SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, May 4,
(As approved June 1, 2006)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting
on Thursday, May 4, 2006 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
The meeting was called to order by Vice President Coulter at 4:09pm
Commissioners present: Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Kane, and Munson
A quorum was present. President Higueras’ arrival was delayed.
Commissioner Bautista was reported excused attendance.
AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public spoke about: welcoming the new Commissioner; their 31 year long history of attendance at Library Commission meetings; discussed what this person described as the new slogan for the Friends of the Library, paraphrasing Patrick Henry, Nathan Hale, and Abraham Lincoln ironically; and their years of activism in dealing with the Library.
Mr. Steve Harris, Friends of the Library, spoke about: critically about the previous speaker’s fabricated slogan for the Friends of the Library; the great success of this year’s Library Legislative Day activities in Sacramento; calling the Commissioners’ attention to upcoming Friend’s book sales, and discussed the resounding success of this year’s 10th Anniversary Library Laureates Dinner, citing in particular Commissioner Gomez’s very stylish participation.; and described recent activities in the Capital Campaign for Branch Libraries.
Librarian Jim Van Buskirk spoke about his participation as a Library Laureate in the 10th Anniversary Library Laureates Dinner that had raised over $200,000. for the Library.
Mr. Peter Warfield, spoke about: welcoming the new Commissioner and offering to advise him concerning the issues facing the Library;
Mr. Kimo Crossman spoke about: his dissatisfaction with the Library’s response to his several public records requests; called attention to the recent annual Sunshine Ordinance training; the importance of the open government ordinance; and the propriety of the “closed session” on the Chaffee litigation, questioning the Deputy City Attorney’s role in such a closed session.
AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF MARCH 2, 2006
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF MARCH 2, 2006
An anonymous member of the Public commented: that these Minutes were emblematic of the Commission’s pattern of neutralization of public comment; citing as inaccurate reported comments offered by Mr. Crossman, Mr. Warfield, and an anonymous member of the public.
Mr. Peter Warfield commented: on lack of specificity that he requested improvements and correction of inaccuracies; reporting of the 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: decried use of the term “criticizing” in characterizing his reported public comment suggesting his efforts were merely intended top offer “feedback; and
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF MARCH 2, 2006
MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd by Commissioner Kane for approval of the Minutes of the regular Library Commission meeting of March 2, 2006.
ACTION: 5-0 Aye (Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Kane, and Munson)
AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
Friends of the Library Executive Director Donna Bero began her report with an update on the San Francisco delegation’s participation in the California Library Association’s (CLA) Annual Legislative Lobby Day in the Capitol and reported that the San Francisco delegation, joined by representatives of school librarians and neighboring library systems, had visited local legislator’s State Capitol offices gaining the support of Senator Migde3n and Assemblyman Yee for Prop. 81. Ms. Bero then discussed the Friend’s leadership role in the statewide efforts to enact Prop. 81, the new State Library Construction Bond Initiative.
Ms Bero noted that the Friends did many things to raise funds and noted it was useful to also explain something about the things that the Friends raised funds to do. Ms. Bero then introduced Ms. Rosetta Jackson, Friend’s Director of Volunteer Services to inform the Commissioners concerning the important contributions made by the 500 volunteers who supported the Friends activities, through their volunteer support for the monthly book sales, and in support of our libraries.
The Friends Executive Director then introduced Ms. Marion Chatfield-Taylor, Capital Campaign for Neighborhood Libraries, who presented an update on the neighborhood campaign in support of the renovation of the Marina Branch Library.
Ms. Bero concluded her report with a brief presentation on the 10th Anniversary Library Laureates Dinner, describing the wide array of Bay Area literary figures participating, and showing photographs taken during the festivities.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented: against support for the Friends of the Library; that as the Friends had now been allowed to make a media presentation so should they; offered advice to the new Commissioner; expressed gratification with authors honored as this year’s Library laureates; and concluded with comments on the “public comment fund”.
Mr. Kimo Crossman commented that he too wished to make media presentations as part of his public comment and would make a request to do so.
President Higueras joined the meeting at 4:55pm.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
Vice President Coulter thanked Ms. Bero and her staff for their dedicated support for our libraries. President Higueras seconded those comments.
AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY CITIZEN’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
Dan Weaver, Chairman of the Board of Supervisor’s Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee presented as series of resolutions related to the Library’s proposed Main Library improvements that had been adopted by the Board of Supervisor’s Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee, (copy attached)
Sue Cauthen, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisor’s Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee, elaborated on Mr. Weaver’s presentation of the LCAC Resolutions discussing the Committee member’s participation in tours of library facilities and receiving detailed reports from senior library staff members. Ms. Cauthen noted that the Citizen’s Advisory Committee constituted an independent voice advising the Board of Supervisors and commended the good relations that had been fostered with the LCAC by the Library Administration and staff.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY CITIZEN’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented that they found the Committee a cohesive group, but noted that they had lost interest in following its activities. This person expressed chagrin that there might have been an unannounced POE Report related tour by the Commissioners, and discussed the details of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee’s POE Report related recommendations.
Mr. Peter Warfield, a member of the Board of Supervisor’s Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee, commented: that he had briefly served as the Committee co-vice chair, and recommended careful study of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee recommendations which Mr. Warfield noted the Advisory Committee’s recommendations had been based on a careful review of the what he suggested had been $28 million in necessary renovations of the Main Library identified in the Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) Report.
AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY CITIZEN’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
In response to a query by Vice President Coulter, Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun noted that most of the items recommended by the Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee had been previously discussed by staff and related renovations were already underway as part of the planned First Floor improvements, especially in regard to the recommendations concerning increased and better lighting in the 1st Stop area.
President Higueras thanked Mr. Weaver and Ms. Cauthen for their presentations.
AGENDA ITEM #5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
City Librarian Herrera reported on San Francisco Public Library’s staff participation at the Public Library Association Conference. Mr. Herrera then introduced Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun who discussed the recognition of Shelly Cocking, Borrower Services Librarian as featured in Woman’s Day Magazine, (copy attached) as a feature on using the library for genealogical research. The City Librarian next presented details of a Main Library Fulton Street landscape project; reported on proposed improvements and changes regarding the security operations at the Main Library and the branches.
The City Librarian concluded his report with an overview of upcoming Library exhibits and programs in May 2006 for adults, children, and teens.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public spoke about: the lack of a City Librarian’s Report since March 2nd; concerning a critical Controller’s Office Report concerning petty cash management at the Library, about the proposed changes in Library Security, and lauded the discussion of genealogy but bemoaned the loss of the Sutro Collection.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
Commissioner Jewelle Gomez called attention to the highly successful book launch event of Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center Librarian Jim Van Buskirk’s new book Celluloid San Francisco touting it as a treat for lovers of the City and of movies.
AGENDA ITEM#6 TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION OVERVIEW
The City Librarian introduced Pat Farenhold, Chief of Technical Services Division, who presented a detailed overview of her Division (copy attached), its composition, the nature of its work, and recent activities.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM#6 TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION OVERVIEW
An anonymous member of the public discussed: wondered why 45 Hyde Street had not been sufficient for these purposes and noted that they had participated in the LCAC’s tour of the Library’s 190- 9th Street Support Services Center. This individual then discussed two aspects of interest, the book preservation program, deemed vitally important to the library’s perishable book collections, and the wide array of cataloging activities in many languages ongoing in the new facility. This person complemented Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood’s explanations during the tour of the benefits from the new facility.
Mr. Peter Warfield commented that he too had participated in the LCAC Tour of the 190-9th Street facility and found it interesting and its work as the core of what the Library does. Mr. Warfield had questions regarding the cataloging process, the turn around time for materials being cataloged, and about remaining uncataloged materials in Library collections.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM#6 TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION OVERVIEW
Vice President Coulter found the report excellent and informative. In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Farenhold elaborated on how her Department’s goals and output were managed as well as how they were tracked by the Library’s Finance Office. Ms. Farenhold noted that ordering and processing of materials occurred year round. The Chief of Technical Services further reported details about the turn around time for periodicals as well as the processing of inter-library loan items.
President Higueras called at recess at 5:22pm
President Higueras left the meeting during the recess.
The Commission, chaired by Vice President Coulter, returned to session at 5:32pm.
AGENDA ITEM #7 LIBRARY SATISFACTION SURVEY
City Librarian Luis Herrera introduced the discussion of the results of the Library’s most recent satisfaction survey conducted during November and December of 2005. Mr. Herrera then introduced Marcia Schneider, Chief of Adult Services who presented a detailed report on users’ responses (copy attached). Ms. Schneider noted that the goals identified in the surveys mirrored those set out in the Library’s Strategic Plan in particular with regard to better identifying collections of interest. The Chief of Adult Services reported that on the whole there was a high level (78% good or very good) report of satisfaction with Library staff and services but there were some areas where improvements could be made. In particular, Ms. Schneider called attention to the challenges the response reflected in meeting diverse language needs, noting that there was an ongoing effort toward improvement. Ms. Schneider noted and discussed the slightly more favorable survey response to services at the Main rather than the branches. The Chief of Adult Services called the Commissioners attention to the growing demand for media such as audio books and downloadable computer books noting that not all of these items were being including in the Library’s statistics. Ms Schneider highlighted the very high satisfaction rating given to Library staff with only a 1% unfavorable rating reported, and with the free reserves program. Ms. Schneider noted that Library users’ response to this survey reported better than the results in a general citywide telephone survey conducted by the Controller’s Office. The Chief of Adult Services also discussed many favorable survey notes mentioning the diverse and ever increasing array of very popular programming offered at the Main Library and branches, calling special attention to the very popular computer training classes offered in several languages. Ms. Schneider then reported examples of both the positive and negative comments offered in each of the segments and topic areas covered in the surveys.
Commissioner Chin left the meeting at 5:50pm.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM AGENDA ITEM #7 LIBRARY SATISFACTION SURVEY
An anonymous member of the public commented: wondering why a survey done in November/December 2005 was only available at the beginning of the meeting, suggesting this was a lot to digest; and decried what they found to be very poor copies. This person expressed preference for use of “fill rate surveys” suggesting that they provided a more objective comparable measurement of performance saying it made more sense to ask users if they got what the came to the library to get. This person suggested the reported numbers reflected poorly for a major urban library system.
Mr. Peter Warfield also commented on former use of fill rate surveys, finding these surveys not as helpful. Mr. Warfield noted that users do not generally speak poorly about the library but in the past could respond more specifically, noted that branch staff got the highest ratings, found a need for improvement with collections, and discussed his comparison of the results of this survey with responses to a Controller’s Office survey.
Commissioner Chin left the meeting at 6:14pm.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM AGENDA ITEM #7 LIBRARY SATISFACTION SURVEY
Commissioner Kane encouraged that future surveys be focused to target getting answers to questions; noting that he found the comments more informative than the numbers reported. Commissioner Munson asked what models other libraries used. Mr. Herrera noted that there were a variety of types of surveys used and that with our very large and complex system it was a more difficult challenge to get higher satisfaction rating. The City Librarian noted in response to Commissioner Kane that there was an ongoing effort to keep questions similar from year to year to track changes. The City Librarian highlighted several other areas such as those who do not regularly use the library where it was difficult to tease out the needed information. Commissioner Munson suggested focusing on those who are not regular users to find ways to attract them. Vice President Coulter noted Commissioner Chin’s continuing interest in the question of how to attract those who don’t regularly use the Library. In response to questions about why the fill rate survey was no longer used the Chief of the Main Library and the Chief of Branches said that it was basically not very useful in providing the kind of detail the Library needed to learn from its survey’s.
AGENDA ITEM # 8 LABOR UNION REPORT
No report was offered.
AGENDA ITEM # 9 NEW BUSINESS
Commissioner Kane requested discussion of scheduling several Public Library Commission meetings at branch library’s in the future.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM # 9 NEW BUSINESS
An anonymous member of the public found Commissioner Kane’s suggestion a good idea and noted that the Commission had done so in the past, noting that at one point in the past every other Commission meeting had been held at a branch library and that doing so benefited the Commissioners by providing a wider array of input.
Mr. Peter Warfield also found Commissioner Kane’s suggestion and good idea to become familiar with the branches and attract new attendees to Commission meetings noted that the Commission had done so in the past as well.
AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Munson, 2nd Commissioner Gomez to adjourn the regular May 4, 2006 Public Library Commission meeting in memoriam of the late Henriette D. Avram, a pioneering figure in the development of the contemporary library.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM # 10 ADJOURNMENT
Mr. Peter Warfield called the Commissioners’ attention to the passing of the late Henriette D. Avram, a pioneering figure in the development of the contemporary library reading from her obituary as reported in the New York Times.
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Coulter, Gomez, Kane, and Munson)
The Commission meeting adjourned at 6:43pm
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 5/17/06
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 Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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 http://sfpl.org/.
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)&
Minutes of the Library Commission Meeting May 4, 2006
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.