Security Remains Center Focus


Beach Library Board

Building and personal security remain a primary concern of the Board of Directors of the Fort Myers Beach Library. At their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 the board discussed the results of a recent Lee County Sheriff’s Office security survey of the building and grounds and continued preliminary discussions on a new library suspension and trespass policy.

Board Chair Sallie Seabury opened the meeting with the announcement that Board Treasurer Miffie Greer, who was not present at the meeting, was planning to move off island and out of the library district in May.

In Greer’s absence, Seabury commented that donations to the library continue to arrive, with $350 received in March. Jan Fleming noted that the last few new Friends of the Library applications included an additional library donation.

The balance sheet provided at the meeting, with figures through March 31, 2019, or 6 months into the fiscal year, show income over and expenses under budget with year to date (YTD) income at $1,352,802 (YTD budget $944,312). Expenses YTD are $541,234 (YTD Budget at $$603,163).

Peggy Lince, Crime Prevention Specialist with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, toured the library and conducted a security survey, with Board member Rick Sebastian and Library Director Cletus Poser on April 2. The survey focused on three types of criminal activity; minor irritations caused by mischief; potential criminal activity by employees, volunteers and patrons; and mass casualty concerns. Her suggestions ranged from installing 180 degree peepholes to installation of longer strike plate screws & mirrors and landscape trimming to improve visibility. She also advised the placement of printed library guidelines, including time limits on computer use so that patrons can see them.

Sebastian told the board that he is working on signage, as well as an updated suspension and trespass policy with Poser and hopes to have all completed by next month for board approval, so staff and volunteer training can begin this summer.

Poser showed the board the proposed garden to honor Dr. Hommerding. John Sibley of All-Native Garden Center, who worked at length with Hommerding on the library’s landscaping, created the plan. Fleming said that the garden was going to be paid for with Friends of the Library donations.

Ed Scott asked about placing a plaque on the outside of the library for Hommerding, similar to the one at Town Hall. Following a discussion about placement and verbiage, the matter was continued to next month.

Poser told the board that he had investigated the purchase of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) and had found a variety of options. The board voted 6-0 to purchase 3 AED’s, one for each floor of the library. Poser will consult with the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department regarding which type to purchase and training.

Poser also informed the board that library staff can utilize the Guidance Resources Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that Lee County uses. Seabury added that Pastor Ivan Corbin of Beach United Methodist Church and Rusty May of St. Peter Lutheran Church have also volunteered to assist staff and volunteers with any issue of concern.

Fleming noted that United Way also offers some employee assistance programs.

The recurring wind and water issues with the automatic front library doors was raised by Seabury, who urged the board to continue working on a solution. Poser noted that so long as any extended entryway canopy cannot block the sides, the wind will continue to be a problem.

Poser provided a job description for Assistant Director, which the board approved 6-0.

Fleming reported that local volunteers are stepping forward to help with the Friends bookstore on the 3rd floor of the library. The store is open Monday – Friday 9:15am – 4:45pm and SA 9:15am -12:45pm.

The next meeting of the Beach Library Board of Directors will be Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30pm.


By Missy Layfield