Minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 6, 2007

(As amended and approved at the regular meeting on October 4, 2007)

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, September 6, 2007, at the Bayview/Anna E. Waden Branch Library

President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:36 pm

Commissioners present:  Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Munson.

Commissioners excused:  Chin and Gomez

Commissioner Kane arrived at 4:39 pm




An anonymous citizen said that the Bayview branch is named after Anna E. Waden, who gave an exemplary gift to the library.  He said that at the last meeting Peter Warfied described a suppression of open information at a public meeting.  The anonymous citizen expressed his concern about that suppression.

Bill Graziano, said he grew up in the Bayview area and he was happy that the library will be expanded because that neighborhood normally gets left out.  He said that the neighborhood has a lot of issues and really needs an important library.  He said the neighborhood has about 30,000 homeowners and it is a good group of people.  He said the area is under a big population explosion.

Peter Warfield said that this branch was one of five branches that were completely cut off for any funding under the existing Bond Program.  He said it is only the expectation that Prop D will pass in November that will have any realistic expectations of what is to happen with the Bayview Branch.  He said it is troubling that the Friends’ representative at the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods interfered with his receiving information that was being passed out by the Friends in a public meeting.  He said something similar happened at the Green Party meeting.

Shelby Gardella said she had moved to Bayview a year ago and said she has two young children 7 and 9.  She said she is a teacher in the field of special education.  She said the staff members at the library are very dedicated and energetic and her two young sons are very comfortable coming to the library after school to enjoy the activities and the opportunity to meet other children in the neighborhood.

Jamar Walker said some of the teens spend more time at the library than they do at home. He said the library should be open seven days a week.

Semetra Hampton said the library is a good place for kids and that there are always people to help with their homework.  She said it was a better place to go than on the streets.  She said it was a better way to communicate with other kids and the adults.  She said it would be nice to have more computer time than 30 minutes.

Joshua Smallwood said he thinks the library is a good place to interact with other teenagers  and he said today’s teens will control the world when the adults are all gone, so he asked why they have a small teen space and the kids and adults have large spaces.

Misdajania Tillery said she has been coming to the library since she was 4 years old and she said it is a good place for activities, but said the teen space should be larger with their own computers.  She said when the renovation takes place they should expand the teen section and get more computers.

Larry Ware, member of the Council of Neighborhood Libraries (CNL), said he would like to commend Linda Brooks-Burton for the wonderful work she does at the Bayview branch and thanked staff for the wonderful work they do covering events at the branch.  He said he was the founder of the poetry program and this October 17 will be 30th anniversary.  He said the Bayview branch needs more space to accommodate the many programs at the library. He said libraries are the fountains of wisdom, do not ponder or wander, but always have a quench and thirst for knowledge.

Miriam Pavis member of the CNL, said that the CNL was supposed to have a Commissioner liaison who attends CNL meetings and she is requesting that the Commission appoint one.



Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said that the young man who spoke during public comment about the size of the teen area should be aware that the adult section is for him as well since he is the future.  He said his remarks under public comment in the August 16 Minutes were not accurately reflected.  He said Mr. Hale had made some very specific comments about parking in the green zone at the branch libraries.  He also said at the bottom of page 4 in the last sentence the word “flown” should be “flowed”.


Peter Warfield said in many respects these are full and thoughtfully prepared minutes but he said he had suggestions for improvements and clarifications.  He said he thought that the language regarding the book carts on the motion for approval of the minutes of July 19, 2007 was less clear than the original.  He said that Mauricio Vela from the Bernal Preschool had said that he was dissatisfied with the new facility and that was not accurately reflected in the minutes.  He said under Item 5 Amendments to Guidelines for Library use under public comment, he added that he had also had a good report regarding the library’s practices.

Commission Discussion

Sue Blackman, Commission Secretary, said she had two corrections on the bottom of page 6 the motion should read “drop the idea of re-using the old building” instead of “drop the idea of re-using the new building.”  She also agreed with the anonymous citizen that the word at the bottom of page 4 should be “flowed” and not “flown.”

Commissioner Coulter said he agreed with the anonymous citizen who said Mauricio Vela from the Bernal Preschool had made a comment under public comment that he was dissatisfied with the new facility.  He also said he was happy to see a letter from Richard Tilles who had spoken to the Commission at the July 19th meeting regarding the Library’s print music collection.  He said the City Librarian reported back to the Commission at the August 16th meeting that staff would be meeting with Mr. Tilles in the upcoming week.  He said on August 21, Mr. Tilles wrote and said in part “I came away with a much better understanding and appreciations for the collection and for the effort being made to continually improve it.  It is in much better shape than I originally thought and I wanted to get word of my satisfaction back to the Commission.”

Motion:  By Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Munson to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of August 16, 2007, as amended as follows: (1) to clarify under public comment on page 2  that Mauricio Vela, Bernal Preschool, had said he was dissatisfied with the new facility; (2) on page 2, fourth paragraph, first  sentence add the word “that to the sentence reading “Peter Warfield said on page 2 under approval of the minutes of June that”; (3) on page 4, add the word “than” to the sentence reading “He said that new construction would be considerably less expensive than trying to rehabilitate part of the existing building: (4) at the bottom of page 4, change the word flown to flowed; and (5) at the bottom of page 6 to change the motion to read “to endorse the recommendation to proceed with a new building at the Visitacion Valley site and drop the idea of re-using the old building.”    

Action:  AYES 5-0: (Bautista, Coulter, Kane, Higueras and Munson)





Luis Herrera, City Librarian, thanked Commissioner Kane for suggesting having a meeting at the Bayview branch and thanked staff for all their hard work in putting together this meeting.  He said on August 22 bids were opened for the new Ingleside branch library and there were six bids on the project.  He said there has been a protest on the bids so he said he will keep the Commission posted on that. 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian gave an update on the expanded operating hours plan.  She explained the starting dates for each of the branches with expanded hours and said that there will be lots of publicity, including banners, posters and flyers, bookmarks, events, balloons and more.

Marcia Schneider, Chief of Communications, Collections and Adult Services, explained the One City One Book program and said there had been a kickoff sponsored by the Mayor’s office and she thanked the three Commissioners who attended.  She said the book Cane River was written by Lalita Tademy, who was present at the event and said she will be very involved in the many upcoming events surrounding the program.  She said the keynote event will be on October 23 in the Koret Auditorium.  She said there was a program guide, bookmarks, a Myspace site, banners, PSAs and other promotional opportunities.  She said the Library’s website now has all information about the programs and events surrounding this program.  She thanked the sponsors and said they were listed on the website as well.

Toni Bernardi, Chief of Office of Children and Youth Services, gave an overview of the Every Child Ready to Read program and said the program serves as a primary resource and support for parents and caregivers in the development of early literacy for the City’s children.  She said the six skills for reading readiness are print motivation, narrative skills, vocabulary, print awareness, letter knowledge and phonological awareness. 

Christy Estroviz, Early Literacy Specialist, talked about “What’s New at the Library?”  She told about the resources available, enhanced storytimes, workshops, partnerships and outcome measurements.  She showed photos of the resources and the wonderful programs at the library.  She said in the last year there were 2,053 programs and 71,143 participants.  She said the partnerships are very important to the programs.

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the Every Child Ready to Read program is really having an impact on our community and he wanted to congratulate staff on their incredible work.  He said that the Governor had made some reductions to the State Public Library Fund and it was reduced by $7 million statewide and for SFPL it represents about $150,000.  He said another program, the Transaction Based Reimbursement Program, was reduced statewide by $7 million and for the SFPL about $60,000.  He highlighted some of the upcoming programs and exhibitions.


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said he is interested in the flyers and banners announcing the opening of the new expanded hours.  He said he assumes Peter Warfield’s picture will be on them, since he is the one primarily responsible for getting the money to do that.  He said this was done with considerable resistance from the Commission in the beginning.  He said it represents 3 Sundays and 5 Mondays even though the public had requested Sunday service.  He applauded the One City One Book program.  He said it is about reading and individual authors, which is what libraries used to be about.  


Peter Warfield said it is good news that there will be more hours especially some Sundays especially since the surveys have indicated that the Sunday hours are the ones requested by the public.  He said he has worked very hard to focus on more open hours for the library.  He said because of closures for construction the library has reduced its total number of hours system wide.  He said he would like to see some praise for Supervisor McGoldrick who added money for One City One Book and that he is glad Every Child Ready to Read is adding emphasis to books as well.

Larry Ware, CNL again thanked the Commission for coming to Bayview for a meeting.  He said he had a wonderful childhood and said Mohammad Ali had said “Its nothing to it, a baby can do it, if you just put them up to it.”  So he said the library is a wonderful thing and he would like to see more programs with the library and partnering with the schools.      

Commission Discussion


Commissioner Kane asked if the State Budget cuts would affect the Library’s services.

Luis Herrera, City Librarian said we will not have the additional funding, but it would not directly impact the Library this year.  It will mean that the reserve will be smaller.

Commissioner Kane said he was excited about the expanded hours, but said that it is a process and he would like to see the goal continue to be having the branches open seven days a week.  He said the materials for Every Child Ready to Read are incredible and he congratulated staff on the program.

President Higueras said that it is the third year for the One City One Book program and acknowledged the robust start to the program and said he is sure it will be a great success.  He said he also wanted to commend everyone involved in the Early Literacy Initiative program and said it is a critically important initiative to help children prepare for school

Commissioner Bautista said that the Bayview branch had requested longer hours on Thursday instead of Sunday at this time.  She said that the teen section is very small at the Bayview branch and wondered if there was a way to enlarge that and add more computers.

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, clarified that having additional evening and morning hours during the week was a priority and that they were willing to not have the additional Sunday hours at this time so that other branches with only five open days could have an additional day.



Donna Bero, Friends of the Library, said that the Big Book Sale is scheduled from September 27-30 at Fort Mason.  She said there will be a member’s sneak preview the evening of September 26.  She said there are 8,000 boxes of books in over 50 categories, including rare and valuable books.  She said Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River, the selection for the One City One Book will be in attendance.  She said all proceeds go to support the Library.  She said the Yes on D campaign was underway and there is excellent progress to report on.  She said of all of the endorsements they had sought from organizations only one, the Republican Party, had voted not to endorse and that was by only one vote. The organizations endorsing Prop D include:  the Chamber of Commerce, the Democratic Party, numerous Democrat clubs, the Golden Gate Business Association, the Police Officers Association, San Francisco Tomorrow, SPUR, the Small Business Network and numerous others.  Prop D also has support from a number of elected officials including Senator Feinstein, Speaker Pelosi, all of our State elected officials, the Mayor, the District Attorney, 9 of the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff and many others.  She brought in a copy of the poster for “Yes on D”.  She said if anyone is interested in volunteering or getting more information they can contact the Friends directly.  She said the Neighborhood Library Campaign is moving along with a number of events.  She said that comedienne Paula Poundstone will be appearing at Cobbs Comedy Club in a fundraiser for the Friends.  She said that the “Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave” event has been rescheduled to Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m.   Finally, she said there will also be a program on San Francisco’s Carnegie Libraries Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 6:00 pm at the Friends’ Office.        

Public Comment


Peter Warfield said regarding the Prop D campaign that it is a massive misinformation campaign from the Friends and the Library.  He said it neglects that this is a repeal of Prop E of the Charter Amendment and that there are radical revisions to what will replace this measure.  He said those revisions will threaten the funding of many of the programs we have heard about here tonight.  He said the money that would have gone for books, library hours and operations will end up going for construction projects.  He said there are a number of groups that have endorsed “No on D” and these include the San Francisco Green Party, the Peace and Freedom Party, and the Republican Party.  He said there are also a number of individuals opposed to the proposition.  He said the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, which had been expected to endorse it, had voted a “no position” neither for it nor against it.

An anonymous citizen said he is waiting for another report on the “public comment fund.” 


Brian Bannon, Chief of Main, introduced Linda Brooks-Burton, Manager of the Bayview Branch.  He said she had been with the Library for over 25 years and she had just completed 12 years as the Bayview Branch Manager.  She has done extraordinary work and built an incredible team.  She serves on a number of Committees and Task Forces for the Library and she is an exceptional example of how to build relations and coalitions within the community.

Linda Brooks-Burton, Manager of the Bayview Branch, introduced Jesse Wylie, library assistant to share some of the talent at the Bayview Branch and read a poem.

Jesse Wylie, gave an example of the type of poetry read at the events at the Bayview Branch and read a poem he wrote entitled “It’s New or Nothing.”

Linda Brooks-Burton said they are very proud of the talent at the Bayview Branch and said that Jesse is very inspiring.  She thanked the Commission for holding meetings out in the community at the different branches.  She said it is important for the Commission to see the impacts that their decisions have in the community.  She said she was happy the Commission took into consideration the more pressing need for longer weekday hours at the branch, but said they, of course, would like to become a seven day branch eventually, possibly after the renovation.

She shared a background on the Bayview area.   She said the current building was built in 1969 with money bequeathed to the Library from Anna E. Waden, who was a city clerk.  She said the branch is considered a medium size neighborhood library and said special collections include Chinese and Spanish language, a jobs and career collection and a large teen section that was started over ten years ago with a Youth at Risk Grant funded by the State Library.  She said they try to serve all the cultures in the neighborhood.  She said the library partners with many community based organizations, schools and businesses.  She said the community meeting room is used for all types of community events.  She thanked Larry Ware and Miriam Pavis for all their support.  She said the time at Bayview has been the most rewarding of her career.  She said they are looking forward to the renovation of the branch.

Wendy Kramer, Teen Services Librarian at Bayview, said as you can see she had just come from a “pRrimp your Librarian” event in the Teen Center.  She talked about the many programs and events held in the Teen Services area.   The teens range in age from 13-18 in the Library system.  She talked about her collaboration with other neighborhood groups and she showed photographs of some of the events.   She said they have a Teen Advisory Committee, whose members represent the library in the neighborhood.

Darcel Jones, Children’s Librarian at the Bayview branch, said she was hired approximately a year ago and she specializes in children’s services ages birth – 12 years old.  She explained the two types of children’s programming including regular programs like storytimes, study sessions and monthly movies; and special programs like chocolate tasting, a puppet festival and Kwanzaa program.  She has collaborations with various organizations like Jumpstart.  She talked about the summer reading program and she said 336 children enrolled in the summer reading program this year, which was the highest increase of all the branches.

Linda Brooks-Burton, said as part of their Bayview History project they are collecting information from the community and she showed a picture of a woman who was recruited during WWII to do a “male’s job.”  She said she was one of the first black women to be recruited to be a muni conductor.

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, gave an update on the renovation plan for the branch.  He said that initially this branch was scheduled for a very small renovation, but now the need calls for a larger expansion.  So the Library is currently looking at the possibility of expanding to the building next door.  He said the budget has been increased from approximately $3.6 million to over $9 million.  He said because of negotiations with the building next door, other options are also being looked at for the expansion of the library.

Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said it was an inspiring report on several levels.  He said that the library makes an important contribution to the community and people value the library because it is the most needed aspect of their community service.  He said the money donated from Anna E. Waden was donated on the premise that the library would always be named after her.  He said she was not a rich lady; she was a clerk who worked in City Hall for 30 years and put away money each week for the library.  He recited a poem.

Larry Ware commended staff again and on their wonderful work.  He also recited a poem, which he wrote in the Bayview branch library entitled “Young America We Need the Light.”

Peter Warfield said he was happy to hear a lot was happening at this branch and the focus was on reading.   He recited a brief poem from William Carlos Williams about plums.

Commission Discussion

Commissioner Kane said this was the most inspiring and clearly the most poetic Library Commission meeting he has attended.  He thanked staff for all of the hard work in putting on a meeting at a branch.  He said the intention of the Commission is to get the new branch built and expanded, so he told staff to keep up the good work.

Commissioner Coulter said it was a terrific presentation and he was pleased to hear the anonymous citizen’s tribute to Anna Waden and it goes to show how important private donations are to the library and said perhaps at some point the anonymous citizen would like to give a gift to the Friends and Foundation.

Commissioner Munson said it was heartwarming to visit the branch and see the success they are achieving.  He said he was delighted that the branch is doing the things they are doing and he said he would like to see the branch expanded.

Commissioner Bautista said she wanted to commend the children’s and teen’s librarians for their programming.  She asked about schools that the branch is working with.

Wendy Kramer, Teen Services Librarian, explained the coordination with the various schools in the area.

Commissioner Bautista said she hopes to see additional computers and space in the teen area.

President Higueras thanked the branch library for accommodating the Commission at this meeting and he said it was gratifying to learn about the community and the efforts and accomplishments the library is making to the community.



There was no labor union report.



There was no new business.



MOTION: by Commissioner Munson with thanks to the staff, seconded by Commissioner Bautista to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, September 6, 2007. 

Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.

ACTION:  AYES: 5-0.  (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Kane and Munson).

The regular meeting of September 6, 2007, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 6:55 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 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).