Library Commission Minutes - November 6, 2002

Draft Minutes of the meeting of Wednesday, November 6, 2002. The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Wednesday, November 6, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:01PM by Vice President Steiman. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Streets, and Strobin. President Higueras joined the meeting at 4:06PM. Commissioner Chin was reported excused attendance. AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 1, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 1, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING Ms. Sue Cauthen requested that critical remarks concerning the Branch Library Bond Program attributed to her in public comment offered by Mr. Peter Warfield be stricken as they did not reflect her views and could become an embarrassment to her. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that public comments offered should be reported in summary even if others may not like or agree with the comments. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 1, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING Responding to a question by Commissioner Coulter, Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes reported that the audio and video recordings were the most accurate record of a meeting, that the Commission’s Minutes were reported in more detail than is required, and that the purpose of the Minutes was to serve the Library Commission as its record of actions taken. Ms. Barnes pointed out that the law suggests that members of the public should have wide latitude in offering public comments MOTION: Commissioner Higueras, seconded by Commissioner Bautista that the Minutes be approved as amended with elimination of the remarks cited by Ms. Cauthen. ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin) AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT City Librarian Susan Hildreth introduced Ms. Karen Strauss of the Art & Music Department to make a presentation of the Library’s Dorothy Starr Sheet Music collection. Ms. Strauss gave a detailed report concerning the background and activities to date with this special collection. (report attached). The City Librarian next informed the Commissioners concerning the decision to discontinue 2nd notices on overdue materials and explained the $20,000 annual cost saving recouped by this measure as well as information regarding the negligible effect 2nd notices seemed to have in getting users to return overdue items. The City Librarian then brought the Commissioners up to date with ongoing negotiations concerning the replacement of the Library’s ILS (Integrated Library Systems) system. Ms. Hildreth next outlined a proposed new effort and outlined a January to June 2003 schedule of steps to develop a strategic plan for the Library. The City Librarian requested that two Commissioners agree to serve on the committee charged with developing the plan. Ms. Hildreth informed the commissioners the California Library Association (CLA) would hold its Annual Meeting in Sacramento during November 15 through 18, 2002. The City Librarian then reported that the West Portal Branch should reopen in early December but that the Golden Gate Valley Branch would remain closed until mid-January 2003. Ms. Hildreth then gave a report on exhibits and programs at the Library including the Annual Hand Bookbinders Exhibit, a Path to Home Ownership program, the 14th Annual African American "Unsung Heroes" program, and called attention to the observance of Children’s Book Week during the week of November 23rd. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public expressed concern with the update on strategic planning, suggesting that a committee that included Commissioners was proposed without any formal process and that the Commissioners should take responsibility for their strategic plan. Ms. Deborah Doyle, Friends & Foundation, commended the effort to make the musical scores in the Library’s Dorothy Starr Collection available, hailing it as a gem of the Library’s special collections. Mr. Peter Warfield found it good to hear about items in the Library’s collections and suggested that more information about such collections be made available to members of the public. Mr. Warfield additionally called for the Commission to control and direct a public process to create the Library’s Strategic Plan. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, the City Librarian discussed why the digitization of the Starr Collection was discontinued, noting there were now many online sites where music in the public domain was available. In response to other questions by Vice President Steiman, Ms. Hildreth explained in additional detail the data that led to eliminating 2nd notices on overdue materials. Commissioner Streets’ suggested that a more familiar strategic planning model incorporating traditional corporate planning models be considered, that strategic plan concepts be tied to budget proposals, and that the information gathered in the previous planning process be used to shape the current proposal. Commissioner Streets also suggested that resource allocation flow from agreement on goals for the Library. Ms. Hildreth then outlined in detail each step she proposed to produce a strategic plan for the Commission’s consideration in June 2003. Commissioner Bautista requested information concerning the previous strategic planning effort. Commissioner Bautista also recommended a cooperative effort with university libraries to share information on special collections and suggested that a student internship might provide additional staff support to catalog the remainder of the Starr Collection. Commissioner Bautista also inquired regarding the appraised value of the Starr Collection. President Higueras suggested that a further discussion of these issues be put on an upcoming meeting agenda. President Higueras thanked the Art & Music Department staff for their outstanding efforts to make the Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection available. AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION LEASES (Explanatory documents: lease documents) Mr. Charlie Dunn, Real Estate Division, Department of Administrative Services and Mr. Martín Gómez Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation provided the Commissioners with an overview of the financial aspects and related details of the proposed lease for the Friends & Foundation’s use of office space on the 6th floor and a book store adjacent to the Grove Street entrance of the Main Library. The City Librarian noted that the Friends & Foundation was actively looking for a new office location and would be leaving its office space in the Main Library by the end of the proposed lease. The City Librarian then outlined the background of this proposal and the likely process for approval of these leases by the Board of Supervisors should the Library Commissioners agree. Mr. Dunn reported that the Library would receive fair market value for the leased spaces and confirmed that the agreements fully protected the City. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION LEASES An anonymous member of the public criticized the proposed leases and noted that the MOU with the Friends & Foundation had never been concluded. Mr. Peter Warfield remarked that he had not had time to study the issues. Mr. Warfield expressed concern that the Friends & Foundation office would not be leaving until 2004. Mr. Warfield also disagreed with the lease of space for the bookstore suggesting that instead the area inside the Grove Street entry be used to exhibit materials from the Library’s collections. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION LEASES MOTION: Vice President Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Bautista approving and recommending Board of Supervisors approval of the proposed leases with the Friends & Foundation for office and book store space in the Main Library as proposed. ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin) AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET WORKSHOP (This item is a continuation of the 2003/04 Budget Workshop begun at the October 1, 2002 meeting) (Explanatory document: 2003/03 Budget Planning report) Library Finance Director George Nichols presented a detailed overview of the Library’s 2003/04 Budget (copy attached) prospects calling particular attention to the potential problems that could result resulting from continuing national economic difficulties. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET WORKSHOP An anonymous member of the public took exception to the report. Ms. Sue Cauthen expressed concern with the possible impact of the poor economy and noted that the staff was the heart of the library. Mr. Peter Warfield agreed in part expressing his view that books and staffing were the heart of the library and that books must be the last thing cut. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET WORKSHOP Vice President Steiman pointed out that staffing equals hours of service. President Higueras found the news sobering and noted that the Commission was committed to finding a balanced way to comprehensively address any budget shortfall the Library might have to address. President Higueras suggested that some pain should be shared by all element s of the system so as to spare severe cuts to any one part. He further suggested that any reduction in the book budget should be far down on the list of cuts to be considered. Vice President Steiman urged carefully reviewing essential services. Commissioner Streets noted that the review of what constituted baseline services should be done with a view that difficult economic conditions might continue. Commissioner Streets requested that the Commissioner receive upcoming budget reports in sufficient time to study them prior to addressing them at a meeting. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Nichols observed that this year’s budget review process would be more focused on creating a secure baseline with a more sober view of long-term economic prospects. The Library’s Finance Director promised to provide a critical review of all programs and services to present the Commissioners with the best array of options available. AGENDA ITEM # 5 COMMISSION 2003 MEETINGS SCHEDULE (Explanatory document, draft 2003 Commission Meeting schedule) The Commission Secretary briefly described a proposed schedule for the library commission’s regular meeting during 2003. He noted that the proposed schedule largely maintained the Commission’s current first Tuesday and third Thursday of each month regular meeting date and 4PM as the usual beginning time. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM # 5 COMMISSION 2003 MEETINGS SCHEDULE An anonymous member of the public expressed a preference for a 5:30PM beginning time. Mr. Peter Warfield remarked that a later beginning time would allow more working people as well as library staff to attend commission meetings and urged the Commission to revert to a 5:30PM starting time for its meetings. Commission comment AGENDA ITEM # 5 COMMISSION 2003 MEETINGS SCHEDULE MOTION: Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Vice President Steiman for approval of the proposed schedule of Commission meetings for 2003. ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin) AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT Martín Gómez, Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation, brought the Commissioners up to date on recent activities highlighting an appearance by Sally Gardener Reed, President of the Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA); and calling attention to upcoming lectures as well as the April 4, 2003 Library Laureates Dinner. Ms. Deborah Doyle, President of the Friends & Foundation then presented reward checks to Library staff members Jim Mason and Nancy Silverrod, who had played key roles in the apprehension and conviction of a book slasher. Ms. Silverrod noted that the successful identification and conviction of the book slasher was a collaborative effort of many library staff members and donated her portion of the reward back to the Friends & Foundation to be used to purchase replacements for the damaged books. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT None offered. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM#6 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT President Higueras commended the staff for their successful efforts to stop further violence against the Library’s books. AGENDA ITEM #7 LABOR UNION REPORT None offered. AGENDA ITEM #8 NEW BUSINESS None offered. AGENDA ITEM #9 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public expressed astonishment that the Commission had approved the Friends & Foundation leases instead of the MOU and suggested that there had been greater public attendance when Commission meetings began later in the day. This person then discussed their belief regarding how the influence of Martin Paley’s views on managing gifts had led the Library Commission to disregard its terms and spend Fuhrman Bequest funds on other purposes. A 2nd anonymous member of the public urged the Commissioners to take action to discourage cell phone use in libraries finding it a significant disturbance to other users use and enjoyment of the library. This person noted that such a policy was in place at the Mechanic’s Library and had been very beneficial to those using it. AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: Vice President Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Bautista that the meeting be adjourned. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT None offered. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin) The meeting was adjourned at 6:10PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 11/14/02 Please note: These are draft Minutes subject to change by the Library Commission. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 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. Number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting: 2 Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of November 6, 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. 2 Public Comment (PDF) available for viewing in PDF format.
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