Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Budget cuts quicken due date on Pasco library books

Loni Kaplan of New Port Richey uses library books in homeschooling of sons, from left, Jaron, 9, twins Evan and Derek, 6, and Adam, 12. She says a policy that reduces the checkout time is inconvenient and is forcing her to use Pinellas libraries.


Loni Kaplan of New Port Richey uses library books in homeschooling of sons, from left, Jaron, 9, twins Evan and Derek, 6, and Adam, 12. She says a policy that reduces the checkout time is inconvenient and is forcing her to use Pinellas libraries.

NEW PORT RICHEY — For eight years, Loni Kaplan has checked out books from Pasco County libraries to teach homeschooled students. Sometimes she needs them for two months at a time, like the book she checked out last month for an eight-week study on world geography.

That used to be no problem under the old policy of the Pasco libraries, which allowed people to check out a book for 28 days and renew it for 28 more.

But under a new policy launched Aug. 4, checkout time has been cut in half. Now patrons get books and other materials for 14 days, with a one-time renewal of 14 additional days.

"As a homeschooler, the library is our bread and butter," said Kaplan, 41.

"They (students) are not done with it (books) in two weeks. If they're interested in something, they might go a month at a time."

It turns out the passage of Amendment 1 in January delivered a $2.7-million hit to Pasco libraries. Libraries director Linda Allen said they faced a tough choice: close a branch or cut spending on new materials.

Library officials chose the latter.

Since the library system won't have money to buy books during the fiscal year that starts in October, officials shortened the checkout time so books get back on the shelves sooner, Allen said.

"We thought maybe we can use our resources better," Allen said. "We are hoping the impact is that more materials on the shelves mean more frequency for people to have them."

The policy is in effect on a trial basis until November, when officials will decide whether to make it permanent.

Allen said about 30 patrons have complained about the new policy. "This may not work, but we are testing it out to see," Allen said.

"If it turns out that this isn't accomplishing what we thought it would, we'll try something else."

Meanwhile, patrons like Kaplan, who homeschools her four children and teaches other kids, say they'll find new ways to keep books longer than 14 days. Kaplan said she and her family check out about 75 to 100 books per month.

"I'm utilizing Pinellas libraries much more now for those books I know I'll need long term," said Kaplan, noting Pinellas allows patrons to keep books for 28 days and renew for 28 more. "I'm using Pasco when I have to, but I'm more heavily using Pinellas."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

by the numbers

28 The number of days library materials could be checked out under the old policy

14 The number of days library materials can be checked out under the new policy

Budget cuts quicken due date on Pasco library books 09/08/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 4:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Romano: On this education bill, you decide who is evil


    The political ramifications are not lost on Kristine Benson.

    Six-year-old Chase Benson was born with down syndrome and autism. He attends a private school in Palm Harbor through a Gardiner Scholarship. [Photo courtesy of Kris Benson]
  2. St. Petersburg police team with federal agencies to crack down on gun and drug offenders (w/video)


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police say Raymond Adams, 29, jumped a fence to break into a home in the 800 block of 51st Street Avenue S.

    Some of the guns confiscated during an eight month firearms, drug trafficking, and violent crime operation dubbed the St. Petersburg Violent Crime Reduction Initiative were on display Wednesday, 5/24/17 at the St. Petersburg Police Department.  Federal charges have been filed against 35 individuals and state charges have been filled against 9 individuals in St. Petersburg. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Graco recalls car seats; webbing may not hold child in crash

    Public Safety

    Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained.

    Graco has recalled eight different car seat models.
  4. Pro Bowl returning to Orlando in 2018


    ORLANDO — The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando in 2018 for the second straight year.

    Bucs  wide receiver Mike Evans runs a route as Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. defends during the first quarter of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in January at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Plan your weekend: Memorial Day, Sunset Music Fest, comic Pablo Francisco, sci-fi writer Jeff VanderMeer


    Plan your weekend


    Memorial Day: Monday is the day to honor those who died serving their country, and the Bay Pines VA Memorial Day Ceremony will have Fox 13 anchor Alcides Segui as emcee, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and musical performances starting at 10 a.m. at 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. …

    GULF SHORES, AL - MAY 20:  Diplo of Major Lazer performs at the Surf Stage during 2017 Hangout Music Festival on May 20, 2017 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Hangout Music Festival) 700050769