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Approved Nov 17, 2005 - Library Advisory Board Minutes

Library Advisory Board
November 17, 2005
Milton, Florida

The Library Advisory Board met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Peggy Toifel, Vice Chairman Jacqueline Wiscaver and members Michael Sandler, Martha Lyle, and Patricia Rose. Also present were the County Administrator (Hunter Walker), Human Resources Director (DeVann Cook), Grants Coordinator (Sharon Marsh), Linda Hendrix, and Donna Holovack. Walker called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m.

Sandler moved approval of the minutes from the October 20, 2005 meeting; Lyle seconded, and the vote carried unanimously (5-0).

Faye Roberts, State of Florida Library Specialist

Roberts presented each Board member with a packet of material from the State Library and Archives of Florida. She discussed the items included in the packet. Roberts said the State can not stress enough about the benefit and value public libraries bring to communities. She commended the Board members on their efforts to strengthen and expand the library system to serve the citizens of Santa Rosa County.

Roberts said she works in Library Development. She said the State has a number of consultants in specialty areas who are available to assist Santa Rosa County. Roberts said the state also has liaisons who are assigned to work with counties. She said Santa Rosa County is one of her counties. Roberts said she has been with the State Library for one year, and she spent the previous twenty years working in rural libraries in North Florida.  She said she is very familiar with the issues facing communities with small libraries and district communities.

Roberts reviewed the relative rolls of the key stakeholders involved in the process. She said the Board of County Commissioners will serve as the governing authority for the Library system. Roberts said the Board will ultimately be accountable and responsible for the operation of the library. She said the Library Advisory Board, as a group of citizens, represents community interests and concerns. Roberts said the Library Advisory Board provides community input and specialized knowledge. She said the members have and will continue to gain additional expert knowledge about libraries and related issues. Roberts said the Friends of the Library organizations are typically incorporated not for profit organizations. She said the Friends exist to support and advance the services of the library. She said the Library Director is responsible for the day to day operation of the library, and the library staff carries out the activities of the library. She said it is important for everyone involved to understand their relative importance and the ways in which their jobs compliment one another.

Roberts said the State Aid to Libraries Grant program is one of the grants administered by the State Library and is funded entirely with state money. She said State Aid grants are available to any county that offers free countywide library service. Roberts said Santa Rosa County has been a recipient of State Aid funding for a number of years through the county’s partnership with West Florida Regional Library System. She said there are three types of State Aid grants, and Santa Rosa County has benefited from all three grants. Roberts said one is an operating grant available to any eligible county or municipality in the state. She said the second is an equalization grant that is only available to counties, and the third is a multi-county grant. Roberts said in the past Santa Rosa County has received the multi-county grant typically in the amount of $50,000.00 due to the county’s partnership with Pensacola and Escambia County.

Roberts said funding for the State Aid program is from general revenue and to date is in nonrecurring funds. She said the philosophy behind the State Aid program is an incentive program, and it is designed to encourage local communities to support their libraries. Roberts said the more local communities spend on their libraries the more they can potentially receive from grants.

Roberts said the State Aid program requires there be at least one library open to the public for 40 hours per week. She said the Library Director is required to have a Masters degree in Library Science from a program that is accredited by the American Library Association and at least two years experience working full time in a public library. Roberts said an additional requirement is a Long Range Plan adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. She discussed the process used to develop the Long Range Plan which is necessary prior to submittal of the application for State Aid in October 2006. Roberts said another component of the application is submission of statistics on the library including the budget, operation, collection, circulation, staff, and so forth. She said this is information that is submitted every year.

Toifel asked which of the three grants the county will qualify for. Roberts said Santa Rosa County currently benefits from all three grants through West Florida Regional Library System. She said the county will loose the multi-county grant when the separation is complete. Lyle asked if a construction grant is available. Roberts said construction grants are administered through the State of Florida Library and state funded. She said unlike the other grants, construction grants are made directly to governmental entities. Roberts said one of the most long standing grants is the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), and this is a federal competitive grant. She said the LSTA grants are available to any library that serves the public. She said another grant program established last year is the Community Libraries in Caring (CLIC). Roberts said the only entities eligible for the CLIC grant are those that are on the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) list. She said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be providing another round of grants to libraries servicing poor communities for replacement computers.

Roberts said the time table for implementing the new library system is a very complex task. She recommended looking at any components that could be delayed or out sourced during the transition. Roberts suggested using the Service to Talking Books which can perhaps be provided by the Division of Blind Services. She said it may be possible to hire a qualified person on a temporary basis to catalog materials. Roberts said establishing policies for the library system is an important step. There was discussion regarding an internet use policy and the Federal E-Rate discount program.

Toifel asked Roberts to explain the State Courier Service and library loans. Roberts discussed the State Courier Service and said she is does not know the details of how the program works in this area. Sandler said the West Florida Regional Library System participates in the State Courier Service. There was discussion concerning the State Library databases.

Toifel asked Roberts if there are any other services provided by the State Library. Roberts said the State Archives, the State Library itself, research assistance, the Ask a Librarian service, and the genealogical resources are all available. She said in addition to the various training opportunities, the state offers orientation for new Library Directors.

Walker said the county appreciates Faye Roberts attendance at tonight’s meeting. He introduced DeVann Cook, Human Resources Director, who will initially be responsible for the libraries. Walker said the county will be taking advantage of available technical assistance in the specialty areas.  He said the Board of County Commissioners will be the governing body of the library, and  it will strongly lean on the Library Advisory Board for advise. Walker said this Board will be very important not only during the transition year but during out years as the Library System grows. He said the county currently receives State Aid to Library grants. There was discussion regarding the grant funding being based on the value of property milage.

Sandler asked if the county will have any problem receiving funding with its historical data being with another library system. Roberts said the timeframe is set and the requirements are known so there should not be any problem providing what is needed or delays in receiving funding. Toifel thanked Roberts for attending and the information she provided.

 Draft Library Policies Process

Toifel suggested each member review different sections of the Santa Rosa County Public Library System Policies (Attachment in File). The board members divided the policy sections for review. There was discussion regarding the collection development policy. Hendrix said this policy is very involved. She said she can provide a copy of the policy to the Board if the members wish. Toifel said she felt the Director should be in place before the policies are discussed.

County Administrators Report

Walker reminded everyone Roberts will be discussing the Long Range Plan in the Commissioners Meeting Room tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. He gave an update on the library transition plan (Attachment in File). Walker said Cook, Marsh, Toifel, and myself make up the interview committee, and there have been four interviews for the Library Director position thus far. He said the goal is to have the Library Director in place by the first of 2006.

Walker said the Pace Library Project is out to bid, and the contract should be awarded at the December 8, 2005 Board of County Commission meeting. He said he will request the county’s historical date from West Florida Regional Library. Walker said the webpage needs attention. He said the transition plan along with a number of other items can be placed on the webpage to keep the public informed of the development of the system.

Walker said the county is looking at two sites for the Library Administrative Services. He said he is hoping to take a recommended site to the Board of County Commissioners at the December 8, 2005 meeting.

Toifel asked about the progress of the Technical Services position. Cook said the Technical Services position will be advertised on Monday. Walker said the Library Director will be involved in filling the other personnel positions.

The next scheduled meeting of the Library Advisory Board will be Thursday, December 15, 2005 at 5:00 p.m.

There being no further business to come before the Library Advisory Board at this time, the meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.