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, April 5, 2007, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.

Vice President Coulter called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm and announced that President Higueras was excused.

Commissioners Bautista, Gomez and Munson were present.  Commissioner Chin arrived at 4:38 and Commissioner Kane arrived at 4:40 pm.

To accommodate the schedules of commissioners who would be unable to attend the entire meeting, Vice President Coulter changed the order in which the agenda would be heard.

AGENDA ITEM #1: PUBLIC COMMENT

Miguel Bustos, Commission Liaison for Mayor Newsom, read a statement from the Mayor supporting the extended hours issue and in support of the staff’s recommendation for extended hours for several of the branch libraries on Sundays and Mondays.

An anonymous citizen stated there were issues with the minutes that should be heard before any new business and spoke regarding the historical power of the library.

Russel Morine, resident and small business owner in Visitacion Valley, spoke supporting consideration of the re-use of the supermarket building which was purchased by the city with the intention of demolition and construction of a new Visitacion Valley branch library on the site.  He invited the Commission members to come out and visit the existing library. 

City Librarian Luis Herrera stated that staff is still committed to pursuing a stand alone library in Visitacion Valley, but that that does not preclude undertaking a further assessment of the issue.

Peter Warfield spoke regarding opening and closing parties for the branch libraries.  He also spoke regarding the lack of prior documents being included in the explanatory documents which in his opinion are crucial to the Commission’s decision making process. 

AGENDA ITEM #4 RESCISSION OF COMMISSION SECRETARY APPOINTMENT

Deputy City Attorney Francesca Gessner explained Items 4 and 5 on the agenda, which are meant to correct a procedural error that occurred at the Commission’s last meeting.  At the last meeting after the closed session, the Commission publicly announced the appointment of the new Library Commission Secretary, however, the Commission inadvertently failed to take public testimony prior to going into closed session.  Because the Commission took action without first offering members of the public an opportunity to speak, she recommended that the Commission should set aside the action and revisit the matter. 

An anonymous citizen stated there should be an explanatory document from President Higueras to him regarding the matter and spoke regarding violations by the Commission and court documents from his 1996 lawsuit.

Peter Warfield said that this is a sad moment in Library Commission history and referred to the letter written by President Higueras and stated that it should be included as an explanatory document. 

Motion: By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Bautista to rescind the Library Commission Secretary appointment on March 15, 2007 in order to correct the absence of public comment prior to the closed session on that date. 

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

             

AGENDA ITEM #5 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT – SECRETARY, LIBRARY COMMISSION

An anonymous citizen spoke regarding the rules of openness and public participation in order to obtain valid community objectives.

Peter Warfield characterized the process as preposterous.

 

Motion: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Bautista, 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)

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 4:55 pm.

At 5:04 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 Sue Blackman had been appointed as the Library Commission Secretary retroactive to March 16, 2007.  The motion was approved unanimously in closed session by the following vote 6-0: AYE:  Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Kane, Gomez and Munson.

Motion: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Bautista 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.

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

AGENDA ITEM #8: EXTENDED LIBRARY SERVICE HOURS

Deputy City Librarian, Jill Bourne gave the background on the extended library service hours issue and explained the options before the Commission based on prior Commission input.  Option A:  additional day of service on Sunday at Ingleside, Mission Bay, Portola and additional day of service on Monday at Merced, Ocean View and Visitacion Valley.  She explained that Option A was the staff’s recommended option.  Option B:  additional day of service on Sunday at Ingleside, Merced, Mission Bay and Portola and additional day of service on Monday at Ocean View and Visitacion Valley.  Option C:  additional day of service on Sunday at Ingleside, Merced, Mission Bay, Ocean View, Portola and Visitacion Valley.

Ms. Bourne went on to answer specific questions from previous meetings of the Commission including responding that the Board of Supervisors’ (BoS) direction on allocating the $480,000 was contingent on the Library’s plan to add expanded operating hours approved by the BoS.  She explained how peer libraries were selected and that this information was used as background and not utilized in the decision making process. 

City Librarian Luis Herrera explained in more detail the Library’s goal of making every 5 day branch a 6 day branch and increasing the number and geographic distribution of 7 day branches. 

Ms. Bourne explained how the statistics were used to determine priority branches and she described the analyzed data sets.  In response to a question regarding why  Mission Bay was selected as a priority  branch, she said that it has a high ranking in many of the categories, as well as the fact that it serves Treasure Island residents, that it is currently open only 5 days per week and  it is geographically isolated. 

Therese Cason, Mission Bay Branch Library Manager, explained the importance of this branch and that adding Sunday hours would help serve the diverse patrons of the area.

Linda Brooks Burton, Bayview Branch Library Manager, stated she was happy that additional hours on Sunday were considered for the Bayview Branch but she supports another open morning or evening at the branch instead of Sunday at this time.

Darcel Jones, Bayview Children’s Librarian, has seen an increase in the number of children using the library.  She stated she would like to see additional morning hours for the school children.

Miriam Pavis, member Council of Neighborhood Libraries representing the Bayview Branch, spoke regarding the history of that library and in support of extra hours in the morning during the week.  She stated that on Sundays most people go to church in this neighborhood so the need for Sunday hours is not there at this time.

Glen Ramisky, patron of the Mission Bay Library, spoke in support of the plan to expand Sunday hours for the Mission Bay Branch Library.

Jill Bourne explained the additional options before the Commission.  Option D: an additional day of service on Sunday at Bayview, Ingleside and Portola and an additional day of service on Monday at Merced, Ocean View and Visitacion Valley.  Option E:  an additional day of service on Sunday at Bayview, Ingleside, Merced and Portola and an additional day of service on Monday at Ocean View and Visitacion Valley.  Option F an additional day of service on Sunday at Bayview, Ingleside, Merced, Ocean View, Portola and Visitacion Valley.  She explained that after the Commission takes action at this meeting the issue would go before the BOS Budget and Finance Committee and personnel hiring would begin.  She stated that scheduling the opening of the initial four branches would be with available current year funds and scheduling of the additional branches would be pending approval of the FY07/08 funding request.

An anonymous citizen spoke regarding the BOS’s position supporting additional Sunday hours.

Edie Eps, Visitacion Valley, spoke in support of Option A and the Visitacion Valley Branch being open on Monday.  She stated there are other near by branches, which are open on Sundays. 

Antoinette Rossi, spoke in support of the staff’s recommendation of Option A.      

Cathy Bremer, Local 1021, spoke in support of Option A and the importance of some branch libraries being open on Monday.  She stated she was very impressed with the staff work on this issue.

Peter Warfield said that there was an inadequate cost analysis on this issue and about his concern over the final recommendation not being limited to Sunday openings.  

Commissioner Kane thanked staff for the report and thanked the branch librarians for speaking before the Commission.  He clarified that on Sundays branches would be open for 4 hours and on Mondays they would be open 8 hours.  He was concerned about the hours recommended for Bayview and suggested that that branch should be open 7 days a week. 

City Librarian Herrera spoke regarding Commissioner Kane’s desire to have the Bayview Branch open on Sundays.  He said that if the Commission adopted the staff’s proposal at this time, that staff would go back and revisit the possibility of acquiring some additional funds in order to open Bayview additional hours.

Linda Brooks-Burton, Bayview Branch Librarian spoke further regarding her desire for additional week day morning and evening hours.  Sundays would be the lowest priority at this time.

Commissioner Munson spoke regarding his desire to see Bayview open on Sundays as well, but it sounded like the branch library would rather have the week day hours if possible.

Commissioner Bautista spoke in support of opening an additional day of service on Sunday at Mission Bay.

Commissioner Chin wanted to insure that staff is looking down the road at future costs as well.

Luis Herrera explained that a 3-4% increase to the annualized budget would be necessary to maintain these staffing levels.

Commissioner Gomez spoke regarding the Bayview area and her desire to meet the needs of the community.

Commissioner Munson clarified that staff would look at the additional hours for Bayview in both this fiscal year as well as the next fiscal year.

Jill Bourne spoke regarding the staffing issue and the ability to hire additional hourly employees.

Motion:  By Kane, seconded by Bautista to approve option A, based on an analysis of branch service hours and criteria developed to address service equity and a recommended method for implementing additional open hours to extend hours of operation at the following branch libraries on the following days:

In FY2006/07 an additional day per week of service at:  Ingleside and Portola on Sunday and Ocean View and Visitacion Valley on Monday.

In FY2007/08 (pending approval of the 2007/08 budget) an additional day per week of service at:  Mission Bay on Sunday and Merced on Monday.

And that following this action, Library staff will develop specific staffing plans for the six aforementioned branches and request release of reserved funds to begin implementation of new expanded branch hours.  Additionally that staff will research finding additional funds for additional hours for the Bayview Branch for both FY06-07 and FY07-08.

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

Vice President Coulter reiterated that the City Librarian will come back to the Commission with a report on additional hours for the Bayview Branch.

Commissioner Gomez left the meeting at 5:56 pm.

Commissioner Chin left the meeting at 5:57 pm.

AGENDA ITEM #2: APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES 3/1/07

The anonymous citizen thanked the Commission for including his statements as an addendum to the minutes even though they were not included and cited examples wherein he felt the minutes did not adequately convey his comments.

Peter Warfield spoke regarding his concern that his comments were not accurately summarized in the minutes. 

MOTION: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Bautista, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of March 1, 2007.

ACTION: 4-0 AYES: Bautista, Coulter, Kane and Munson.

AGENDA ITEM #3: APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING 3/2/07

The anonymous citizen stated his remarks were not adequately reported in that he specifically spoke regarding court cases against the Library Commission regarding public comment on closed session.  He was also concerned that Mr. Warfield’s remarks were not adequately conveyed and that he had other concerns relative to the motion.

Peter Warfield stated that he continued to be concerned that there had been no public comment relating to the duties of the Library Commission Secretary and that he hopes there will be some improvement on the minutes in the future.

MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Munson, to approve the minutes of the special meeting of March 2, 2007.

ACTION: 4-0 AYES: Bautista, Coulter, Kane and Munson.

AGENDA ITEM #6: CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT

City Librarian Herrera introduced Chief of Main Kathy Lawhun and Environmental Center Librarian Wendy Owens to give a presentation on the Wallace Stegner Center.

Wendy Owens gave an overview of the collection and the activities going on in the Wallace Stegner Center.  She explained that the Stegner Center supports research for information about the environment and she highlighted some of the books and exhibits in the collection.  She also talked about various programs, events and collaborations with community groups in the area.

City Librarian Herrera spoke about the closing party for the Richmond Branch Library and the grand reopening of the Sunset Library.

Jane Hudson, Managing Librarian at the Sunset Branch, spoke regarding the grand reopening and said there were 500-600 people.  Josh Kornbluth was the emcee at the event and Mayor Newsom, Supervisors Mirkarimi and Elsbend, the City Librarian, Commission President Higueras and Vice-President Coulter were also there among others.  She thanked the citizens of San Francisco, who voted to make this possible, the Library staff, Commission and Friends of the Library for making this a fantastic day.

City Librarian Herrera thanked all the members of the staff who worked hard to make this event a successful one.

Manny Manahan, member of the Council of Neighborhood Libraries, spoke about how wonderful the event was.

Chief of Main Kathy Lawhun spoke regarding the update of the Main Library Telecom closets and how that would be affecting service.

City Librarian Luis Herrera told about many upcoming events, exhibitions and programs to be held at the Main and some of the branches. 

An anonymous citizen stated he was at the opening of the Sunset branch and that it was a nice event, but spoke about concern over first day circulation numbers being a priority and stated he is very interested in some of the upcoming events and exhibits.  

Peter Warfield stated the City Librarian’s report was interesting and informative.  He spoke regarding the Wallace Stegner presentation and his concern that EPA libraries are being closed nationwide and whether this exhibit has experienced any impact from that.  He said he was also very interested in the upcoming events and exhibits and he said the Sunset branch opening was very nice.

Vice President Coulter asked how outreach is done to environmental social activists and others regarding the Wallace Stegner Center.

Wendy Owens spoke regarding the outreach efforts.

Vice President Coulter suggested that more outreach be done through email trees, partnerships with organizations, community groups, etc.  He said the library was doing some great things and we need to get the word out about them.

City Librarian Herrera stated that the Library is also working with the Department of the Environment to see if we can develop some program opportunities with them as well as additional outreach opportunities.

AGENDA ITEM # 7:  FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT

None.

AGENDA ITEM # 9:  LABOR UNION REPORT

Cathy Bremer stated that Local 790, which has approximately 90% of library workers had pulled out of AFL-CIO and is now part of Change to Win a group of unions that pulled out of AFL-CIO.  The first action was to merge with other unions in northern California and to form Local 1021, which means 10 locals to 1 union and has over 55,000 members.  She said the union is very happy with its monthly labor, management meetings with the Library.  The meetings are wonderfully productive and the employees are stepping up.  She stated that the administration of the Library is really great and works with the staff to make this a good place to work.

Peter Warfield said he was glad to hear that things are going well and that staff has one of the highest ratings in a city-wide survey.  There is a lot that staff has done to make the library a useable one.  He also spoke in support of later commission start times and was happy it has moved in a favorable direction for start time from 4 pm to 4:30 pm.

AGENDA ITEM #10:  NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Bautista asked for a report on security and training at the library.

City Librarian Luis Herrera stated that he would report back at an upcoming meeting and the public safety plan for the library.

An anonymous citizen spoke regarding the scope of the public safety plan and security issues and would like to see a report on those topics.

Peter Warfield supported the public safety plan returning to the Commission for review and stated he would like to hear a report on facilities including the continuing problem on the cleanliness of toilet facilities at the Main Library.

City Librarian Herrera spoke regarding improvement in the perimeters of this building and insuring that the grounds look clean and well lit.  The restrooms continue to be a problem and staff is looking at ways to improve them.

AGENDA ITEM #11:  ADJOURNMENT

MOTION: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioners Bautista to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, March 15, 2007. 

ACTION: 4-0 AYES:  Bautista, Coulter, Kane and Munson.

The regular meeting of Thursday, March 15, 2007, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 6:54 PM.

Richard Walsh

Acting Secretary, Library Commission

Please note:   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).