DRAFT

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION

 

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of April 15, 2010

 

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, April 15, 2010, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:42 pm.

 

Commissioners present: Breyer, Gomez, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 1 PUBLIC COMMENT

 

An anonymous citizen said the Commission returned the President of the Commission to another term as President, knowing she was referred to the Ethics Commission for official misconduct regarding a violation so inexcusable no excuse has been offered.  He said the Commission supports dishonesty and corruption if it benefits the people it knows.

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said this is the 46th day of the unnecessary closure of the Park Branch Library.  He said there is no sign of activity at the library other than the emptiness of the main floor.  He said he hopes the Commission will find out if the work is being done as quickly as possible.  He said the bookmobile is the only alternate to library service in the Park Branch neighborhood.

 

Ray Hartz said he will be at each Commission meeting for the foreseeable future.  He said he is a strong advocate of open government.  He said the website shows no minutes after August 20 of last year.  He said he served 3 elected terms on the neighborhood board in Honolulu. He said he listened to every person who came before the board he served on.  He said he would like to make sure the records of this public meeting are available to the public.

 

Sue Cauthen, Chair of the Library Citizens Advisory Committee and member of the Sunshine Task Force, said she is speaking for herself.    She said she was the person involved in the incident with the Commission President. She said the Task Force found a violation and forwarded it to the Ethics Commission.  She said this has been extremely traumatic to her. 

 

Commissioner Munson said the agendas are always available at the back of the room at the meeting.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said the speaker must have been on the Library’s old website since the new website has been updated.

 

Sue Blackman, Library Commission Secretary, said the agenda and the draft minutes are currently up to date on the website.  She said the agenda is posted on the web the Monday prior to the Thursday Commission meeting.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian said that this is National Library Week and we should acknowledge the great work that is being done in our nation’s public libraries.  He gave statistics on library usage, circulation and access. He acknowledged the work that the library staff does on behalf of our communities.  He said yesterday was the Inaugural National Bookmobile Day and SFPL was singled out as the place to celebrate the inaugural day.  

 

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 2. BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said welcome to the two new Commissioners.  She said the Quarterly Report for the First Quarter 2010 is available in the back of the room.  She said the current budget report is available in the back and it shows the changes approved by the Commission as of February 4, 2010.  She said the approved budget is $188,910,119. She said the schedule report has been distributed to the Commissioners and is available in the back of the room.  She gave the status of the program and said that 7 property acquisitions are complete including Bayview.  She said the support services facility is in operation; 14 branches are complete and open; 8 branches are in construction; 1 branch, Bayview is in bid and award and 1 branch, North Beach is in design. She showed photographs and gave reports on projects in construction including: Parkside; Visitacion Valley; Ortega; Anza; Merced; Golden Gate Valley; Presidio and Park.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, gave an informational presentation on the renovation projects at the Merced, Parkside and Park Branch Libraries.  She said there are two memos from the Library to the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) dated March 3 and March 10, 2010 in the Commissioner’s packets and at the back of the room.  She said the Library has reviewed the HPC’s recommendations and has implemented a number of modifications to the Merced, Parkside and Park branches and she explained specific cases where recommendations were not able to be implemented.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, gave a summary of public outreach for the program.   She said the Park closing party was on February 27 and the Potrero Grand Reopening was March 6. 

 

Public Comment

 

An anonymous citizen said the Portola Branch was mentioned in the Design Showcase in “American Libraries” magazine.  He said the last time we had this report, the contractor for the Golden Gate Valley Branch had not been selected yet and now we are 14% towards completion.  He said the Bond Program Manager’s Report sends you to the website and a number of people have been misdirected to the old website.

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said there are problems with the website and being misdirected to the old website.  He said the architecture of the Merced Branch Library has been damaged if not destroyed.  He said the Park Branch has a dreadful design with regards to an enclosed staff work area.  He said key to the design of the Park Branch was the uninterrupted open space characteristic of Carnegie Branches and the oversized bookcases are inappropriate.  He said there is a two month delay at Park Branch and only one percent is completed.

 

Ray Hartz said he has a great deal of experience working with people in government.  He said the Bond Program Manager’s Report is very, very good and if the Commission was open to public comment more than it appears, you might end up with larger groups who might benefit greatly from the quality work being done here.

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Kane said he is anxious to hear the report at the next meeting about schedule changes.  He asked if there are any early estimates on costs due to some of the delays.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager said they have been trying to mitigate any delay and costs to the budget. 

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said that for the Park and Presidio Branches there should not be an impact to the budget.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said that there were unforeseen circumstances for the Anza Branch that may result in budget impacts in the future.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said they do not anticipate any adjustment to the budget at this time.  He said the budget has previously been increased for the Park Branch and the project is within that budget

 

Commissioner Kane asked about the new process for the Bayview Branch.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said it is a three part process for the Bayview Branch and they are in the Request for Qualifications stage.  She said the Pre-Qualification stage should be complete by the end of next week.

 

Samuel Chiu, Department of Public Works, said after they have the pre-qualified candidates, they will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the candidates.  He said they are planning on issuing the RFP in mid-May and asking for the proposals back in a month’s time.  He said the process from there will take until approximately July.

 

Commissioner Breyer asked about the costs of the bookmobiles and how they are disbursed during the branch renovations.

 

Brian Bannon, Chief of Branches, said the bookmobiles are part of an overall interim services plan when a branch library is closed.  He said the Library partners with a neighboring agency to continue programming in the neighborhood.  He said the Library adds additional hours and staffing to neighboring branches to account for the changes in use. He said the bookmobile service is intended to provide some collections to look through and it serves as a major holds pick up, so that if patrons go online and select materials that will be delivered to them through the bookmobile.  He said the library has looked at balancing the hours and stops for the bookmobile.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said we do have professional librarian staff available 95% of the time on the bookmobiles.

 

Brian Bannon, Chief of Branches, said there is a new green bookmobile coming on line very soon.  He said there are currently five bookmobiles and they focus on children’s services, homebound patrons, remote users in the Treasure Island area, and two are used for the BLIP program.

 

Commissioner Breyer asked about the Park Branch and whether there has been a discussion about having displays or exhibits highlighting these historic libraries within the buildings.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said as the historic landmark process proceeds with the Historic Preservation Commission a discussion on displays and exhibits would be a good one to have.

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF MARCH 4, 2010

 

Public Comment

 

An anonymous citizen said the summaries are not as bad as we have seen previously but they are still politically skewed.  He said on page 1 the anonymous citizen was making the point that selling the lies you are given is the root of planning disasters.  He said under the Labor Union Report the anonymous citizen’s point was that the undermining of democracy and disrespect for public employees is an analogy to the way the Friends has undermined the library. 

           

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said the Minutes have some good parts and some that should be improved.  He said in his statements on page 3 he did not say that the bookmobiles have no professional staff what he said was that the bookmobiles have no professional librarians.

 

Ray Hartz said in the minutes where it gets to the point where someone’s presentation is mischaracterized in a way that it is reflected differently than what was intended then that is a concern.  He said there might be a better more effective way of getting these minutes out to the public.   

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Munson said the minutes are well shaped to present the main points that are covered.  He said from time to time he will make corrections to the Minutes.  He said the Commission believes in a positive environment at the meetings. He said he thinks these minutes are fine.

 

Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Ono to approve the minutes of March 4, 2010

 

Action:  AYES 6-0: (Breyer, Gomez, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 4. ADJOURNMENT

 

Public Comment

 

There was no public comment on this item.

 

Motion:  By Commissioner Ono, seconded by Commissioner Munson to adjourn the regular meeting of April 15, 2010. 

 

Action:  AYES 6-0: (Breyer, Gomez, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:57 pm.

 

Sue Blackman

Commission 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).

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.

Item 1: General Public Comment

 

 Anonymous Citizen: Stop the Hate, Stop the Ignorance – Don’t give or accept money from the Friends & Foundation.

 

Did the Library Commission suppress public comment knowing this was going to be the comment?  I didn’t know.  I thought I would find some reason and decency.  What a fool I was.

 

Every year brought hate and ignorance I would have thought unthinkable.

 

You ratified the president of this Commission to another term, knowing she was referred to the Ethics Commission for official misconduct regarding a violation so inexcusable no excuse has been offered.

 

That shocks the community conscience. You support your fellow commissioners no matter what they have done.  You support dishonesty and corruption if it benefits the people you know.

 

You are against honesty, decency, justice and fairness, because it might benefit people you don’t know.

 

Those are gang values.  If you run a public institution according to gang values, it is called Fascism.

 

Item 2: Bond Program Manager’s Report

 

Anonymous Citizen: Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – don’t give money to the Friends & Foundation.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if the citizens had access to the graphics?

 

I wish I had beat Mr. Herrera to the punch in announcing National Library Week.  I can announce that the Portola Branch was mentioned in the Design Showcase in “American Libraries” magazine. 

 

It has been a while since we had this report because of a continuance, as well as a cancelled meeting.  Formerly color copies of the report were available, but it seems that those days are over.

 

The last time we had this report, the contractor for Golden Gate Valley had not been selected, although the branch had been closed and now we are 14% completed.

 

It was just a few weeks ago that I was sent to the old website while looking for the new website.  Apparently, it is cached on your server.

 

Item 3: Approval of the Minutes (March 4, 2010)

 

Anonymous Citizen:  Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – don’t give money to the Friends & Foundation.

 

The point has been made that discouraging or categorically ignoring public comment has a spiraling, self-reinforcing effect.  The commission never learns.

 

It should have been possible to use the same letterhead as the agenda to show the names of the commissioners. 

 

The summaries are not as bad as previously but they are still politically skewed.

 

As examples, on page 1, the anonymous citizen is making the point that selling the lies you are given is the root of planning disasters.  On page 5, the point regarding corporations undermining of democracy and the disrespect for public employees is to see the analogy to the way the Friends & Foundation has undermined this library.

 

But the point is that the comments regarding the approval of the minutes should report relevant details rather than just state “did not include all of his comments.”