Library Advisory Board
January 17, 2008
The Library Advisory Board met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Peggy Toifel and members Martha Lyle, Michael Sandler, Pat Rose, and Jacqueline Wiscaver. Also present were the County Administrator (Hunter Walker), Library Director (Linda Hendrix), and Human Resources Director (DeVann Cook). Toifel called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
Toifel moved approval without objection of the minutes from the August 16, 2007 meeting.
Hendrix presented a Power Point Presentation on Santa Rosa County Library System’s Fiscal Year 2007 year end review, Fiscal Year 2008 quarter 1 statistics, and Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Plan of Service. (Attachment in file) She briefly discussed the accomplishments, goals, and statistics of the county library system. Hendrix said library staff did a collection analysis and shelf inventory at each of the libraries to update and correct the catalog of what is available in the library collection. She said goals for increasing library collections were surpassed. Hendrix said the new Pace Library collection attributed to the high increase in overall library collection percentages, but the existing library collections also did very well. She said the Jay Library youth collection was significantly overhauled this year. Hendrix said meetings were held with school personnel to discuss public library resources that are available. She said over 10,000 children were registered with the public library system last year as a result of the meetings. Hendrix said adult and teen reading groups were successfully added at the libraries, and she is hoping to increase the number of groups by spring. She discussed reader advisory services implemented at the libraries. Hendrix said weekly library news distributed through Santa Rosa County’s Public Information Officer to media outlets and the library’s online website are both great tools used for marketing library services. She said the goal to train library staff was not as successful as hoped due to high turnover rates and increased demands on staff. Hendrix reviewed library patron registration statistics for the year. She discussed reference sources available at the libraries and online. Hendrix said all library staff job descriptions were revised with emphasis being placed on customer service. She said a lot of self service amenities were added to libraries for those people who like to do things on their own. Hendrix discussed programs available for youth and new youth spaces created at the libraries. She said libraries close to schools are very busy in the afternoons. Hendrix discussed library collection and borrower category statistics. She said circulation remains the best measure of business at the libraries. Hendrix said almost 500,000 items were checked out of the libraries last year. She reviewed the first quarter statistics for this year. Hendrix said every year she has to send the state library an annual plan of service. She briefly reviewed the goals set for Fiscal Year 2008. Hendrix said some goals had to be re-evaluated due to the affect of budget cuts on staff resources. She discussed her priorities for this year. Hendrix said last year she spent most of her time stabilizing all the library processes. She said the
genealogy collection at the Milton Library is one of the best kept secrets in the County. Hendrix said there is a plan to digitize the extensive genealogy collection to create better access, and this will result in the genealogy collection becoming a showplace for Santa Rosa County. She said one of the big initiatives will be to develop a comprehensive long range plan for library use and facilities. Hendrix said the Library Advisory Board will be asked for input on this plan.
Toifel asked if the “Ask a Librarian” program can be used by library staff even if questions are not being answered. Hendrix said the program can be used but there is a cost involved without participation.
Lyle said she is proud of the new Pace Library, but there are no meeting rooms for story time or for holding meetings. She said the Pace Library was built with recreation tax dollars and a State grant. Lyle said the initial architect’s drawing included a meeting room, but the room had to be cut due to rising construction cost. She said the Friends of the Pace Library are working to alleviate this problem. Hendrix said all children’s programs offered within the library system are offered at the Pace Library unless it requires some type of group activity that participants have to sit down to do. Lyle said there are a lot of young families in the Pace area who want story time for their children at the Pace Library.
Library Foundation Update
Toifel said there has been significant turnover within the Library Foundation. She said three Library Foundation officers were lost in recent months. Toifel said the Library Foundation currently has a president and vice-president/treasurer but not a secretary. She said the Library Foundation is planning to invite some significant people in the community to participate in a workshop that will be funded by the Library Foundation.
Toifel said fundraising guidelines for building a foundation will be presented at this workshop. She discussed current Library Foundation funds. Toifel said Sally Hall is the new foundation member from Gulf Breeze. She said the foundation does not have a representative from Navarre. Toifel said she felt all area libraries need to have representation on the Library Foundation. She asked for names of potential Library Foundation members.
Other Business/Next Meeting
Cook said the Library Director keeps county staff aware of needed facility expansions and changes. He said any additions to library facilities are considered capital projects. Cook said he will be working with Hendrix on plans and goals for library facilities. He said the Friends of the Library groups need to hold off on planning and raising money for additions. Cook said it is premature for Friends of the Library groups to raise money for capital improvements without knowing the cost of those improvements. He said the Board of County Commissioners must approve any changes or modifications to buildings. Cook said he is not sure on the amount of funds the County will be able to commit to capital projects due to budget cuts. He said staff would like to be actively involved in any expansion or capital project discussions with the Library Advisory Board and the Friends of the Library groups. Lyle said the Friends of the Library group spoke with the commissioners about fundraising for expansion of the Pace Library. Toifel said donors need to be informed that any money donated will be set aside to help the new building, not to actually build a new building.
Sandler asked the number of library staff members the County is down due to the hiring freeze caused by budget cuts. Hendrix said the equivalent of four full time staff positions was vacated this past year.
Walker said the next Library Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for April 17, 2007.
There being no further business to come before the Library Advisory Board at this time, the meeting adjourned at 5:00p.m.