Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg to share library director

PINELLAS PARK — City officials here say they did a little out-of-the-box thinking when hiring a new library director — they borrowed one of St. Petersburg's librarians.

Angela Pietras, the head librarian at St. Petersburg's Main Library at 3745 Ninth Ave. N will run the daily operations at the Pinellas Park Library. Pinellas Park will pay St. Petersburg for Pietras' services. The arrangement is for 90 days as a test. If it works, the deal could become permanent.

Pietras started Monday at the Pinellas Park Library, 7770 52nd St. N. Pinellas Park will pay St. Petersburg $30,000 for the 90 days. Pinellas Park's salary range for a library director is about $61,000 to $101,000, not including benefits.

"Everything our library director is supposed to be doing, she will be doing," Pinellas Park City Manager Mike Gustafson said.

At least in the short term, the goal is less about saving money and more about seeing if the two cities can work together, streamline operations and provide Pinellas Park residents with more access to services.

St. Petersburg has many more library employees than Pinellas Park does, Gustafson said. Their expertise comes with the deal, he said.

"It's the available services," he said. "The real benefit is having the professional staff handling that one position."

Gustafson said the deal is similar to one his city has with Kenneth City. Pinellas Park provides that town with a part-time building inspector, who can call on others in the Pinellas Park building department if needed. So, in a way, he said, Kenneth City has all of Pinellas Park's building department at its service. Similarly, Pinellas Park will have St. Petersburg's entire library staff.

St. Petersburg city administrator Tish Elston said the short-term goal is to help the smaller city fill a position, but the ultimate goal is sustaining both systems.

The deal might be a springboard for other collaborations between the two cities, she said. Pietras has gotten a temporary salary bump, she added.

Gustafson said he got the idea when his wife, Laurel, was director of the St. Petersburg library system.

"It started as a joke, kind of. (I'd say) can't you guys be the library director for us? The more I thought about it, the more I thought it makes sense," the city manager said.

When his wife decided to retire just before Thanksgiving, the idea became viable because any conflict of interest disappeared, he said. He spoke with Elston and they cobbled together a temporary agreement that could become permanent.

"It's way out-of-the-box" thinking, he said.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg to share library director 12/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 4:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco County mulls preserving former Ft. King ranch

    Environment

    LAND O'LAKES — Nearly three decades after Freeman Polk unsuccessfully attempted to auction his massive Fort King Ranch, the thousands of acres north of State Road 52 just might have a new buyer — Pasco County.

    A Pasco advisory committee is recommending the county acquire the nearly 3,600 acres formelry known as the Fort King Ranch north of State Road 52.
  2. A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

    Teachers

    LAND O'LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.

    Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, left, hold contract talks Nov. 9, with district negotiators. The sides are nearing an agreement.
  3. Lightning beats Blackhawks in OT

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The Lightning entered Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks determined to avoid its first losing streak of the season.

    Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) gets to the puck ahead of Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan during the first period, in which Chicago had the better of play and a 2-0 lead.
  4. Basketball: USF Bulls bounce back with rout of Howard; FSU, Miami win

    College

    TAMPA — Three nights after running out of steam in a loss at Indiana, USF had enough to steamroll Howard of the MEAC.

  5. Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

    Business

    Some smaller retailers will tug at shoppers' heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide.

    Some smaller retailers will tug at shoppers’ heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide. Keep St. Pete Local is an independent business alliance in St. Petersburg that has more than 600 members.