RUPERT J. SMITH LAW LIBRARY OF ST. LUCIE COUNTY, INC.
JANUARY 6, 2009 at 3:30 P.M
Honorable Burton C. Conner, Chairman
Trustees Attending: James T. Walker, Esquire and Paula A. Lewis, County Commissioner, Jonathan Ferguson, Esquire and Jim Wilder
Trustees Absent: Honorable Burton C. Conner
Others Attending: Nora J. Everlove, Librarian and Lynn T. Atkinson, Secretary
Trustee Paula Lewis chaired this meeting in the absence of the Honorable Burton C.
I. Previous Minutes:
Mr. Wilder made a motion to approve the December 4, 2008 Minutes as presented. Mr. Ferguson seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
II. Digital Recorder:
Ms. Atkinson reported that she had borrowed a digital recorded from the Court Recording Department for this meeting to determine if it would be an appropriate recording device for future meetings. If the recording device is sufficient then Ms. Atkinson will purchase one for the Law Library.
III. Financial Reports:
Judge Conner reported that he thought that Ms. Atkinson might have some concerns about the July, August and September 2008 Financial Reports and due to her absence at the meeting approval of these were tabled until this meeting. Ms. Atkinson reported that she had no concerns. Mr. Walker made a motion that the Financial Reports for July, August, September, October and November 2008 be approved as presented. Mr. Ferguson seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
IV. Attendance Figures:
Mr. Wilder inquired as to the attendance figures for the Law Library. Ms. Everlove reported that although attendance was down in December as would be expected over the holiday season, on the whole attendance is up. Mr. Wilder asked if Ms. Everlove was seeing any specific trends (purpose) in the type of usage that the Law Library is receiving. Ms. Everlove reported that the Law Library does not monitor statistics on what kind of questions are asked of the librarian. However she did state that the two singles most common reasons for people to be in the Library are for modification of probation or termination of probation. There are a lot of criminal issues. (Ms. Everlove had been attending via speaker phone and disconnected to join the meeting in person). Ms. Lewis asked in Mr. Wilder had any further concerns to discuss. Mr. Wilder replied that he just wanted to ascertain if there seemed to be a trend in people using the Law Library for research on foreclosure issues and to see if there was anything the Trustees need to do to make services more available to the pro se community for things like that.
V. Legislative Issues:
Mr. Walker asked Ms. Lewis if she had heard anymore in connection with possible legislative initiatives affecting or relating to law library funding. Ms. Lewis stated that she made a call this morning to John Wayne Smith, head lobbyist for the Florida Association of Counties. They are having a change over in personnel. The lobbyist, Amanda Kafari (phonetic), that was handling this has left and Sarah Trancasso (phonetic) is due to start in a week or so.
Ms. Lewis thought that there was to be a reallocation, but it seems that it wasn’t from the legislature so much as the counties and they are just looking at an increase in the fine rather than a reallocation. At least as far as Mr. Smith can tell they are not discussing a change in the allowed uses, it simply to allow more money and more flexibility in the application. Nothing has come out of Bill Drafting yet. Ms. Lewis believes that is currently in special session. She will check back in about three weeks to see if there is anything else that has come forward, so at this time there is nothing for the Trustees to address.
Mr. Walker stated that Stephanie Collison and Robert Brammer (phonetic) agreed to monitor new bill activity in the legislature via the internet. They have been keeping an eye on the key funding statutes and have not noted any legislative activity involving those sections. Discussion was had concerning fiscal concerns for the State and the County and the fact that it seems to be a trend for law libraries to be absorbed into the local county library. Ms. Lewis will keep a close eye on this matter.
Mr. Wilder stated that he had spoken with Susan Kilmer from the St. Lucie County Library and she stated that they are not enthusiastic about the idea of having something like the Law Library folded into the county library. They don’t feel that they have the expertise, space or anything else to properly address those concerns. Ms. Kilmer stated that she would work very hard with the Trustees to help prevent such a union.
Ms. Lewis stated that she spoke to Mr. Smith this morning and told him for all intents and purpose we’ve become a regional law library. She knows that the State is very big on regional so if all else fails we may be able to lean on that.
Ms. Atkinson reported that she had received a memo from National City Insurance regarding the Law Library’s Insurance. The current replacement value is $370,000.00. Ms. Everlove verified that this is a sufficient amount. Mr. Walker asked if flood insurance is separate and distinct. Ms. Atkinson verified that it is.
VII. New Law Library Facility:
Ms. Everlove reported that she spoke to Roger Shinn yesterday and he said that July 2009 is still looking good for the move date. She stated that she told Mr. Shinn that she would be calling every thirty days to check on the move date. Mr. Shinn replied that his thought that was a very good idea since nothing is set in stone. Ms. Lewis asked if we were in any kind of a bind time wise depending on the move date. Ms. Everlove stated that there would be no problem as long as we have six weeks lead time. Mr. Wilder stated that it seemed like a short lead time. Ms. Everlove replied that we actually need 8 weeks and that is to order the shelving. There is no advantage to ordering the shelving early and having to store it and pay to have it moved. She is hoping to be able to order in time to have it delivered directly to the site.
Mr. Ferguson inquired as to how soon we have to move into the new site once it is available. Ms. Everlove stated that she has gotten different answers, but fairly consistently over the last six months she has gotten that we don’t have to move the minute it is completed, part of the reason being that the funding to redo the Law Library’s current space is tight. If they are not ready to redo the current space then there will be no hurry to move.
Ms. Lewis expressed concern over the two month time frame to order the shelving. Mr. Ferguson stated that is why he was asking about the move time. Ms. Everlove stated that the shelving man has always quoted her six to eight weeks and that has always been her experience. Mr. Ferguson stated that the question is how long will they hold on to them once they are ready to ship. Ms. Everlove stated that in theory they’ve had our deposit for over a year and maybe even a year and a half at this point. She is sure that they have not cut the shelves, which is a good thing since the uprights are now a different height. She stated that she is not concerned about the shelving. Mr. Wilder stated that this is a fairly standard thing with libraries.
Mr. Walker asked if this contractor is in fairly good financial shape since they have our deposit. Ms. Everlove stated that she knows that he is the biggest dealer in Florida. She does not know of any financial problems. He is a located in Vero Beach so he is local. Ms. Everlove stated that she is really expecting him to come back at this point not just because of the time span, but because of all of the changes. When the contractor originally gave an estimate he was planning on using all of our existing uprights due to the changes in the building he cannot use the existing uprights now. Ms. Everlove stated that she is waiting for him to contact her. She is not going to contact him about it.
VIII. Public Records Act:
Mr. Walker reported that he was looking at a new amendment to the Public Records Act and there is some obscure provision in there which requires any agency to certify compliance with social security numbers to the legislature 119.07(1)(5) (page 185 of the Statues). Ms. Atkinson stated that she was not familiar with this report. Mr. Ferguson stated that it applies to agencies that collect data that may or may not get social security numbers. It is a simple form where you certify that you comply with the privacy laws concerning social security numbers. Ms. Everlove stated that she has a vague form on her desk at this time. The form refers to two sections of the Florida Statutes. It was discussed that the Law Library does not receive any social security numbers to disclose.
IX. Friends of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library:
Mr. Walker briefly reported on the Friends of the Law Library. There are two pending functions the first is a research course set for a total of four hours which is divided up between January 29th and February 2nd. Accreditation has been granted by the American Alliance of Paralegals for four hours. The “Friends” believe that this will help to boost attendance. The amended notice will be sent out to various Bar Associations. The School Board has gotten behind this and they have distributed information concerning same.
The second event that is currently scheduled is for the first Thursday in May and that is the annual library reception and art contest. Judge Graham, District Court Judge for the Southern District who is also on the finance committee/space committee as it involves this area has kindly agreed to serve as keynote speaker for the reception. The “Friends” are continuing to look at possibilities for honorees. The Theme for the art contest this year is Abraham Lincoln, the man and the law. Mr. Wilder said that it is his understanding that there are three divisions for the contest, one for grade school, one for middle school and one for high school. Ms. Everlove stated that the theme for the younger children is, Honest Abe’s Log Cabin, the middle school theme is, the Three Branches of Government and then the theme for the older children is, Lincoln, the Civil War Years. Additionally there is talk about creating yet another category for college art students. This of course is contingent on funding for the prize money and there are a lot of concerns. Ms. Everlove stated that although she thinks it is a great idea not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Ms. Lewis stated that perhaps the judges for the contest might have a problem with judging “real” art. Ms. Everlove stated that is one of the main concerns.
Mr. Wilder suggested that if there is a college art student category he would recommend that we talk to the Backus Gallery and see if one or two of their people would volunteer to help with the judging. He would be happy to facilitate this. Mr. Walker advised that the art contest is being administered by Attorney Kim Cunzo and he suggested that Mr. Wilder contact Ms. Cunzo. Ms. Atkinson advised that she would be happy to provide Mr. Wilder with Ms. Cunzo’s e-mail address.
Dated: February 6, 2009
Burton C. Conner, Chairman
James T. Walker, Member
Paula A Lewis, Member
Jonathan Ferguson, Member
Jim Wilder, Member