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Approved Dec 15, 2005 - Library Advisory Board Minutes

Library Advisory Board
December 15, 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), Library Director (Linda Hendrix), and Navarre Library Director (Donna Holovack). Walker called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

Toifel moved approval without objection of the minutes from the November 16, 2005 meeting.

Transition Plan Progress

Walker said Linda Hendrix was selected as the Santa Rosa County Library Director with a start date of January 2, 2006. He described the interview process and said this will create a vacancy in the manager position at the Milton Library. Walker said there is also a manager position vacancy at the Gulf Breeze Library. He said these two manager positions are currently being advertised. Walker said the Technical Services position is also being advertised, and he anticipates this position being filled soon after the beginning of the new year. He said Cook and Hendrix will be making the decisions regarding the two vacant manager positions.

Walker said the space for the Library Administrative Office has been leased by the county. He said the county is leasing 3,400 square feet of office space from Spencer Brothers. Walker said the space should be ready to move into by mid January. He said the county is working on the telephone service, furnishings, equipment, and configuration of the office space.

Walker said the last major item on the transition plan is the software system, and it will go out for bid tomorrow. He said when Hendrix assumes the Library Director position she will primarily be responsible for moving forward with the transition plan of the Library System. Walker said the county needs to be sure to coordinate the transition with WFRLS (West Florida Regional Library System), and regular meetings will need to be scheduled with WFRLS.

Library Policies Discussion

Toifel said she felt the Library System will have almost independent libraries, and the countywide policies should be general guidelines relative to all libraries. She said each individual library should have its own procedures that are relative to that particular facility. Sandler agreed. Toifel suggested each Board member meet with the Library Director and the Library Managers to discuss the library policies in detail. Lyle said the Library System policies should be universal to all libraries, and the document should be stated in a positive manner. She said the individual library procedures can be distributed to citizens when library cards are obtained at that branch.

Hendrix said the policies and guidelines should be general, flexible, and positive. She said she will be glad to meet with each board member to discuss the policies. Hendrix said some of the old policies can be completely deleted. She said some of the other policies are very historical and need to be completely reworked. Hendrix said she felt the advisory board will do a good job of reworking the current library policies.

Strategic Plan Process

Marsh presented a Power Point Presentation to the advisory board on “Planning to Plan.” (Attachment in File) She said the presentation is based on the book “New Planning for Results” by Sandra Nelson.  Marsh said you are much more likely to hit the target if you think about what you want to achieve in detail, how to best achieve your goal, and who can best help. She said the hand outs are from sections of the book (Attachment in File). Marsh said the first pages are recommendations from the book and give a broad general outline of how to go about developing a strategic planning process. She said she applied these recommendations to the Library System strategic plan and reviewed the timeline month by month. Marsh said a large part of the strategic planning process will involve communicating with the public.

Marsh asked what the advisory board wishes to achieve with the strategic plan. Sandler said the plan needs to include initiatives for short term (up to 2 years), mid term (2–5 years), and long term planning (over 5 years). Lyle said the purpose of planning is so everyone will have an idea of what kind of library system is being designed. She said “if you do not have a plan you will not know when you get there”. Toifel said this opportunity to create a new Library System makes planning essential.

Marsh said there may be some time conflicts because the strategic plan has to be completed and turned into the State of Florida by August for funding, and citizen input could take more time. She said Hendrix and myself have discussed getting some community input now and commit ourselves to focus on additional public input in the future. Hendrix said every plan is a work in progress because things are always changing.

Marsh discussed a number of options regarding the structure of a community planning committee and the diversity of the county libraries. Rose said she felt a combination of single committee representatives from all areas and a system wide plan that adapts to each community will be best. Hendrix said there will be things relative to all libraries, and during the first year, the focus should be on the common things. She said in the out years the individual community functions can be addressed. Marsh agreed. Hendrix discussed a few of the commonalities and distinctions of the library branches.  Lyle said after the initial groundwork is complete more public input can be added. 

Marsh discussed the composition of the planning committee and said the committee should be made up of diverse community members that will provide a variety of input. She said her recommendation is to have 9 to 15 members serve on the planning committee.  Marsh suggested one member from the advisory board, two staff members (Linda Hendrix and DeVann Cook) and ex-officio members (Library Managers and Children’s Librarian). Sandler said he agrees there should be one advisory board member on the planning committee. Lyle recommended each advisory board member compile a list of citizens to possibly serve on the planning committee. Marsh discussed using an effective invitation to contact potential committee members. Rose asked if the county will send the formal invitations asking citizens to serve on the committee. Marsh said yes.

Walker said the planning committee will be an adjunct of the Library Advisory Board. He said the county will notify the planning committee members but the members will not be approved by the Board of County Commissioners. Marsh said the Board of County Commissioners will receive general information regarding the selection process and community representation. She said we do not want the planning committee members to become subject to the Florida Sunshine Laws. Sandler said this committee will be very similar to the Navarre Town Center committee. Walker agreed. Marsh said the library transition plan allows 30 days to form the planning committee.

Marsh suggested two orientation meetings and said the first orientation meeting was conducted with Faye Roberts, State of Florida Library Specialist, on November 17, 2005. She said Roberts will be available to facilitate the orientation meeting for the planning committee on February 7, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the first planning meeting on February 9, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Toifel said she will assist with the orientation and planning meetings. She said the list of committee members should be completed before the January 19, 2006 Library Advisory Board meeting so the advisory board can review and approve the members. After discussion it was tentatively decided to conduct the orientation and initial planning committee meetings at the Milton Community Center.

Marsh reviewed the members of the staff committee that included Margaret Chatrow, Debra Coffey, Jan Gough, Linda Hendrix, Donna Holovack, Martha Lyle, and Sharon Marsh as facilitator. The advisory board agreed to the selection of staff committee members.

Marsh said there needs to be a communication/marketing plan as the advisory board goes through the planning stage to let the community know what is occurring. She suggested finding an individual at a local university who may be interested in assisting with the marketing plan. Toifel said Dr. Bush in the Marketing Department has his class do marketing plans every semester, and they may be interested in assisting. Walker said Don Chinery, Santa Rosa County Public Information Officer, can provide public service announcements to the media. Marsh said the advisory committee will need to let Chinery know what to say. Walker said he felt the new Library System will get plenty of media coverage. He said some of the Library Advisory Board members can be guests on Chinery’s program. Lyle said the county website is another communication source, and she hopes the public will visit the website for information regarding the Library System. Hendrix recommended partnering with WFRLS on a website link while Santa Rosa County is still affiliated with the regional library system. There was further discussion regarding the lack of visibility of the county library website. Hendrix said she will work with Aleta Floyd concerning the Santa Rosa County Library website. Marsh said the advisory board will need to discuss what information will be available on the county webpage. After discussion regarding the information to be provided to the public on the county website it was decided to keep the information general and to provide a means for the public to send comments. Marsh said senior citizens do not always have access to the county website, and she suggested providing the same information to the senior centers throughout the county. Hendrix said the Friends of the Library groups can do some public speaking at functions such as PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meetings. Toifel asked if the Planning Department can provide demographic data. Walker said Marsh can provide demographic data.

Other Business/Adjournment

Lyle suggested each member email their planning committee members list to Toifel. There was further discussion on selecting diversified and community aware members.

The next scheduled meeting of the Library Advisory Committee will be on Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 4:00 p.m.

There being no further business to come before the Library Advisory Committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.