SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, December 1, 2005.
(As approved amended January 5, 2006)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, December 1, 2005 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
Commissioners present: Bautista, Coulter, Gomez, Kane, and Strobin.
Commissioners excused: President Higueras, and Commissioner Chin
A quorum was present
Vice President Coulter announced that as Agenda Item #2, the Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee Report would be taken up at 5PM or soon thereafter and the remaining Agenda Items would be taken up in the posted order until that time.
AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public spoke about: opposition to the Friends of the Library; and recollections of their history with the Library.
Ms. Eli Aramburo, Friends Advocacy Committee, lauded the work of the Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee and the Summary Report on SFPL & RFID.
Ms. Karen Knowles-Pearce, Friends of the Library, spoke about: recent Mission Bay neighborhood programs sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Ms. Ellen Egbert, Bernal Heights resident, spoke against: Supervisor Ammiano’s pending Board of Supervisor’s Resolution concerning the Bernal Heights Branch Library.
Mr. Peter Warfield spoke about: the work of the Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee (LT &PAC) and the availability of RFID related materials at the Library.
AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 3, 2005
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 3, 2005
An anonymous member of the public spoke about: continuing inaccuracies in previously approved Minutes, and lack of detail and errors in these Minutes.
Mr. Kimo Crossman clarified his public comment concerning that a listing of “outstanding” public records requests be made available.
Mr. Peter Warfield spoke about: Meeting minutes as Commission history; clarified his concerns about “no Browsing” notices posted the Library; and regarding the Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 3, 2005
Commissioners Bautista and Gomez decried the protracted amounts of time the Commissioners routinely spend addressing approval of previous meeting Minutes.
Commissioner Gomez urged that in future Minutes hew closely to the requirements of law. Commissioner Bautista recommended that dissatisfied members of the public submit written comments for attachment to the Minutes.
In response to Commissioner’s comments, Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes again reviewed the legal requirement s for Commission Meeting Minutes, citing the Board of Supervisor’s model of reporting their minutes as a good example. Ms. Barnes noted that those dissatisfied with the Minutes report of their comments could submit public comment summary statements if they wished to do so.
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd by Commissioner Gomez for approval of the Minutes of the regular Library Commission meeting of November 3, 2005 with a clarification of Mr. Crossman’s public comment about “ outstanding” public records requests.
ACTION: 5-0 aye (Bautista, Chin, Gomez, Kane, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
City Librarian Herrera announced Mr. Roberto Lombardi had been selected be the Library’s Director of Maintenance and Operations.
Next, the City Librarian reported on the results of the recent Library Satisfaction Survey calling and noted these user comments were taken very seriously. Mr. Herrera noted the survey was developed with the assistance of a professional consultant and had been made available in multiple languages.
Kathy Lawhun, Chief of the Main Library discussed public training classes offered by the Library citing the 312 classes , 19 lectures offered, and reported that programs were available in Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese. Ms. Lawhun called attention to various types of public training classes such as: Internet research; email use: and word processing. The Chief of the Main Library reported that public training classes were also available in branch libraries citing the Chinatown Branch Library’s 35 public training classes and 14 offered at Ocean View Branch Library. Ms. Lawhun highlighted other program offerings such as: special art; music; and travel classes. The Chief of the Main Library next described a series of lunchtime Brown Bag lectures, and programs that related to special Library collections s such as those about classical music held near the Library’s extensive sheet music collections. The Chief of the Main Library concluded by noting that each month’s trainings and programs were reported in the current editions of “At the Public Library”.
The City Librarian then discussed some of the upcoming exhibits and programs at the Library during January 2006 highlighting Carl Winters’ African Piano Program in the Main Library’s Fisher Children’s Center, system wide appearances by Chinese Lion Dances honoring the Lunar “Year of the Dog”, and a January 28th 3rd Street Theatre Troupe presentation at the Ocean View Branch Library. Additionally, the City Librarian called attention to this year’s Teen
art contest to design the logo and materials for the 2006 Teen Summer Reading Program themed “Read”. Mr. Herrera also noted upcoming literary events such as a January 11th “Four Corners of Insanity” Poetry reading; and a January 28th presentation by George Nicosia of “Beat” author Jack Kerouac titled On the Road from East to West and related Jewett Galley exhibit of large roll manuscript of On the Road. The City Librarian concluded with discussion of the Annual Book Works” Exhibit of Bay Area hand book binders from January 14th to March 19th.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented: on new Library Operations Director; the Library Satisfaction Survey, and the programs and exhibitions reported.
Mr. Peter Warfield spoke about the superiority of a fill rate survey; and concerning a Controller’s Office Report.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
Commissioner Larry Kane observed that these surveys were important and that he encouraged the Library’s use of industry best practices in designing and carrying out these surveys. The City
Librarian confirmed that the surveys, while not scientific, were prepared and conducted with the assistance of an expert consultant. Commissioner Kane noted the importance of, and applauded, the public training programs discussed in the City Librarian’s Report. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, the City Librarian outlined how the surveys were conducted. Commissioner Bautista asked if children had participated in the survey and was informed that the survey was open to all users of the Library.
The City Librarian reported that these satisfaction survey’s results were reviewed and carefully studied by staff. Mr. Herrera noted that the Library’s many public training programs were popular with and of vital importance to Library users from newcomers to grandparents as an important free learning opportunity.
Commissioner Kane left the meeting at 5:04PM.
AGENDA ITEM #2 LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
Vice President Coulter introduced discussion of the Summary Report and provided a brief background of the work of the Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee on which he served. Vice President Coulter then invited the Committee members to take their place on the stage to present the Summary Report. The members of the Library Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee included: Betty Williams; Chet Roaman; Deirdre Mulligan; Karen Coyle; Lee Tien Lisa Schiff; Marilyn Smulyan; Mark Vogel; Melissa Riley; Nancy Terranova; Pam Samuelson; Steven Coulter; and Sybil Boutilier.
Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood thanked Advisory Committee Members Mark Vogel, and Deirdre Mulligan who were unable to attend the meeting. Mr. Underwood then introduced Advisory Committee Chair Lisa Schiff, Nancy Terranova, Sybil Boutillier, and Melissa Riley to give a multipart presentation t of the Advisory Committee’s Summary Report on the “San Francisco Public Library and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)”.
Ms. Schiff outlined the recent history of RFID technology, provided background about various uses, and questions about uses of RFID; and presented an overview of the Advisory Committee‘s efforts to gather information about it.
Ms. Nancy Terranova, San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) certified safety
expert then discussed the scientific description of how RFID works. Ms. Terranova then outlined current knowledge concerning any potential for health related risks involved with use of RFID technologies. The Department of Public Health Certified Safety Expert then discussed in some detail the current safety regulations and guidelines recommended for use of such technologies. Ms. Terranova discussed resource literature on this topic as identified on Page 21 of the Report. Ms. Terranova noted that while there was no evidence that exposure to this technology posed any risk but that continued research was needed.
Ms. Schiff then outlined positions taken by the American Library Association (ALA) and its development of guidelines safeguarding privacy, the position taken by Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee, (LCAC), and community groups in opposition such the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna Free Union, SNAFU) that were strongly opposed to use of RFID technologies by the Library
American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Committee member and SFPL staffer Sybil Boutillier began with a discussion of some of the issues of concern with libraries’ use of RFID technologies. Ms. Boutillier then discussed in some detail the process used to consider its use by other libraries. Ms. Boutillier reported the usual next steps would be to put out a Request for Information (RFI) which she noted could be a public process unlike the competitive Request for Proposals process (RFP).
Melissa Riley then discussed the Summary report recommendations, noting the work of an ongoing staff committee, and the need to continue to gather staff and public input on RFID. Ms. Riley concluded noting the importance of the “precautionary Principle” when considering new technologies.
City Librarian Herrera presented an overview of the next steps following the Advisory Committee’s Summary Report. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood lauded the dedication and hard work contributed by the members of the Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee activities, calling particular attention to the crucial contributions made by its Chair, Lisa Schiff.
Vice President Coulter called a brief recess at 6:03pm.
The Commission returned to session at 6:08pm.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented: on the Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee’s activities; about a lack of proof reading the Summary Report, and that the report was structured to discourage its being read.
Ms. Cathy Bremer, Librarian’s Guild, presented the written Public Comment on the RFID Summary Report submitted by Library Union members.
Mr. Peter Warfield commented on: the Advisory Committee’s work; serious deficiencies in the report; and about the history of RFID and the San Francisco Public Library.
Ms. Nancy Evans, self-identifying as a breast cancer survivor, opposed library use of RFID, and expressed concerns that there were serious related health issues.
Ms. Andrea Grimes, Librarian’s Guild, continued the presentation of the Library Union’s written public comment on the Summary report begun by Ms. Bremer.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
City Librarian Herrera thanked the Advisory Committee members for their dedication and hard work in taking up researching, and seriously considering RFID related concerns. The City Librarian noted that this was another positive step in the Library’s process to consider this new technology. Deputy City Librarian Underwood pointed out that that a formal Request for Information (RFI) process, as had been proposed by the Commission but not funded by the Board of Supervisors in last year’s Library Budget, would have also produced additional useful information. Mr. Herrera observed that it was premature to make a choice and that at this point it was the Library’s position to participate in, listen to, and remain engaged with the ongoing professional and public discussions about its use in libraries.
Commissioner Bauitista thanked the Advisory Committee members for their work, noted that information about health related issues needed to be sought; and looked forward to the Library’s ongoing process of consideration of RFID.
Commissioner Strobin noted that public speakers seemed focused on health related concerns rather than the previously expressed strong focus on user privacy issues. Commissioner Strobin suggested that use should be made of information gained through the more extensive experience with use of RFID by libraries in Europe.
In response, Advisory Committee Member Nancy Terranova, SFDPH, noted that there was only limited information available on health related issues and that the few studies available did not demonstrate health related risks from the levels of electro-magnetic energy used by a RFID chip.
Commissioner Gomez found the Summary Report and the presentation cogent, and observed that there was still not sufficient information on a wide array of issues of concern. Commissioner Gomez commended the Library’s continuing focus on comprehensive research seeking answers to the health-related and user privacy concerns expressed as it considered use of this technology. Commissioner Gomez noted this issue presented to the Library an opportunity to show leadership by doing a meaningful study.
In response to a query by Commissioner Bautista, Chief of the Main Library, Kathy Lawhun discussed expanding use of RFID in European libraries as well discussed an ongoing large scale Texas study of RFID use both in libraries and the private sector.
Vice President Coulter concluded the Commission’s discussion of the Summary Report by noting that through Library staff and the Advisory Committee member’s hard work much useful information concerning RFID had been gained since it was first discussed
as an element in the Library’s current Strategic Plan 18 months previously. Vice President Coulter noted that the Commissioners had asked staff to work with critics of this technology and consider the issues involved in a meaningful way and that this report continued to advance that process. The Commission Vice President noted that RFID had both then potential to resolve materials management and theft problems and yet still had unanswered questions regarding its cost effectiveness, reliability to detect theft, and ability to fully address user privacy concerns.
Additional Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
Ms. Nancy Evans additionally commented on her fears with health related risk associated with RFID as well as other uses of radio wave propagating technologies such as Wi-Fi.
An anonymous member of the public additionally commented as to how the Library had addressed RFID.
At the suggestion of the City Librarian, Vice President Coulter continued AGENDA ITEM #5 SELF PICK-UP OF RESERVES to a future meeting of the Commission.
AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
Marian Chatfield-Taylor of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library presented an update report on the ongoing Campaign for Neighborhood Libraries. Ms. Chatfield Taylor highlighted the recent Friend’s sponsored three day November 4-6th series of activities in the Mission Bay neighborhood. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor then introduced Architect Adele Santos to report in greater detail what had occurred. Ms. Santos discussed the importance in creating a community in this newly developing neighborhood; having as its civic focus the City’s first new neighborhood branch library in 40 years. Mr. Rob Spoor of City Guides spoke about the recent Mission Bay walking tour and similar walking tours of San Francisco’s neighborhoods that this Library affiliated organization has offered to the public for 28 years. Mr. Spoor noted that the Mission Bay walking tour had raised $500 to benefit the new branch library.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented: against contributions to or acceptance of funding from the Friends; and about the “public comment “fund.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
Commissioner Bautista thanked the Friends for their hard work in support of the Library.
AGENDA ITEM # 7 LABOR UNION REPORT
No report was presented.
AGENDA ITEM # 8 NEW BUSINESS
No New Business items were proposed.
AGENDA ITEM #9 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Gomez to adjourn the regular December 1, 2005 Public Library Commission meeting.
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Gomez, and Kane)
The Commission meeting adjourned at 6:58pm
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 1/6/05
Please note: Amendments to these minutes are in an alternative typeface. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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).
Sample Library Satisfaction Survey
City Librarian’s November 28th letter to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors concerning the RFID & SFPL Summary Report
Summary Report on Radio Frequency Identification and the San Francisco Public Library, (October 2005)
Public Comment on the SFPL & RFID Summary Report
(October 17-November 21, 2005)
Library Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee Report to the Library Commission (December 1, 2005)
Minutes of the Library Commission Meeting December 1, 2005
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.