Notice of Meeting - March 04, 2003

Library Commission

A regular meeting of the San Francisco Public Library Commission will be held as follows:

Date: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 Time: 4:00 PM Place: Koret Auditorium, Main Library, lower level

The meeting will be called to order.

1. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - ACTION

Presentation of, discussion of, and possible action to approve the Minutes of the regular Commission meeting of February 4, 2003.

Explanatory document: draft Minutes

2. CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT - DISCUSSION

by City Librarian Susan Hildreth

(This item is to allow the City Librarian to report on recent Library activities and make announcements)

The City Librarian will report on the following subjects: impacts of the proposed 2003/04 State Budget, SFPL participation in the "Imagine it, explore it, create it" Conference, publication of "Inscriptions&, and the impact of peace demonstrations on the Main Library, and exhibits and programs.

3. LIBRARY STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE REPORT - DISCUSSION

Presentation and discussion of the Library’s ongoing strategic planning activities.

Explanatory document: Summary of 2/19/03 Community Planning Committee meeting

4. LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET - ACTION

Presentation on and discussion of and possible action to approve a contingency budget reduction plan for the Library’s 2003/04 Budget.

Explanatory documents: February 13 2003/04 budget memo.

5. LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET - ACTION

Presentation on and discussion of and possible action to approve budget change proposals for the Library’s 2003/04 Budget.

Explanatory documents: February 13 2003/04 budget memo.

6. COLLECTION RECOVERY PROGRAM - ACTION

Presentation and discussion of and possible action to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of a $10 fee to fund a collection recovery program.

Explanatory document: Collection Recovery Program follow-up memo and supporting documents

7. MAIN LIBRARY PLAQUES - ACTION

Presentation and discussion of a proposal to create commemorative plaques to be located in the Larkin Street entrance of the Main Library and possible action to approve the placement and design of a dedicatory plaque honoring those who made significant contributions in the decades long effort to build the new Main Library.

Explanatory document: Wall of Library Heroes memo, proposed plaque text

8. FRIENDS AND FOUNDATION REPORT - DISCUSSION

(This item is to allow the Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library to inform the Commission of their current and proposed activities.)

9. LABOR UNION REPORT

(This item is to allow members of library labor organizations to report on employee matters within the Commission’s purview as well as to suggest new agenda items for the Library Commission’s consideration.)

10. NEW BUSINESS

(This item is to allow Commissioners to introduce new agenda items for consideration.)

11. PUBLIC COMMENT

(This item is to allow members of the public to comment generally on matters within the Commission’s purview as well as to suggest new agenda items for the Library Commission’s consideration.)

12. LABOR UNION REPORT

(This item is to allow members of library labor organizations to report on employee matters within the Commission’s purview as well as to suggest new agenda items for the Library Commission’s consideration.)

13. ADJOURNMENT - ACTION

(requires motion and public comment)

02/28/03 - M.Housh, Commission Secretary

Explanatory documents: Copies of explanatory documents listed in this agenda, and other related materials received by the Library Commission after the posting of this agenda, can be obtained from the Office of the Library Commission, Main Library, 6th Floor and also, to the extent possible, will be available on the Library’s website at http://sfpl.org/.

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Wall of Library Heroes

The San Francisco Public Library wishes to create a Wall of Library Heroes to honor its history and the citizens who believed in the importance of a great public library system to the intellectual, cultural, political, educational and economic development of this City and did something about it.

The Wall

The Larkin Street entrance to the New Main Library, just inside the first set of doors and before the second set, on the long curved wall, will serve as the new Wall of Library Heroes.

Starting at the left side under the first up-light, there will be a series of plaques, which, over the decades, could wrap around the room. Each could be a 3 foot by three foot square, matching the size of the existing squares of Sierra white granite currently on the walls. Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein and Moris, architects involved in the building of the New Main, are developing a coherent design proposal for the plaques, including type, layout, style and materials. They will present their proposals to the Library Commission for approval. The Friends & Foundation have generously agreed to underwrite the project costs.

Library Heroes & History

The first plaque is for the dedication of the New Main library to those heroes who made this building possible. Over the decades, a handful of civic leaders waged a tireless campaign for bigger budgets, more books, new facilities, a new Main library, professional staff, expanded and diverse programs. They organized politically, raised money and fought tirelessly against the odds year after year. It is intended to be an ode to those who dreamed big and worked tirelessly to create something tangible for future generations. It also gives thanks to the people of San Francisco for their faith and support.

This is not a naming of the building but a dedication, honoring those who made it happen. Many believe that it would not be appropriate to name the Main Library after any individual or organization. But it is appropriate and important to dedicate the building to those who made it happen so history is recognized and future generations can understand the linkage between quality of life and civic leadership.

The second and subsequent plaques will tell the library’s history, generally through very short stories, based on key dates. The initial set starts with the creation of the library system in the late1870s and ends in early 2003 with the creation of this Wall of Library Heroes. The content leans heavily on the excellent library history written by Peter Booth Wiley in his A Free Library in this City. Since the Dedication Plaque focuses on the last 50 years, these initial history plaques will also take the same emphasis.

The library will maintain this history of the library as part of an online database that will make it available more widely and allow for use with talking text and related applications for the visually impaired. Over the decades, future Commissioners may add additional plaques with milestones as the library system grows, serves the city and its people and new generations of heroes emerge.

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Keepers of the Dream

Our free public library is a cultural institution unlike any other.

Inside is the history of the world, our greatest literature, ideas to strengthen our democracy, insights into science and business. It is a house of books and an electronic discovery center. You can travel to the stars or inside an atom, sail on a pirate ship or take any journey of the imagination. It is a magical place for children, a workroom for writers, a treasure chest for scholars. It is an educational and cultural resource. It reflects and respects our social diversity. It is a champion of intellectual freedom. It is this and more.

Yet the library is fragile, depending on elected officials who care, the good will of voters, the talent of its staff and citizens who understand its purpose and champion its cause.

The San Francisco Public Library struggled from the beginning, its history a mixture of inspired leadership and long periods of civic disinterest.

In the late 1950s, after years of decline, the San Francisco Public Library found its modern day angels.

Imbued with civic spirit, a group of citizens demanded change.

A great city, they argued, needed a great public library system. They dreamed big and worked tirelessly to create something tangible and important for future generations.

Their struggle lasted 40 years.

Charming or feisty, depending on the situation, often audacious, sometimes controversial, they made all the difference.

Many shared the dream and worked to achieve it. We honor them and thank the people of San Francisco for their faith and support.

We also offer special recognition to three for extraordinary leadership, vision, and tenacity, inspiring others to join the cause. This trio led the effort through the decades, never losing hope, never accepting defeat, never forgetting the dream:

  • Marjorie G. Stern
  • Mary Louise Stong
  • Margaret 'Mig' Mayer

This building is hereby dedicated to their civic spirit, their selfless leadership, their devotion to the ideals of a public library, and to the passion that made them keepers of the dream.

We are grateful.

Mayor: Willie L. Brown, Jr.

San Francisco Public Library Commission

President: Charles A. Higueras

Vice President: Carol Steiman

Commissioners: Lonnie K. Chin, Steven A. Coulter, Fran A. Streets, and Deborah Strobin

City Librarian: Susan Hildreth

April 4, 2003

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