SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, September 7,
(As approved October 5, 2006)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, September 7, 2006 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
Commissioners present: Bautista, Coulter, Gomez, Kane, and Munson
A quorum was present. Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:18pm.
President Higueras was reported excused attendance.
Vice President Coulter announced that AGENDA ITEM #5 LIBRARY COMMISSION RECOGNITION POLICY would be continued to a future meeting.
AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public spoke about: opposition to the Friends of the Library; discussed a “veranda Factor”; and on the psychological damage caused by lies as illustrated by Tennessee Williams’; “Suddenly Last Summer”.
Mr. Peter Warfield discussed his efforts in public comments and public records requests to find out the Library’s policy on acquiring out-of-print materials.
AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF JUNE 1, 2006
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF JUNE 1, 2006
An anonymous member of the Public indicated that these Minutes were three months old; and how the Minutes failed to report discussions concerning Public Comment.
Mr. Peter Warfield commented on: the use of italicized text to highlight discussion; and omissions and inaccuracies in the Minutes report of his comments.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF JUNE 1, 2006
Vice President Coulter observed that difficult to know how to appropriately respond to public accusations of wrong doing when no substantiation is offered. Commissioner Munson noted that he thought it always appropriate to make an effort to obtain more information in response to accusations. Commissioner Chin noted that the inveterate criticisms of two individuals did not represent the public.
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd by Commissioner Gomez for approval of the Minutes of the regular Library Commission meeting of June 1, 2006.
ACTION: 6-0 Aye (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Kane, and Munson)
AGENDA ITEM #3 DOROTHY STARR COLLECTION
Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun introduced Jason Gibbs, Librarian II in Art/Music/Recreation who presented an overview of the Library’s Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection. Dr. Gibbs then demonstrated ways library users could access the searchable records now available in the Dorothy Starr Collection through the Library’s website.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 DOROTHY STARR COLLECTION
An anonymous member of the public found this report a happy ending; and noted the importance of this Collection; applauding Dr. Gibbs work.
Mr. Peter Warfield spoke on the Library’s collections, when more might become accessible and the creation of a search mode for artists/performers that sang or performed a particular piece of music.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 DOROTHY STARR COLLECTION
Vice President Coulter recalled the circumstances when the Friends had provided the resources necessary to acquire this collection and recalled previous discussion of steps taken by staff to catalog and make available its treasures. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Dr. Gibbs noted that there was simply not sufficient staffing available to scan all materials and noted that there were copyright issues involved in making materials created after 1922 available. Regarding the strengths of the Collection Dr. Gibbs suggested that a need for more contemporary materials were the Collection’s only deficiency. In response to a query by Commissioner Gomez, Dr. Gibbs noted that there had been exhibits of some of the wonderful cover art from the Collection, including some held in connection with the Centennial of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Vice President Coulter lauded the Library’s acquisition of this collection with the help of the Friends and the critically important volunteer work that was still being made to make it available as a model for public/private partnerships. Dr. Gibbs identified Marge Mayne, Audrey Winn, Doris Osenda and Leija McReynolds as the four volunteers who had contributed so much work in making this wonderful sheet music available to library users.
AGENDA ITEM #4 2003-2006 STRATEGIC PLAN STATUS REPORT
City Librarian Luis Herrera presented an overview and update on the Library’s progress in fulfilling the goals set out in the 2003-2006 three year Strategic Plan (copy attached). The City Librarian then introduced Marcia Schneider, Chief of Adult Services, who presented a detailed summary report (copy attached) on each of the priorities and subject areas addressed in the Strategic Plan. The City Librarian proudly noted the significant accomplishments achieved by the hard work of Library staff during this three year period and reported that this model had proven to be useful in developing the Library’s services plans for the future. In particular Mr. Herrera called attention to the important contributions made by Ms. Schneider in preparing the report.
Public Comment on AGENDA ITEM#4 2003-2006 STRATEGIC PLAN STATUS REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented on the lack of availability of the explanatory documents, and found the presentation difficult to follow.
Ms. Donna Bero, Executive Director of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library applauded the report, and noted accomplishments by staff that Ms. Schneider’s presentation had highlighted.
Ms. Ellen Egbert, Bernal Heights Branch user, noted that as a believer in “to do” lists she was pleased hear many tasks checked off as accomplished.
Mr. Peter Warfield spoke about explanatory documents not being available earlierand his concerns with omissions in the report.
Commissioner Gomez left the meeting at 5:30pm.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 2003-2006 STRATEGIC PLAN STATUS REPORT
Commissioner Bautista found the report a useful summary of the Library’s accomplishments. The Commissioners applauded report of expanded community outreach and bookmobile visits activities. Commissioner Chin expressed appreciation for the expanded outreach to schools. In response to a query by Commissioner Bautista, the City Librarian reported that there would be discussion of security related issues at an upcoming Library Commission meeting. Commissioner Kane noted the amazing amounts of progress documented since the strategic plan was adopted and urged consideration of development of long range plans in addition to the next multi-year strategic plan. Commissioner Chin noted the importance of considering options should funding again become tight in coming years. Commissioner Munson found the report great deal of dense written material to digest and suggested that future presentations consider using charts to graphically present some of the data to make its absorption easier. Commissioner Munson noted that the report could facilitate in-depth future discussions of each of its elements but that it reflected a good job being done by Library staff. Vice President Coulter noted as one who had participated in the development of the strategic plan that the process had been cumbersome and somewhat laborious. The Commission Vice President suggested that for future strategic planning efforts the Library consider using a simpler, tighter focused business like planning model, which could be more accessible and actively involve more input. Vice President Coulter in particular lauded the “Shades” programs as meeting the Library’s important role in preserving the community history. Commissioner Chin suggested that for future discussion there be a break down of individual topic areas so that steps to discuss these issues in more concrete way could be facilitated, noting that she was glad that the Library was being proactive rather than reactive.
AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
Friends of the Library Executive Director Donna Bero thanked the Commissioners for their hard work on behalf of our libraries in the face of what she found to be excessive and unwarranted criticism by a few. Ms. Bero then brought the Commissioners up to date on the Friends sponsored “Poets Eleven” program being conducted in conjunction with San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman. The Friend’s Executive Director reported on the very successful closing party for the Western Addition Branch Library; thanking Safeway stores and the San Francisco Buddhist Church for their generosity in providing food and cooking for the event. Ms. Bero then reported that the Capital Campaign for Neighborhood Libraries was in high gear with many already active neighborhood committees and new committees being formed. The Friend’s Executive Director concluded this months report noting that the presentation on the Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection was a good example of the Friend’s productive relationship with the Library.
Commissioner Kane left the meeting at 6pm.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented that the Library, as a public institution, should not be run on a business basis.
Mr. Peter Warfield offered comments not germane to this agenda item.
AGENDA ITEM #7 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
As the Commission was about to lose it quorum, City Librarian Herrera presented an abbreviated report. The City Librarian presented a brief update on this year’s One City One Book Program featuring The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea. The City Librarian reported on the fast start of this year’s citywide reading Program at recent August 30th school visit where Mayor Newsom had participated in an interesting and exciting discussion of this book with students. Mr. Herrera then called the Commission’s attention to the upcoming celebration in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Library’s African American Affinity Center to be held on November 17, 2006 beginning at 6:30pm. Mr. Herrera concluded his report with a snapshot summary of this year’s very successful Summer Reading Program which had involved 9,500 children and more than 200 Teens.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public regretted the brevity of the City Librarian’s report.
Ms Ellen Egbert called attention to an upcoming one City One Book program at the Bernal Heights Branch Library.
Mr. Peter Warfield was glad the report was presented.
AGENDA ITEM # 8 LABOR UNION REPORT
No report was offered.
AGENDA ITEM # 9 NEW BUSINESS
No new business items were proposed
AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Munson to adjourn the regular September 7, 2006 Public Library Commission meeting.
ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez; Kane, and Munson)
The September 7, 2006 Public Library Commission meeting adjourned at 6:12pm
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 9/8/06 revised
Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Explanatory 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)& 67.28(d).
Minutes of the Library Commission Meeting September 7, 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.