Director’s Report

“PHiL’s Place”

October 2020

Our Questions, Your Answers!

I hate surveys. They’re long, boring and they never seem to ask that one question you really want to answer. And if you do fill one out, you like to hear some response back. Did they like my answers? What are they going to do with the info? Did I really make an impact by sending this thing in? We like to think when we take time to do a survey, something direct will come out of it but it seems more often than not, you never hear anything. Well, that changes here.  

Recently your library posted a survey on our website and sent it to our newsletter subscribers. Yes, I hate to admit it, it was long; but wow, over 200 of you responded! I was hoping maybe for 50 or so (and that would have been a lot!), but I guess you really wanted to tell us what was on your mind. And you did.

Some of the things we asked and how you answered follow below:

How has the library enhanced your well-being?
“When I am able to do my volunteer tasks, it does wonders for my blood pressure.”
“Knowing that I have a place to go and unwind and truly be myself without judgement helps with my mental well-being.”

How could our library or its services be improved?
“Give warning [when] the library card is set to expire. Tried using it on vacation and it had expired that day and I could not access my account.”
“There are many services that the library offers that don’t fit my demographic.”
“It’s me, not you. Library is excellent. I need to make better use of online services.”

During these Covid-19 challenges, how has the library been successful in providing support and encouragement while keeping you feeling safe?
“Curbside pick-up has been awesome.”
“Ability to use library via Kindle, computer”  

Select which of these features you’d like us to implement or improve.
“Communication about library news” 68.3%
“More library service recommendations” 57.4%
“Updates on what’s trending in library services” 30.6%

On average, how often did you visit the library pre-COVID?
Weekly 52.2%
Monthly 32.8%
Less than once a month 9.5%

How important are programs?
Very Important 39.4%
Important 23.2%
Somewhat Important 20.2%

How important are online services and streaming?
Important 27.2%
Very Important 22.6%
Somewhat Important 20.5%

How is our customer service?
Excellent 77.5%
Good 20%
Fair 2.5%

How is our cleanliness?
Excellent 82.3%, Good 17.7%

And we won’t just be looking at the percentages of these anonymous responses and acting accordingly, we also will be using some of the answers in our promotions. As part of the library’s expanded marketing plan, three new outside banners will be displayed on the north side of the building that will rotate occasionally. The first three, expected to be hung in October if not sooner, will be quotes from the survey. Here’s a preview:

“A place to unwind and be myself without judgement” This sounds familiar…
“The library is my happy place”
And my favorite… “A safe place to be nerdy” 

Well, based on what we’ve read so far, we seem to be doing OK but, of course, there’s always room for improvement. I like to think there was one question there that satisfied your curiosity but if not, you can always contact me at and ask your question. 

And yes, I did like your answers. And yes, we are going to use the information to make this a better place to visit on-site and online. And yes, you did make an impact.



Gene P. Coppola, Library Director Palm Harbor Library


September 2020

A Non-Profit Summit

As some of you may not know, Palm Harbor is an unincorporated community of approximately 59,000+ residents. We are not a city, and so many of our services are provided by the County. Palm Harbor offers a great business community, a strong cultural environment, and numerous unique non-county services.

Over the years the Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce has been a wonderful source for the business community and has been consistently supportive of nonprofits. However, during these turbulent times perhaps more needs to be done with socially-focused institutions. Some are suffering from reduced revenues, staff, and resources; although each is striving to maintain the services that the community has come to expect, it is increasingly difficult to do so. In an attempt to ease this burden, Palm Harbor Library, in partnership with CSA Palm Harbor, will be hosting a summit where all Palm Harbor non-profits can gather to review and discuss how we may be able to help each other.

To give you an example of a mutually beneficial partnership, the library joined up with the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art to promote art and literature.  Leepa-Rattner provided free one-hour art talks at the library and juried art selections for the library’s Art Alcove exhibit space. In turn, the library conducted art-themed storytimes for children and an adult art book club at the museum.

So far nearly 50 organizations have been identified as nonprofits in Palm Harbor! Imagine that. There are so many good public services being offered, and I am sure many Palm Harborites (Is that a word?) are justly benefitting from them. But just think how much more may be accomplished if we all gather together, guided by the simple philosophy of altruism. And don’t you think we need that now more than ever? 

We are currently reaching out to the Nonprofits of Palm Harbor in preparation for the Summit in early 2021. If you are interested in participating, please do not hesitate to contact me at 727-784-3332 ext. 3001 or at  I sure would like to talk with you.

These are challenging times and may continue to be for quite a while. However, these could be times of opportunity and innovation. What do they say about lemons and lemonade? Well, I say, let’s mix it up and see what happens.


Gene P. Coppola, Library Director Palm Harbor Library


August 2020

“It’s a Whole Different Ballgame…at Least for Now” 

So now it’s August, the library is open but somehow it’s not the same. Yes, you can come in and borrow materials, take a load off and sit down, read a book and cool off… but it’s not the same. 

This whole Covid-19 phenomenon has changed just about everything in our lives and libraries of course are no exception. We had to close for a while, then re-open with staff only, no volunteers. We are without our face-to-face activities/meetings/programs, and now we must modify our hours due to a scaled-down staff.  Everything seems so surreal!

But wait! All is not lost. The library is still here! We can still do things for you! We can still do a lot of things for you. Here is just a small sampling of those services:

– The Library Media Box just outside the front entrance when the library is closed (all you need is a library card)
– The Library Media Box located at CSA Palm Harbor, open 24 hours a day (ditto on the card)
– Outside Wi-Fi access around the library when the library is closed (signs are posted where Wi-Fi is available)
– Two FREE charging stations for your e-car
– As mentioned, PCs and…MACs!
– A seed library (Yes, we can help you grow your own garden!)
– Musical instruments to borrow
– STEAM kits for kids
– Records! (We also provide a turntable)
– Our bookstore is open. Great bargains!
– Curbside pick-up
– Standard services (Reference, Notary, Faxing and Exam Proctoring Services)
– And let’s talk a minute about our online services at
          Overdrive (Downloadable Ebook, Audiobooks & Streaming Video)
          Hoopla (Downloadable Movies, Music & AudioBooks)
          Kanopy (Stream classic cinema, indie films, top documentaries, quality children’s tv, and movies and the Great Courses)
 (offers a range of services for all ages from live help from tutors available from 3 pm – 10 pm to practice tests for the SAT  and ACT. You are also able to submit papers, math questions, and resumes for tutors to review 24/7)

I am sure I’m missing some others but that should give you an idea that we are still in business. 

Yes, this wacky world may still get a bit wackier as we go along but know that through it all, we’ll continue to be here to serve you one way or another.  It is a different ballgame for now but when it gets back to the way it was, we will too.


Gene P. Coppola, Library Director Palm Harbor Library


Author: PHLIBAdministrator

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