Library Commission Minutes - September 19, 2002

Minutes of the meeting of Thursday, September 19, 2002. (As approved amended October 17, 2002) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, September 19, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:05PM by President Higueras. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Higueras, Vice President Steiman, Commissioner Bautista, and Commissioner Strobin. Commissioners Chin and Coulter’s arrival was expected to be delayed. AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 15, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 15, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING An anonymous member of the public commented that there were many inaccuracies inn the way in which their comments had been reported, calling particular attention to page 3 remarks regarding their objections to the Commission setting aside seating at the front of the auditorium for those making presentations at that meeting and to their public comment remarks suggesting that no one agrees with arbitrary power unless it is their own. Mr. Ed Regan found that his remarks had been accurately reported. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 15, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Strobin that the Minutes be approved. MOTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) AGENDA ITEM #2 MISSION BAY BRANCH DESIGN RECOMMENDATION Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson begin with a brief background summary of developments relating the new $3.9 million Mission Bay Branch. The Bond Program Manager noted that this was to be a First Floor library located at the corner of a mixed use affordable senior housing development that also included non-profit office space as well as some commercial storefront spaces. Ms. Thompson then introduced the members of the design team and the peer review panel to discuss the preliminary proposed design being recommended for the new Mission Bay Branch Library. The Bond Program Manager outlined a tentative timeline calling for beginning construction at the end of 2002/beginning of 2003, with completion in 2004, then introduced Mr. Bruce Prescott, Santos Prescott & Associates, who provided a detailed presentation on the proposed design for the new branch library. Mr. Prescott first outlined the location of the new branch as an element of a Redevelopment Agency mixed use housing, library, non-profit office, and commercial development project to be built at the corner of 4th Street and Berry Streets in the Mission Bay Project Area. Mr. Prescott then presented a series of slides showing views of the proposed building from various angles, with exterior and interior drawings, and floorplans, discussing what each represented in some detail. Ms. Thompson then introduced Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood, who gave the Library’s response to the proposed design, discussing the community needs assessment process, and highlighting the community input planning work contributed by Marilyn Hope Smulyn and a preliminary services program developed by Library Consultant William Sanwald. Mr. Underwood noted that proposed services approach themes indicated that the branch would initially focus on providing services for seniors and adults, and with a special emphasis on filling an identified lack of available services for neighborhood children in the emerging neighborhood. The Deputy City Librarian identified interest in providing access to tech training for seniors with sufficient computer access available to meet an expected need by residents. Mr. Underwood further commented that there had been a significant expression of interest that the library, by creating a welcoming comfortable environment, help to begin the process of creating a new community. The Deputy City Librarian reported that the Library design as proposed provided for all of the identified services needs, for efficiency and ease of staffing, and that its prominent corner location and well-crafted design met the needs for the new branch. Ms. Thompson next called on peer review panelists, Hillary Gittleman, Presidio Trust, Bryant Rice, AIA, and Linda Sobuta who offered their critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed branch library design and offered suggestions for improvements. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 MISSION BAY BRANCH DESIGN RECOMMENDATION An anonymous member of the public expressed discomfort in addressing remarks to the panel instead of the Commissioners, and noted that the agenda had not listed explanatory documents presented. This person remarked that this was an area were a good deal of construction was underway, that they had not seen anything that would incline them unfavorably toward the project. This individual noted that it may be romantic but that is was an important location and a great opportunity but that perhaps the Commission should delay it approval to allow more time for additional input. Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Noe Valley, observed as one who had worked as a planner, she wished the planned neighborhood school was closer to the branch location and suggested that over time the growth in the neighborhood population might require additional services for families with children and school groups. Mr. Ed Regan expressed a preference for a stand alone branch, called attention to the importance to the collection planned for the branch, and commented that the presentations were well done. Commissioner Bautista joined the meeting at 4:37PM. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 MISSION BAY BRANCH DESIGN RECOMMENDATION In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Underwood explained how the proposed children’s area was scaled to meet the needs of the neighborhood in the immediate future and that the configurations of spaces within the proposed design would allow for any needed expansion of this area into adjoining areas if the need became evident. In answer to questions by Vice President Steiman, it was noted that the design allowed for flexibility to incorporate suggestions made by the peer review panelists. President Higueras called at5tention to the importance of the site and suggested that efforts be made to give greater prominence to the two-story entry/corner area. Ms. Thompson responded to President Higueras’ concerns that teens be provided with a special area in the both new and renovated branches by noting that this was a planned element in all and that these services would be located so that they could access areas devoted to adult use and access to computers. Commissioner Bautista emphasized that the teen areas should be buffered so that their activities would not disturb other library users. Vice President Steiman urged staff to carefully consider the use and durability of fabrics chosen for use in the branch. In response to a question by Commissioner Strobin, the entrances and emergency exists were identified and Mr. Underwood pointed out that the senior housing resident would have to exit their part of the building to enter the library. In response to Commissioners’ questions the locations of the rest rooms and access to or views of the garden area were described. President Higueras noted that the Commission’s action at this point would set an overall direction for the project, but that there would be other opportunities in the future for review of the details of the design as they evolved. Commissioner Coulter joined the meeting at 5:10PM. MOTION: Commissioner Strobin, seconded by Commissioner Coulter to accept the design recommendation proposed for the Mission Bay Branch Library with the understanding that the Commission would again review design elements before they were finalized. MOTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) AGENDA ITEM #3 NEIGHBOR HOOD HALL OF FAME Commissioner Coulter provided a background summary of the discussions that had occurred during recent years about ways that the Library could recognize significant contributions to the community made by wide variety of individuals and placed this in the context of the Library’s important role as the record keeper for local history. Commissioner Coulter discussed how he had developed the draft concept paper under consideration with input from a diverse array of San Franciscans mentioning a similar community recognition effort being done by the San Francisco Foundation. Commissioner Coulter then cited the contributions in the developing these concepts by of Library Public Affairs Chief Marcia Schneider, Commission Secretary Mike Housh, Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes, and civic and community leaders Chuck Forester, Chet Roaman, Ted Lobman, Martin Paley, Council for Neighborhood Libraries member Nora Dowley, Library Commission President Charles Higueras, Dale Carlson, and Friends & Foundation Executive Director Martín Gómez. Commissioner Coulter noted that he had received a variety of responses, mainly positive, that encouraged continuation of the development of these ideas and encouraged gathering additional input. Commissioner Coulter suggested that if the Library would become committed to carrying out such a program that the process would encourage wider community involvement and engagement. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 NEIGHBORHOOD HALL OF FAME An anonymous member of the public found the proposal dramatic and perhaps inspiring, noting its contrast with previous top down approaches to bringing new concepts forward. This person however, suggested that the Library had a creditability problem and suggested that those deploring fractious politics could have responsible for creating them. Mr. Ed Regan commented that the concepts seem good and suggested that special emphasis be made to provide a senior citizens room with books and materials of interest to seniors and a pamphlet room in each branch and perhaps produce pamphlets on community heroes with their photograph. Ms. Chris Ortiz, Council for Neighborhood Libraries, noted that the Portola branch had been working on saving its community history and that the first step in any such program must be the creation of good archives in each neighborhood. Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Noe Valley, pointed out the Friends of Noe Valley had been engaged in just such a process and that in order to be successful it must flow from the community. Ms. Przyblyski noted that the Noe valley archives were a mess and that some kind of structured support would be needed to insure the quality of the history gathered. She also cited the neighborhood’s Claire Piltcher Award and urged that the Library reach out to the community when going forward with this concept. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 NEIGHBORHOOD HALL OF FAME AGENDA ITEM #4 MAIN LIBRARY POE REPORT Vice President Steiman suggested that this concept might work in a number of ways and recommended working closely with the Council for Neighborhood Libraries to review existing archives. Vice President Steiman called attention to a Friends & Foundation grant that had help organize and develop the neighborhood history archives at the Glen Park Branch and suggested that it would be vital to the process to create a process with extensive community input to address how these concepts might be carried out. Commissioner Bautista noted that the libraries were at the heart of each neighborhood and that community meeting with extensive outreach should be held to gather ideas. Commission Bautista suggested that guidelines be developed to provide a common framework from which to work. Commissioner Chin commended all of the work that had gone into creating this starting point and recommended that a clear philosophy be developed to provide an underpinning for the nitty gritty process of determining what and who to recognize. An extensive discussion followed in response to questions by Commission Chin concerning: how much such a concept would cost; what staff time would be involved; where space could be found to display plaques, and that these honors should be carefully considered and well done. Commissioner Chin suggested the contributions to literacy should be highly honored and noted having "virtual" honors would allow more flexibility and save space. She also discussed if there should be annual limits for the number to be honored. In response to questions by Commissioner Strobin, Commissioner Coulter reported that the decisions regarding who would be honored would be made by a special named mixed group representing a cross section of the community not just the Library. President Higueras endorse the idea in concept and recommended that as the next step a wide net be cast to gather more neighborhood input to reflect the larger community, not just the library, in building community. President Higueras noted that this was an ambitious concept that must work closely with neighborhoods to define through extensive input gathered who should be remembered and celebrated at a visible location in each branch library. The Commission President commented that how to include this required thoughtful consideration and should be an element in Branch Library Bond Program plans. President Higueras expressed his appreciation to Commissioner Coulter for taking the initiative and looked foreword to hearing more about the concept as it developed. AGENDA ITEM #4 MAIN LIBRARY POE REPORT (Explanatory documents: POE activity & funding report) The City Librarian called attention to the explanatory document that discussed the current status of POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report projects and noted that ongoing development of these projects was directly tied to the next agenda item the acquisition of 190-9th Street for the Library’s Support Services Center. Ms. Hildreth filled in details of POE related work during recent months and identified the status and funding assigned to each. The City Librarian reminded the Commissioners that the funding for POE projects had been appropriated during FY2000/01 and $1.4 million continued to be available for these projects. Ms. Hildreth next called attention to the Board of Supervisors deletion of the $140,000 project reserve set aside for these projects. Ms. Hildreth informed the Commission that the radio repeater system had been installed greatly improving internal communications. Ms. Hildreth then discussed the Bureau of Architecture’s design work and bid package. The City Librarian reported only one bid received and observed that the work could begin in early 2003, but that now an additional $160 to $180,000 would be needed to complete all of the work. Commissioner Coulter left the meeting at 5:55PM and Commissioner Bautista left the meeting at 6PM Regarding the Main Library signage issue, Ms. Hildreth noted that there would be a Signage presentation at the Commission’s October 1st meeting and that $350,000 was appropriated and available for addressing Main Library signage problems. The City Librarian then discussed in detail the reorganization plans for the Borrowers’ Services Area noting that $1.8 million was appropriated and available for this work and that Library and Bureau of Architecture staff were working closely together to get detailed costs estimates. Ms. Hildreth emphasized that these plans were directly dependent on the relocation of Technical Services so that their existing space could be used during the proposed Borrowers’ Services changes. Ms. Hildreth noted that remaining first Floor reconfiguration proposal were not yet funded and that a staff task force was beginning its work from estimates made in the POE Report and that there was still additional funds available in the Library Preservation Fund to complete First Floor work. Ms. Hildreth then discussed the proposed bridging of the second floor and suggested that with improved signage it might not be necessary. The City Library then discussed the use of Library Preservation Fund funds for modifications proposed for 190-9th Street in order to re-create its loading dock for use by the relocated Technical Services Department. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 MAIN LIBRARY POE REPORT None offered. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 MAIN LIBRARY POE REPORT President Higueras suggested that the Commission receive ongoing reports, as plans were developed to address issues raised in the POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report so that they could provide input as solutions were being crafted. In response to questions by Commissioner Chin, Ms. Hildreth discussed the funding available through the Library Preservation Fund for these projects. In response to a query by President Higueras, the city Librarian reported that the question of bridging the Second Floor could be more fully addressed after the new signage had been install for some time to allow staff to evaluate how significantly this improved user circulation and if the bridging idea was needed given the security and staffing issues in addition to its cost that it raised. AGENDA ITEM #5 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT 190-9TH STREET (Explanatory documents: 190-9th Street site acquisition documents) Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood provided the Commissioners with a detailed evaluation of the costs and assets offered in acquiring by 190-9th Street as the location for the Library Support Services Center. Mr. Underwood reported that the proposed purchase price $8.5 million was within the $8.626 million set aside for this purpose and that extensive and very useful real property in the building was also available for $60,000. The Deputy City Librarian reported that funds were available to recreate the building loading dock and to cover the $125,000 relocations costs involved in moving technical Services to the new building. In response to previous questions raised by Commissioner Streets, Mr. Underwood detailed the anticipated operational 2003/04 costs of the new building and suggested that the $193,000 could be included in the planned 2002/03 Library Budget. The Deputy City Librarian reported that the existing tenant would pay $75,000 in rent to the Bond Program Fund until their set move out date 120 days after the closing of the building’s purchase. Mr. Underwood noted that Info People had expressed an interest in sharing space in the building not currently needed for Library uses and that their use of this space and income from it were compatible with and would generate additional funds for the Branch Library Bond Program. Mr. Underwood outline the considerations that had encouraged the relocation of Technical Services out of the Main Library and noted that additionally it would improve systemwide efficiency and free space for POE identified improvements. The Deputy City Librarian reported that 190-9th Street had been thoroughly renovated to the highest standards in 2000, was in location and facilities a good match for program needs, and that it was the staff’s recommendation that the Commission act to request that the building be acquired for the Library. Mr. Charlie Dunn, Department of Administrative Services, Division of Real Estate reported to the Commission that this three story concrete building, fully renovated in 2000,, and likely to be very low maintenance was an excellent value. Mr. Dunn noted that the 42,292 sq. ft. building on a 17,000 sq. ft. lot with ample natural light and space to restore its loading dock in a 12 parking space area at it side met the library’s every identified need for a Support Services Facility. Additionally, Mr. Dunn reported that the building featured operable windows, 5000 amps of power, 120 tons of HUC and a good security system. Mr. Dunn also noted that included at .10 on the dollar were top quality furnishings that would save the Library considerable funds in moving in and setting up the Technical Services Department in the new building. Mr. Dunn concluded that in his opinion with was a highly advantageous acquisition and that it was his recommendation that the Library Commission recommend that the Board of Supervisors take action to acquire the building for the Library Ms. Hildreth explained the legislative timelines and Board of Supervisors Finance Committee schedule to the Commissioners and suggested that if everything went well, action could be taken and escrow closed by the end of November. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT 190-9TH STREET An anonymous member of the public expressed concern that explanatory documents were not available in advance and suggested that based on their understanding of recently read Minutes of a BALIS meeting that there might be a plan to provide the Friends & Foundation with space in this building Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT 190-9TH STREET President Higueras noted that in this situation the Library might gain benefit from the changing economic conditions to obtain an excellent building for a far more reasonable cost than would have been possible just a few years ago. President Higueras noted that he had examined the building and found it to be of the highest quality, very close to the Main Library and providing a great deal of space for relatively little money. The Commission President observed that this was the best opportunity that the Library was likely to find and expressed his appreciation to Mr. Dunn for the outstanding work he had provided in making this possible. Vice President Steiman agreed that this seemed like a very good deal and offered her congratulations to Mr. Dunn. Commissioner Chin also agreed that this looked very good and expressed concern that there might be other competitors for its purchase. Mr. Dunn clarified that the Library had a Letter of Intent to purchase with the owner. The City Librarian clarified that there had not ever been any plans for the Friends & Foundation to have any space in 190-9th Street, that they were engaged in their own search process for a new location, and that they would not qualify as tenants within the requirements of uses for Bond funded projects. President Higueras called a brief recess at 6:36PM. The Commission returned to session at 6:50PM MOTION: Commissioner Chin, seconded by Vice President Steiman to approve and recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of a purchase & sale agreement for the acquisition of 190-9th Street for use as the Library’s Support Services Center. MOTION: AYE 4-0 (Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) AGENDA ITEM #6 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT (Explanatory documents: Bond Program budget and schedule documents) Branch Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson noted at this meeting her report would not include an information presentation. Ms. Thompson next presented the regular budget report, informing the Commissioners that there had been no changes in the Bond Program Budget since her last report. The Bond Program Manager next reported no changes in the program schedule as reported in August. The Bond Program Manager next informed the Commissioners concerning site acquisition activities regarding the proposed Portola branch at the Martin Luther King Middle School site for the Portola Branch, reported that an appraisal was underway and the School Board was scheduled to address this matter, and that locations were still being sought for the Visitacion Valley Branch. Ms. Thompson next reported on the ongoing active projects, updating the Commissioners concerning activities at the Richmond, Excelsior, Noe Valley, Marina, and Parkside Branch Libraries. The Bond Program Manager then discussed the RFQ issued for design teams and about the bond sales. Ms. Thompson then provided information concerning community outreach meetings including: a Richmond Branch public art meeting on September 18th; a Noe Valley Branch Community meeting on September 21st; a Marina Branch community meting on September 26th; a Parkside Branch community meeting on September 28th; a Visitacion Valley Branch community meeting planned for October 12th, a Mission Bay Branch public art selection meeting on October 17th, and a Portola Branch community meeting on October 27th. The Bond Program Manager noted that response to a RFQ (request for qualifications) was due on September 3rd and that she hoped to have a pool of five design teams in place by October. The Bond Program Manager informed the Commissioners that there would be no special report at this meeting and informed the Commissioners that the next quarterly reports would be made in October. Lastly, Ms. Thompson noted that the Bond Program Website was active and that the latest edition of the Bond Program newsletter was available. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT None offered Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT In answer to a question by President Higueras, Ms. Thompson noted that lower bond sale costs would accrue savings that could be transferred for use on other Bond Program projects. AGENDA ITEM #7 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public suggested that the Commission reconsider the starting time set of its meetings and continued with comments related to thoughts raised by the discussion of the proposed Neighborhood Hall of Fame. This person reflected on a New York Times magazine article suggesting that the World Trade Center had been built by spending important community social capital, that is the community’s quantifiable human/community /personal values, as had this person noted the Main Library. This individual noted that libraries were central to any ability to understand our heritage. AGENDA ITEM #8 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: Vice President Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Chin that the meeting be adjourned. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 ADJOURNMENT None offered MOTION: AYE 4-0 (Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) The meeting was adjourned at 7:06PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 10/18/02 Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of September 19, 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 (PDF) available for viewing in pdf format.
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