Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, November 2, 2006.
(As approved December 7, 2006)

The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, November 2, 2006 at the Excelsior Branch Library.


The meeting was called to order by Vice President Coulter at 4:11 pm.


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




Betty Parshal, resident of Visitacion Valley, asked that the Visitacion Valley Branch be included in the agenda of November 16th to discuss the status of the project.  She also presented a copy of a letter sent to Supervisor Maxwell which suggests reuse of the current building on the site.


An anonymous citizen stated that over the years the Library Commission has been led by business executives who subscribe and consider themselves aficionados of Machiavelli’s
“The Prince.”   He said that over the year’s Commission Presidents have included State bureaucrats, banking and phone company executives, architects but the most Machiavellian was a high school English teacher. He said the Library should be a source of cultural equality based on social trust.


Peter Warfield expressed pleasure with the new interior of Excelsior and the Louis Poulsen artichoke type ceiling light fixtures.  He found the new meeting room to be cozy.




Public Comment:

An anonymous citizen said that he uses the term “Friends and Foundation” since they are registered as a 501c3 and are required to register with the Registry of Charitable Trusts. He suggested that the Library acted illegally when taking action on a document that was not on the agenda and not provided to anyone.  He said that Brock Estes should have been identified as vice chair of Local 1741 not as a member of the bus driver’s union.



Peter Warfield asked for better and more accurate minutes which would provide a better historical record.  He expressed his concerns regarding policies for not acquiring out-of- print materials and asked that his public comment on item #1 be corrected to “Mr. Warfield then discussed the Library’s non acquisition of out-of-print materials…”


Commissioner Coulter asked the Secretary to check on the title used by Brock Estes and amend the minutes as necessary.  Commissioner Kane asked that the word “non” be included in Peter Warfield’s comment


MOTION: by Commissioner Kane, 2nd by Commissioner Bautista for approval of the minutes of September 21, 2006 as amended.


Action:  4-0 AYE (Bautista, Coulter, Gomez and Kane)




Commissioner Munson arrived at 4:30 pm.


Public Comment:

An anonymous citizen commented that there should have been more detail in these minutes regarding Commissioner Coulter’s remarks about the late Marjorie G Stern and cited this as an example of how history is lost. He commented that Donna Bero’s comments were not included in the minutes.


Commissioner Higueras arrived at 4:33pm.


Peter Warfield stated that the Library’s policy on not providing out-of-print materials that are missing is obscured and hidden on page 1.  He said there is no tracking of lost out-of-print materials and the Library is not routinely replacing them.  He asked for revisions to his comments.


Commissioner Chin arrived at 4:35 pm.


Commissioner Coulter requested that Donna Bero’s remarks be included in these minutes.


MOTION: By Commissioner Munson, 2nd by Commissioner Coulter for approval of the minutes of October 5, 2006 as amended.


ACTION: 7–0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Gomez, Higueras, Kane, Munson)




Luis Herrera introduced Kathy Lawhun, Chief of Main, who described the scope of work for the first floor renovations under POE II plans.  She described the new public areas that will be available when the project is completed.  The complete project schedule will be presented to the Commission in January.


Mr. Herrera highlighted a variety of activities surrounding One City, One Book, the San Francisco Reads program which now is in its last week.  He said the first Joint Librarians of Color Conference which was recently held in Dallas, Texas was very successful with more than one thousand participants.  Six SFPL staff attended.  He reviewed a variety of up-coming literary, adult, teen and children’s programs and exhibitions in the Main and branches.


Public Comment

An anonymous citizen commented that this was the first time there has been no explanatory documents when the POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) has been discussed. He agreed that the One City, One Book was successful because it was about people reading the books.


Commissioner Gomez departed at 4:55pm.


Peter Warfield said it would be helpful to have documentation on the POE renovations. He recalled that the bathroom renovations should have completed by this time.  He said he had one troubling concern with One City, One Book in that he feels the Library provided a gross opportunity for commercialization of this program because of corporate sponsorship.


Commissioner Chin introduced Ann Dalton, SFUSD’s Executive Director of Libraries, Technical and Media Services.  Ms. Dalton noted that one of her goals is to have every child in the SFUSD system have a library card.








Luis Herrera reported that the Library has partnered with the Department of Public Health and the Police Department to address public safety issues.  Kathy Lawhun, Chief of Main, described meetings with representatives from SF HOT (San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team) where problematic behaviors were discussed.  This effort led to a staff survey, staff focus groups and a patron survey.  Two SF HOT workers spent more than 2 weeks in the Main making rounds and meeting with staff to familiarize themselves with the library and assess issues involving problem behaviors.  Staff is currently reviewing the team’s observations but it is clear that more staff training is needed in order to deal with a range of patron mental disorders. A staff focus group will meet with the SF HOT workers in November to plan future trainings. (Copy of Public Safety Plan: Patron Behaviors: Summary of findings from 2006 Main Library Staff Survey, Staff Focus Groups and Patron Surveys attached.)


Roberto Lombardi, Director of Operations & Maintenance, reported that this year’s budget includes a new position, Institutional Police Lieutenant, who will supervise the Security Department.   SFPD Sgt. Pat Kwan is currently the interim Head of Security.  New training is scheduled for security staff and scheduling and deployment of security personnel has been revised to increase security presence at all library locations.


Public Comment

An anonymous citizen commented that the agenda item, as worded, does not let homeless people know that they are being discussed.  He noted that the patron survey only included five questions with yes or no answers while staff was given the opportunity to be thoughtful and wide ranging in their input.


Peter Warfield said the noticed agenda item wasn’t meaningful to the subject matter. He said he wasn’t clear if all the homeless advocacy groups had been contacted and suggested the Library contact these agencies.


President Higueras and Commissioner Munson congratulated the staff for their hard work and for expanding partnerships with other City agencies. Commissioner Bautista asked for better exterior lighting at the Main to discourage overnight campers.




Terry Gwiazdowski, Excelsior Branch Manager, reported that the newly renovated branch now has a wonderful teen space, expanded adult programs and story hours.  There has been a 25% increase in patron visits, circulation has increased 32% and issuance of library cards has increased by 21%. 


Public Comment

Anonymous citizen said that there is wonderful transportation in the neighborhood.  He noted that former Library Commissioner Walter Jebe was instrumental in creating this branch.  He recalled that the former meeting room opened onto the street.


Peter Warfield commented on the attractiveness of the building, the excellent transportation and wished all branches could be open seven days per week.  He complimented the branch staff for being extremely helpful and said that self service checkout can result in a drop in service.  


Commissioner Kane thanked staff for their work in setting up the meeting at the branch. President Higueras said it was very nice to have the meeting in a branch and looks forward to a future meeting to be held at Mission Bay.









Public Comment

An anonymous citizen said that the Commission was making a de facto bylaw change without making a dejure bylaw change because they were taking advantage of the lesser notification requirements.  He reviewed his findings of individual commissioner attendance to date for this calendar year and recommended that the Commission delete the word “consecutive” in this policy when referring to the number of meetings missed by a commissioner.


Peter Warfield suggested that the policy address late arrival and early departure of commissioners.  He felt the policy failed to meet the Mayor’s minimum requirements.


Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes commented that this policy, as drafted, is endorsed by the Mayor.


MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Munson for approval of the Commission Attendance Policy as suggested by Mayor Newsom and the Board of Supervisors including a footnote defining absences; it is the intention of the Commission to amend the Commission bylaws to conform to this policy. (Attendance policy attached.)


ACTION: 6-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin. Coulter, Higueras, Kane and Munson)












MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd by Commissioner Chin to adjourn the regular November 2, 2006 Commission meeting.


Action: 6-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Kane and Munson)


Meeting adjourned at 6:25 pm.








Richard Walsh, Acting Commission Secretary 11/15/06


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 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 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).









Public Safety Plan: Patron Behaviors: Summary of findings from 2006 Main Library Staff Survey, staff focus groups and Patron Surveys attached.

Attendance Policy

BOS resolution urging adoption on attendance policy

Mayor Newsom’s letter related to attendance policy

Commission By-Laws Article III, Section 6: Excused Absences




Minutes of the Library Commission Meeting November 2, 2006


The public comment summary statements included in these minutes are authorized by the 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.