Library Commission Minutes - November 20, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, November 20, 2003. (As approved January 20, 2004) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, November 20, 2003, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. Vice President Steiman called the meeting to order at 4:07pm. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Steiman, and Streets. Commissioner Chin’s arrival was expected. Commissioner Higueras and Strobin were excused. Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:22pm. Vice President Steiman announced that, as the Commission was expected to lose its quorum after 5pm, she was reordering the agenda items so that as much business as possible could be completed. Vice President Steiman additionally noted that given the limited time available for this meeting that public comment would be limited to 2 minutes on each item taken up. Agenda Items: 2) Public Comment 8) Richmond Branch Prop. 14 Application 4) Ingleside Prop. 14 Application 5) Portola Prop. 14 Application 6) Visitacion Valley Prop. 14 Application 7) Ortega Prop. 14 Application 9) Library History Plaques 3) Bond Program Manager's Report APPENDIX A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #2 PUBLIC COMMENT (taken up 1ST) Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 PUBLIC COMMENT(taken up 1ST) An anonymous member of the public called attention to a handout that this person had given the Commission Secretary to distribute to the Commissioners and commented on the manner in which the President of the Recreation & Park Commission had conducted the special joint meeting earlier in the day. This person then commented on the handout they had distributed containing this person’s suggestion for a banner to be placed with the proposed history plaques describing this person’s view of the principles that guided the new Main Library. Mr. Peter Warfield asked when the quorum might be lost and wondered if there would be a discussion of the evaluation of the Richmond Branch Prop. 14 Application and offered his interpretation of its ranking given the Library's application’s scores. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #8 RICHMOND BRANCH PROP. 14 APPLICATION(taken up 2nd) City Librarian Susan Hildreth began the presentation of the Prop. 14 (State Library Bond Act) Applications with an explanation of the materials that would be presented, noting that they included the best information available, and strongly emphasized that the budget numbers reported would remain the same throughout the process. Ms. Hildreth went on the record to note that other details of the narrative of the applications might be changed, refined, or clarified in order to have the most competitive application possible to submit on January 16, 2004. Ms. Hildreth reported that such nonsubstantive revisions were, upon the advice of counsel, found to be appropriate. Ms. Hildreth again emphasized that the budget figures used for the applications would not to be changed. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood then presented a discussion of the on-going process to prepare the most persuasive applications using information and insights gained from a careful study of the results of the 1st and 2nd cycle Prop. 14 Application grant awards. Mr. Underwood next discussed the details of the revised Richmond Branch Prop. 14 Application to strengthen it in those areas that the State Bond Board’s raters had founding outstanding in other successful applications. Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) Manager Marilyn Thompson outlined the budget changes from previous iterations of the Richmond Application to adjust for escalation costs related to the delay in getting the project begun and to strengthen the application. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #8 RICHMOND BRANCH PROP. 14 APPLICATION(taken up 2nd) An anonymous member of the public commented that they were very concerned with the previous failures to obtain state funding and expressed concern with what was meant by the changes in the Application, especially those related to increased technology. This person commented that the plans for the Branch ought to be based on books and service to people. Mr. Peter Warfield comment that he felt that the proposed increase in the size of the branch's collections was inadequate, and commented that he been unable to obtain critical information on the application he had requested. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #8 RICHMOND BRANCH PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 2nd) Commissioner Coulter supported moving ahead but noted the importance of space for books. Vice President Steiman agreed with the effort to provide more robustly for technology. Commissioner Bautista noted that teens had expressed a wish for greater access to computers. Commissioner Chin recommended that these applications should highlight the branches special connection to their neighborhoods. MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Coulter, for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors of approval of the proposed Richmond Branch Library Prop. 14 (State library Bond) Application with the understanding that the City Librarian was authorized to make any appropriate changes needed to submit the most effective application. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Steiman, and Streets) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #4 INGLESIDE PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 3rd) Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood presented a brief restatement of the Ingleside Application presented to the Commission on November 13th, calling attention to the changes in the tables in the documents presented on November 13, 2003. The City Librarian clarified that the branch size numbers under discussion referred to the assignable square footage in these projects. Mr. Underwood noted that unassignable spaces were largely related to the need to provide for fully accessible buildings. BLIP Manager Marilyn Thompson then called attention to the page numbers of budget changes for documents presented on November 13, 2003. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 INGLESIDE PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 3rd) An anonymous member of the public commented that the materials presented were confusing and that this person had not been able to do a comparison of the existing branch with the proposed new facility. This person suggested that the new building was not significantly larger and questioned why there would be such a small expansion of assignable space in the branch. Mr. Peter Warfield found the proposed collection size not commensurate with the increase of space in the new branch and noted that he had been unable to locate information on collection size in the red binder containing the fuller application. Mr. Warfield expressed concern that there would be fewer books. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 INGLESIDE PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 3rd) MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Coulter for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors of approval of the proposed Richmond Branch Library Prop. 14 (State library Bond) Application with the understanding that the City Librarian was authorized to make any appropriate changes needed to submit the most effective application. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Steiman, and Streets) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AAGENDA ITEM #5 PORTOLA PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 4th) Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood called attention to details of this application that highlighted as a result of requests by Commissioners and members of the public. Branch Library Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson reported that there were no changes from the previous version discussed by the Commission, but pointed out corrections, including a typographical error in the resolution. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 PORTOLA PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 4th) An anonymous member of the public commented that it was wise to ask for more information about a $4.3 million project, and expressed the view that the $1.2 million paid for the site was too high. This person questioned whether given the proposed collection size and new services were worth spending this much money. Mr. Peter Warfield agreed with the previous speaker and commented that the collection size increase proposed was inadequate. Mr. Warfield questioned if this project met the peoples’ requests for more books and seating. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #5 PORTOLA PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 4thrd) Commissioner Coulter pointed out that seismic safety improvements and providing for fully accessible libraries were critical elements in providing better neighborhood libraries and noted that everything would be done to provide for space for books. In response to a question by Vice President Steiman, the City Librarian reported that discussion of the trade-offs necessary to meet a highest and best public use standard for the branch libraries were explicitly discussed and completely understood by those participating in the many community meetings held to discussion branch library improvements. Ms. Hildreth noted that the proposed plan reflected the residents’ expressed wishes. MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Chin, for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors of approval of the proposed Portola Branch Library Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) Application with the understanding that the City Librarian was authorized to make any appropriate changes needed to submit the most effective application. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Steiman, and Streets) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #6 VISITACION VALLEY PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 5th) Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood noted that the charts provided reflected staff’s response to requests for the highlighted information. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 VISITACION VALLEY PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 5th) An anonymous member of the public commented that Visitacion Valley was a special case and a most exciting project for a much neglected and poorly served neighborhood. This person found this to be the most supportable application but noted continued concern with the proposed balance between books and technology for this branch. Mr. Peter Warfield lauded the increase in size for this branch, calling attention to the doubling of the collection and a three times increase in seating. Mr. Warfield still found this to be only a modest increase in collection size when more would be desirable. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 VISITACION VALLEY PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 5th) MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Coulter, for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors of approval of the proposed Visitacion Valley Branch Library Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) Application with the understanding that the City Librarian was authorized to make any appropriate changes needed to submit the most effective application. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Steiman, and Streets) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #7 ORTEGA PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 6th) Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood noted that the charts provided showed no changes from the November 13th presentation. The City Librarian informed the Commissioners that the proposed application had the support of the Recreation & Park Commission. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 ORTEGA PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 6th) An anonymous member of the public commented that they found it remarkable that the branch would be doubled in size but that the collections would show only a modest increase, suggesting that new construction should provide more collection space. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed difficulty in locating collection size figures and dismissed as puny the proposed increase. Mr. Warfield found that in this proposal computers benefited while books were shortchanged and promised to take his complaints to Sacramento. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #7 ORTEGA PROP. 14 APPLICATION (taken up 6th) MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Bautista, for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors of approval of the proposed Ortega Branch Library Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) Application with the understanding that the City Librarian was authorized to make any appropriate changes needed to submit the most effective application. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Steiman, and Streets) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM # 9 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES (taken up 7th) An anonymous member of the public commented on the importance of taking an interest in history and suggested that what this proposal lacked in historic value it made up for in historical value as a reflection of how the Library viewed itself. Ms. Joan Jackson, Council for Neighborhood Libraries, found the proposed history exciting, and commented that she found its recitation of the library's story concise and impressive. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that he was glad that the Commissioners were still taking public comment into consideration as this was an important project, deserving great care. Commissioner Streets left the meeting at 4:55pm. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM # 4 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES Vice President Steiman remarked that in her view the text had been greatly improved. She next discussed the relative importance or lack thereof of some points raised and called attention to some unresolved details remaining. Commissioner Bautista requested correction of a reference to Dr. Tony Agaton, MD, a noted Filipino-American physician and a clarification of a page 20 reference to include the name of Filipino-American photographer Art Alvarado. Commissioner Chin commented favorably on the quotes included and proposed to continue her search for additional important quotations that would be inclusive and fully reflect all of the communities in the City. Commissioner Coulter discussed in some detail the changes related to the “Save the Branches” campaign and noted the many neighborhood people involved with it. Commissioner Coulter noted that as the text was refined it was also becoming more complicated, that the revisions clarified the theme of these plaques, and suggested that, in particular, a means to honor library staff who had played critical roles in the Library's history might be considered as a separate project. Commission Coulter noted that action could be taken to approve a revised text at either the December or January 2004 regular Commission meetings. In response to questions, Marcia Schneider, Library Chief of Public Affairs, noted that the revised text would be available and a way to send comments noted on the Library's website. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT Branch Library Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson presented a much abbreviated version of her usual reports, highlighting and updating the Commissioners concerning the active projects (copy attached). Vice President Steiman continued discussion and public comment on the Bond Program Manager’s report until the next meeting as the Commission was about to lose its quorum. The meeting ended with the loss of its quorum at 5.32pm. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 1/21/04 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 November 13, 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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