RUPERT J. SMITH LAW LIBRARY OF ST. LUCIE COUNTY, INC.
April 4, 2008
Trustees Absent: James T. Walker, Esquire
Others Attending: Nora J. Everlove, Librarian
Ms. Atkinson, the Board Secretary was absent due to vacation.
I. Previous Minutes:
Ms. Lewis made a motion to approve the March 2008 Minutes as presented. Mr. Wilder seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
II. Port St. Lucie Bar Trustee:
Judge Conner informed everyone that Mr. Fanning, the Board member from the Port St. Lucie Bar Association has resigned and no one has been appointed to fill his absence yet.
III. Financial Statements:
Review of the financial statements was continued until the next meeting. Ms. Lewis reported that she checked with Mark Godwin to see if he had any idea why revenues were down. Mr. Godwin did not have any more information concerning this matter.
Judge Conner inquired about the arrival of the shelving. Ms. Everlove reported that it takes a minimum of two months after the shelves are ordered. Mr. Wilder inquired if Susan Kilmer had been to take a look at the old shelving yet. Ms. Everlove stated that she had not. Mr. Wilder stated that she is certainly interested and will be coming to look at the shelving. St. Lucie County has two libraries that they are expanding. Judge Conner asked if the Board is going to just donate the shelves. The shelves will be donated and whoever accepts them will be responsible for the costs of moving them.
V. Court Space Needs:
Judge Conner reported that he attend a court space needs tour last Friday. Commissioner Craft is the chairman of that committee. The good news is that they have started the renovation of the first two floors of the old courthouse and it seems to progressing smoothly. The target date the first two phases is January of 2009. That means that the Law Library’s phase should be finished by January of 2009. Judge Conner stated that he is a little concerned as Commissioner Craft expressed a definite concern that over time as space continues to be a problem for the court system, he was saying that the Law Library needs to be thinking about moving over to the County Library. Judge Conner told Commissioner Craft that the Trustees had discussed that as a possibility. Additionally he mentioned to Commissioner Craft that one of the beauties of our Law Library, and that we are probably one of the premier law libraries in the State, is the fact that we have a rather large, good print collection. Commissioner Craft’s response to that was, well, more and more research is going to be done online and you just have to accept that space is going to be at a premium and we may not be able to maintain the print collection and if we do or if we do that, we might need to that at the county facility. His concept was that that over time they are going to develop the technologies where a lay person can go online and do legal research. Judge Conner explained to Commissioner Craft that he understood what he was saying, but one of the benefits of coming to the Law Library is that we do have library staff. Legal research is not quite the same as going to Google and that kind of thing. But, he believes that there is a market out there and someone is going to develop research capabilities online and then people will be able to do it from their homes.
Commissioner Lewis said that this was not a conversation that has ever been had by the commissioners. This is the first she has ever heard of this. Judge Conner stated that Commissioner Craft seems to be under the impression that there is enough space at the County Library to house the Law Library print collection. Mr. Wilder said that is not true and this was confirmed by Ms. Lewis. Mr. Wilder further stated that they are weeding the collection because of the lack of space and even with the expansion there will not be enough space. Ms. Lewis stated that she sat on the Board of the Friends for the St. Lucie County Library and that there has never been excess space.
Mr. Wilder discussed the possibility of bringing in the commissioners and showing them how this particular resource works. Judge Conner stated that ideally when the Law Library moves to its new space that we probably need to do a reception for the County Commission. Mr. Wilder asked that this be addressed on a future agenda as a specific action item to consider.
Judge Conner commented that our needs are two pronged. Number one, we require a certain amount of space. Number two, as we continue to enhance our services to the pro se public, we need to be able to operate after normal business hours and this will require security during those hours.
Ms. Everlove inquired as to when the move to the new space would take place. Mr. Wilder stated that there would be an enormous amount of coordinating that Ms. Everlove would have to do. Judge Conner stated that he would try to get further information for Ms. Everlove.
Ms. Everlove stated that she wanted to bring to the Board’s attention that she has some staffing problems right now. It came to a head this week. The library was not staffed yesterday. She thinks that only other time this happened was in 1994. Essentially the job is shared by Merrilyn Phillips and Eppy Krieger, neither position is full time. Stephanie Collison has stated that she would be happy to come in and help over the summer.
VII. Judges Portrait:
Judge Conner advised that Ms. Atkinson has a phone call into Mr. Staten to see what the status of the portrait is. She is waiting for a return call.
VIII. Presentation to the Hayslip High School Students:
Mr. Wilder stated that he had a request for a presentation to the high school students. He is not comfortable enough with the Law Library to give this presentation himself. Judge Conner said that there was something mentioned about DATA as well. Mr. Wilder said, yes and that he thought it would be wonderful opportunity.
As no further discussion was to be had, the meeting was adjourned.
Dated: April ______, 2008
Burton C. Conner, Chairman
James T. Walker, Member
Jim Wilder, Member
Paula A. Lewis