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SLIS Alumna Among Speakers at the Upcoming E-Government Seminar

Join your Florida library staff colleagues to learn more about the resources for locating legal information to assist library patrons with their search for justice in Florida Courts. The E-Government in Public Libraries: Legal Information and Resources for Librarians will include an introduction to a variety of websites as well as other sources of information. Find out more about legal aid resources in various regions of the state and how to find local resources for your patrons. These seminars will help build relationships that will improve communication between Florida public libraries and the Florida self-help legal aid community.


Whitney Curtis, Reference/Instructional Services Librarian at Stetson University College of Law

Dani Lichtenberg, Research and Information Services Manager at Palm Beach County Library System

*Nancy Fredericks, E-Government Services Manager for Pasco County Public Library Cooperative and USF SLIS Alunna

Jimmy Midyette, Director of Statewide Technology for Florida Legal Services, Inc.

About the speakers:

Curtis, Lichtenberg and Fredericks represented Florida libraries at the January 2010 Conference on Public Libraries and Access to Justice held in Austin, Texas. Together with Midyette and Brown, they applied for a grant from the National Center for State Courts to tailor the information from the national conference to the needs of public librarians in Florida. Each seminar location will have additional guest speakers from the surrounding region.

Registration information:

West Central Florida
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tampa Bay Library Consortium Headquarters
1202 Tech Boulevard, Suite 202
Tampa, Florida 33619
Register Here

For registration assistance, contact Vikki McLean at mcleanv@tblc.org or 813.622.8252, ext. 226.

North Florida
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

State Library and Archives of Florida
R.A. Gray Building
500 S. Bronough Street, Room 307
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250
Register Here

For registration assistance, contact Sena Heiman at sheiman@dos.state.fl.us or 850.245.6628.

Southeast Florida
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Southeast Florida Library Information Network
Nova Southeastern University
Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology
Center, Room 4009
3100 Ray Ferrero, Jr. Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314
Register Here

For registration assistance, contact Lois Albertson at training@email.seflin.org or 877.733.5460, ext. 224.

For more information about upcoming workshops please visit here or contact Karen Clinton Brown, State Library and Archives of Florida Library Program Specialist for E-Government, at kcbrown@dos.state.fl.us or 850.245.6633.

This program is funded by the National Center for State Courts administered by the Friends of the State Library and Archives of Florida, Inc.

Additional funding is provided under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State, State Library and Archives of Florida.



Food for thought from TBLC Strategic Reality Check

Tampa Bay Library Consortium

TBLC hosted a “Strategic Reality Check” workshop at Fruitville Library on Monday, May 17, 2010. The workshop was led by professional library consultants George Needham and Joan Frye Williams. This was an opportunity for area library professionals to examine ways they might reassess the success with which their libraries were serving patrons. The idea was to do so without scrapping missions and strategic plans and other long-range, expensive and time-consuming initiatives.

There were concerns about user friendliness and some novel ideas exchanged during the process. One of these was offered by a Pinellas County librarian who explained a novel acquisitions effort underway at her library. She explained that they’d observed an approximate waiting list number which, when reached, made waiting for bestsellers unattractive. At this point, patrons were more inclined to go by the book at a bookseller than to wait for a library copy. Their solution was to offer patrons the opportunity to purchase the book they sought on behalf of the library with the privilege of being the first to borrow it. They might then take a tax deduction for donating the book. A piece of the library’s acquisitions budget would then be freed for other purposes.

Another burgeoning concept with possible wider implications was outlined by Mr. Needham and Ms. Frye Williams. They asked participants to list major life passages such as retirement, starting a family, battling cancer, going to college, etc. They proposed the possibility of organizing the physical (and electronic) collections under these headings and explained that a public library in Europe was already working with it.

Finally, one small observation had to do with the hoops we require patrons to jump through in order to obtain a library card. This one might or might not have an easy fix to it. If we’re able to (and accustomed to) easily establish a user account at the web site of a commercial enterprise and retrieve lost passwords easily at these places, why then do we require potential library users to show up with photo ID in person along with proof of their physical address in order to use the public library?  Someone moving to a new town may possibly have a more difficult time obtaining a library card than they would changing over their drivers’ license.

Thanks to TBLC for access to this food for thought.

[AB, 5/25/2010]

Midnight restoration of funding to FL libraries

from Florida Library Association (4/27/2010)

State Aid – Budget Chairs Restore State Funding to Public Libraries to $21.2 Million
At midnight on Monday, April 26 the House accepted a Senate offer to restore State Aid to Public Libraries to the current year level of $21.2 million.

FL Senate Budget Director J.D. Alexander


When Senate Budget Chair J. D. Alexander made the offer, he asked if “the library guy” with the signs was in the room. The library guy we all know is Paul Clark who has pretty much lived in the Capitol keeping the issue in front of legislators and the press for 6 weeks. Senator Alexander was disappointed that Paul wasn’t there and said that other advocates could learn a lot from him. There, working the issue until midnight were FLA lobbyist Chris Lyon, Small County Coalition coordinator Chris Doolin, and a whole contingent from the Department of State including Secretary Kurt Browning, Legislative Liaison Rivers Buford III, and John Boynton. This group barely left the Capitol all weekend long. Chris Doolin had a very positive impact for libraries, especially on Sunday morning. The folks from the Florida Association of Counties, and many county lobbyists have been working the issue aggressively as well.
For the past two months library advocates have worked tirelessly to tell the library story. The Salter>Mitchell public relations folks distributed press releases for FLA at several critical junctures. FLA’s CapWiz wizard, Lisa Manners did an incredible job of keeping the message fresh with the result that library advocates generated over 60,000 messages in the last six weeks.
Thanks to everyone for their incredible efforts and congratulations on the wonderful success!
Charlie Parker, Chair
FLA Legislative Committee

Florida Library Association


Urban Libraries Council Executive Director speaks at TBLC Annual Meeting

On Friday, November 6th the Tampa Bay Library Consortium held its annual meeting at the Tampa Bay History Center. This year’s meeting marked the 30th anniversary of the organization and its theme was “Shining Bright for 30 Years.” The meeting’s keynote speaker was Susan Benton, the recently appointed executive director of the Urban Libraries Council. Benton spoke about the need for librarians to market the essential services that they provide to city or county managers and elected officials. She emphasized the important role that librarians will play as society shifts from an industrial age to an information age. Benton warned that librarians are dangerously humble and must raise their visibility in a time when there is a struggle to convince state and local governments of the necessity to fund libraries when all types of services are being cut back and reduced. She described the work that the Urban Libraries council does to help position libraries within national and local politics and to connect what libraries do to the strategic issues of their communities. Benton closed by declaring librarianship an audacious profession and theorizing that the success of the United States is due to its strong tradition of public libraries and the equity and education that they provide to its citizens.

Susan Benton

Urban Libraries Council executive director Susan Benton speaks at TBLC annual meeting on November 6th.


In attendance from SLIS were Director Jim Andrews, Dr. Anna Perrault, Communication and Information Officer Jessica Voss, and Graduate Assistant Liz Gray.