Library Commission Minutes - August 19, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION (As approved amended September 16, 2004) Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, August 19, 2004. The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, August 19, 2004, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order by President Higueras at 4:08pm. The following members were present: Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Streets. Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:14pm. Vice President Steiman and Commissioner Strobin were reported excused attendance Agenda Items: 1) Public Comment 4) Bond Program Manager's Report 2) City Librarian Search Process 3) City Librarian Profile & Recruitment Brochure 5) City Librarian's Report 6) Resolution Honoring Commissioner Fran A. Streets 13) Adjournment APPENDIX A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public quoted from a recent Library Journal editorial and commented on San Francisco Public Library history. Mr. Michael Kwok expressed his frustration as a disabled person at being unable to participate in a City Librarian Search Process community meeting held at the West Portal Library as the West Portal Library was not wheelchair accessible. Mr. Peter Warfield echoed concern with accessibility issues; found the City Librarian Search process rushed, and suggested additional community meetings. Mr. Warfield also recommended readings noted in the cited Library Journal editorial and commented about his complaints against the Library at the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. President Higueras announced that the agenda would be reordered and that the BLIP Manager’s Report would be taken up next followed by the City Librarian Search Process related items. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #4 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT (Presented by Branch Library Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson -This is a discussion item to allow the Branch Library Bond Program Manager to report on recent bond program related activities and make announcements.) Ms. Thompson introduced Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes. Ms Barnes presented a report on the City’s new Disadvantaged Businesses Contracting Policy put into place by the Board of Supervisors as an urgent matter in wake of a recent court decision disallowing contracting policies under the Minority and Women Owned Business Ordinance as an informational presentation at the meeting. The BLIP Manager next presented the current budget and schedule of active projects, a construction report, and community outreach report, (copies attached). Ms. Thompson concluded her report by presenting special reports on the Bond Program’s responses to the Peer Review Panel’s comments concerning the West Portal and Noe Valley Libraries. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public questioned the dating of reports offered and discussed the possible impact of cost escalations in branches such as Ortega when their renovation was delayed. Mr. Michael Kwok urged that better signage for disabled access in all of the branches and called attention to the Disabled Community’s preference for ramped access rather that use of elevators. Mr. Kwok recommended cooperation with the Mayor’s Office on Disability in developing the branch projects. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT President Higueras called attention to the importance of the Commission’s considering the potential overall impact on the Bond Program when some projects are postponed. The Acting City Librarian left the meeting at 5:05pm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS REPORT Library Executive Search Consultant Mr. Hawkins presented a detailed overview of the and review of the ongoing City Librarian Search process focusing particular attention on the information gathered through four staff and seven community input meetings and noting that 60% of the 113 survey forms returned were from library staff, (copy attached). Mr. Hawkins described the responses received and outlined the next steps in the process. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS REPORT An anonymous member of the public described the community meetings as outrageous and suggested that the public process was designed to put a gloss on a secretive closed process noting the Richmond meeting was held behind a closed door. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed concern with the lack of mention of books in Mr. Hawkins’ report and found what he termed blurring of comments appalling. Mr. Warfield commented that too few topics were addressed and too few respondents reached in the process. Ms. Melissa Riley, Branch Librarian/Librarian’s Guild submitted a 1997 Librarians’ Guild statement on the qualities sought in a new City Librarian as well as information conceding the American Library Association (ALA) Core Values Committee on which she serves. Ms Riley also called attention to a recent American Libraries article “Staying Public” that found libraries to be the democratic heart of their communities. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS REPORT The Commissioners each discussed in some detail their experiences at the out-reach meetings that each had attended, calling attention to wide range of views and comments offered. There followed a discussion about importance of the generating publicity and making extensive media outreach during this process and suggestions were made for finding more additional ways, including use of the City Channel, to get the word out to the community concerning the ongoing City Librarian Search. The Commission then discussed qualities they would expect in candidates seeking to become the new City Librarian At the end of this discussion, after responding to a question by Commissioner Bautista concerning inter-relationships and differing views between Main Library and branch staff, Ms. Riley introduced Ms. Faye Roe, the new Local 790, SEIU representative to the Commissioners. The Commission called a brief recess at 6:08pm. The Commission returned to session at 6:23pm -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #3 CITY LIBRARIAN PROFILE & RECRUITMENT BROCHURE Mr. Hawkins presented a proposed design layout for the proposed 11”x17” recruitment Brochure and discussed a proposed text, (copy attached). Mr. Hawkins noted that such brochure were an expected element of most executive search efforts. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 CITY LIBRARIAN PROFILE & RECRUITMENT BROCHURE An anonymous member of the public found the brochure selling the City rather than the job and found troubling the use of terms such as “stakeholder”, suggesting that this was a tool to exclude and the brochure appeared to give a consumer/commercial focus to the position. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that the brochure should be clear on the position’s requirements and call attention to balancing traditional and technical library services, as well as emphasize critical issues facing the Library. Mr. Warfield was troubled by an emphasis he found on fundraising and donor solicitation. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 CITY LIBRARIAN PROFILE & RECRUITMENT BROCHURE Commissioner Coulter questioned the need for such a brochure; finding the proposed example generic and not focused on informing candidates of the real challenges and opportunities presented by the City Librarian’s position. Commissioner Coulter felt the brochure lacked dynamism and should instead note important accomplishments of the Library such as the new Main Library, and improvements of services and collections as well as highlight potential challenges a new Librarian would face. Commissioner Coulter suggested that it be honest about the cauldron of reality candidates for the position would face. Commissioner Coulter noted that the issues facing the new City Librarian should be more fully spelled out in 10 or 12 items bluntly put. He asked about the relative important of several factors including fundraising responsibilities, the necessity that candidates have an MLS Degree, and noted the importance of their being intellectually engaging. This was Commissioner Coulter noted a tough city and a difficult job. President Higueras recommended a shorter brochure focus on the many positives rather than just the few negatives about the position. President Higueras found the proposed brochure glossy and felt there was little need to sell the City to prospective candidates. President Higueras requested that whatever was produced be factual concise and deal with realities. Commissioner Bautista pointed that candidates should be aware of issues such as the challenges in serving the homeless. Commissioner Chin thought that candidates should be encouraged to take up the challenges highlighted. Mr. Hawkins responded to the discussion by noting that the brochure of some kind was an expected tool in most serious executive searches and that he would take all the comments offered and bring back a revised proposal at the September 2 meeting. The Acting City Librarian rejoined the meeting at 6:45pm -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood informed the Commissioners of the details of the final $58.845 million 2004/05 Library Budget as approved by the Board of Supervisors and signed by Mayor Newsom with minimal reductions. Mr. Underwood discussed the Board’s decision to approve on reserve $300,000 in initial funding for RFID and reported that the Library would work cooperatively with the ACLU and EFF to craft a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Library’s RFID system that addressed the concerns raised by members of the public. The Acting City Librarian also reported that because of a perceived to delay in expending a $500,000 allocation of Library Preservation Fund monies for school libraries made last fiscal year, that 80% of the budgeted funds for the salaries of the Deputy City Librarian and Chief of Children & Youth Services had been placed in a reserve pending a review by the Board’s Finance Committee that the earmarked funds had been spent. Mr. Underwood noted that this budget resulted in the Library retaining a $2.429 million Budget reserve. The Acting City Librarian next discussed the impact of “bumping” among city job classifications and how that affected Library staff. The Acting City Librarian then passed around a sign-up sheet listing a proposed schedule for the 28 mandated Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund 1994) branch meetings he proposed be held during September 13 through October 16th. Mr. Underwood requested that the Commissioners to sign up for at least 4 or 5 meetings each. The Acting City Librarian next reported on the completion of a reflooring project for the Chinatown Branch and concluded his report with details of upcoming programs and exhibitions. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public commented that library budget reserves had been proposed to be redirected to provide youth employment, noted that they would have preferred a written report on the proposed Prop. E meetings. This person suggested that pairing the Prop. E meetings limited participation but found good news in the completion of the Chinatown flooring project. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed surprise that the proposed reallocation of library funds for youth employment was a surprise to the Library. Mr. Warfield found lacking the choices for public service hours offered in the Library’s Prop. E survey forms; calling the options offered too limited and not responsive to having public service hours extend to 10pm or on weekend nights. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM#5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT President Higueras asked that additional information concerning the Prop. E meetings be brought back to the Commission at its September 2nd meeting. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #6 RESOLUTION HONORING COMMISSIONER FRAN A. STREETS Commissioner Streets informed her colleagues that she had submitted her resignation to Mayor Newsom and would be leaving the Commission at the end of August. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 RESOLUTION HONORING COMMISSIONER FRAN A. STREETS An anonymous member of the public lauded Commissioner Streets’ decade of Service on the Public Library Commission under Mayor’s Jordan and Brown. This person further noted her noble effort at establishing a policy of honesty and suggested that she should write about her experiences as a Commissioner. Mr. Peter Warfield recalled Commissioner Streets service as leader of the Commission’s Finance Committee and commending her diligence and hard work regretted her leaving. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 RESOLUTION HONORING COMMISSIONER FRAN A. STREETS Commissioner Coulter noted Commissioner Streets had brought stability, and a focus on greater attention to financial details to the Commission and mourned her departure. Commissioner Chin observed that Commissioner Streets had served the community well and brought important and valuable expertise to the Library Commission. Commissioner Bautista lauded Commissioner Streets as a respected civic and community leader that provided the best example of good citizenship. Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood expressed Library staffs’ deep thanks and heartfelt appreciation for Commissioner Streets dedication and leadership on behalf of the Library. President Higueras concluded by calling attention to commissioner Streets very significant and lasting contributions to the betterment of the San Francisco Public Library. MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin for approval of the proposed resolution honoring retiring Library Commissioner Fran A. Streets Adopted by the following vote: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Streets) In view of the likely loss of the meeting’s quorum President Higueras continued the approval of the various minutes and other remaining agenda items to consideration at a future meeting and moved to adjournment. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM # 13 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd Commissioner Bautista that the meeting be adjourned in memoriam of the late Darcus Thomas, a longtime and respected library staff member, who made significant contributions to the betterment of the library and her community. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM # 10 ADJOURNMENT An anonymous member of the public called the Commissioners’ attention to the passing of former Library Commissioner Ellen Sanger, noting her contributions to San Francisco as a Commissioner, with the Coro Foundation, the Foundation for San Francisco’s Architectural Heritage, and on the Presidio Council. Adopted by the following vote: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Streets) The meeting was adjourned at 7:45pm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 9/20/04 Amendments to these Minutes are in alternative Typeface. ATTACHMENTS: BLIP Manager’s report notes (PDF 72K) BLIP Budget & Schedule reports (PDF 151K) PROP. E Hearing schedule City Librarian Search Draft brochure layout (PDF 108K) City Librarian Search draft text Resolution honoring Commissioner Fran A. Streets (PDF 78K) 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 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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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