Minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 18, 2007


(As approved at the regular meeting on November 1,  2007)


The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, October 18, 2007, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:40 pm


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


Commissioner excused:  Kane




An anonymous citizen said he has been out on the campaign trail.  He said President Higueras wrote a letter to the Bay Guardian saying that it was ludicrous to imagine that the library would be swayed by the sum of money that the Friends and Foundation donate.    He said the roles seem to have been reversed in the support and opposition of Prop D and what the two sides have in common is that both sides recognize that it is really all lies.


Sue Cauthen, Library Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC), passed out a resolution that the LCAC unanimously adopted the previous night regarding the Controller’s audit.  She said she told the members of the LCAC that this would probably be the most important thing they would be doing all year. She said the LCAC is recommending that the Board of Supervisors adopt a resolution urging San Francisco Public Library and the Department of Public Works to make operational changes recommended in the Controller’s audit by January, 2008, and to establish a mechanism to monitor and report (to the Board of Supervisors and the public) on implementation and continued compliance.  She said they further recommended that additional performance audit/s of the 2000 library bond issue be conducted in a timely manner and that the library and/or DPW fund future independent reviews.


President Higueras asked that she relate to the LCAC that the Commission very much appreciates their encouragement.


Ellen Egbert, Bernal Heights, said the Bernal Heights Library Campaign has several fundraising events scheduled with the Gabriel Sharing Fund on October 18-20.  She also passed around the new Bernal Heights calendar that will be on sale for $10 and said that all the proceeds go to the Bernal Library Fund.  She said since March she has been putting her public comment fund contributions aside to go to the Bernal branch and it has now exceeded $500 so she said she now has a naming opportunity for a chair and she said it remains to be seen what name she will memorialize.


Peter Warfield said he was disappointed that there wasn’t an agenda item on the expanded hours at the branch libraries.  He said that 4,900 people had been surveyed and the majority wanted expanded afternoon hours.  He said 41% wanted Sunday afternoons and 18% Monday afternoons. He said only a minority of the new hours are on Sundays.  He said the Mondays that have been added do not have evening hours.  He said he is glad there are more hours but disappointed that there are not more Sunday hours.


Anne Wintroub, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library (Friends) gave an update on the Proposition D campaign.  She said there is incredible support from community groups and individuals.  She said they have received endorsements from the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Chronicle.




An anonymous citizen said the secretary of the Commission often misses the point but that the minutes are at least into the territory of meaningful.  He said on the first page of the minutes where he said that the “out of control report as seen by outsiders” is a juxtaposition of what it looks like to insiders, which is it looks like it is on schedule, on budget, on program.  He said the secretary does not have the background to know the history of this statement.  He said there were also problems with his comments on page 4 with respect to the Controller’s report.


Peter Warfield said it was nice to read minutes that one could say about them good job.  He said he would like one word removed on page 2 under his comments.  It now reads “. . .the campaign advocating for the passage of Prop D apparently continues to provide no information about the important aspects of the measure . . . .  He would like the word “the” removed to clarify his comments.


Commissioner Coulter suggested that the word “the” be deleted as suggested by Peter Warfield.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said that there should be a correction on page one to identify Francesca Gessner as Deputy City Attorney rather than Deputy City Librarian.


Motion:  By Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Munson to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 20, 2007, as amended to delete the word “the” on page 2 from Peter Warfield’s remarks so that it will read “. . . the campaign advocating for the passage of Prop D apparently continues to provide no information about important aspects of the measure. . . “; and to correct the identification of Francesca Gessner as Deputy City Attorney rather than Deputy City Librarian.


Action:  AYES 6-0: (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Higueras and Munson)




Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager, said that there were no informational or special reports.  She gave the regular monthly reports which include the budget, schedule, active projects, construction and community outreach.  She said the Budget Report includes the Baseline Budget, which is the budget the Commission approved in October, 2001 and the budget approved in June, 2007.  She said the schedule report has been reformatted in accordance with recommendations that have been made in the Controller’s report.  She said it is a summary level report that is broken down by project in alphabetical order.  She said the active projects are in color and the completed projects are not.  She said each project has the original schedule, the last approved schedule and the forecast.  She said the budget information is also included in the report.   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 gave the Active Projects Report including information on new construction and renovations; and the Construction Report.  She showed photographs of some of the projects currently in construction including Noe Valley, Western Addition, Richmond and the trailers at Portola.  She gave the Community Outreach report and said there would be a Community meeting in Visitacion Valley on October 25.  She said other events the library would participate in include the Portola Festival, the Bernal Fiesta on the Hill and the Potrero Hills Festival.  She concluded by showing photographs of the opening celebration of the Glen Park branch.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, thanked Commissioner Coulter for representing the Commission at the Glen Park branch opening, and said he wanted to thank the hundreds of people involved in this opening.  He said the Friends of the Library put on a wonderful event for the community.


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said the tables in the report were much more readable.  He said the Controller’s report certainly had its effect on improving these reports.  He said the copies of the report were much better; however, the copies of the slides were substantially worse.  He said there were a number of dates that were mentioned orally but that were part of the report.  He said he was at the Glen Park branch opening as well. 


Peter Warfield said the Glen Park opening was very festive and although he has not been happy with a library on the second floor as a matter of principle he said that it was an enlarged facility and the light was terrific.  He said he appreciates the improvements in the reports especially the Library Commission’s Schedule Report.  He asked what the source was for what is called the original schedule.  He said the audit report made some comments that were soft selling problems and gave some examples.  He asked the Commission to look into some of these issues.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Coulter asked about the rebidding of the Ingleside project.


Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager, said they were hoping to get a similar number of bids for the project with the rebid but without the protests.


Commissioner Coulter said the Glen Park building is quite handsome and he was happy he had a chance to speak with the architect.  He said the library has been differentiated from the rest of the building and the lighting is terrific.  He said he has been to several of these openings now and he wanted to comment on the attitude of staff.  He said in 1991 one of the things the Commission wanted to work on was staff pride.  He said at the time due to lack of funds and other things, staff was depressed and angry.  He said the increase in funding has certainly helped turn things around but it is also due to the leadership of management.  He said Brian Bannon, Chief of Branches should be congratulated as well as Luis Herrera, City Librarian, for putting the team together.  He said they have certainly helped turned things around.  He said it is very positive now with both the community being proud of their institution and the employees of the library saying “isn’t it great I work for the library.”


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said that throughout the library organization we are pushing for a culture of engagement and letting people take ownership and feel like they are involved in decisions at different levels of the organization.  He said he was delighted that Commissioner Coulter had noticed the effect of those efforts and said they will continue with those efforts.


President Higueras said that he was out of town for the opening of the Glen Park branch but he did have a chance to see the building before hand and he said he thought it was one of our best achievements.  He said this project was fraught with a lot of apprehension from the neighborhood and concern about the impact of the project.  He said it is heartening to see that some of those fears have been responded to and overcome.  He said this partnership was a reasonable alternative to a stand alone library for this neighborhood. 


Commissioner Bautista said that this is the second condo project the library has been involved with and that this worked out well because of the previous experience.  She said she was very happy for the Glen Park community because this is what they have been waiting for for many years.  She was happy with the Friends, the community and everyone involved who participated in making this a community project.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the program room at Glen Park has state of the art equipment and he thinks it will be heavily used.  He said Dave Schwabe from Media Services put together a wonderful slide presentation of the history of Glen Park that was shown during the opening.  He said it was one of the hits of the celebration and he wanted to thank him for that.  He also said the Public Affairs group did a great job with the opening as well.




MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Munson, to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, October 18, 2007. 


Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.


ACTION:  AYES: 6-0.  (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Higueras, and Munson).


The regular meeting of October 18, 2007, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 5:36 pm


Sue Blackman

Commission Secretary


Please note:  These are draft minutes subject to revision by the Public Library Commission.  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).