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Library Commission Minutes - November 4, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION (As approved December 2, 2004) Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, November 4, 2004 The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, November 4, 2004 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:05pm. The following members were present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Strobin. President Higueras and Vice President Steiman were excused attendance. Agenda Items: 1) Public Comment 2) Approval of September 16 Minutes 3) Approval of October 7 Minutes 4) City Librarian's Report 5) Prop. E Hours 6) Commending Helen S. Chin 7) Friends of the Library Report 8) Labor Union Report 9) New Business 10) ADJOURNMENT APPENDIX A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public discussed their views challenging a previous Commission discussion that suggested that few library users that offer public comment to the Commission reflected general satisfaction with good performance. This was a view, this person suggested, not held by others. This person commented that instead, the lack of comment resulted from the library’s discouragement and disparagement of the comments offered. Mr. Arne Folkedal, urged that flash photography be banned during programs in the Koret; suggested that library calendar notices be made available 10 days in advance; and suggested that the Library change its computer use reservation system to instead use a model that he thought more flexible and friendly to all users as well as disabled users needs. Mr. Peter Warfield noted his previously expressed reservations about the Library’s computer use reservation system, suggesting time limits were too rigid, and discussed rulings against the Library by the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force resulting from his complaints. Ms. Samantha Escobar, a pre-school student’s parent, objected to plans to relocate an existing pre-school program located in the Bernal Heights Branch Library. Commissioner Coulter noted that Mr. Folkedal’s comments on the computer reservations merited consideration by staff. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 An anonymous member of the public commented that these Minutes mischaracterized this person’s comments concerning the Commission’s choosing to meet on a religious holiday and about a letter written by President Higueras concerning library gadflies. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd Commissioner Strobin for approval of the Minutes of the regular meeting of September 16, 2004. Approved by the following vote: ACTION: 4-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF OCTOBER 7, 2004 Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF OCTOBER 7, 2004 An anonymous member of the public found these minutes typical of a pattern of errors and omissions this person said, had become established in Commission meeting minutes. This person also called attention to aspects of the discussion of the Chinatown Branch solar panels, a comment by Vice President Steiman, and concerning the Prop. E hearings that were not reported. Mr. Peter Warfield opposed approval observing that there many corrections needed, finding these minutes misleading and inaccurate. Mr. Warfield cited inaccuracies in report of or omissions of his comments concerning: an anti-RFID rally; about the Prop. E meetings; and concerning approval of the previous Minutes. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF OCTOBER 7, 2004 MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd Commissioner Bautista for approval of the Minutes of the regular meeting of October 7, 2004. Approved by the following vote: ACTION: 4-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT The Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood reported on the potential impact on the Library’s budget resulting from the defeat of several tax local proposals on the November Ballot. Mr. Underwood reported that a budget presentation reflecting the current fiscal realities would be made at the November 18th regular meeting. The Acting City Librarian informed the Commissioners of the active recruiting efforts for several top management positions at the Library currently unfilled and noted the unexpected departure of the recently selected Chief of Information Technology. Mr. Underwood gave a brief update on the recent San Jose meeting of the California Library Association (CLA). The Acting City Librarian then informed the Commissioners of receipt of a $62, 627 bequest benefiting the Western Addition Library. Mr. Underwood then presented an overview of status of the Library’s Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) applications. Mr. Underwood completed his report with information highlighting current and upcoming exhibits and programs including the Annual Hand Bookbinders Bxhibit and the 90th Anniversary festivities of the Richmond Branch Library, author lectures, and the Annual Unsung Heroes Awards. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public expressed concern with the potential impact of the failure of the tax proposals, finding the Acting City Librarian’s comments realistic, and observed that concerned citizens would be attending the State Library Bond Act Board meeting. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT Commissioner Coulter lauded the rich diversity, and depth of programs and exhibitions noted in the Acting City Librarian’s report being presented and made available free to the public by the Library. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #5 PROP. E HOURS The Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood presented a report, (copy attached) outlining proposed revisions setting Library Systemwide public services days and hours for January 1, 2005 until December 31, 2009, the final 5 years of Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund 1994). Mr. Underwood then gave a detailed overview of the process used to gather public input and evaluate users’ suggestions. Mr. Underwood next outlined the staff work done to review and consider revisions to the public service hours. The Acting City Librarian noted that the Prop. E Hours proposed would be discussed at the November 18, 2004 Library Commission meeting, and then be brought for approval at the regular December 2, 2004 Library Commission meeting. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 PROP. E HOURS An anonymous member of the public noted that the number of responses received did not reflect the number of users who participated in the Prop. E Hearing, noting 18 of 90 responses were attributable to themselves. This person commented that despite some rich discussions at some Prop. E Hearings, the way the hearings were advertised and conducted was not effective in gathering sufficient public input. Mr. Arne Folkedal commented that the non-branch library users who attended many other neighborhood library Prop. E Hearings were attempting to “stuff the ballot box”. Mr. Peter Warfield noted that the Library was often described as one system with many branches and noted that the hearings were open to all. Mr. Warfield commented that the Prop. E Hearings had been poorly publicized and not well attended. Mr. Warfield favored addition of hours and opposed any reductions, suggesting other library programs could be eliminated to fund more public services hours. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #5 PROP. E HOURS Commission Helen Marte Bautista noted that Sunday hours had been frequently requested at the Prop. E Hearing that she attended, but noted associated increased costs could have a large budget impact. Commissioner Bautista called attention to the importance of meeting the requirement that the new hours be approved before the end of this year. Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood described the additional $7.6 million in projected costs that the Library expected to have to absorb during the remaining five years of the Library Preservation Fund’s authorization just to maintain the current hours. Mr. Underwood suggested that any replacement ballot measure for Prop. E should include allowance for cost escalations that were not included in the current charter amendment. The Acting City Librarian noted that these proposed hours would be the regular systemwide hours and that changes in public services hours related to the Branch Library Improvement Program activities would be addressed separately. Commissioner Coulter expressed disappointment with the turnout for this series of Prop. E Hearings and observed that ADA (Americans with Disabilities) Act requirements that mandated relocation of some branch library hearings to nearby branches did not help. Commissioner Coulter discussed the survey results reflecting users’ wishes, and noted that the Library would have to find long-term creative ways to reconcile increasing demand for more materials, hours, and budget constraints imposed by union contracts. Commissioner Coulter found a mismatch between the limitations imposed by labor agreements and the wishes of the public. Commissioner Coulter noted that proposals to move hours among branches would certainly create an outcry. The Acting City Librarian noted that many aspects of working conditions and rules were set by citywide labor agreements and beyond the control of the Library to change. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Underwood described how weekend hours were already handled with assistance from dedicated part-time staff. The Acting City Librarian noted that Library staff was continuing to review and consider options for a workable scheduling model that could permit more Sunday hours. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #6 COMMENDING HELEN S. CHIN Commissioner Lonnie Chin, noting that they were not related, called her colleagues attention to the many important contributions to the San Francisco Public Library by the late Helen S. Chin, former Principal of the Gordon J. Lau School, and a role model for the community and longtime supporter and friend of libraries. Commissioner Chin called attention to the many important accomplishments of the late Ms. Chin as outlined in the proposed resolution (copy attached) in her honor and urged that her colleagues approve it. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 COMMENDING HELEN S. CHIN (None offered) Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 COMMENDING HELEN S. CHIN MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Strobin for approval of the proposed resolution honoring the contributions of the late Helen S. Chin. Approved by the following vote: ACTION: 4-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #7 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT Ms. Deborah Doyle, Acting Executive Director for the Friends, announced the selection of Ms. Donna Berow, former Executive Director of the San Francisco Friends of the Recreation and Park Department as the new Executive Director of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library beginning on January 10, 2005. The Acting Executive Director of the Friends of the Library then reported on plans for the Friends’ Offices to relocate from the Main Library just prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday. Ms. Doyle noted that the Friends of the Library’s were continuing their efforts to support the Library’s Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) applications. Ms. Doyle then reported recent developments in the Friends’ capital campaign for neighborhood libraries. Ms. Doyle concluded her report with an update on upcoming Friends’ author lectures and programs and announcing a January 11th open house at the Friends’ new offices. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #8 LABOR UNION REPORT Ms. Melissa Riley, Librarians Guild, urged Commissioners to attend the Annual Hand Bookbinders Exhibit that was just opening and called the Commissioners’ attention to a website where information on the issue of encroachments on the information commons was fully addressed. Public comment of AGENDA ITEM #8 LABOR UNION REPORT Mr. Arne Folkedal noted that a “Google” search would find information. An anonymous member of the public commented that direct reports from the Library’s unions were important. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #9 NEW BUSINESS None offered. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Strobin Approved by the following vote: 4-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Steiman) There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:39pm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 11/15/04 Please note: Amendments to these Minutes are in alternative Typeface. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 ATTACHMENTS to the November 4, 2004 Minutes: Minutes of September 16, 2004 Minutes of October 7, 2004 Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund) Hours of Service memo (11/1/04) Resolution Commending Helen S. Chin (PDF 89K) 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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