The Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC) is pleased to recognize four distinguished leaders with its “Library Champion Award” for exceptional support for libraries. The 2012-13 honorees are: Senator Jack Latvala , Senator Jeff Brandes , Representative Seth McKeel, and Representative Ed Hooper.
Senator Jack Latvala – Senator Latvala, who serves part of Pinellas County, has long been recognized as a supporter of libraries in his community and in the Legislature. Senator Latvala serves on the Senate Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee and shares credit for increasing State Aid to Public Libraries and restoration of Library Cooperative funding. Meeting with Senator Latavla is always a pleasure for library advocates because of the depth of his knowledge and consistent support.
Senator Jeff Brandes – Senator Brandes represents parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. During the 2013 Legislative Session Senator Brandes sponsored Senate Bill 608 on “Library Innovation” that proposed creating a grant program to support innovative programs in Florida libraries. Though the bill did not pass, he demonstrated a great understanding and support for the innovative services being developed by Florida libraries in response to exciting changes in our communities and the world of information. Senator Brandes also serves on the Senate Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee and shares credit for increasing State Aid to Public Libraries and restoration of Library Cooperative funding.
Representative Seth McKeel – Representative McKeel represents Lakeland and part of Polk County. He chairs the House Appropriations Committee and his committee strongly supported increased State Aid to Public Libraries and restoration of the MLC funding last session. Prior to his election to the Legislature, Representative McKeel served on the Lakeland City Commission which provided him with a strong understanding of the value of libraries.
Representative Ed Hooper – Rep. Hooper represents part of the Clearwater area in Pinellas County and he chairs the House Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee, the committee that handles Department of State budget issues. In this role, Rep. Hooper is shares special credit with Representative McKeel for this session’s increased State Aid to Public Libraries and restoration of Library Cooperative funding. Representative Hooper is one of those legislators who can describe the value of libraries as well as library advocates can.
TBLC appreciates and thanks the leaders honored here, the Governor, and all of the legislators whose support for Florida libraries contributed to this year’s legislative successes!