Library Commission Minutes - January 6, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION (As approved Feb. 5, 2004) Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, January 6, 2004 The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 6, 2004 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:11pm. The following members were present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets and Strobin. Agenda Items: 1) Richmond Branch Library Naming 2) Public Comment 3) Approval of Minutes of November 6, 2003 5) Approval of the Minutes of December 4, 2003 6) City Librarian's Report 7) 03/04 and 04/05 Library Budget Update 8) Main Library POE Report 10) Friends of the Library Report 9) Library History Plaques 11) Labor Union Report 12) New Business ADJOURNMENT APPENDIX A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #1 RICHMOND BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING (cont’d. from Dec. 4, 2003) President Higueras noted that Agenda item #1 was continued from the regular meeting of December 4, 2003 and announced that public comment would be taken from those who did not testify on this item at the December meeting for 2 minutes as was the time limit set at the previous meeting. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 RICHMOND BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING (cont’d. from Dec. 4, 2003) Ms. Deborah Doyle, Chair of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library spoke in favor of renaming the Richmond Branch Library to honor the contributions of Senator Marks in recognition and honor of his record of support for libraries and his contributions to the betterment of the community. Ms. Vicky Arno, lifelong Richmond resident and Native American, expressed her strong support for renaming the Richmond Branch Library citing Senator Marks outstanding career of public service and his particular concern for and support of American Indians. Mr. Norman Colliver, Esq., offered comments in support of renaming the Richmond Branch Library in honor of Senator Marks citing his 45 years of working closely with the Senator on projects to benefit the community. Mr. Chris Bowman, Secretary, San Francisco Republican Party, spoke in support of adding the name of Senator Milton Marks to that of the Richmond Branch Library citing his half century of service as a judge, and State Senator. Mr. John Friedlander, expressed his strong support for renaming the Richmond Branch Library in recognition of the wonderful things which Senator Marks had accomplished on behalf of the community. Mrs. Carolene Marks remarked that it had been a long road to reach this point and then cited the ways in which all of the requirements of the Library’s Facilities Naming Policy had been met. Mrs. Marks then offered her thanks and that of her entire family to all of those who came forward to honor the memory of the late Senator. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #1 RICHMOND BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING (cont’d. from Dec. 4, 2003) Commissioner Bautista recalled first meeting Senator Marks in the 1960s and cited his active involvement in countless community affairs, noting in particular his regular participation in Filipino -American community events. Commissioners Bautista observed that his way of responding to those who sought his help was more that of a concerned relative than a political office holder. Vice President Steiman noted that in her view the requirements of the Commission’s Facilities Naming Policy had been met and a clear case had been made that the renaming of the Richmond Branch Library enjoyed the genuine support of the community. Commission Coulter, recalling his own experience as a legislator, noted when a former elected official was being considered for such an honor that it was important that the individual far exceed what is expected of an office holder. Commissioner Coulter noted that in the course of the yearlong discussion of this proposal it became clear that Senator Marks was an extraordinary individual who made himself accessible to everyone in the community. In particular, Commissioner Coulter found persuasive the thoughtful testimony of the Senator’s son, his former Chief of Staff, and a transgender activist. Commissioner Chin lauded Senator Mark’s involvement in and support for the community but maintained her view that naming Libraries and schools should be reserved for heroic figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Cesar Chavez. Commissioner Coulter clarified that should the renaming proposal be approved that the original geographical and historic name on the landmark branch library building would remain unchanged with the new name noted on an interior plaque in a manner similar to that of the Noe Valley-Sally Brunn Branch Library. Vice President Steiman noted that the Commission’s naming policy took into account of three kinds support that would recommend approving a name change, pointing to its basis in a desire to reflect the community's wishes and citing as example the case of the Eureka Valley-Harvey Milk Branch Library. Commissioner Bautista cited the strong neighborhood advocacy for renaming the Richmond Branch Library to honor its local son Senator Marks. President Higueras commented that the renaming process raised many issues but that it was clear that there was impressive community support for this proposal. President Higueras noted that when the Commission had revised its Facilities Naming Policy it had deliberately set the bar high but not so high that it overlooked the importance of honoring a community's memory. President Higueras noted that it was unlikely that we would again see the like of Senator Marks, who as Commissioner Coulter had noted, as an elected official must be shown to have exceeded the usual expectations of public service. President Higueras suggested that Senator Marks’ welcoming of all and his efforts to bring everyone into the community exactly reflected a goal of the library to be accessible to all and to enrich all of the community. He noted that his example would be seen as a gesture to the future encouraging those using the library to follow his example of service to the community. President Higueras concluded by noting that, while he shared some of the concerns expressed, that he was supportive of the proposed renaming of the branch to honor Senator Marks. MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Strobin that the Richmond Branch Library be renamed the Richmond-Senator Milton Marks Branch Library. ACTION: 6-1 AYE (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Strobin, and Streets,) NO (Chin) Mrs. Marks rose to express the thanks and appreciation of her entire family for the Commission’s action in honoring her late husband. Commissioner Strobin left the meeting at 4:49pm. President Higueras noted that Agenda Item #4 Approval of the Minutes of the special meeting of November 13, 2003 would be continued to the meeting of January 20, 2004. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #2 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public, noting that a new Mayor was about to take office’ expressed thanks to the members of the Library Commission for their service. This individual urged that, after leaving office members of the Commission attend a meeting as members of the public. Mr. Peter Warfield, commenting that this may be the last meeting of this Commission, offered thanks for their service, noting that attending Commission meetings had provided an education about the library and other subjects, although not all of the lessons learned had been good. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 6, 2003 Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 6, 2003 An anonymous member of the public noted that the Commission was behind in its approval of past meeting minutes and suggested that these minutes were reported in a manner that avoided discussion of controversies. This person noted that they believed that comments attributed to the City Librarian, Commissioner Coulter, and Commissioner Chin regarding public comments offered in opposition to the Library’s Prop. 14 applications in Sacramento were inaccurately y reported as were this person own remarks critical of Supervisor Daly. Mr. Peter Warfield observed that the minutes obliterated history, citing comments he had offered concerning the issue of RFID in the Library’s Strategic Plan, his praise for Commissioners who proposed cautionary changes in the plan language, and the lack of report of the City Librarian’s comments concerning an enlightening conference call about the scoring of the Library’s Prop. 14 (State Library Bond Act) applications. COMMISSION discussion of AGENDA ITEM # 3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 6, 2003 Commissioner Coulter and the City Librarian noted that they felt the minutes correctly reflected the substance of the discussion about opposition expressed in Sacramento to the Library’s Prop. 14 (State Library Bond Act) applications by the two members of the public. MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the Minutes of the regular meeting of November 6, 2003. ACTION: 6-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets,) Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF DECEMBER 4, 2003 An anonymous member of the public noted that President Higueras was inaccurately listed as being present, that there were inaccuracies in the reporting of discussion of the Minutes, a mistaken reference to a Commission meeting on November 4th, and omissions in the Branch Library Improvement Program Manager’s Report. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that his comments concerning the renaming of the Richmond Branch Library were not correctly reported. Mr. Warfield suggested that his comments concerning seismic safety improvements being undertaken immediately at the Richmond Branch and President Higueras directing him to the BLIP Manager were also not properly reported. COMMISSION discussion of AGENDA ITEM # 5 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF DECMBER 4, 2003 President Higueras requested that the Secretary correct a mis-spelling of Manager in the BLIP Manager’s Report titles and recalled that he had suggested that Mr. Warfield to contact Ms. Thompson to obtain responses to his detailed questions. MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Bautista for approval of the Minutes of the regular meeting of December 4, 2003 as amended. ACTION: 6-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #6 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT City Librarian Susan Hildreth presented a report on: the California Library Association (CLA) Conference, noting that she would be serving as CLA President during 2004; information on the American Library Association (ALA) Mid-Winter Conference in San Diego; a report on the 12/21/03 emergency closure of the Library system; a 2003/04 circulation statistics report; Proposition 14 (State Library Bond Act) applications revisions; and Exhibits and programs (copy attached). Prior to these remarks, Ms. Hildreth informed the Commissioners that the Library’s Tool Lending Center would reopen in its previous location under its new management, the Clean City Coalition, during the week of January 19th. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public expressed shock at the announced re-opening of the Tool Lending Center under a new management, suggesting that significant policy issues involved had not been discussed before the Commission, and expressing dismay that there were no details available to members of the public in writing. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed disappointment that there were no written reports of the details of the circulation statistics discussed in Ms. Hildreth's report and suggested that a written report be made available that included adjustment of the reported figures so that any differences with previous circulation reports could be understood. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT In response to a question by Vice President Steiman, the City Librarian explained how the new online system allowed for circulation figures to more accurately reflect systemwide as well as the Main Library and individual branch circulation figures. Ms. Hildreth noted that while there was an apparent drop in Main Library circulation what in fact had occurred was simply more accurate tracking and reporting of the real originating location of materials circulating throughout the system. The City Librarian promised more detailed figures would become available soon. In response to a question by President Higueras concerning safeguards against a repetition of the problems previously experienced at the Tool Lending Center, Ms. Hildreth noted that the contract had been administered through the City's RFP (request for proposals) process and proposed to present a more detailed briefing on the Tool Lending Center to the Commission at a future meeting. Ms. Hildreth also confirmed that emergency protocols were in place and were activated to respond to emergency situations such as the reported December 21st power outage but that they could stand some further improvement in light of that experience. Ms. Hildreth noted in response to a question by Commissioner Bautista that normally the Commissioners would be informed concerning any emergency situations that occurred. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #7 03/04 and 04/05 LIBRARY BUDGET UPDATE Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 03/04 and 04/05 LIBRARY BUDGET UPDATE An anonymous member of the public noted that the budget outlook was full of uncertainties and in a state of flux. This person noted the size of the reported budget reserve and noted that they had recalled a larger figure being previously reported. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that not a great deal of information was available but noted that the Library appeared to be luckier than other City departments. Mr. Warfield suggested that it would be helpful if the Commissioners considered and approved a list of pre-set priorities should any budget reductions be required. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #7 03/04 and 04/05 LIBRARY BUDGET UPDATE President Higueras noted that the current report was but a snapshot of where things were at this moment in a very fluid situation and requested that the Finance Director report new information as quickly as it becomes available. In response to a question by Vice President Steiman, Mr. Nichols commented that it was very likely that there would be additional efforts to tap any unexpended Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund) reserves given the overall City budget picture. Mr. Nichols reported the current reserve at $2.2 million with an anticipated additional $1.5 million in Prop. E revenues likely this year. Commissioner Bautista suggested that the Commission consider preparing a list of Library related needs such as deferred maintenance so that all of the Prop. E funds could be allocated to Library uses rather than being left available to be appropriated for use by other City departments. President Higueras noted that there would be three Commission meetings before February 20th so that there should be time enough to receive staff reports, carefully consider needs, and establish priorities. President Higueras call a brief recess at 6:15pm. The Public Library Commission returned to session at 6:27pm -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #8 MAIN LIBRARY POE REPORT Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun brought the Commissioners up to date on the new signage contract and installation schedule, and other recently completed Phase 1 Main Library Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) related projects. Ms. Lawhun then discussed aspects of the planning for the First Floor improvements in Phase 2. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood next discussed developments at the Library Support Services Center located at 190-9th Street. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #8 MAIN LIBRARY POE REPORT Mr. Peter Warfield expressed dismay that there was no written report available on this item and inquired regarding aspects of several of the issues reported. Mr. Warfield lauded the proposed ergonomic improvements reported, citing reported Librarian’s Guild concerns about repetitive stress injuries resulting from increased mouse use. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #8 MAIN LIBRARY POE REPORT In response to a question by President Higueras, Ms. Lawhun reported that work being done by TriCo was complete and that everything would be checked out before final payment was made. President Higueras reiterated the importance of ongoing reports of key indicators on ongoing projects and asked that future report use the standard format that had been previously used. He noted this simplified the task of keeping track of progress of the many details of several ongoing projects. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood acknowledged that this report was brief, noting that a more complete Quarterly Report using the previous format would be available to the Commissioners in April. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Underwood proposed to organize tours of 190-9th Street for Commissioners wishing to inspect the new facility. President Higueras called Agenda Item #10 Friends of the Library Report out of order in view of the likely lengthy discussion that would occur for Agenda Item # 9, Library History Plaques. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #10 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT Martín Gómez, Executive Director of the Friends of the Library, presented a brief report on their recent activities calling attention to the Friends Annual reception to be held on January 13th and highlighting the providing of Letters of Credit in support for FF&E, (furniture. fixtures, and equipment), to constitute the 35% required Prop. 14 matching funds for Branch Library Improvement Program projects. Mr. Martín Gómez announced the end of the 23-year long business relationship between the Friends of the Library and City Arts & Lectures. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #10 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT (None offered) Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #10 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT In response to a question by Commissioner Streets, Mr. Gómez reported that the business relationship with City Arts & Lectures had produced insufficient benefit for the Friends to continue the relationship and that the Friends would be undertaking to produce their own literary series in the future. In response to a query by President Higueras, Mr. Gómez confirmed that the Letters of Credit were for each branch and were intended to provide the 35% in local matching funds for FF&E (furniture, Fixtures, & equipment) required by Prop. 14, (State Library Bond Act). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #9 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES Commissioner Steve Coulter outlined briefly the yearlong effort and contributions from a wide array of library staff, Friends of the Library, and members of the Community in developing the many drafts of the proposed Library Wall of Heroes text. Commissioner Coulter also noted the contributions of Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes also by his colleagues Commissioner Chin, Bautista, Steiman, as well as former Library Foundation Executive Director Sherry Thomas and Friends & Foundation Executive Director Chuck Forester. Commissioner Coulter noted that the addition of the large quotes gave the plaques added visual interest and noted several editorial and factual details that yet remained to be ironed out. Commissioner coulter reported that the plaques as a commemorative artwork were reviewed by the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities and appropriate signage in various formats would be placed near the plaques with information including ways to link to the detailed web version of the history to facilitate greater accessibility. Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes addressed the details of the minor signage in alternative formats that would be made available as well discussed how accessibility questions related to the plaques were addressed. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #9 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES An anonymous member of the public expressed a preference that the initial version of the plaques be used instead of the later revisions. This person commented that they wished to go on the record supporting this proposal, suggesting that the plaques invite comment and discussion that would also invite revisionist interpretations. Mr. Peter Warfield found the effort put into the plaques commendable, commenting that words were important to libraries and anything that provided a hook that caused visitors to ask questions and inquire further was terrific. Mr. Warfield noted that flaws were inevitable and that a perfect text would not be possible to achieve, suggesting that the motion approving these plaques be specific regarding the leeway allowed in making changes and that these changes be made known to the public. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #9 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES In response to questions by President Higueras Commissioner Coulter reported that, allowing for a final review and minor changes, the plaques, could be ready for installation fairly soon. Vice President Steiman clarified that what was being requested was approval of the draft text of the proposed Library history dated January 6 with allowance for non-substantive grammatical and factual correction/clarifications. Commissioner Chin questioned the use of the "Olde English" style lettering on the enlarged quotes, suggesting that contemporary typefaces would be more readable. President Higueras suggested a professional grammarian might be the best arbitrator of that question. Commissioner Chin requested replacing a pg. 9 of text generic quotation about books, with a similar-sized quotation that spoke to and represented the Asian cultures of so many of the Library’s users. Commissioner Bautista requested inclusion of a brief statement about the Library’s Community Redistribution Program that had made the Library’s discards available to libraries in countries around the world. Commissioner Coulter suggested that if Commissioner Chin could provide an appropriate quotation within the next week, he could replace the designated Page 9 quote with it. There followed a brief discussion among the Commissioners and with the Deputy City Attorney regarding how a motion could be crafted that would approve the placement of the Library Wall of Heroes Plaques and the proposed Library history text while allowing for the minor nonsubstantive changes to be made by delegation of discretion to Commissioner Coulter as had been discussed. MOTION: by Commissioner Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Streets for approval of the placement and text, and associated web text of the proposed Library History Plaques with the proviso that a Page 9 quotation beginning "Within Books" would be replaced by an Asian quotation to be provided by Commissioner Chin, for addition of a sentence concerning the Library’s "Community Redistribution Program", and with minor fact checking and stylistic changes allowed to be added or subtracted at the discretion of Commissioner Coulter Commissioner Bautista expressed concern that the Commission would consider approval of inclusion of unknown quotation without a public discussion of it. ACTION: 5-1 AYE (Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets,) NO (Bautista) President Higueras thanked Commissioner Coulter on behalf of the Commission for undertaking and completing the difficult task of writing the Library’s history. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #11 LABOR UNION REPORT (None presented) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #12 NEW BUSINESS President Higueras proposed placing on an upcoming meeting agenda a discussion of words of wisdom that the members of the Commission might wish to offer to their successors as their term in office wends to its conclusion. President Steiman requested scheduling of an agenda item to discuss ways to defend the Library Preservation Fund (Prop. E 1994) against diversion to non-library uses in this current difficult budget cycle. Commissioner Streets raised the issue of City Attorney opinion concerning the legality of diversion of Prop. E funds to non-library related uses. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #12 NEW BUSINESS An anonymous member of the public found all of the proposed topics for agenda items of value, noting the importance of preserving institutional memory and of reflective assessment of what the Commission had done. This person also agreed that it was important that Prop. E is respected. Mr. Peter Warfield thanked Commissioner Bautista for requesting that any changes in the Library History be discussed before the public and commented that he had liked the quotation being eliminated. Mr. Warfield further commented that he supported discussion of the proposed topics, noting that he believed it important that the Board of Supervisors be informed of the Commission’s concerns that legality of Prop. E expenditures be maintained. Mr. Warfield also suggested that the requirement that the requester pay any costs associated with a branch library’s renaming be changed so that the Library would absorb these costs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ADJOURNMENT MOTION:by Commissioner Streets, seconded by Commissioner Steiman that the meeting be adjourned. ACTION: 6-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets,) The meeting was adjourned at 7:42pm. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 2/06/04 Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of December 4, 2003 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. The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting. 1 Public comment available for viewing in pdf format. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Web site. Additional materials not listed as explanatory documents, 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).
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