Library Commission Minutes - May 7, 2002

Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, May 7, 2002 (As approved June 4, 2002) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:02PM. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Higueras, Steiman, and Swig. Commissioner Chin was excused attendance. Commissioner Coulter’s arrival was expected to be delayed. Commissioner Streets joined the meeting at 4:04PM. AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE APRIL 2, 2002 MINUTES Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE APRIL 2, 2002 MINUTES: Mr. Ed Regan found his comments accurately reported. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE APRIL 2, 2002 MINUTES: MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the Minutes of April 2, 2002. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Swig) Commissioner Coulter joined the meeting at 4:11PM. AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT City Librarian Susan Hildreth gave the Commissioners a brief report concerning her participation in the federal Legislative Lobbying Day activities in Washington, DC noting that she had called on Senator Feinstein and Representative Pelosi in support of renewal of the funding for the LSTA (Library Services Technology Act). The City Librarian reported on recent events at the Library including the inauguration of San Francisco’s third Poet Laureate, the Guild of Book Workers "Best of the Best" Exhibit in the Library’s Jewett Gallery, and an exhibit of the design charrette panels that would be traveling to the Bayview, Richmond, and Marina Branches during May, June, and July. The City Librarian next briefly outlined the newly formulated procedures and form (copy attached) for library staff responding to public records requests. Ms. Hildreth then reported on upcoming public meetings for the new Mission Bay Branch at PacBell Park on May 9 and for Glen Park on June 11th. Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT: An anonymous member of the public commented that the new public records request procedures were a series of hoops that the public must surmount to gain information and that they were inconsistent with the Public Records Act and the Sunshine Ordinance’s requirement to bend over backwards to make public records requests as easy as possible. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT: Vice President Steiman noted that the public records procedures seemed to mirror those used by the Board of Supervisors. Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes reported that the purpose of these guidelines was to make it easy for everyone to understand the process to obtain documents and provide equal access to obtaining records. In response to a question by President Higueras, the City Librarian proposed to post the procedures and a copy of the request form on the Library website. Commissioner Streets suggested that copies of the public records request procedures and form be made available to users on the Main Library’s first floor. AGENDA ITEM #3 BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING POLICY Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes gave a brief presentation outlining the latest changes (copy attached) that she had made in revising the Naming Policy. Ms. Hildreth noted that the existing Naming Policy had been adopted prior to revision of the City Charter and that the new City Charter gave authority to the Board of Supervisors to name city buildings Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING POLICY: An anonymous member of the public commented that while the Library Commission lacked final authority over naming that they had the responsibility to take the lead on this issue noting that this was the Commission’s third discussion of this matter. This person found the suggestion that those requesting a name change be asked to pay for it inappropriate and commented that they opposed naming libraries for individuals under any circumstance. Mr. Ed Regan spoke in favor of naming facilities for living people after gaining their permission citing the recent name change of Kezar Stadium and that the branch name should also include the nearby street intersection to help people locate the branch. Rev. Roland Gordon, Pastor of the Ingleside Presbyterian Church, read a brief poem that spoke to his opposition to any requirement that honorees be deceased, suggesting that many outstanding living people were worthy of recognition. Rev. Gordon cited his own renewed commitment after his church’s fellowship hall had been named in his honor and that many people in the community felt Mayor Brown’s leadership in making the new Ocean View Library possible merited recognition by naming it in his honor. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING POLICY: Commissioner Coulter noted that he disliked the term “Branch Naming Policy” noting that there were many library facilities where honorific recognition might be considered, Commissioner Coulter suggested a one-year rather than a five-year period after someone had died to consider honoring them. Commissioner Coulter additionally noted potential problems and risks inherent in naming public facilities for a living person. The City Librarian reported that the likely costs of a name change would not be significant. Following a discussion among the Commissioners it was proposed that the policy be called the Library Facilities Naming Policy. It was also the consensus of the Commission that individuals so honored be deceased at least one year to allow time for appropriate reflection on their contributions, and that service to the Library be the principle determinate of eligibility. At the suggestion of President Higueras a requirement for a meeting at the branch to be named to gather neighborhood comment and identify a community consensus favoring the naming prior to the Commission considering any action was added. It was noted that should some very generous individual offer to pay the cost of building a branch that consideration could be given to naming it in their honor. In addition, it was the sense of the Commission that, unless waived by the Commission, all costs associated with the renaming should be borne by those proposing the change. Several refinements to the proposed procedures were discussed. Deputy City Attorney Barnes proposed to incorporate these changes and bring back a further revised policy for the Commission’s consideration. AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY 2002/03 BUDGET UPDATE Mr. George Nichols, Library Finance Director provided the Commissioners with a detailed status report on recent developments regarding the overall city budget and revenue picture as well as an update concerning the impact on the Library of the projected General Fund short fall. The Library Finance Director described the new ways in which the Board of Supervisors had organized itself to address the budget and reported on the April 11th and April 23rd meetings where the Library had made presentations on its budget. Mr. Nichols then outlined each of the next steps in the budget approval process. Mr. Nichols also highlighted the significance of the Controller’s May 1st 9 month report of increases in property tax based Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund) revenues accruing to the Library in this fiscal year and briefly discussed revenue projections for next year. Mr. Nichols reported that there would be no reductions in the Library’s Budget. The Library’s Finance Director reported that in view of the Library’s revenue situation the Mayor’s Budget Office had agreed to consider increases in the proposed budget prior to its June 1st release. Mr. Nichols identified these as anticipated increased funds for public copying and printing to offset increased costs resulting from the termination and replacement of the Pinnacle Contract. Mr. Nichols also reported that the Mayor’s Budget Office was considering adding funds for the purchase of a new delivery truck as well. Mr. Nichols further noted that an additional $250,000 was proposed to be added to the book budget. The Library Finance Director observed that while the City faced serious budget difficulties, the Library was in good shape, with losses in General Fund revenues more than offset by increases in property tax based revenues. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 2002/03 BUDGET UPDATE: An anonymous member of the public commented on the library budget related committee meetings held by the Board of Supervisors and noted good questions and comments by Supervisors Maxwell and Peskin as well as interesting answers to their questions. This person noted that Supervisor Peskin had questioned a lack of previous year’s performance figures for the Library. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 2002/02 BUDGET UPDATE: In response to questions by Commissioner Streets, Mr. Nichols described how the new Xerox Contract was being negotiated after it became clear that Pinnacle was not going to be able to provide public copying and printing services called for in their contract. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood described the termination process for the Pinnacle contract following a May 1st notice of default. The Deputy City Librarian then reported that the new Xerox Contract would make available a new type of digital copier that required less maintenance and provided better service that had not been available when the Pinnacle contract was negotiated. The City Librarian outlined the history of the Library’s efforts during the past five years to maintain public copying and printing services. In response to Commissioner’s questions, Ms. Hildreth reported that there would be a phased in transition to new debit cards. President Higueras expressed satisfaction that the Library had been able to avoid having to make budget cuts and in response to his questions Mr. Nichols described the sources of the increased property tax revenues and the methods used by the Controller’s Office in preparing their estimates. In answer to additional questions by President Higueras, Ms. Hildreth and Mr. Nichols reported on details of the Supervisors’ discussions of the Library Budget. Ms. Hildreth noted that Supervisor Peskin had raised questions concerning performance figures with many city departments not just the Library and that the Supervisor’s concerns seemed to have been addressed. The City Librarian and the Finance Director noted that neither the Board’s Office of the Legislative Analyst nor the Board’s Budget Analyst had so far raised any questions concerning the proposed budget. Mr. Nichols suggested that it appeared unlikely that there would be any reductions in the Library Budget by the Supervisors due to revenue concerns but that they could make changes as a result of policy decisions. In response to a question by Commissioners Streets and Bautista, Mr. Nichols noted that the as the Library Commission had submitted its budget that the next steps were in the hands of the Mayor’s Budget Office and that discussions were ongoing concerning the proposed augmentations. Ms. Hildreth proposed to report back to the Commission in regarding the status of any proposed changes. AGENDA ITEM #5 BALIS SAB REPORT Ms. Deborah Doyle, the BALIS (Bay Area Library Information System) Advisory Board Representative, made a report to the Commission concerning its activities during her term in office (copy attached) since she was appointed in June 2000. Ms. Doyle provided a background and overview of what the Bay Area’s cooperative public library system does to provide services to member public libraries under the authority of the California Library Services Board. The BALIS Representative provided an update on recent issues addressed by the citizens advisory board including: development of a system plan for services focused on helping under served communities, addressing technology issues, and how to pool resources; efforts to share information on Prop. 14 (State library Bond); and developing ways libraries can work together to share and use resources. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 BALIS SAB REPORT: An anonymous member of the public commented that they were gratified to hear the report, noting that they had long been interested in and had attended many Advisory Board meetings. The anonymous member of the public observed that in the past the designated representatives had often not attended and that the work of the Advisory Board tended to get buried. The anonymous member of the public recalled only one previous report and that while this board was tranquil it was not insignificant providing different jurisdictions opportunity to share information. This person also commented that its meetings were open to the public. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 BALIS SAB REPORT: Commissioner Coulter and President Higueras commended Ms. Doyle for her hard work and dedicated service as San Francisco’s representative on BALIS. Commissioner Bautista was glad to learn more about BALIS. President Higueras suggested that Ms. Doyle make two annual reports to the Commission concerning BALIS activities. AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS AND FOUNDATION REPORT Martín Gómez Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation provided the Commissioners with updates on the recent Library Laureates Dinner, reporting $230,000 raised, and the annual Library support grants, this year amounting to $485,263. Mr. Gómez also noted that the Friends and Foundation were underwriters of the Poet Laureate programs and annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture. Mr. Gómez informed the Commissioners that the San Francisco 49ers had made a commitment to support the Library’s Summer Reading Program and that local movie theatres had agreed to run public service announcements about Summer Reading. Mr. Gómez informed the Commissioners that the Friends and Foundation had hired Ms. Kathy Bella as its new Chief Development Officer. AGENDA ITEM #7 LABOR UNION REPORT Not offered. AGENDA ITEM #8 NEW BUSINESS Commissioner Bautista requested a progress report on the Excelsior Branch Prop. 14 application. President Higueras requested a report on Library safety and security issues. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM # 8 NEW BUSINESS: An anonymous member of the public commented on their understanding of an unspoken agreement on public comment rights. This individual then commented on the availability of the full Prop. 14 Application document, concerning a lack of prior public comment on the application, and the precedent set by how the Commission addressed it. AGENDA ITEM #9 PUBLIC COMMENT Mr. Ed Regan suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight 7 days per week. An anonymous member of the public expanded upon previous comments concerning the Commission’s adjournment of its last meeting in honor of the late Ms. Annette McNear. This person commented that Ms. McNear had been a grassroots librarian who had worked for many years for the Library. This individual felt Ms. McNear had been subjected to abuse by the Library Commission and the Library. This anonymous member of the public commented that they believed Ms. McNear had been a martyr. AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Bautista that the meeting be adjourned. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets) The meeting was adjourned at 6:37PM. Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 Copies of Public Comment Summary Statements as authorized by San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.16 can be found in Appendix A. These summary statements are provided by the speaker and 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 Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 6/5/02 Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of May 7, 2002 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.
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