SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION

 

Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, October 5, 2006.

(As approved November 2, 2006)

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, October 5, 2006 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.

 

The meeting was called to order by President Higueras at 4:07pm

 

Commissioners present:  Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Higueras

A quorum was present. Commissioner Gomez joined the meeting at 4:10pm.

Commissioners Kane and Munson were reported excused attendance.

 

President Higueras announced the passing of Library Hero Marjorie Stern and then introduced Vice President Coulter who recalled Ms. Stern’s  monumental contributions to the San Francisco Public Library and in particular highlighted her crucial role in the creation of the Friends of the Library and her ultimately successful decades long effort to build the new Main Library.

 

AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Donna Bero, Executive Director of Friends of the Library, remembered Marjorie Stern for her great tenacity and determination, her ability to reach out and include people in every part of the community, and for her singular sense of style. A memorial fund has been established at Friends.  She said that many people have called to share some wonderful stories about Mrs. Stern.  She suggested that a meaningful memorial be erected at the Main Library.

 

An anonymous member of the public spoke in opposition to the Friends of the Library; suggested that “public comment” should have been offered on the announcement of Ms. Stern’s passing, and recalled aspects Ms Stern’s involvement with the Library.

 

Ms. Jean Feilmoser of the Friend’s of the Library’s Excelsior Branch Library neighborhood committee discussed the great success of the renovated branch library, its popularity and extensive use by the entire neighborhood community; and called attention to an upcoming October 28th donor recognition event honoring contributions made in support of the Branch Library.

 

 Mr. Robert Schultz, Friend of the Library Board member, informed the Commissioners that this year’s four day forty hour Big Book Sale had been the most successful ever, raising $247,000 for our libraries.

 

Mr. Peter Warfield commented that Ms. Stern’s history with the library predated his involvement and had benefited himself and others who had not known her; suggested a display about her contributions be exhibited; and continued his inquiries concerning the Library’s policies on acquiring out-of-print books.

 

 

 

 

Ms. Deborah Doyle, Friends of the Library thanked Vice president Coulter for his heartfelt tribute to Marjorie Stern, recalled her own interactions with Ms. Stern, and noted that Ms Stern vision of a “world class library system” included not only the Main Library but the branches as well. 

 

AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 7, 2006

  

Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 7, 2006

 

An anonymous member of the Public   found these Minutes’ summaries of their comments poor but not bad; citing in particular discussions of the previous meeting minutes and other discussions in response to public comments that were not reported.

 

Mr. Peter Warfield cited several instances where his comments were either omitted or not fully reported, and criticized report of his public comment concerning the September 7th Friend’s Report as not germane to the item. Mr. Warfield felt his comments were responsive to issues that had been raised in Ms. Bero’s report.

 

Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 7, 2006

 

President Higueras noted that the Library Commission meeting while not televised were available in both audio and DVD recordings and recalled the Library Commissioner’s repeated efforts over many years to resolve regular complaints about the content of their meeting’s minutes. President Higueras noted that the Commission’s Meeting Minutes fully satisfied all the requirements of State law and San Francisco’s Sunshine Ordinance.

 

Commissioner Chin again urged that the Minutes be focused on the actions taken by the Commission rather than report of discussion.

 

MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd by Commissioner Chin for approval of the Minutes of the regular Library Commission meeting of September 7, 2006.

 

ACTION: 5-0 Aye (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez, and Higueras)

 

AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT

 

Friends of the Library Executive Director Donna Bero introduced Mr. David Hooper of the friend’s Excelsior Branch Library neighborhood Committee, who provided additional highlights of the extensive programming, collections, and neighborhood activities at the renovated Branch Library. Mr. Hooper highlighted an upcoming author program featuring The Hummingbird’s Daughter author Luis Alberto Urrea, and invited everyone to join in a October 28th celebration recognizing the generosity of donors, especially benefactress Dolores Knight, to the Excelsior Branch Library.

 

Ms. Bero then introduced Friend’s staff member Elena Engle who gave a detailed presentation concerning how the Friends collaborated with library staff in selecting and acquiring furniture, fixtures, and equipment for use in the new and renovated branch libraries.

 

 

Ms. Bero then reported that the Friend’s of the San Francisco Public Library’s Big Book Sale had been the best ever, raising $9,000 more that last year. Ms. Bero then updated the Commissioners concerning the next “Poets Eleven” Program planned for October 17th at the Mission Branch Library.

 

The Friend’s Executive Director concluded her report by thanking Commission Secretary Michael Housh for his efforts on behalf of San Francisco’s public libraries while serving as Secretary to the Library Commission. 

 

Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT

 

An anonymous member of the public opposed giving to the Friends of the Library or accepting funding from the Friends; and noted that they had been unaware that the Friends donated items remaining from their annual book sale to other charities.

 

Mr. Peter Warfield commented about acquisition of furniture, fixtures, and equipment for use in the new and renovated branch libraries saying he had heard nothing in this report about such any discussions being held at public meetings where comments could offered by random members of the public.

 

Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT

 

President Higueras noted that all of these items met standards and specification which had been set by the Library in several lengthy public meetings with the advice and assistance of design professionals through an entirely public process. Furthermore, Commissioner Bautista noted, as all of these items had been privately funded additional public input was not required.

 

President Higueras offered Kudos to the Friends and their many volunteers for the great success of this year’s Big Book Sale. Commissioner Bautista also applauded the success of the Big Book Sale noting its international reputation and honored the dedicated work of the many volunteers who made its success possible. Commissioner Chin questioned those who criticized the work of others benefiting our libraries but who did nothing themselves except complain.

 

Ms. Bero noted that free books for non-profits, teachers, and library staff were available all year long not just at the annual book sale.

 

Commissioner Gomez left the meeting at 5:10pm.

 

AGENDA ITEM #4 WALKER PATENT & TRADEMARK CENTER REPORT

 

Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun introduced Librarian Cella Mitchell for a report on the Brooks Walker Patent and Trademark Center which opened in 1996 and was located on the 5th Floor of the Main Library. Ms. Mitchell presented a detailed overview of the Walker Center’s programs and activities (copy attached) reporting in great deal how the center assisted local inventors to obtain information about how to acquire patents, trademarks, and copywrites.

 

 

Public comment on AGENDA ITEM#4 WALKER PATENT & TRADEMARK CENTER REPORT

 

 

An anonymous member of the public commented that this was a valuable service; recalled that patents had had to be renumbered after a fire caused loss of many records; and noted often overlooked aspects of the unseen influence of patented inventions such as the typewriter on subsequent technologies.

 

Mr. David Pilpel noted that San Franciscan Q. Todd Dickenson had served as President Clinton’s Director of the United States Patent Office.

 

Mr. Peter Warfield found the report food for thought, commented on the name of a plant, and suggested that protection against theft of ideas was yet another reason for protecting privacy at the Library.  

 

Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM#4 WALKER PATENT & TRADEMARK CENTER REPORT

 

In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Mitchell reported that Brooks Walker had been a well known and prolific San Francisco Inventor. Vice President Coulter reported that the Brook Walker Center had been named in his honor after a significant gift to the Library had been made by his family. Commissioner Chin noted recent controversies concerning effort to patent biologicals.

 

President Higueras announced that he was continuing AGENDA ITEMS #5 PUBLIC SAFETY PLANS and AGENDA ITEM #7 LIBRARY COMMISSION MEETINGS SCHEDULE to a future meeting as the Commission could shortly lose it s quorum.

 

AGENDA ITEM #6 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT

 

City Librarian Herrera formally announced the selection of Ms. Jill Bourne, formerly with the Seattle Public Library to be the new Deputy City Librarian and discussed her background, (copy attached). The City Librarian next presented a clarification of the library’s acquisition of out-of-print materials (copy attached) and discussed the process used by selectors.

 

The City Librarian introduced the Chief of Branches Brian Bannon who gave a report on  the opening of an interim “International Languages Center” located in the lower level at the Presidio Branch Library to make available to users portions of the Library’s Japanese, Russian and Chinese Language collections usually maintained at the now “closed for renovation” Western Addition and soon to be closed Richmond Branch Libraries. Mr. Bannon noted that there had been significant increases in circulation at the branch as a result of the Center’s opening.

 

Mr. Herrera then reported on the planned opening next month of a 500 sq, ft reading center operated with a full time librarian at the new Juvenile Hall. The City Librarian next updated the Commissioners on the completion of the landscape project along the Main Library’s Fulton Street greenway.

 

 

 

Mr. Herrera concluded his report with reports of planned Adult, Teen, and Children’s Programs and Exhibition during October.

 

Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT

 

An anonymous member of the public criticized the lack of listing of an explanatory document on the agenda about out-of-print books; found that the City Librarian’s clarification had not answered their questions; and said that they were even more confused than before by what was presented.

 

Mr. Peter Warfield commented that his June 15th questions concerning the Library practices in acquiring out-of-print books remained unanswered and questioned why the explanatory document was not noted on the meeting’s agenda.

 

President Higueras announced that AGENDA ITEM # 8 LABOR UNION REPORT, AGENDA ITEM # 9 NEW BUSINESS would be continued.

 

 

AGENDA ITEM#8 TRIBUTE TO THE COMMISSION SECRETARY

 

Public comment on AGENDA ITEM#8 TRIBUTE TO THE COMMISSIOBN SECRETARY

 

An anonymous member of the public said that they had nothing but praise for the Commission Secretary’s performance of his duties as they had expected and been given no quarter by what they described as a “Clint Eastwood” of Commission Secretaries; citing an experience this person had requesting public records from the Library.

 

Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM#8 TRIBUTE TO THE COMMISSIOBN SECRETARY

 

The City Librarian thanked the Commission Secretary on behalf of the Library’s staff for his nine years of hard work and dedicated public service. Vice President Coulter noted that he as well as Commissioners Higueras and Chin had been involved in the selection of the Commission Secretary years ago and that he wished him well in new duties. Commissioner Chin thanked the Commissioner Secretary for his assistance and support and particularly for providing the M&M’s to sustain Commissioners through their meetings. Commissioner Bautista expressed her thanks and appreciation for the Commission Secretary‘s efforts on her behalf.

 

President Higueras noted that as President he had worked particularly closely with the Commission Secretary, and read into the record (copy attached) the Commission’s Resolution of commendation, thanks and appreciation for a job well done.

 

MOTION: by Commission Bautista, 2nd by Commission Chin for approval of the proposed Resolution of commendation, thanks, and appreciation for Commission Secretary Michel Housh for his nine years of exemplary service as Secretary to the Public Library Commission.

 

ACTION 4-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Higueras)

 

 

 

AGENDA ITEM#10 ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin to adjourn the regular October 5, 2006 meeting “In Memoriam” of the late Library Hero Marjorie Stern.

 

ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Higueras)

 

There be no further business, the September 7, 2006 Public Library Commission meeting adjourned at 6:20pm

 

Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 10/6/06

 

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 October 5, 2006

                                   Appendix A

 

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.