Board of Library Trustees Meeting Minutes - March 1, 2019 - 10:00 a.m.

#Main Library Conference Center, Multi-Purpose Room

#Jacksonville Public Library

#303 North Laura Street

#Jacksonville, FL 32202


Ronnie King II, Chair

Tim J. Anderson, Vice-Chair

Jill Langford Dame, Secretary

Sybil Ansbacher, Foundation Liaison

Guy K. Anderson, Trustee

Marc Hardesty, Trustee (arr. 12:15PM)

Mario Payne, Trustee

Jackie Perry, Trustee


Donald Horner III, Trustee

Carlo Fassi, Trustee

Celia Nass, Trustee


Tim Rogers, Director

Julie McNeil, Assistant Director for Public Services

Gretchen Mitchell, Assistant Director for Support Services

Chris Boivin, Assistant Director for Community Relations and Marketing

Andrew Herron, Executive Assistant to the Director

Chuck McNeil, Assistant Director for Financial Services

Richard Mott, Manager for Strategic Initiatives

#Others Present:

Hon. Jim Love, Board Liaison, Jacksonville City Council (arr. 9:50AM)

Tia Leathers, DCPS

Kathy McIlvaine, Chair, Jacksonville Public Library Foundation

Margaret Smith, Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library

Jeannette Ali, Friends of the Brentwood Branch Library

Roxanne Henkle, Friends of the Willowbranch Library

Judy Klein, Friends of the Murray Hill Branch Library


Board Chair Ronnie King called the Board Work Day to order at 10:00AM and introduced the day’s objectives: to set priorities for the remaining term of the Library’s Strategic Plan, to provide preliminary direction for the next Strategic Plan, to establish a clear framework for the FY 2020 budget, and to establish an advocacy strategy for it.No visitors commented.

JPL in 2019 - State of The Library

Library Director Tim Rogers discussed his desired outcomes for the morning:

  • To review reasoning behind the “big goal” that by the end of FY 2028, 75% of Duval County households will use or contribute to a Library service,
  • To identify the need to focus on Service Priorities while dropping Core Goals from the Library’s Strategic Plan,
  • To identify successes from FY2018 and explore future challenges,
  • To plan a path to success in FY2020, and
  • To look towards developing a cohesive long-range plan in the next 18 months. 

         The purpose of the “big goal” is to enable the Library to measurably achieve critical mass (serving a large percentage of residents), while the purpose of the Strategic Plan’s Service Priorities is to establish qualitative organizational goals.  In the past year, the Library experienced several successes, including increased funding to expand hours, funds to ensure pay equity for staff, funds to study the services delivered through four urban branches, and funds to purchase a site for the prospective Oceanway library.  Programmatic advances included the creation of the Learning Services department, the implementation of a project execution methodology, and the increase (YTD) of more than 15% more new library cards.  Rogers reviewed strengths, challenges and opportunities facing the library and articulated that it would be necessary to build on strengths in order to leverage challenges.  He finished by stressing the need to focus on delivering long-term impact, allocating resources where they will achieve the most.  This will require the Board to take a 10-year view that merges the “Big Goal” with the “Service Priorities.”  Ultimately, success will depend on strengthening the core (services and audiences), broadening the base, and adopting additive strategies that lead to deeper engagement.  This approach will require saying no to things that do not meet the agreed objectives.


#City Council Proclamation Exercise – Establishing Priority Outcomes

         Chair King invited each attendee to consider the following question: 

         “If the city Council were to pass a proclamation in future years highlighting recent accomplishments of the Library, what accomplishments would trustees like to see listed?” 

         Attendees’ answers included:

  • Providing quality programming that “fills a void,”
  • Complementing the work of other organizations without duplicating it,
  • Working closely with the Kids Hope Alliance,
  • Partnering with other service providers as a venue and convening authority,
  • Expanding the Library’s role as a community center with improved and upgraded facilities,
  • Improving student reading and achievement,
  • Establishing positive mentoring programs,
  • Expanding afterschool programs and stewardship of children, helping to combat both cyber-bullying and other crimes,
  • Offering teenager training and certification, like courses currently offered through DCPS,
  • Focusing on crime prevention in alignment with goals of the Mayor and City Council,
  • Offering the community technical support from trusted library staff, and
  • Positively impacting workforce development.

         The group discussed how to measure such outcomes.  Several individuals voiced a preference for action that leads to measureable results: if the library cannot measure the results it intends to achieve, the action should not be undertaken.  Cutting-edge technology can enable better assessment of impact.  The group discussed how a clear definition of objectives must be in place before offering services. 

         Foundation Chair Kathy McIlvaine mentioned that the Foundation and other parties have sometimes focused on supporting space and activities at the Main Library at the expense of a broader focus on the community.  Several suggestions were made to remedy this, including the Library scaling activities at the Main Library out to regional libraries and branches.

         This led to a discussion of how the Library might look different in coming years.  Some envisioned the Library being less focused on physical stacks and more on activities, both inside and outside library walls.  Some library services could be provided by other city departments (such as Parks, Recreation and Human Services), by partnering non-profits (like the Jacksonville Historical Society) and even by separate governmental agencies like DCPS, freeing Library staff to focus on their specialties.    Several attendees envisioned the Library becoming less place-based and more concept based.  The group also discussed mobile solutions and how bookmobiles aided those goals in the past.

#Prioritizing Strategies 

Out of 15 strategic options presented to Trustees, their input indicated the following priorities:

  • Champion reading,
  • Provide outstanding early learning programs and parental support,
  • Offer tech training for all ages,
  • Offer out-of-school learning opportunities,
  • Partner with Duval County Public Schools to maximize students’ use of the Library,
  • Maximize use of functional spaces, being a gathering place for the community,
  • Host meetings and discussion on timely issues, and
  • Foster leadership and life skills in teens.

#FY 2019 Budget Priorities

Assistant Director for Financial Services Chuck McNeil discussed expectations for the coming budget season.

Out of 18 funding options presented to Trustees, their input indicated the following priorities:

  • Further expand hours of service,
  • Expand collections (both physical and electronic), and
  • Provide technology to improve convenient access to library resources, and provide more access to technological resources.

#A Plan for Advocating

In consideration of how the Board might advocate for these priorities, Trustees acknowledged the need for close relationships with incoming elected officials.Trustee Tim Anderson suggested that involvement in such advocacy efforts was an expected responsibility of Board membership.


After a general overview of the day’s activities and an acknowledgement that the group had achieved its goals for the session, Chair King adjourned the Work Day at 1:25PM.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees March 21, 2019.

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