Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, March 2, 2006.
(As approved May 4, 2006)

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, March 2, 2006 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


The meeting was called to order by Vice President Coulter at 4:03PM.


Commissioners present:  Bautista, Coulter, Gomez, and Strobin

A quorum was present. Commissioners Chin, Higueras, and Kane’s arrival was delayed.


Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:12p.m.

President Higueras joined the meeting and assumed the Chair at 4:15p.m.




An anonymous member of the public spoke about: a recent POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report related projects tour of the Main Library for the members of the Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee (LCAC) of the Board of Supervisors; critiqued  planned changes, and discussed their view of former City Librarian Dowlin’s plans for the then new  Main Library.


Mr. Kimo Crossman commented on: criticized and called to the Commissioner’s attention the Library and the City Attorney’s response to several public records requests that he had submitted to the Library; and discussed his requests.


Mr. Peter Warfield spoke about: a notice requesting members of the public provide spelling of their names when offering comment; the importance of timely response to requests made under the Sunshine Ordinance; his participation in the POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report related projects tour of the Main Library for the members of the Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee (LCAC) of the Board of Supervisors; discussed evaluation of Main Library furniture; and about his concern with the changes in the Library’s Interlibrary Loan process.







An anonymous member of the Public commented: the Minutes were more detailed that others recently suggesting a different author; noted there were two anonymous speakers but lack of explanatory footnotes describing the numbers of anonymous speakers; that page one report of their comments lacked detail; discussed public comment on adjournment; and lack of report of a comment about the Friends attributed to President Higueras.


Mr. Peter Warfield commented: found the Minutes more detailed than usual; and requested improvements and correction of inaccuracies, and reporting more details of his comments about the Library’s use of the self-pick up of reserves suggesting in particular adding “and non- self pick up” to a page one comment.


Mr. Kimo Crossman commented: the quality of the minutes was improved and accurately reflected his comments


Commissioner Kane joined the meeting at 4:27pm.


Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF JANUARY 5, 2006


President Higueras suggested amending the Minutes to include the three words on Page One requested by Mr. Warfield. Vice President Coulter called attention to a mistake noting that President Higueras had opening the meeting. Vice President Coulter found merit in the inclusion of footnotes concerning the number of anonymous speakers, and asked correction in an error in the reported title of the Executive Director of the Friends of the Library.


In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, the Commission Secretary reported the Library’s procedures for responding to public records requested and noted that all current public records requests were being addressed in accordance with the requirements of law and these procedures.  


MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd by Commissioner Coulter for approval of the Minutes of the regular Library Commission meeting of February 2, 2006 as corrected.


ACTION: 7-0 aye (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Higueras, Kane, and Strobin)


President Higueras announced that AGENDA ITEM #5 NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY CAMPAIGN GIFT RECOGNITION POLICY REVISION would be tabled to an upcoming meeting of the Commission.





 Friends of the Library Executive Director Donna Bero thanked the Commissioners and Library staff as well as Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes for their hard work benefiting our libraries.  The Friends Executive Director, Ms. Bero reminded the Commissioners of the April 21st - 10th Anniversary Library Laureates Dinner and called attention to its theme commemorating the centennial of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Ms. Bero noted that Commissioner Gomez was among the literary luminaries of this year’s Library Laureates, and thanked Commissioner Kane for sponsoring a table at the dinner.


Ms. Bero then introduced Jo Trotter, 3618 Library Technician II in Collection Development Department and head of the staff Educational Opportunities Committee. Ms. Trotter thanked the Friends and reported on the generous support provided by the Friends since 1992 for Library staff training, educational enrichment, and professional development. Ms. Trotter identified the committee members: Isabel Delgadillo-Romo – Anza Branch; Alan D’Souza – Information Services; Donna Persechino – Information Technology; Paul Signorelli – Human Resources; Barbara VanderBorght  - Office of Children’s Services; and lauded the Committee members’ contributions in assisting their colleagues to increase their educational attainments and improve Library staff’s professional skills.


Ms Bero then introduced Ms. Christine Lieshman, the Friend’s staffer for the Sunset Neighborhood Capital Campaign who presented a brief update on campaign activities and then introduced Sunset Library Branch Manager Jane Hudson. Ms. Hudson expressed delight with the campaign and discussed the rich resources of San Francisco History in the neighborhood. Ms. Hudson then discussed recent events in support of the Sunset Library and introduced Manny Moynihan, a 36 year Sunset resident and key neighborhood Capital Campaign volunteer who lauded Ms. Lieshman’s leadership’s and pledged to continue to support the branch library.


Ms. Bero noted that the “public comment” fund had raised $1,100,  and continued the Friends of the Library report with a presentation on several upcoming Friend’s sponsored events  including: this year’s “Library Legislative Day in Sacramento on April 26th. The Friends Executive Director concluded her report by discussion the Friend’s leadership role in the statewide efforts to enact Prop. 81, the new State Library Construction Bond Initiative.           


Commissioner Kane joined the meeting during the Friends of the Library Report.




Mr. Kimo Crossman expressed dismay that the Deputy City Attorney would offer advice to the Friends of the Library and pledged to find out more about what advice was given, and questioned the Commissioner Secretary’s role in responding to public records requests.


An anonymous member of the public commented: in opposition to the Friends of the Library; noted they now understood their lack of invitation to participate in the Legislative Day activities, noted their doing their part to increase the public comment fund. This person lauded the expenditures for staff training, expressed disappointment that it was not directly funded by the Library;  expressed regret that the agenda item concerning the Gift Recognition Policy had been tabled; and discussed what they found to be surreal at a recent “Writer’s Remembered” event sponsored by the Friends of the Library.


                  Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY



Vice President Coulter noted the impressive support provided by the Friends to the Library’s staff, and commended Ms. Hudson and Mr. Moynihan for their efforts on behalf of the Sunset Library.


Commissioner Bautista lauded the invaluable contributions made by the many volunteers that supported the crucially important services provided to the Library by the Friends.



President Higueras seconded those comments and draw attention to Ms. Lieshman’s dedication and leadership in bringing the community together to support their library.


Commissioner Chin lauded the Friends achievements in developing a sense of community around our branch libraries and maintaining community support for our libraries and challenged their critics to demonstrate equivalent fundraising ability on behalf of libraries.




City Librarian Herrera called the Commissioner’s attention to the recent Board of Supervisor’s Resolution renaming that portion of 16th Street between Pond and Prosper Streets, (the Location of the Eureka Valley- Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library), in honor of gay rights pioneer and International Imperial Court system founder Jose Sarria.


The City Librarian then discussed the Library’s introduction of a services enhancement though  emailed courtesy notices reminding users two days in advance of when their library materials were due.


Mr. Herrera then introduced Library Chief of Public Affairs and Exhibitions Marcia Schneider, who presented an extensive report on the background of and the ongoing “One City One Book “Program and the Library’s “On the same Page” reading programs. Ms. Schneider discussed aspects of the current programs and provided information concerning upcoming authors and their titles to be included in these very popular reading programs following a nationwide trend.


The City Librarian then reported on the upcoming Inaugural of the next Poet Laureate of San Francisco Jack Hirschman on April 4th. The Chief of Adult Services then concluded her presentation with an overview of upcoming Library Observances marking the Centennial of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire; and




An anonymous member of the public found the report encouraging questioned if the use of the emailed courtesy notices would replace regular mailed notices rather than supplement them. This person discussed the differences between online “reader’s advisory and those provided by professional Librarians. This person called attention to the contributions to the history of the 1906 Earthquake by the Library’ own Gladys Hansen.


Mr. Peter Warfield was troubled by the use of emailed notices suggesting that the Library was violating its principle of “free and equal access, and granting those with online access privileged services. Mr. Warfield noted that it was good to get mailed reminders as a means of keeping fines down. Mr. Warfield noted that he was glad of the dueling book programs and to hear details of other Library programs






Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT



Commissioner Bautista emphasized each library user’s personal responsibility to return borrowed materials and was informed by John Kenny, Library Acting Chief of Information Technical Services, how the both the current written notices and the new emailed “courtesy” notices would be handled and noted that the new notices would be done at no additional expense to the Library.  Mr. Kenny noted that in the future telephone notification might also be provided given the limitation of the Library’s existing equipment.


In response to a query by Commissioner Chin, the City Librarian explained that the 16th Street name change had not been brought to the Commission for action but was done by the Board of Supervisors, and that there was no Commission jurisdiction involved. 


Commissioner Bautista applauded the “One City, One Book” and “On the Same Page” reading programs.  The City Librarian explained how the authors and titles were selected.


President Higueras called at recess at 5:22pm

President Higueras and Commissioner Kane left the meeting during the recess.

The Commission, chaired by Vice President Coulter who had assumed the Chair, returned to session at 5:32pm.




Library Chief of Children and Youth Services Toni Bernardi presented a detailed update report on the Library’s “Every Child Ready to Read” Program. Ms Bernardi highlighted the critical importance of work of the “Every Child ready To Read “ Program Coordinator Christy Burgess and outlined the background to the model two track reading skills development Library program. The Chief of Children and Youth Service called attention to program activities coordinated with the “Week of the Young Child” observances during the first week of April. Ms. Bernardi reported that the program was ready in English and Spanish and would hopefully in the future be available in Chinese. Ms Bernardi explained what services would be made available to parents to he support reading development skills in their children.





Ms. Ellen Egbert noted that she was glad that this was a program for adults to support children’s reading and called attention to the wildly popular “lap sit” program at the Bernal Heights Branch Library.


An anonymous member of the found the presentation confusing as to whether this was a library program or a children’s program asking for more information about how much it would cost and who would benefit.


Mr. Peter Warfield complained at the lack of written explanatory materials. Mr. Warfield requested more specific information of how the $500,000 in funding for this program would be expended and who it would benefit. He suggested that the program lacked measurable objectives, and suggested that half of this amount could provide addition public services hours at branches on Sundays.




                        Commissioner Chin commended the effort to prepare young children to read and noted

                        that this was a major area of focus of early childhood education. The City Librarian

highlighted how this Program could engage parents and caregivers in helping young children build a strong skill base for future learning.


Commissioner Bautista expressed strong support for this program noting that as a teacher she deeply appreciated the importance of early development of fundamental reading skills.


Commissioner Chin suggested that the California Department of Education  and local community based non-profit organizations be contacted to find out if they could provide needed translation of the Program materials into Chinese.





No report was offered.


Commissioner Strobin left the meeting at 5:54pm.




No new business items were proposed.




MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin to adjourn the regular March 2, 2006 Public Library Commission meeting.


Public comment on AGENDA ITEM # 9 ADJOURNMENT


An anonymous member of the public decried Commissioners’ comments offered during the meeting, the Library’s response to public records requests, and noted that public comment was an opportunity for the public to offer its opinions.


ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez)


The Commission meeting adjourned at 5:58pm


Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 3/18/06


Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102


Explanatory documents: Copies of listed explanatory documents are available as follows: (1) from the Commission Secretary/Custodian of Records, Main Library, 6th Floor, (2) in the rear of the Koret Auditorium immediately before and during the meeting, and (3)to the extent possible, on the Library's website at

Additional materials not listed as explanatory documents on this agenda, if any, that are distributed to the Library Commissioners prior to or during the meeting in connection with any agenda item will be available to the public for inspection and copying in accordance with Government Code Section 54954.1 and Sunshine Ordinance §§ 67.9, 67.28(b)& 67.28(d).



















 Minutes of the Library Commission Meeting March 2, 2006

                                          Appendix A


The Public Comment Summary Statements included in these Minutes are authorized by San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.16.


These summary statements are provided by the speaker. Their contents are neither generated by, nor subject to approval or verification of accuracy by, the San Francisco Public Library Commission.