increases in state aid but he didn't make any great cuts either. It is anticipated that there may be a move to rewrite the state aid law. The law is based on encouraging libraries to join county systems so that every county in this state would have good library service. All sixty-seven counties are part of the state aid program. There are several municipal libraries that don't want to work with the counties.

There will be a public siting meeting on March 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westchase Elementary School for the Upper Tampa Bay area.

Ms. Swisshelm requested that the Library Board be taken on a tour of the library's art and special collections.








The meeting was adjourned at 6:00pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: March 22, 2001
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: Brandon Regional Lbrary

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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