SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION

(as amended and approved at the regular meeting of May 3 2007)

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, March 15, 2007, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.

Vice President Coulter called the meeting to order at 4:36 pm and announced that President Higueras was excused.

Commissioners present:  Chin, Coulter, Gomez, and Munson.

Commissioner Bautista arrived at 4:40 pm and Commissioner Kane arrived at 4:54 pm.

Vice President Coulter changed the order of the agenda requesting that Item No. 6  (Extended Library Service Hours) be heard prior to Item 4 with the rest of the agenda items to follow.  He also stated that there was an item on the agenda (selecting a new Library Commission Secretary) with a time certain of 5 pm.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 1:  PUBLIC COMMENT

An anonymous citizen spoke regarding the San Francisco Examiner’s editorial that suggested that libraries should be shunted aside.  He also made comments about former city librarian Ken Dowlin.

Peter Warfield also expressed concern about the Examiner editorial.  He said citizens have funded and expect a first class library system.

Fran Martin on behalf of the Visitacion Valley Planning Alliance, wanted to thank the Library Commission for funding the proposed Visitacion Valley Branch Library.  She explained that development fees will pay at least $1 million towards the construction of the new library.  She indicated that the people supporting the reuse of the grocery store on the site do not understand that this will add costs and time to construction of the library at that site.  She stated that the Mayor’s office, Supervisor Maxwell and library staff have all supported new construction of the library. 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 4  LIBRARY CITIZEN’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE (LCAC) REPORT

Daniel Weaver, Chair of LCAC gave an overview of the group’s recommendations for 7/05-7/06 (attached).  He will work with staff to explore solutions to some of the issues raised.

Sue Cauthen, Vice Chair of LCAC, said she was pleased the SFPL is still “A House of Books.”  She commented on a 2006 report on “Circulation by Material Type,” that shows 57% of the items checked out are in the book categories, DVDs are next with 18%.  She said she was concerned about the financial problems the BLIP is experiencing and felt an independent audit would be useful.

 

At 5:00 pm, Vice-President Coulter stated that public comment on this item would be heard after the next item which had a time certain notice.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 2. TIME CERTAIN 5PM:  PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT – SECRETARY, LIBRARY COMMISSION

Motion: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Munson, that the Library Commission enter into closed session pursuant to California Government Code Section 54957(b)(1)) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b) – Personnel Matter-Public Employee Appointment-Secretary, Library Commission.

Action:   AYE 6 – 0 (Aye: Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Kane, Gomez and Munson)

Commission Comment:  Vice President Coulter estimated that the closed session would last no more than ten minutes. 

Pursuant to California Government Code Section 54957. (b)(1) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10 (b) the San Francisco Public Library Commission entered into closed session at 5:02 PM.

At 5:12 PM the commission returned to open session with 6 members present:  Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Kane, Gomez and Munson.  

Vice President Coulter stated that pursuant to California Government Code Section 54957.1a5 and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12b4, that he was pleased to announce that negotiations with the top candidate for Library Commission Secretary were successful and that the commission appointed Sue Blackman as the new Library Commission Secretary.  The motion was approved unanimously by the following vote:  6-0 Ayes:  Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Kane, Gomez and Munson.

Motion: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Chin pursuant to San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12(a) to not disclose any portion of the discussion that took place in today’s closed session.  The motion was approved by the following vote 6-0 Aye: Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Kane, Gomez and Munson. 

Vice President Coulter noted Ms. Blackman’s presence in the audience and the Commission welcomed her on-board.  

Vice President Coulter stated that the Commission would hear public comment on the Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee’s Report.

PUBLIC COMMENT - ITEM NO. 4  LIBRARY CITIZEN’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE (LCAC) REPORT:

An anonymous citizen stated he did not have any public comment on the LCAC report but he did want to note that the Commission did not take public comment on the closed session.                  

Peter Warfield, member of the LCAC, stated he was the first person appointed to the LCAC.  He expressed concern about the Library of Congress making changes in the way it catalogues and that this may have a negative impact on public libraries.  He stated that the LCAC requested that the Board of Supervisors express concern to the Library of Congress about this issue.  He also mentioned another resolution, which was adopted prior LCAC’s written report, opposing radio frequency identification resolution in the San Francisco Public Library.

Vice President Coulter stated that there were some excellent points in the report and asked the City Librarian to comment on how staff works with the LCAC.

City Librarian Luis Herrera stated that staff has a very good dialogue with LCAC and will continue to work with them to improve the library system.

Vice President Coulter thanked Daniel Weaver, Sue Cauthen and the LCAC for their hard work.

Vice President Coulter stated that at the beginning of the meeting he had requested the item on Extended Library Service Hours be moved up on the agenda.

Commissioner Kane said he does not believe we asked for public comment before we went into closed session and the Deputy City Attorney said she agreed.

Vice President Coulter asked if there was any public comment on the closed session item that was heard earlier.  He specifically asked the anonymous citizen if he wanted to comment. 

No member of the public came forward to comment.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 6 EXTENDED LIBRARY SERVICE HOURS

City Librarian Luis Herrera gave background on the item and stated that this would be a discussion item. 

Deputy City Librarian Jill Bourne gave a PowerPoint presentation on the issues relating to extended library service hours (attached.)  This included a survey of library patrons from 2004 and methodology of determining budget allotment.

Chief of Branches, Brian Bannon, continued with the PowerPoint presentation.  He discussed the criteria and data used for the recommendations on extended library service hours.

Jill Bourne continued with the PowerPoint presentation and explained the staff recommendations, based on the previous information.  She asked the Branch Managers from the different branches to comment on their services.

Dominic Scappaticci, Acting Manager of Ocean View Branch Library, speaking on behalf of Ocean View and Ingleside branches, spoke in support of the Ocean View Branch being open on Mondays and explained the after-school programs at that branch.  He said that the Ingleside Branch serves many families and opening on Sundays would provide another family day at the branch.  He also spoke regarding the benefits of shared staff among the branch libraries.

Sue Bizio, Manager of the Merced Branch Library, supports the extension of library service hours and stated that an extra open day will maximize the access to the collection and better serve students and the community.

Therese Cason, Manager of the Mission Bay Branch Library, spoke in support of opening that branch on Sundays because that would help them better serve the neighborhood community.

Wen Chin Chen, Manager of the Visitacion Valley Branch Library, spoke in support of adding Monday hours to the branch library to better serve the students and local organizations in the area.

Rosalind Chang, Manager of the Portola Branch Library, spoke in support of Sunday hours for the branch.  During the time of the Excelsior branch renovation and closure, Portola was chosen as a substitute branch for Sundays.  That day became very popular in the area.

Jill Bourne spoke regarding the difference in the options presented by staff and recommended that the item be brought back to the Commission at the next meeting for action.

Luis Herrera thanked staff for their presentation and spoke regarding the recommendations in the report and stated staff would like to phase in changes that are adopted by the Commission.

PUBLIC COMMENT:  An anonymous citizen spoke regarding Prop E and the survey done by staff and declared that he had to sue to get that survey done and that’s why the Commission had that information available to them.  He said that the Commission should be asking the Board of Supervisors for additional funding so that the changes would not have to be phased in and could be done this year.  He said that he thought that people were lying to him and the Commission by manipulating the material presented.

Daniel Weaver, a resident of OMI, Ocean View, Merced and Ingleside spoke in support of the additional hours for the branch libraries.

Donna Bero, Friends of the Library, thanked staff for the report and attention to detail and time put into preparing the report.  Friends of the Library support the plan.

Toni Bernardi, Chief of Children and Youth Services, spoke strongly in support of proposal A. 

Peter Warfield said there was a lot of material to look over.  He said that the report had omitted mention that the Board of Supervisors had recommended that branches be open on Sundays.  He said that their understanding was that their preference was that the whole system be open on Sundays.  Citizen preferences, he continued, have always been for weekends, not for Mondays.  He had questions on the criteria for selecting the peer libraries, the time period referenced in the phasing aspect, and how the statistics about poverty, demographics, etc. were used to make these recommendations.

Ellen Egbert from Bernal Heights Branch Library stated that it was a terrific report and was glad to hear from the other branch librarians.

Commissioner Kane said it was a great report with a lot of information and brought up a number of questions.  He said he was not surprised that Sunday was the most popular day.  He indicated a desire to look at library goals and a long term plan.  He asked what it would take for the system to have every branch open every day, and the ability of hiring more part time staff.

Jill Bourne explained the issue of hiring full or part time staff. 

Commissioner Kane asked a question regarding Bayview Branch Library and asked why they weren’t brought up to 7 days.

Jill Bourne said that was looked at and the optimum was to bring all branches up to 6 days. 

Luis Herrera agreed with that assessment and the next step would be to go to all 7 days.

Commissioner Chin said that when you compare the other cities to San Francisco most of the other cities are larger geographically, so our libraries are smaller, but they are much closer together.

Commissioner Bautista talked about the importance of open hours on Sundays for use by families.

Commissioner Gomez thanked staff for the report and said it provided a great deal of information.

Commissioner Munson said the report was well put together and looked like something a

well paid consultant would put together.

Vice President Coulter said the analysis was very informative.  He agreed with Commissioner Kane that the library should look at a long term plan for having the branches open every day.  He asked for more information on the Mission Bay branch.

Jill Bourne spoke about the future density of the Mission Bay area and the size of the Mission Bay Branch Library.

Therese Cason, Manager of the Mission Bay Branch Library, spoke regarding the library’s circulation statistics, and said that a lot of commuters use the library, a lot of children and the Head Start program also use the library and it serves the UCSF area as well.

Brian Bannon spoke regarding the collection of data.  He said the Mission Bay Branch was one of the hardest neighborhoods to determine hours of use, but the recommendation was to open it to 6 days.

Vice President Coulter asked about whether we had more information about the 9% of the people who had said they were dissatisfied.  He asked that staff continue to examine the Mission Bay Branch issue.

Luis Herrera said that staff would continue to look at the Mission Bay and Bayview branch issues.  He also spoke regarding peer library systems and how they were determined.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES

An anonymous citizen stated that the citizen summaries have reappeared in the minutes although they are not included in the body of the minutes and therefore in his opinion they do not meet the law.   The minutes do not say that President Higueras asked him a question or that his concern was over the misrepresentation on the agenda.  He said that his remarks on the adjournment did not include the comments he made regarding Dorothy Casper.

Peter Warfield said that a great deal more specificity should be in the minutes.  Under public comment it would be useful to say a little bit more about what citizens said about the article in the Examiner.  He stated that he believed he said that the previous speaker had a letter in the Examiner.  He indicated that he had mentioned the Library Users Association, and would appreciate it if that was mentioned in the minutes. 

MOTION:  By Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Bautista, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of February 15, 2007, as amended to include additional comments about the adjournment in honor of Dorothy Casper and Mr. Warfield’s identification as representing the Library Users Association.  Approved by the following vote 6-0 Aye: Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Kane, Gomez and Munson.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 5 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT

BLIP Program Manager Marilyn Thompson gave a PowerPoint presentation of her regular report and included the most recent budget changes made by the Commission on March 1 (attached).  The report included the Schedule Report; Active Projects Reports for New Construction and Renovations; Construction Reports; photographs of some of the branch libraries being renovated; Community Outreach Update and photographs from the West Portal Branch Library Opening on February 10.  She stated that West Portal is now fully accessible for the first time.

Luis Herrera reiterated the invitation to the closing party at 1:00 pm on Sunday, March 18th at the Richmond branch and the Grand Re-opening of the Sunset branch on March 31st.  He also stated that staff very much appreciated the support from the Commission at the last Commission meeting regarding the BLIP program.  Questions were raised at that meeting regarding a review/assessment of the program.  He stated that he had met with the City Controller, who is very much in support of undertaking a review of the program.  He said he would report back to the Commission in April on the assessment as it evolves.  

PUBLIC COMMENT: An anonymous citizen did not have any specific comments on this item – he just wanted to ensure public comment on the item.

Peter Warfield thanked staff for an interesting but rapid report and he thanked the City Librarian for clarifying the times of the upcoming events.  He spoke regarding the West Portal branch, and specifically regarding the inconvenient location of the computer catalogs for the library’s collection.  He was looking for a book that was donated by Mayor Newsom and wanted to have the Mayor autograph it on behalf of the library, but the book was in storage.

Edmund, from the Tenderloin District, spoke in support of the library and keeping the “learning tree” always open.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 7 NEW BUSINESS

Vice President Coulter stated there was no new business to be discussed.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 8 ADJOURNMENT

Vice President Coulter announced that this was Richard Walsh’s last meeting as Acting Secretary.  The Commission gave him a round of applause and thanked him for his service.

Luis Herrera thanked Mr. Walsh and Cooley Windsor for their assistance in this interim period.

There was no public comment on this item.

MOTION: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Bautista, to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, March 15, 2007.  Approved by a vote of 6-0.  Voting aye: Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Kane, and Munson.

The regular meeting of March 15, 2007, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 7:06 PM.

Richard Walsh

Acting Secretary

Please note:  These are draft minutes subject to revision by the Public Library Commission.  Copies of commission minutes and handouts are available in the office of the secretary of the San Francisco Public Library Commission, 6th floor, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-4733.

Explanatory documents:  Copies of listed explanatory documents are available as follows:  (1) from the commission secretary/custodian of records, 6th floor, Main Library; (2) in the rear of Koret Auditorium immediately prior to, and during, the meeting; and (3), to the extent possible, on the Public Library’s website http://sfpl.org.  Additional materials not listed as explanatory documents on this agenda, if any, that are distributed to 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 Sections 67.9, 67.28(b), and 67.28(d).

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.

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.


Public Comment of An Anonymous Citizen
San Francisco Public Library Commission Meeting, March 15,2007
Item 1 :
Public Comment
"Stop the Hate! Stop the Ignorance! Don't Give Money to the Friends & Foundation. Don't Accept Money from the Friends & Foundation.
There is an editorial in the Examiner that is a very mixed triumph for you. It states that bricks-and-mortar libraries should be consigned to history. This is a memorialized history. The statement is quintessential Dowlinism. A Dante's hell for you would consist of Dowlin suspended in a cage to spout his vision periodically to remind us of what we lived through.
You have been hoist not only on Dowlin's petard but Mr. Coulter's.
Regarding the excuses about the money, the editorial board does not believe it. They recognize that the bureaucratic imperative is more money. If there were not an excuse about construction costs, there would be some other excuse.
You may wish that people had not learned the lessons about virtual libraries and everything being "nonsense" so well. Congratulations on your victory."

Public Comment of An Anonymous Citizen
San Francisco Public Library Commission Meeting, March 15,2007
Item 2:
Library Citizen's Advisory Committee Report
"Stop the Hate! Stop the Ignorance! Don't Give Money to the Friends & Foundation. Don't Accept Money from the Friends & Foundation.
I don't have any comments about the report from the LCAC.
I just want to note that you neglected to take public comment on the closed session.''

Public Comment of An Anonymous Citizen
San Francisco Public Library Commission Meeting, March 15,2007
Item 4:
Approval of the Minutes: February 15,2007
''Stop the Hate! Stop the Ignorance! Don't Give Money to the Friends & Foundation. Don't Accept Money from the Friends & Foundation.
I guess there is no longer any doubt about what I mean by hate and ignorance.
The citizen summaries have reappeared although they are not included. It occurs to me that you are simply demonstrating intermittent and haphazard compliance in order to show just how arbitrary and capricious you can be.
The law does require 'inclusion' of citizen summaries. Your open contempt for the law is a bottomless pit. You come here and see Mr. Coulter try to provoke me and you don't know how deep that goes. You are only in control of the ignorance you see. What about all of the corruption and lies behind he scenes.
It says the anonymous citizen commented on an editorial. What did he say? If you are going to have a summary it ought to say that."

Public Comment of An Anonymous Citizen
San Francisco Public Library Commission Meeting, March 15,2007
Item 5:
Bond Program Manager's Report
"Stop the Hate! Stop the Ignorance! Don't Give Money to the Friends & Foundation. Don't Accept Money from the Friends & Foundation.
I don't really have anything to say.
I just wanted hold up the side on the Public Comment Fund."

Public Comment of An Anonymous Citizen
San Francisco Public Library Commission Meeting, March 15,2007
Item 6:
Extended Library Service Hours
"Stop the Hate! Stop the Ignorance! Don't Give Money to the Friends & Foundation. Don't Accept Money from the Friends & Foundation.
If you ever need a graphic illustration of what I mean by hate and ignorance, you just got one.
You heard the history of the Library Preservation Fund and a review of user preferences. In between I had to sue as a private citizen to make them do the survey.
The staff refused to do the survey because they wanted to keep you ignorant. That is why you have those facts in front of you.
Keeping faith with the Board of Supervisors, you should be going back to them this year able to show the benefits and requesting additional funds.
This limits the increase in subsequent years and is part of your priority to limit public service.
The library is always trying to control you with lies. You are not the beneficiaries of the lies; you are the victims.''