President’s Message to City Council at First Reading of the City’s FY15 Budget September 4, 2014

Good evening Council Members:

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on a subject dear to me, the support of our community libraries. My name is Wayne Finley, and I live at 309 16th Ave NE in St. Petersburg. I am here tonight as president of the Friends of Mirror Lake Library.

I have looked at your proposed budget, and I was pleased to see that you have included $43K for enhancements to our libraries for technology upgrades, which I understand includes computers, something that is very important to us at the Mirror Lake Library for we were at the bottom of the pile for wait time to get onto a computer, with our patrons having a typical 1-hr wait to get access.

But I am here to ask you to consider more.

In particular, we need our libraries open longer hours and on Sundays. The library system has been transitioning our libraries from being known as branch libraries to community libraries, a positive step towards recognizing that libraries are transitioning from traditional libraries to community hubs which function as not just learning environments that serve our communities, but representing that they can act as places for citizens to meet, engage and learn, to enter into collaborative and co-working relationships to develop new businesses, to teach early reading skills, to provide safe environments for children and teens, and for all of us to develop new skills to become a better fit for today’s workplace and to find greater civic engagement.

Joining a Friends group is one such example. The Friends of Mirror Lake Library just celebrated its 3rd year as an incorporated entity, and in those three years, we have raised and spent over $10,000 in support of our library and have held events that have brought hundreds of new patrons to it.

We host a quarterly author series, and since 2011 have welcomed 9 authors that have drawn in over 300 hundred folks from throughout our community.

In 2012 we sponsored a plein air art event that saw 20 artists painting among the grounds and providing us with a collection of beautiful new original artwork that showcases our beautiful gem.

And each summer we have sponsored the youth at Mirror Lake Library who participate in the Youth Summer Reading Program.

These are just a few of the ways we have worked to encourage folks within the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods to “Reconnect and Reacquaint” themselves with our library, but it can be difficult due to closing times too early – Mirror Lake only stays open until 7pm two nights a week, and the fact that our community library isn’t open on Sunday when many residents are interested in visiting.

Our libraries have been one of the hardest hit when the last economic downturn hit the nation, and saw some of the deepest cuts – some elements in excess of nearly 60 percent from what had been. Personnel have been cut to the bone, and our infrastructure is in need of rehabilitation.

Our library is in need of a new elevator or an overhaul of the existing one, for it is very slow and very loud, which effects how well patrons in the back can hear during our authors lectures and also gets stuck every now and then with people on it. We need new furniture, and even though there has been an influx of new technology, we still need more computers and the furniture to put them on.

I would like to remind all of you that Mirror Lake Library is St. Petersburg’s original library, and it is only public one for 50 years. The Friends, along with the city and various other folks and groups from within our community are working on a slew of activities to mark our 100th anniversary – in fact we are preparing a calendar of events that will host 100 in 100.

As part of this celebration, the Friends are hosting a fundraising campaign to fulfill our wish list, which we composed in concert with city staff. We will be looking to raise another $10,000 for our Dreaming Big Wish List, and will be asking the community to raise the match in the same manner as it was built, because the Carnegie grant of $17,500 had to be met dollar for dollar by the citizens – and they did. We are appealing to that sense of generosity and concern by asking folks to put up a match if you will to bring our little gem into the 21st century.

I would like to propose to all of you that perhaps the city would like to be engaged in this endeavor, and match the funds raised by the Friends to support this cultural icon of our city.

I also ask that you consider putting a few more thousand dollars into a fund that might help support some of the bigger events we will be hosting throughout 2015.

I will leave you with this tidbit about libraries I share with anyone who will listen. There are those who would say that libraries have become irrelevant what with all of the new technology and other outlets.

What I say to that is libraries may have become irrelevant to those with means; however, to the low-income earning folks throughout our community, libraries are essential for access to free reading materials, free events such as author lectures, and places of learning for their children through our children’s reading programs, especially our out of school time youth summer reading program. Libraries have become the new social service centers that no one knows about.

Well tonight, you now know. Thank you again for your time and I hope you continue to bolster our library system, not just fund it at its current levels.

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Meeting Minutes for August 6, 2014

The FRIENDS of MIRROR LAKE LIBRARY (FMLL) August 6, 2014 board meeting was called to order by President Wayne Finley at 6:05 PM. The secretary’s report for the June 14, 2014 meeting was read and accepted with no changes. There was no July board meeting.

Monika Finley gave the treasurer’s report. As of July 31, 2014 the treasury had $1722.22. Future forecasted expenses were $510 ( youth summer reading and expenses for next author event). Future revenue estimated to be $130 ( author event) for a balance of $1342.22. The treasurer’s report was approved. Wayne suggested that prior approval would not be needed by board members to spend $30, or less for refreshments etc. Unanimous approval for this suggestion was given.

The results from our June 7th book sale was discussed. It was decided that Diane will co-ordinate volunteers next year. Our profits were $700 or more.

New business started with discussion of our next author event. It was decided it would be on September 8th from 5:00-7:00 PM, with the speaker starting at 5:45 PM. Barbara has been in contact with our speaker, Maureen McDole. Barbara requested that Sandy procure a microphone for this and all future events, so we won’t have a repeat of hearing issues like we did at the Deggans event. A future speaker may be someone commemorating Gabriel Jose de la Concordia Garcia Marquez, possibly in January, 2015.

Our participation in First Night was discussed; children’s events will be provided as well as a coffee table book about the library for sale for adults were recommended by those present.

Diane requested a centennial theme for her web site be considered. Wayne assured the board that we would be planning our own events to celebrate the library’s centennial as well as the committee that Mika is working with.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Sagese
Acting secretary, FMLL

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Friends Now a 501(c)(3) Organization

The Friends of Mirror Lake Library is now a 501(c)(3) organization. Many thanks to attorney Nicole Nate and Friends President Wayne Finley for updating our bylaws and getting us this 501 (c) (3) status. We received approval on July 21, 2014, but the status is effective as of January 21, 2012.

Section 501(c)(3) is the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations. It is regulated and administered by the US Department of Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service.

The Friends group is now eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 170.

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Maureen McDole Poetry

Maureen McDole, the speaker at our September “An Evening With…” event, has two poetry books available at Haslams (2025 Central Ave, St Petersburg). After August 20, you can get them from http://www.summerfolkpress.com.

EMOpic LFTDEpic

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An Evening with Maureen McDole – September 8, 2014

Please join us on September 8, 2014, for An Evening with Maureen McDole. We will have a reception at 5:00 p.m., with Maureen’s reading starting at 5:45 p.m.   This takes place on the second floor of the Mirror Lake Library, 280 5th Street North, St. Petersburg.

McDole
“Inspiring the world one poem at a time.”

Maureen McDole was born in St. Petersburg, FL in 1974. She is a direct descendant of carnies, carpenters and fishermen. This do-it-yourself ethos in her DNA infuses every area of her life. As far back as she can remember she loved to write. Her first book of poems, “Exploring My Options,” came out in 2006. This was the first title from Summerfolk Press, which she founded with Gabriel Garling.

In December 2008, Maureen graduated from USF-St. Petersburg with a BA in English Literature. Her second poetry book, “Longing for the Deep End,” was released in December 2011. Maureen is currently working on her third collection of poems.

In 2013 Maureen graduated from the National Speakers Association’s Speakers Academy. She has been leading workshops and speaking about creativity for over 15 years. Also in 2013 Maureen co-founded the local literary arts organization, Keep St. Pete Lit, because she believes wholeheartedly in the power of literature to change the world.

Maureen McDole was born in St. Petersburg, FL in 1974. She is a direct descendant of carnies, carpenters and fishermen. This do-it-yourself ethos in her DNA infuses every area of her life. As far back as she can remember she loved to write. Her first book of poems, “Exploring My Options,” came out in 2006. This was the first title from Summerfolk Press, which she founded with Gabriel Garling.

In December 2008, Maureen graduated from USF-St. Petersburg with a BA in English Literature. Her second poetry book, “Longing for the Deep End,” was released in December 2011. Maureen is currently working on her third collection of poems.

In 2013 Maureen graduated from the National Speakers Association’s Speakers Academy. She has been leading workshops and speaking about creativity for over 15 years. Also in 2013 Maureen co-founded the local literary arts organization, Keep St. Pete Lit, because she believes wholeheartedly in the power of literature to change the world.

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Filed under An Evening With...Literary Events

Meeting Minutes for June 14, 2014

The June 14, 2014 FRIENDS of MIRROR LAKE LIBRARY (FMLL) meeting was called to order at 6:10 PM by President Wayne Finley.  The minutes from the May 7, 2014 meeting were read and approved with no additions.

The treasurer’s report was made and accepted.  We have a balance of $1,684.55 as of June 1, 2014.  A motion was made and approved to approve expenses for our book sale and upcoming events.

Special Committees reported on the upcoming author events ( Eric Deggans).   Our facebook and web communications, in addition to postcards was discussed.  Membership drives were also discussed, especially our 100 for 100 drive (100 new members for our 100th anniversary in 2015).

New business/Other:

The summer book sale will be held on June 7th from 9:15 AM to 3 PM.  Diane said it was on our facebook page.

 Our IRS 501 (c) (3)filing should be approved in six months or less.

The Centennial Celebration Committee meeting will be at the library on June 11th at 6 PM.

Details of The Eric Deggans event on June 16th 5:00-7:00 PM were discussed.  Linda Sagese and Suzanne Chesser will be at the Library at 4:45 PM to set up the refreshments.

A brief discussion of our participation in First Night revealed that those present favored us having our event in the library.

A motion was made and seconded that we skip the meeting in July and hold our next meeting on August 6, 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Linda Sagese

(acting) secretary

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Meeting Minutes for May 7, 2014

The Friends of Mirror Lake (FMLL) board meeting was called to order by President Wayne Finley at 6 PM on May 7, 2014.  The April 2, 2014 minutes were read by Linda Sagese and accepted.

The treasurer’s report stated the treasury had a combined total of $1326.39.  Addition debits from our member’s picnic remain to be paid.  The treasurer’s report was accepted and approved.

New business addressed the possibly of having an event in September commemorating Gabriel Jose’ de la Concordia Garcia Marquez.  Those present thought it was an excellent idea.

A St. Petersburg sustainability Council presentation in December was also considered.  Some attendees were concerned that because of the holidays that might not be the ideal time.

A new Friends Book Salon was proposed, starting in July.  It was decided to explore further at our next meeting.

First Night participation is being considered as a lead in to our 100th anniversary

Old business began with a summary of our Spring Picnic event.  Followed by plans for our Summer Book Sale on June 7th,  (9-3 will be the hours of the sale) and Friday afternoon will be the preparation.

Our next author event will feature Eric Deggans on June 16, 2014.  The event will run from 5-7 pm.  Linda Sagese & Suzanne Chesser will take care of the refreshments.

Kelly Malaziac will be contacting all members about the upcoming meeting to start planning the Mirror Lake Library Centennial in the near future. 

He next FMLL board meeting will be on June 4, 2014 at 6 PM.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:05 Pm.

 Respectfully submitted,

Linda Sagese,    Acting Secretary

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