Minutes of the Regular Meeting of June 17, 2010


(As approved at the regular meeting of July 15, 2010)


The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, June 17, 2010, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


The meeting was called to order at 4:40 pm.


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


Commissioner excused: Kane




An anonymous citizen said Commissioner Kane has made a request that the Friends of the Library make financial reports to this Commission.  The Friends made a financial report on March 5, 2009.  He said the Friends’ Fiscal Year ends on June 30 and the report was due on November 15, 2009, but it has still not been produced.  He said the reason we have a public library is so that those with private information will not be our masters and the rest of us won’t be slaves.


Sue Cauthen, Chair of the Library Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC), said the LCAC passed three resolutions which are in the packets and she would like them to be included with the minutes.  She said one of the Resolutions is in support of the SFPL 2011 budget, one is requesting that the Library provide more current Branch Library Improvement Program Data, and the third one is asking that the Library undertake ongoing and post-construction performance review of BLIP projects.


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said the agenda does not include a discussion of the library budget.  He said he attended part of the budget hearing.  He said the Library was told that $400,000 that the library thought it was going to keep was going into the general fund.  He said the Supervisors were concerned with interim services for branches that are closed.  He said it seems the City Librarian does not care about quality interim services for the library’s patrons.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said that Marcia Schneider, Chief of Communications, Collections and Adult Services, who has been with the Library for approximately 36 years, will be retiring at the end of June.    He said she began as a Librarian I and has worked at many of the branches.  He said she has done a phenomenal job in contributing to the San Francisco Public Library throughout her career.  He said this is Marcia’s last Commission meeting.


Jewelle Gomez, Commission President, presented Marcia Schneider with a certificate of appreciation from the Library Commission and said the Library and Commission will miss her.


Kathy Lawhun, Chief of Main, said many at the Library are still finding it hard to believe Marcia will be leaving.  She said Marcia has been her mentor and it will be very difficult to see her go.


Toni Bernardi, Chief of Children and Youth Services, said Marcia Schneider is the epitome of graciousness, professionalism and knowledge of the library profession and there is not a day that goes by that we will not miss her.


Donna Marion, Human Resources Director, said she has known Marcia Schneider since 1998.  She said Marcia has always been very eloquent and elegant.  She said she would like to nominate Marcia to be our Library “first lady of protocol.”


Vivian Pisano, Chief of Information Technology, said she has worked with Marcia Schneider for the last 13 years, but she has known of her for many years prior to that time.  She said Marcia is very well respected and active in the library community locally as well as nationally.  She said she will be missed here and nationwide.


Brian Bannon, Chief of Branches, said he is the last person to join the Chief Group about four years ago and he had heard about Marcia Schneider before that time.  He said Marcia gave him great insight into the library and has been a great mentor to him personally.




Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, 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 said they plan to come to the Commission in July with proposed schedule changes to the Parkside, Merced, Park and Presidio branches.  She said that seven property acquisitions are complete including Bayview.  She said the support services facility is in operation, 14 branches are complete and open, and eight branches are in construction.  She showed photographs and gave reports on projects in construction including: Parkside, Visitacion Valley, Ortega, Anza; Merced, Golden Gate Valley, Presidio and Park.  She said one branch, Bayview is in bid and award and one branch, North Beach is in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and design stage.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said that the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) voted 4-3 to recommend landmark status for both the Marina and North Beach branch libraries.  She said their understanding is that the landmarking issue will now go before the Board of Supervisor’s Land Use Committee and staff will continue to update the Commission on the status of this issue.


Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, gave a summary of public outreach for the program.   She said the Bernal Heights library team was given the Department of Public Works Employee Recognition Award. 


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said he wishes Marcia Schneider best wishes in her future activities.  He said institutional memory is in short supply in this institution.  He said today’s Chronicle has a very comprehensive report on the North Beach Branch and it will be closely watched by the entire city.


Sue Cauthen said Marcia Schneider was the Chief of Branches for a while and she has served the Library with grace, charm and professionalism.


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said he is disappointed that the City Librarian brought up an item under Public Comment related to Marcia Schneider’s retirement and members of the public who had already spoken were not allowed to speak again about her contributions.  He said it is a pity the skylights at the Park Branch could not be reopened.  He said the landmarking of the North Beach branch should have received applause from the City Librarian.  He said it is sad that the Library has so little respect for its history of buildings and materials.  He said it appears that the schedules for the BLIP projects appear to be off a few months or more.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Ono asked about the next steps for the landmarking of the North Beach Branch Library.  She also asked that when the schedule changes come back to the Commission that they have an explanation on delays and any impact to the budget.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said the North Beach Branch Library issue will go back before the Historic Preservation Commission one more time and then will go to the Board of Supervisor’s Land Use Committee.  She said the library will continue to report to the Commission on the timeline.


President Gomez thanked staff for taking a few of the Commissioners on a tour of the Mission Bay, North Beach, Bernal Height and Visitacion Valley branches.




Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said the extreme brevity of the minutes can account for some, but not all, of the problems with these minutes.  He said the point the anonymous citizen was making under public comment was freedom of speech and the fact that you are not corporations but human beings.  He said Mr. Warfield’s comments were misrepresented and not limited to the Park Branch, but he said that each of six branches only receive four-eight hours of bookmobile service. 


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said he has been talking routinely about the service that is available to the six branches that only have bookmobile service and that should be corrected in the minutes.  He said under Luis Herrera’s comments on page 6 the minutes read that he said there is pressure to close the projects sometimes earlier so they will continue to do their best.  He said he hopes that statement will be corrected.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Breyer asked about signage at the closed branches.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said there is signage and information on the website about the closed libraries.  He said that his statement on page 6 in the minutes was in reference to close outs of the projects.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said the planner’s name with Recreation and Parks Department has a typo.  She said it is “Karen Mauney Broderick” not “Karen Mauley Broderick” and asked that that correction be made.    


Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Breyer to approve the minutes of May 20, 2010 with corrections to Luis Herrera’s statement on page 6 and the spelling of Karen Mauney Brodek name. 


Action:  AYES 5-0: (Breyer, Gomez, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).




Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.


Motion:  By Commissioner Ono, seconded by Commissioner Munson to adjourn the regular meeting of June 17, 2010. 


Action:  AYES 5-0: (Breyer, Gomez, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).


The meeting adjourned at 5:28 pm.


Sue Blackman

Commission Secretary


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  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 accept money from the Friends & Foundation.


At Commissioner Kane’s request the Friends made a financial report on March 5, 2009.  Was that repeated in 2010?  No. 


What do publicly filed documents show?  For the fiscal year ending June 2009, the Friends’ report was due on November 15, 2009, but still not produced.


Under the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance the Library reports all expenditures for its benefit.  The City Librarian’s up-to-date filings show that the Friends expended for the library’s benefit in 2008, $498,121, and for 2009, $373,332, i.e., $871,453 for two years.


In the last filing available the top seven highest paid employees for the Friends made $889,738, per year, more than the library received in two years.


If you have secret information otherwise, the reason that we have a public library is so that those with private information will not be our masters and the rest of us won’t be slaves.


Item 2: Bond Program Manager’s Report


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


I want to join in offering Marcia Schneider best wishes.  I doubt you would have indulged me speaking twice.  To a large extent she is the institutional memory, which is in short supply. 


[Interrupted by president.]


She is one of the few people who predates me.


Today’s Chronicle has a very comprehensive report on North Beach.  As the article indicates, the North Beach Branch will be closely watched by the entire city. 

I hope you are aware that the Supervisors’ Land Use Committee only makes a recommendation to the full board and the full board will take it up no matter what the recommendation is. 


For the rest of the report, there is not too much to complain about.  There are some issues regarding delay that you should address. 


I wish we would have heard more about the Bay View Library. 


Item 3: Approval of the Minutes (May 20, 2010)


Anonymous Citizen:  Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – Don’t give or accept money from the Friends & Foundation.


The extreme brevity can account for some but not all of the problems with these minutes.


The commissioners make think that they are insulting the public by reading while we are talking, but it is such a pathetic shadow of the harassment I have received in the past that it feels like victory.


Regarding the anonymous citizen’s public comment, the point was freedom of speech and that you are not corporations, but human beings yourselves.


Mr. Warfield’s comment was not limited to Park Branch, but he said that each of six branches only receive 5-8 hours of bookmobile service.


On page 5, the typo that was corrected was pointed out by the anonymous citizen.


On page 9, it was not the first four people, first implies subsequent, but each of the four people addressed the commission’s suppressing of public comment.