SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION

 

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 19, 2010

 

(As approved at the regular meeting of September 16, 2010)

 

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, August 19, 2010, at the Chinatown Branch Library

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:35 pm.

 

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

 

Commissioners Kane and Munson entered the meeting at 4:41 pm.

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 1 PUBLIC COMMENT

 

An anonymous citizen said if you don’t have access to the truth then you can’t redeem any of the rights you think you might have.  He said the Commission making up lies and ridiculing the public doesn’t just disenfranchise the public it undermines the society as a whole.

 

Sue Cauthen, Library Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC), said the LCAC passed a resolution requesting that the three vacant seats on the LCAC be filled in order to facilitate effective operations.  She said that two of the vacancies are seats appointed by the City Librarian and one is appointed by Supervisor Dufty. 

 

A woman from the audience said she would like to see more art programs and art classes at the library.   

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 2. RESOLUTION HONORING FORMER COMMISSIONER CARLOTA DEL PORTILLO

 

President Gomez said that it was a pleasure working with Carlota Del Portillo on the Commission.  She read the Resolution honoring Carlota Del Portillo and said the Commission does hereby recognize, honor, commend and thank her for her service on the San Francisco Public Library Commission.

 

Carlota Del Portillo said she has known Beverly Hayon for many, many years and she is delighted to see her as a new Commissioner.  She said Commissioner Michael Breyer’s grandfather; Irving Breyer was a surrogate father to her husband.  She said she is not really going she is leaving part of her extended family.  She thanked the Commission very much for this honor.  

 

Public Comment

 

An anonymous citizen said one wonders why Carlota Del Portillo has resigned so soon from the Commission, since she was on the Commission for barely 2 years.  He said the Commission has a majority that is newer than a year and a quarter.  He said an educational professional has a different set of values.  He said he will miss Carlota Del Portillo’s contributions.

 

Deborah Doyle, Friends of the Library, said she would like to thank Carlota Del Portillo for being a cornerstone for so many years in the public/private partnership.  She said Carlota Del Portillo was key in getting the Main Library built and led the charge in making sure the Latino/Hispanic Community Room was just that a room for the community.  She said Carlota Del Portillo also raised a lot of money for the Glen Park Branch Library. 

 

Peter Warfield said the intelligence, independence and respect that Carlota Del Portillo brought to her job was admirable and very beneficial and useful.  He said her service here was short but good.

 

Marcia Schneider said she has retired from the Library and her institutional memory has not yet retired so she wanted to commend Carlota Del Portillo for her service on the Commission and her long term support of the City and the Library.    

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Breyer said that Carlota Del Portillo said that his grandfather had touched and mentored her and that her commitment to the Library, the schools and the Latino community has touched him as well.

 

Commissioner Munson said that he had a number of years working with Carlota Del Portillo on the Civil Service Commission and she made a significant contribution.  He said the Library Commission will miss her and thanks her for her service.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian said thank you to Carlota Del Portillo for her unwavering support of staff and her dedication to not just the Latino community but all communities in the city.

 

Carlota Del Portillo said thank you to everyone for their kind words.  She said she is in the process of writing a book and if it works out the proceeds from the book will go to her beloved Glen Park Branch Library.

 

Commissioner Hayon said she is somewhat daunted to follow in Carlota Del Portillo’s footsteps because Carlota is the icon if not the Godmother of the Latino community in this City.  She said thank you to Carlota Del Portillo for all her work and that she wishes they could have served on the Library Commission together.

 

Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Hayon to approve the Resolution to recognize, honor, commend and thank Carlota Del Portillo. 

 

Action:  AYES 7-0: (Breyer, Gomez, Hayon, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 3. BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said this month there will be the regular reports along with an information presentation from the Planning Department on the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the North Beach Public Library and Joe DiMaggio Playground Master Plan Project.  She said this month’s budget report shows the approved budget as $188,910,119.  She said the Bayview Branch is in the Bid/Award process and the North Beach Branch is in the EIR/Design Development phase.  She said eight branches are in construction.  She said they are working closely with the contractors and they will report back to the Commission by the end of the year to update the opening dates for each project.  She said a schedule change for the Visitacion Branch library will be brought back to the Commission in September.  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 the Bayview Branch is in the Bid/Award process and the North Beach Branch is in the EIR/Design Development phase. She gave a summary of public outreach for the program.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian introduced Michael Jacinto from the Planning Department to discuss the EIR process for the North Beach Branch Library.  He said they are pleased to see the EIR will be released on August 25.

 

Michael Jacinto, Planning Department, said the draft EIR for the Master Plan, which includes the analysis of the proposed branch library in conjunction with the changes anticipated for the surrounding Joe DiMaggio Playground and Park will be published next week.  He said when the draft EIR is published there will be a 48 day review period, which will end 5:00 pm October 12, 2010.  He said there will be one hearing at the Historic Preservation Commission on October 6 and a hearing at the Planning Commission on Thursday, October 7.    The Planning Commission will hear public comment on all aspects of the EIR.  He said comments on the EIR may be made at the Planning Commission or in writing.  He said the Planning Department will prepare a comments and responses document.  He said this period may take from four to six months.  The comments and responses document will be sent to the Library Commission and all parties who have commented on the EIR.  He said a hearing will then be scheduled with the Planning Commission for certification of the EIR.  The Planning Commission will certify if the document is adequate, accurate and complete.  He said there is a 20 day period in which the Planning Commission’s action can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.

 

Public Comment

 

An anonymous citizen said the schedule report shows that there are five branches with additional delays.  He said there are only ten libraries in the final group.  He said formerly the concern about delay was the increase in construction costs.  He said now the concern is lost service to the public.  He said he is very interested in the results of the EIR for the North Beach branch.  He said the lot was expected to be open space.

 

Sue Cauthen, Chair of the Coalition for a Better North Beach Library, said they have seen the interim EIR.  She said there have been many misstatements about the project.

 

Joan Wood said she has lived in North Beach for 45 years.  She said she hopes the EIR will have a valid plan for adaptive reuse of the current library.  She said the library in the past has done some marvelous restorations.  She said the speakers at the Historic Preservation Commission were about equally divided on the landmarking and not a majority in opposition to the landmarking as has been reported to the Library Commission.

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said it is painful to look at some of the photographs of the libraries because some of those libraries should have better preserved their history.  He said the Ortega and North Beach Branches are of specific concern. 

 

Deborah Doyle, Friends of the Library said her husband worked on the North Beach Branch years ago, and said he does not want her to go into the library because it is unsafe.  She said the Branch does not work as a library.

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Kane asked about the Library Commission’s role in the process of the EIR.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian said that the EIR will be brought back to the Library Commission for discussion and possibly some action on comments by the Commission.

 

Michael Jacinto, Planning Department said EIRs are taken to the Historic Preservation Commission if they have significant impacts to historic resources.  He said the Library Commission is welcome to comment on the EIR or ask for additional information.

 

Commissioner Kane asked about the schedule delay for the Visitacion Valley Branch.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said that the delays for the Visitacion Valley Branch are mostly due to rain.

 

Commissioner Kane asked about the budget increase for the Bayview Branch.  He asked for more detail on what has been spent on this branch at the next meeting for soft costs.

 

Commissioner Munson had additional questions about the process and schedule for the EIR.

 

Michael Jacinto, Planning Department, clarified the EIR process and schedule.

 

Commissioner Ono had questions about the CM/CG process for Bayview.  She also said that on the current budget report some of the projects show negative numbers.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said that a candidate has been selected for the Bayview Branch but they have not sent out the award letter.  She said the negative decrease of funds on some of the projects is due to an influx of Friends money into the projects.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, further explained the Friends funds going into the project.

 

Commissioner Breyer asked if the Commission could get more insight on how the library is doing with respect to the timeline. He asked about solar panels on the branches and the cost benefit analysis.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said they would be happy to bring back an information report on the LEED status of the remaining projects.

 

Jewelle Gomez said she attended the last Historic Preservation Commission meeting and the people who spoke supported the new library and were overwhelming opposed to the landmarking of the building. She said most of those speakers identified themselves as being from the North Beach community.

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 4. CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian said the Chinatown Branch had a water sprinkler valve burst over the weekend.  He said it did some minor flooding and damage and that the Branch reopened on Tuesday morning.  He thanked the staff for their great assistance on helping to get the branch open.  He said part of the labor negotiations with employees included requiring them to take some furlough days.  He said part of the agreement was to look at the holiday period as potential time for closures.  He said the Library will remain open December 27 through December 31.  He said the Library however will be closed the day before Thanksgiving, November 24, 2010 to accommodate the furlough.  He said several years ago the Commission agreed that Public Safety was a high priority for the Library.  He said the Library has a partnership with the Police Department and the Department of Public Health.

 

Kathy Lawhun, Chief of Main, gave a presentation on Public Safety.  She said 2009/10 was the first year that the Library has had a social worker on staff for the entire year.  She gave statistics and an overview of the program.  She said there has been a great deal of media coverage about the collaboration.  She said there has been a great deal of community response as well and they are now working with different agencies. 

 

Roberto Lombardi, Facilities Director, continued the presentation on Security Resources.  He thanked Sergeant Pat Kwan SFPD, Head of Security for all of his hard work.  He gave security statistics for the Library.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian said there were approximately 7 million visits to the library.  He said in comparison the security statistics are miniscule.  He said Roberto Lombardi is leading in our participation in a Community Benefit District (CBD).  He said they will bring back the CBD issue to the Commission for further discussion.

 

Kathy Lawhun, Chief of Main, thanked the Team Members involved in the Public Safety program.

 

Public Comment

 

An anonymous citizen said that there is an innuendo in the public safety plan that the work with the dispossessed and the security problems overlap.  He said he bets they don’t.  He said part of the tradition of librarianship is that we don’t make assumptions based on social or class identifications.  He said these are widespread social and national problems and have relatively little to do with the library as a library.  He said a difficult patron does not mean politically difficult.

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said he is uneasy about what he sees as a militarization of the library.  He said he has not been happy with the “paratroop” look of security in the library. 

 

Ellen Egbert said she attends the Library Commission meetings because she reports back to the Council of Neighborhood Libraries.  She said she has been very impressed with the library’s security staff.

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Hayon asked about whether the program with the social worker is unique to this library.

 

Kathy Lawhun, Chief of Main, said we are the only library that has a social worker on staff.  She said suspension of patrons depends on the length of the suspension.  She said there is an appeal process for those who have been suspended.  

 

Commissioner Kane asked about the Library’s role with the Community Benefit District (CBD).

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said they will be reporting back on the CBD at the next meeting.  He said the Commission will be asked to take action on it sometime in the fall.

 

Commissioner Kane asked for more information on the security statistics.

 

Sgt. Patrick Kwan said the security statistics are based on in-house rules.  He said there were less than 5 arrests during the fiscal year.  He said there are a few branches that have higher incident rates.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said if there are problems at particular branches additional security staff is deployed to those branches.

 

Commissioner Breyer asked about sprinkler systems in the branches.  He also asked for additional information on security at the branches.  He asked about cameras in the branches.  He said he would like a report back on the number of books missing or not returned.

 

Roberto Lombardi, Facilities Director, said not many of the branches have sprinkler systems, but that it is code driven.  He said they would report back with additional information on the number of incidents at the branches.  He said they are looking at the capability of the network system of cameras for the branches. He said there are digital recordings at the Main Library.  He said he would like to build on the partnerships with the Police Department, Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Works.

 

President Gomez said thank you to Sgt. Patrick Kwan and Leah Esguerra for all their hard work on behalf of the Library.

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 6. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF JULY 15, 2010

 

Public Comment

 

An anonymous citizen said he is grateful that we now have letterhead with the Commissioners names.  He said on page one it should say that the Library Commission ignored what the court said.  He said not including that maintains the long tradition of denying what the court said.  He said he had told a story under the Chinatown Branch renaming about Mark Him Lai being labeled a communist and the object of harassment from the FBI.  He said that story was cleaned up and was not included in the record. 

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said the minutes could be improved in a number of cases.  He said on page six under public comment there is a serious misstatement of the cost of a trailer parked in front of a library for interim service.  He said this could be corrected if it were to say “. . . approximately $9,000 a year to provide a trailer in front of a closed branch for interim patron service for a year.”  

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Munson said he agreed that page 6 should be amended under Peter Warfield’s remarks to read:  “He said he has looked into providing temporary trailers and it would be approximately $9,000 to $10,000 a year to provide a trailer in front of closed branches for interim patron services. 

 

President Gomez said the Minutes are not required to quote verbatim public comment.  She said they are required to give a summation of what has been said.

 

Commissioner Munson said he would like to amend his previous comments to simply add the words “to provide” to the minutes on page 6.

 

Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Hayon to approve the minutes of July 15, 2010 to add the words “to provide” instead of “to park” under Peter Warfield’s remarks on page 6.. 

 

Action:  AYES 7-0: (Breyer, Gomez, Hayon, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 6. ADJOURNMENT

 

Public Comment

 

There was no public comment on this item.

 

Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Ono to adjourn the regular meeting of August 19, 2010. 

 

Action:  Action:  AYES 7-0: (Breyer, Gomez, Hayon, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).

 

The meeting adjourned at 6:52 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 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 accept money from the Friends & Foundation

 

You laugh because you assume that I don’t know you will always lie.  I understand that very well. 

 

A French aristocrat suggested that all rights flow from the right to the truth.

 

There is a causal relationship between your essential strategy that you can always lie, and the continual planning disasters.

 

First is “group think” – the tendency for a closed group to repel all outside opinions, defend its received wisdom as an enforcement of group cohesion. 

 

Second is a psychological tendency to reject individual responsibility as in the legendary experiments where people torture or humiliate others rather than question authority.

 

Society, recognizing the danger of a self-serving minority and its contempt for truth, created a public sector with free speech and democratic institutions to protect everyone.

 

Your teacher said "you are only cheating yourselves” – and so you are.

 

 

Item 2: Resolution honoring Former Commissioner Carlota del Portillo

 

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

 

The former commissioner’s name includes Doctor del Portillo.  She is a Ph.D.

 

One wonders why Dr. del Portillo is leaving us so soon.  Historically a tenure of barely 2 years is very brief and now the majority only has one and a quarter years.

 

Dr. del Portillo comes from a tradition of educational professionals.  The business values that this institution has learned from its private partners includes cut-throat competition, survival of the fittest and dis-empowering those outside of a closed select group.  Donors pay to be part of a select group.

 

Educational institutions do the opposite, that is empower people by supporting people’s sense of self worth and personal dignity

 

 When Lonnie Chin left, she said, "If you are not giving money, I would say, shut up."

 

Can you imagine Dr. del Portillo saying that?  No, of course not.

 

Dr. del Portillo once said that she respected everyone.

 

Item 3: Bond Program Manager’s Report

 

Anonymous Citizen:  Stop the corporate rape of the public library – Don’t give or accept money from the Friends & Foundation.

 

It would be nice if the citizens had access to the graphics.

 

The red line in the schedule report indicates the current month (fixed from last time).

 

The schedule shows that there are five branches with further delays, but that is actually half of the branches still not opened.

 

Formerly the concern about delay was the increase in construction costs.  Now the concern is lost service to the public.  We are at the stage of maximum neighborhood branches being closed.  This is not the maximum closed service hours so the administration can be commended for that.

 

I will be interested in the environmental impact report for the North Beach branch, and it is worth remembering that the lot in question was expected to be open space.  So that is an environmental loss for those people.

  

Item 4: City Librarian’s Report

 

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

 

It would be nice if the citizens had access to the graphics.

Is the HOT Team, the Homeless Outreach Team Team?

 

I have strong feelings, being a difficult patron myself.  Should difficult patrons organize, and have bumper stickers that say, “Difficult patrons need love too.”

 

The innuendo is that the work with the dispossessed and the security problems overlap.  I bet they don’t.

 

The tradition of librarianship says we don’t make assumptions based on social or class identifications.  Being poor or homeless does not mean that intellectual needs are not serious, curiosity is not valid, or use of the library is not as important as anyone else’s because it is.

 

These are widespread social and national problems and we should make sure that people are being respected and that “difficult patron” does not mean “politically difficult.”

 

Item 5: Approval of the Minutes (July 15, 2010)

 

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

 

The letterhead now reflects the commissioners.

 

These minutes continue your tradition of sweeping honesty or controversy under the rug.

 

On page 1, it is the Commission and not the anonymous citizen that was required to consult with the City Attorney, and the denial of the court’s ruling fits in with your long tradition of denying what the court said.

 

Regarding the Chinatown renaming, this is where I stated that the honoree, Mark Him Lai had been labeled a communist and the object of harassment from the FBI.  You cleaned up that story, but it is not up to you to clean up what is intended to be part of the historical record.

 

Regarding the City Librarian’s Report, it was Supervisor Alioto-Pier who had announced that the diversion of the Library Preservation Fund had been postponed for a year.