Library Commission Minutes - September 18, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, September 18, 2003. (As approved amended October 16, 2003) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, September 18, 2003 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. Vice President Steiman called the meeting to order at 4:02PM. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Steiman, and Strobin. Commissioner Chin’s arrival was expected to be delayed. Commissioners Higueras and Streets were excused. AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE August 21, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE August 21, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING An anonymous member of the public commented that draft versions of several previous Commission Minutes were still posted on the website although those Minutes had been approved. This person also noted that while a public comment was described the original discussion it was based on was not. This individual further criticized the description of President Higueras’ letter to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Ed Regan found his remarks accurately reported. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that he found comments reported abbreviated and requested clarification of his page 5 remarks concerning too many books on tape. Mr. Warfield also found lacking the Strategic Plan discussion on RFID and noted that space for books was not mentioned. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE August 21, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING Vice President Steiman suggested accepting Mr. Warfield’s request that his reported remarks be changed from “too many taped books in a branch library collection” to read “too many in the branch’s proposed Literacy Program”. Commissioner Coulter requested a clarification of a Public Comment reference to the anonymous member of the public’s lawsuit clearly identifying it as this person’s lawsuit. MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Coulter that the August 21, 2003 Minutes be approved as amended. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Steiman and Strobin) Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:12PM AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT Branch Library Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson noted that this month that there would be no informational or special reports. The Branch Improvement Program Manager cited a total of $12,947,804 in expenditures and encumbrances through the end of August 2003. Ms. Thompson noted that a budget report dated 9/18/03 and a 4/17/03 schedule report were available and then presented her regular Budget, Schedule, Active Projects, and Community Outreach updates reports (copies attached). The Branch Library Improvement Program Manager the reported that the BLIP website was up to date and that the Fall edition of the Branch Library improvement Program Newsletter was available. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public inquired as to what was meant by the report that the cost of the new Mission Bay Branch was within tits current budget. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that the Branch Library Improvement Program Manager’s report materials were not available in advance and asked about the details of the Mission Bay Branch cost and what any changes in the proposed branch involved. Mr. Ed Regan found the presentation useful and suggested that Ms. Thompson’s reports also include information on branch collections and hours of service. Mr. Regan also urged consideration of a pamphlets room in each branch library. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT Responding to a question by Vice President Steiman concerning Mission Bay Branch changes, Ms. Thompson reported loss of roughly 100 sq. ft. of staff and service space and a somewhat smaller community room space in Redevelopment’s revised building design that also lowered the entire building by one story. Ms. Thompson noted that these changes should have no impact on public services spaces as previously presented. Ms. Thompson reported that some shared costs would be reduced as a result of the design changes. AGENDA ITEM #3 GIFT RECOGNITION POLICY City Librarian Susan Hildreth presented an overview of the revised Gift Recognition Policy calling attention to the changes in the draft proposal. Ms. Hildreth noted that, with Commission approval of this policy, the Friends and the Library would have similar policies in support of the Neighborhood Libraries Campaign. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 GIFT RECOGNITION POLICY An anonymous member of the public commented that they would prefer that the entire proposal be rejected and noted that the Friends And Foundation Campaign would receive expanded authority over naming formerly reserved to the Library. This person commented on changes in the approval of areas in a branch library where recognition could be made. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that not all changes in the text were marked and that changes were difficult to follow. Mr. Warfield recommended that the Library Commission be specifically identified as the authority to approve changes and. that the Commission should review and approve changes in the catalog of items as well as exceptions to the policy itself Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 GIFT RECOGNITION POLICY Vice President Steiman noted that both the old and revised version of the Gift Recognition Policy were available so that anyone could easily follow the proposed changes. The Commission Vice President proposed that the revised policy be additionally amended to read “and the Library Commission will approve the items in this catalog” in the approval language at the bottom of Page 1 of the 9/15/03 draft. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Ms Doyle, President of the Friends, described the change of use of the Friends & Foundation to the simpler Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. Commissioner Coulter found the revised policy short, to the point, and a reasonable way of addressing the issue. In answer to a question by Commissioner Chin, the listing of naming options was described. MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the proposed Gift Recognition Policy as revised. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Steiman, and Strobin) AGENDA ITEM # 4 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES Commissioner Steve Coulter recounted a background description of the sources he used and how he developed the proposed Library Wall of Heroes’ text. Commissioner Coulter called attention to the numerous sources, among them Peter Booth Wiley’s definitive history of the San Francisco Public Library as well as for more recent times, the knowledge and memories of Library staff such as Public Affairs Chief Marcia Schneider, City Archivist Susan Goldstein, and Andrea Grimes of Book Arts and Special Collections as well as Library civic activists like Margaret “Mig” Meyer, Marjorie Stern, and former Library Commissioners, community activists with a long history of support for the Library and many others. Commissioner Coulter noted that the proposed text covered a complex history from 1849 until the present with a wide array of milestones and countless citizen volunteers who had sustained the Library through many difficult and challenging decades. Commissioner Coulter pointed out that this draft was as yet an evolving imperfect document and requested that those with specific comments on ways its accuracy could be improved as well as any overlooked stories that would make it a better document come forward. Commissioner Coulter noted that this was but the first of three planned public discussions of this proposal and that an overview layout version would be prepared for a future discussion to provide a demonstration of how the plaques would look. Additionally, Commissioner Coulter noted that the Commission had already approved the concept of the plaques and that funds were available. Commissioner Coulter noted that the anonymous member of the public had suggested that the plaques were full of inaccuracies but provided no response when Commissioner Coulter invited this person to cite specifics that should be changed. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM # 4 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES An anonymous member of the public found the proposed terrible and expressed regret that they had not understood that this history had already been approved in principle. This person expressed a preference for a simple recognition of the principles guiding the library instead of walls of text. This individual commented that it was a fact of history that “heroes” could change. Mr. Ed Regan thought the proposed plaques a good idea and urged the Commission to go forward with them including a book which set forth the history outlined on the plaques. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM # 4 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista it was reported that there were extensive video records of recent library history and that it was possible that this material could be made available on the library’s website or in a brochure. Additionally, Commissioner Coulter described the space available in the Larkin Street entry area noting that the Library’s Associate Architects Simon Martin-Vege Winkelstein Moris (SMWM) believed there was ample room for these plaques as well as space remaining additional history plaques should future Library Commissions wish to record subsequent history. Commissioner Coulter repeated his request that anyone who wished to offer specific comments for corrections, improvements, or expansion of stories not addressed in the current draft bring them forward. Commissioner Chin expressed a preference for a less detailed recounting of the history, not just a recitation of the passing of time, and instead inspirational text inviting its readers to continue to be heroes for the Library. Commissioner Chin expressed concern that so much text would be boring and that short powerful statements in the words of library heroes would have a greater impact. Commissioner Strobin expressed support for the proposed history as presented and inquired regarding a timeline for comment. Vice President Steiman called attention to the missing story of the small group of neighborhood activists who took action to save their branch libraries when they were threatened with closure and the subsequent creation of the Council for Neighborhood Libraries. Commissioner Bautista noted that the contribution of outstanding civic volunteers should be highlighted. Commissioner Chin suggested additions to address the inclusion of other languages and special collections such as the Japanese Collection at the Western Addition Branch and its African American community support. Commissioner Bautista recommended inclusion of the names of the donor of this collection and found this draft an excellent first effort. AGENDA ITEM #5 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public commented that the previous discussion was interesting and gave credit to Vice President Steiman for speaking her mind even if this person found much to criticize in her views. Mr. Ed Regan recommended that all libraries be open from 6AM until Midnight, seven days per week, 365 days per year. Mr. Regan additionally proposed that there be tables that permitted one to read while standing and comfortable chairs in each branch. Mr. Regan also suggested inspection of the usage of non-fiction collections so as to identify and replenish those titles in greatest demand. AGENDA ITEM #6 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Coulter that the meeting be adjourned. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 ADJOURNMENT None offered ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Steiman, and Strobin) The meeting was adjourned at 5:32PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 10/23/03 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 Library Commission Meeting of September 18, 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 in pdf format.
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