PPLC Office Manager
Deaf Literacy Coordinator at Safety Harbor Public Library
Born to Read Program Consultant
Pinellas Public Library Cooperative Annual Report 2012
From the Executive Director
The values that comprise the guiding principles of the Cooperative and which were established and approved by the PPLC Board of Directors in the organizations strategic plan are as follows: Efficient and effective sharing of resources; Diversity; Inclusiveness; Member focused needs; Advocacy; Financial stability; and the Promotion of literacy. PPLC enhances the ability of its members to provide services and resources beyond those that they could provide individually. Efforts to centralize agreed upon operational functions are coordinated by the Cooperative to maximize the benefit to the members and the public. The Cooperative continues to manage contracts for the library automation system, the delivery service that moves library materials throughout the county and for electronic resources that are made available to eligible users countywide. In 2012 the Cooperative negotiated agreements with four database vendors for countywide access to electronic resources in addition to contracts negotiated on behalf of individual member libraries.
The primary focus in 2012 was working with the Cooperative membership to update the current Interlocal Agreement in preparation of its upcoming renewal in 2013. The Interlocal Agreement Committee (IAC) consisting of city managers (or their designees), Pinellas County Deputy County Administrator Mark Woodard, the Palm Harbor Community Services Chair, the PPLC Board Chair, and the PPLC Executive Director and other key stakeholders, met in April of 2012. Presentations were provided to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) by PPLC staff in March 2012 and July 2012. The BCC will schedule a work session for early 2013 to continue discussion on the ILA.
The management of funds received from governmental agencies (local, state, and federal) and private sources are the responsibility of the Cooperative. In 2012 the Cooperative distributed $4,268,484 in funds collected through the millage assessment to residents of unincorporated Pinellas County to eligible member libraries. State funds received in 2012 totaled $ 703,683 and were used to support programs and services countywide. In addition, over $94,000 in grants and awards were received and were used to provide programs and services over and above those being funded at the local level.
Providing support for countywide programming continued to be a strong initiative in 2012. Member libraries provide a wide range of programs for adults, young adults, and children. Some of the programs enhanced through PPLC's efforts include the following: Hire Me! A teen job skills workshop; Plug in at Your Library for teens; the Florida Library Youth Summer Reading Program; Reading with the Rays; Chipotle Teen Programs; Teen Tech Week; the Adult Summer Reading Program; and Libraries Linking Lifetimes. The production of the PPLC Calendar of Events is central to the Cooperative's role in communicating library activities to residents countywide. The calendar is the only resource that provides residents with access to all programs taking place in our member libraries in one location and is available in print as well as online on the PPLC website www.pplc.us
The Cooperative submitted and received a number of grants through local funding sources such as Bank of America, Volunteer USA Foundation, Florida Humanities Council, Read Pinellas, Early Learning Coalition, and other local agencies. These grants enhanced our literacy and programming efforts and helped establish new partnerships for the Cooperative.
The Cooperative continued its contract with Polaris Integrated Library Systems for the provision of automated library system services. The Cooperative manages the contract and act as the primary point of contact with Polaris staff. The Cooperative expended $ 213,187 in FY 12 for Polaris system support and maintenance fees. The delivery of materials throughout the county is a key component of the success of the countywide automation system. The Cooperative manages a contract with Velocity Express through the Tampa Bay Library Consortium for the provision of this service. Fees covered by the Cooperative in 2012 totaled $141,507
The Cooperative is responsible for three non-duplicated public service programs serving the residents of Pinellas County. The Talking Book Library (TBL) provides free library services to individuals for whom conventional print is a barrier. The program utilizes equipment, materials, and paid postage made available through the National Library Service for Blind and Physically Handicapped. Sarasota County renewed its contract with the Cooperative for the provision of TBL services to their residents in FY 13. The Born to Read (BTR) program is continuing with the support of funding received through the Early Learning Coalition. Library card applications continue to be issued to eligible residents throughout the county. Outreach activities increased significantly during 2012 due to the addition of a new BTR Coordinator. The Deaf Literacy Center (DLC) administrative office is located in the Safety Harbor Public Library. The City of Safety Harbor continues to be an outstanding partner in meeting the needs of the Deaf community in Pinellas County. Satellite programs at the Palm Harbor, Pinellas Park libraries also continue to receive vital support from those cities allowing the program to reach families in all parts of the county. A new class is being planned for the Largo Public Library beginning in January 2013. The Deaf Family Literacy Academy program continued in 2012 with financial support provided by the Volunteer USA Foundation.
The Cooperative currently has reciprocal borrowing agreements with the participating members of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium, St. Petersburg College, and the City of Indian Rocks Beach.
Advocating for libraries and the critical services they provide is a key element of the Cooperative's mission. The Cooperative Board and staff met with local, and state elected officials to encourage their support and remind them of the major impact libraries have on their communities. Legislators were visited in their local offices by the PPLC Executive Director, PPLC Board of Directors, and local library directors. During the 2012 legislative session legislators were also visited in Tallahassee during the FLA sponsored Library Days event.
Over the past three years the Cooperative Board, staff, and members have made a major commitment of time, effort, and resources toward the successful renewal of the Interlocal Agreement. The continuance of this partnership is in the best interest of the members and most importantly to the library users in Pinellas County. I look forward to finalizing a new agreement in 2013 and to working with the Cooperative Board of Directors and our member communities in continuing to enhance the quality and availability of a wide range of library services countywide.
A Year In Review
- Our member libraries circulated 6,735,647 items.
- Over 1,244,417 reference questions were answered.
- We had over 4,909,448 visits to our libraries from patrons in Pinellas County.
- Our libraries offered 8,713 adult, teen, and children's programs with 222,728 community members in attendance.
- We had 582,081 registered patrons.
- We received over $81,000 in grant funds.
Born to Read
Born to Read is a library literacy program that informs parents about the benefits of reading to their babies. The program encourages reading by distributing developmentally appropriate books to families. This year, approximately 300 new families were enrolled in the program with over 400 new cards issued. The program also provided over 3,600 books and parenting materials that were distributed to Born to Read families. The program received grant funding for these books from community partners including the Early Learning Coalition, READ Pinellas, Friends of the Library, Barnes & Noble, Alpha Chi Omega, and First Book.
Deaf Literacy Center
This past year, the Deaf Literacy Center continued to fulfill its mission of providing basic literacy instruction, life skills training, and library and information services to Deaf individuals and their families. The program received over $35,000 in grant funds including the Volunteer USA Foundation to expand the program's services to include family literacy. Additionally, over 500 Deaf adults and family members attended DLC programs and over 1,500 individuals participated in Sign Language instruction and programs.
Pinellas Talking Book Library
During the past year, PTBL volunteers donated over 2,000 hours assisting in daily operations critical to the organization. The library also received grants and donations including funds from the Northern Trust, the Loebenberg Foundation, the Lions Club and individual supporters. 2011 also marked the first direct mail campaign which generated over $10,000 in donations for the program. In 2011, the PTBL continued the relationship with Sarasota County to provide services to their patrons. The TBL continues with the addition of digital books to add to its collection. TBL also hosts the Low Vision Center and continues its partnership with Lighthouse of Pinellas to broaden the availability of digital download training.