Minutes of the Regular Meeting of June 21, 2007

(As amended and approved at the regular meeting on July 19, 2007)

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, June 21, 2007, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.

Vice President Coulter called the meeting to order at 4:36 pm

Commissioners present:† Chin, Coulter, Kane and Munson.

President Higueras, Commissioners Bautista and Gomez were excused.


An anonymous citizen said it is very difficult to make someone understand something when their paycheck depends on them not understanding. †He said that there is a system of free speech and the right to public comment to make sure that all viewpoints can emerge so that those viewpoints will have a chance against entrenched resistance to the truth.

Ellen Egbert from Bernal Heights said she had to leave the last meeting early because she went to a Project Read party where they showed a 5 minute film created by Kevin Epps called Reading Minds about two learners in Project Read.† She said it is now available for viewing at† She also said that in addition to the summer reading program for kids, that the Bernal branch is having a summer reading program for adults.

Peter Warfield said that it is useful to review routine library services and shortcomings or glitches that are present.† He said that there are dozens of book carts on the various floors that say that the books are ready for shelving and some of the books are on the far side of the library from where they should be.† He said this is not a very professional way to run a library and gives a poor image to the patrons.† He also said there were problems with the self-service reserves pick up being on open shelves and that this is a privacy issue, which concerns him a great deal.† He said catalog problems are also numerous.




Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager, said that there were no informational or special reports.† She gave the regular monthly report and said that the budget report included the most recent budget changes made by the Commission on March 1 and lists every budget change to the bond program that the Commission has made since its inception.†† She said every revision requires Commission action. She explained the current Schedule Report and said that it shows the schedule that was approved by the Commission on March 1 and lists every schedule change to the bond program since its inception.† She said fully funded projects will be completed by the year 2010 and the remaining projects will be completed by the year 2011 pending additional funding.† She explained the Active Projects Report including information on new construction and renovations; the Construction Report; and she showed photographs of some of the projects in construction.† She said that a groundbreaking has been confirmed for the Portola branch on July 17 at 11:30 am.† She also gave the Community Outreach report highlighting the upcoming opening of the Marina Branch library on Saturday, August 4.†

Public Comment

An anonymous citizen said it was an interesting report.† He said he did a report for the Board on Supervisors comparing the original schedule with the current schedule, which showed that only one project was on time and something like four that were at least five years late.

Betty Parshall from Visitacion Valley had a question on the quarterly report, under program management activities she said there is a Memorandum of Understanding for consultants for supplemental services by the Department of Public Works (DPW).† She said Visitacion Valley has been asking for a study of the possible reuse of the supermarket building and she wondered if these services will be included in these supplemental services.

City Librarian Luis Herrera responded that the study of the reuse of the supermarket does not directly relate to the DPW work order, but said that that study is currently underway and is being funded by the Friends of the Library.

Peter Warfield said it was an interesting report but that it would be useful to have a single place readily available to compare the changes from the original schedule to where we are today. He said that he has looked at original time estimates and that almost without exception the library projects through incremental slips have become more costly and later than planned.† He said it is a mystery why some branches such as the Park branch are being rushed to be completed on time while others that seem to have a much greater need are not.† He said that the Marina branch was complete but will not be open until August and asked what was causing the delay.† He said he knows the Friends pay for the furnishings but wondered who was responsible for the selection and acquisition and if that could be more expeditiously done.†

Ellen Egbert from Bernal Heights asked about the timing of the Bernal branch closing and when it will be going out to bid.† She said Bernal has started its fundraising and needs to be accurate in its timeline.

Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager responded that for all projects the schedule is estimated to be a four month bid period which includes the out to bid stage, bid protest period, award and Notice to Proceed (NTP).† The closure of the branch happens somewhere in the middle of that time period, so usually two months after it has been put out to bid.

City Librarian Luis Herrera said that we do need to do a better job at getting out the word to the communities on the schedules, etc.

Commission Discussion

Vice President Coulter asked staff to respond on the question regarding furnishings and delays in opening the Marina branch.

Marilyn Thompson explained that the contractor completed the project early but the schedule requires six months lead time to bid, purchase, deliver and install the furnishings.†

Luis Herrera said that the process for the furnishings is a partnership with the Friends and that Library staff is involved and very much engaged with the time frame. †He said that staff is working on some of the issues relating to coordinating with the actual construction schedules and he will report back to the Commission in the future on the systems to be put in place to address those issues.†

The Commission discussed the timing and the dates of the schedules.†

Commissioner Kane said how important it is to make sure the communities involved are adequately updated on the schedules.

Commissioner Munson said it would be helpful to see the original schedule and to have some reasons listed for some of the delays.

Explanatory Documents: Financial Plan (PDF), Summary Schedules



Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager, said that staff is requesting revisions to the bond program revenues and various project budgets.† She said that Fiona Ma in last yearís budget had designated $250,000 of the General Fund portion of the Library Preservation Fund specifically for the Ortega branch.† Staff is recommending that these funds be added to the program at this time.† This will revise the Ortega budget from $880,000 to $1,030,000.† She said they are also recommending increasing the Golden Gate Valley budget from the program reserve by $50,000.† Further that staff is recommending transferring moving budget funds in the amount of $20,000 each for seven active projects and $10,000 each for four projects; retaining the moving

budget for the five remaining projects at $20,000 each; increasing the bookmobile budget to $455,000 (actual cost); retaining $100,000 interim services budget and reducing the program reserve by $23,248.

Public Comment

An anonymous citizen said he did not remember Fiona Ma increasing the budget for Ortega.† He said he did remember Fiona Ma increasing the budget for the Parkside branch for $450,000.† He said he had been attending some of the meetings of the Capital Planning Committee (CPC) and said they had put the last purchase of bonds on hold waiting for a resolution of the issue relating to the Library Preservation Fund.† He said the Commission might want to exercise some caution about committing funds to projects for which the CPC will not yet sell bonds.

Peter Warfield said he was disappointed that the information was not sent out as part of the advance materials for the meeting today.† He said when there is an action item it is appropriate that these materials be made available in advance.† He said the description was misleading for the Library Preservation Fund renewal and that that is the way the Library is trying to find funding for the last five branches to be renovated.† He said he also did not recall the $250,000 being designated for Ortega and would like to see the overall impact on the BLIP and how it relates to what was previously approved.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Munson said that it would be helpful to have the information prior to the meeting.

City Librarian Luis Herrera said that the additional increase for the Ortega branch was an add on that happened after the budget hearings so it was an additional General Fund add back.

Vice President Coulter said that it had been confirmed that the $250,000 was available for the Ortega branch.

Motion:† By Commissioner Kane, seconded by Commissioner Chin to

Increase four new construction projects (Glen Park, Ingleside, Portola, Visitacion Valley) by $10,000 each; increase seven renovation projects (Anza, Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, Park, Presidio, Potrero and Presidio) by $20,000 each; increase the Ortega budget by $250,000; increase the Golden Gate Valley budget by $50,000; reduce the moving and interim services budget, reduce the program reserve by $50,000; and increase the program budget by $250,000.

Action:† AYES 4-0: (Chin, Coulter, Kane, and Munson)

Explanatory Documents: BLIP Report handout (PDF)



City Librarian Luis Herrera said the Library and the Library Commission had requested that the City Controllerís office do a review of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP).† The Commission requested a report by the Controllerís office on the Scope and Objectives of the review.

Deborah Gordon, Audit Manager, City Services Auditor Division, said they were responding to a number of requests and concerns by several elected and appointed bodies for a review of the BLIP.† She said she distributed what is usually an internal document outlining the scope and objectives of the review.† She said they had been looking at documents for about six weeks and have had preliminary interviews with many stakeholders in the project.† The preliminary survey showed that there were significant project delays over the program period.† She said at the 75% mark of the original project timeframe, only 8 of the projects (32%) will be acquired or completed.† She said this is an opportunity because only about 1/3 of the funds have been expended so they will be looking at processes and procedures and reasonableness of projections.† She outlined the objectives as: evaluating on a sample basis whether escalation factors used to determine revised construction cost estimates appear reasonable; identifying best practices for maximizing the number of bidders for BLIP project construction contracts; identifying key lessons learned from the current bond program and best practices with regard to managing project costs and schedules; and determining if currently planned changes to processes and staff assignments at the Library and the Department of Public Works (DPW) appear adequate to complete the program as revised by the Library Commission in March, 2007. †She said the review would cover the time period from 2001 Ė 3/31/2007 and that they would review financial and program information pertaining to the bond program, but would not be commenting on other operations of DPW or the Library.† She said they are anticipating a draft report by July 31, 2007 which will go to the departments for their response.† An issue date for the report will be the third or fourth week of August.

Public Comment

An anonymous citizen said the scope seemed to be a litter broader than Peg Stevenson had previously presented to the Commission.† He said what the Controller may regard as an internal document is actually a public document under the California Public Records Act and the Sunshine Ordinance.† He said that the auditor is right to say that 32% of projects will be complete by the end of this year 37 1/2% of those projects are from outside developers.† He also said that the Controller is not using the original timeframe for the comparison on the schedule for the completion of the projects.

Peter Warfield said he considered the Controller to have an excellent reputation and that he is rather disappointed by what has been presented today.† He said the background portion is incomplete.† He said itís unfortunate that some stakeholders have been approached while others such as him were not.† He said there was no mention of the cost overruns in the objectives nor do the scope changes within the program appear.

Sue Cauthen, Library Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC) said that she and the Chair of LCAC did meet with Ms. Gordon to deliver the LCAC's concerns.† She said she did wish that the public had had a chance to review the Scope document prior to the meeting in order to comment on it.† She said as a member of the Sunshine Task Force she does believe that draft documents are public documents and when the draft document comes out it should be available to the public.

Anne Wintroub, Friends of the Library, thanked the Controllerís Office for their due diligence on this and said the Friends appreciate being kept abreast of the process and are looking forward to the full report.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Munson said he thought this was laid out very well and thanked the Controllerís office.

Commissioner Kane asked if there was something in the objectives which might be missing or needs to be expanded.† He also asked whether expenditures should be something that is looked at.

Deborah Gordon, Audit Manager responded that some areas had been expanded and that it seemed that this was a good place to start.† She also said they would look at any expenditure that may reflect something that doesnít make sense.† She said the projects that have been completed are not much over budget and that they will look at unusual expenditures.† She said there is another audit planned for construction contracts in the city and that will include one of the library bond projects. †

Commissioner Kane requested that the Commission see a copy of the other audit on city contracts when it is completed as well.† He asked about whether overall management processes of the bond program will be looked at within the audit of the BLIP.† †††

Commissioner Chin said that the school district audit was very complex and this review should be relatively easy.† She said she hopes that best practices will be looked at and that there will be ways to improve in the future.

Vice-President Coulter said he is impressed with the documents and said it could be useful to include in the report that Senior Library staff and the Library Commission had recommended this review.

Explanatory Documents: Scope Objectives


There was no public comment on this item.

MOTION: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Chin, to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, June 21, 2007.†

ACTION:† AYES: 4-0.† (Chin, Coulter, Kane and Munson).

The regular meeting of June 21, 2007, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 5:56 PM.

Sue Blackman

Commission Secretary

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 Libraryís 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).