SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
(As approved amended September 2, 2004)
Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, June 3, 2004
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, June 3, 2004 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
The meeting was called to order at 4:05pm.
The following members were present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin.
Commissioner Streets was excused attendance.
1. Public Comment
2. Approval of the Minutes of April 1, 2004
3. Approval of the Minutes of May 6, 2004
4. City Librarian's Report
5. 2004/05 Library Budget
7. Resolution Honoring Dr. Starr
8. BALIS Update Report
9. City Librarian Search Process
10. Friends of the Library Report
11. Labor Union Report
12. New Business
14. APPENDIX A
AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public commented on the importance of the search for a new City Librarian and about the history of previous City Librarians.
Mr. Peter Warfield discussed the new Seattle Main Library, noted the Library had been in the news, and commented about his comments to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force concerning remarks he attributed to President Higueras.
Mr. David Pilpel, Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, lauded the Library’s “Shades of the Sunset” neighborhood history program thanking the Friends of the Library for supporting it, and thanked City Librarian Susan Hildreth for her exemplary service to San Francisco.
AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF April 1, 2004
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF April 1, 2004
An anonymous member of the public noted that this was the second time these minutes were proposed for approval, noted that there were two different draft versions of these minutes available, and expressed shock at the lack of detail in reporting of the RFID discussions.
Mr. Peter Warfield expressed dismay that there had been two drafts of the revised April 1st minutes and that it was difficult to distinguish changes, and found that the revised minutes left out many details about the RFID presentations. Mr. Warfield also felt many of his comments during the meeting were not accurately reported or had been left out.
COMMISSION discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF APRIL 1, 2004
The Secretary noted draft minutes were always subject to change by the Commission prior to adoption and that he would annotate future drafts so as to make changes between drafts more evident. In response to President Higueras’ questions the Secretary clarified which RFID presentations were being addressed in these minutes.
MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd Commissioner Bautista for approval of the Minutes of the regular meeting of April 1, 2004 as revised.
Approved by the following vote:
ACTION: 5-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF May 6, 2004
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF MAY 6, 2004
An anonymous member of the public found these minutes largely inaccurate, citing reported public comments offered by this individual that this person did not make at that meeting. It was noted that instead this person had discussed remarks attributed to President Higueras and that what if the minutes were not intended as a joke, and noted that the Commission’s minutes were widely distributed and read.
COMMISSION discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF MAY 6, 2004
The Secretary proposed to review the meeting tape again and correct any error in reporting of the anonymous member of the publics’ reported public comment. Commissioner Coulter noted that he thought that he had been the maker of the motion concerning the Library Commission’s decision to explore implementation of RFID. Commissioner Coulter further suggested that the Commission’s intent go carefully and thoughtfully forward with minimal first stage funding on RFID and encourage those concerned with RFID to work in partnership with the Library to pioneer addressing these issues for the library world be made more clear in the minutes.
MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, 2nd Commissioner Bautista for approval of the Minutes of the regular meeting of May 6, 2004 as amended regarding the cited public comment and with further clarification of the RFID discussion by the Secretary to address the points raised by Commissioner Coulter.
Approved by the following vote:
ACTION: 6-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
The City Librarian reported on the following subjects: the enactment of the library citizen’s advisory committee; the Library 125th Anniversary; a Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund 1994) lawsuit; status of the Branch Library Improvement Program Advisory Committee; the Friends of the Library lease; a BALIS Advisory Board vacancy; the Mission Branch lobby reconfiguration; Chinatown Branch carpeting; and exhibits and programs (copy attached) Ms. Hildreth also reported Planning Commission approval for a conditional use permit for the new Ingleside Branch Library.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented on the Library’s 125th celebrations recalling those in honor of its centennial, and reported that they had lost their lawsuit against the Library concerning Prop. E expenditures this person also expressed disappointment at the demise of the BLIP Advisory Committee, and looked forward to the library citizen’s advisory committee.
Ms. Sue Cauthen commented on the reasons upon which the Mayor had declined to sign the Board of Supervisors’ legislation creating a library citizen’s advisory committee.
Mr. Peter Warfield commented on the many reported 125th Anniversary activities and discussed the Board of Supervisors creation of a library citizen advisory committee. Mr. Warfield also commented on implications of the loss of the lawsuit against the Library.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
President Higueras and Commissioner Bautista applauded the hard work staff had provided in making a success of the celebrations honoring the San Francisco Public library’s 125th Anniversary. In response to President Higueras’ question, the City Librarian reported that it was expected that the Friends would complete their office relocation this Fall.
AGENDA ITEM #5 2004/05 LIBRARY BUDGET
(Library Finance Director George Nichols reported to the Commission concerning the Mayor’s Budget proposal for the Library as submitted to the Board of Supervisors). Copy attached
Library Finance Director George Nichols presented a detailed update report on the Library’s proposed $58.972 million 2004/05 Budget as submitted by the Mayor to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration. Mr. Nichols reported good news that revenues had been better than expected and that while some costs were also greater than expected the additional revenues meant that there would be fewer reductions and less need to use funds from the Library’s reserve. The Library Finance Director reported the budget balanced with an additional increase in funds to the book budget. Mr. Nichols cautioned the Commissioners that it was highly likely that several anticipated baseline budget cost increases would require that the Library carefully review all of its programs and services to prepare for continued difficult budget challenges certain to occur in the next few years.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 2004/05 LIBRARY BUDGET
An anonymous member of the public found the report sobering and expressed concern that the manner in which library services had been defined might encourage Board of Supervisors initiatives to expend library funds elsewhere. This person noted that the budget for the City Librarian search was lower that an amount previously budgeted , suggested that a new City Librarian might reconsider RFID, and applauded more funds for books.
Mr. Peter Warfield complained that the report had not been available prior to the meeting and cited a number of budget items he suggested the Commission should review. Mr. Warfield also questioned elimination of the work order to the Tax Collector for materials recovery, and asked for more information about POE related projects.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #5 2004/05 LIBRARY BUDGET
Vice President Steiman noted that there had been many discussions of and reports on the Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) Report related Main Library projects. The City Librarian noted that an unsuccessful effort had been made to work with the Tax Collector’s Office on materials recovery after the Board of Supervisors declined to approve use of the collection agency as requested by the Commission. The Chief of the Main Library discussed how labor intensive it had been to convert library information into a usable format for the Tax Collector and reported their proposed per account charge to the Library was $50. Additionally Ms. Lawhun reported that the Tax Collector’s Office had indicated that they could only handle very large accounts over $500. Ms. Lawhun concluded that this was not cost effective. The City Librarian expressed a hope that future Boards might reconsider the far less expensive and proven effective materials recovery program that the Library had proposed. In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, Ms. Hildreth then discussed the details of the proposed technology refreshment program. Responding to President Higueras, the City Librarian noted that the $300,000 designated for RFID startup would revert to the reserve if not approved.
Commissioner Chin left the meeting at 5:25pm and returned at 5:45pm.
Mr. Peter Warfield wished that the changes in the text were more clearly marked. Mr. Warfield further remarked that he still had serious concerns about the proposed policy, citing in particular the staff guidelines and concerns about use of RFID tags.
AGENDA ITEM #7 RESOLUTION HONORING DR. STARR
City Librarian Susan Hildreth presented for the Commission’s approval a proposed resolution honoring Dr. Kevin Starr, California State Librarian Emeritus and former San Francisco City Librarian, for his decades of leadership and public service on behalf of California’s libraries to be presented to Dr. Starr during the Library’s 125th Anniversary observances on June 3, 2004 (copy attached). City Librarian Susan Hildreth read the proposed text into the record.
Vice President Steiman left the meeting at 5:50pm
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 RESOLUTION HONORING DR. STARR
An anonymous member of the public was gratified by this item and commented that events were coming full circle suggesting that scholar/librarian Dr. Starr’s tenure as City Librarian had been a “Golden Era” in retrospect.
Mr. Peter Warfield commented that he had enjoyed the reading of the proposed resolution.
Ms. Deborah Doyle rose in support of the proposed resolution honoring Dr. Starr’s many contributions to California’s libraries.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #7 RESOLUTION HONORING DR. STARR
Commissioner Coulters suggested a change in tense in a section of the resolution; cited scholar/librarian Dr. Starr’s stories in author Peter Wiley’s history of the Library; and recalled in particular Dr. Starr’s assistance during the controversy concerning the relocation of the Pioneer Monument.
MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd Commissioner Bautista for approval of the proposed resolution honoring former City Librarian and California State Librarian Emeritus Dr. Kevin Starr.
Approved by the following vote:
5-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
The Commission recessed at 6:04pm.
The Commission returned to session at 6:11pm.
AGENDA ITEM #8 BALIS UPDATE REPORT
Ms. Deborah Doyle, made her fourth report and final report to the Commission as San Francisco’s representative on the Bay Area Library and Information Systems (BALIS) Advisory Board at the end of her 2nd and last term on the BALIS Board.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #8 BALIS UPDATE REPORT
AGENDA ITEM #9 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS
Ms. Hildreth reported that Mayor Newsom had indicated that the Commission should move forward with a search process for a new City Librarian. The City Librarian outlined a proposed process based on previous experience that suggested use of an executive search firm from three that were pre-qualified to participate in City contracts. The identified pre-qualified firms were: the Hawkins Company; PS Executive Search, and Bob Murry & Associates. President Higueras noted that using this process could more quickly identify and bring candidates forward for Commission consideration.
Public AGENDA ITEM #9 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS
An anonymous member of the public commented on the importance that the City Librarian search process be seen as fair suggesting that previous City Librarians had been burdened with a perception that their selection was not perceived as fair. Mr. Peter Warfield called for an open process, suggesting that the Commission should choose the firm and direct the search with maximum opportunity for public input. Mr. Warfield offered his help in selecting a new City Librarian
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #9 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS
President Higueras noted that the Commission was charged to submit up to three candidates to the Mayor and discussed the various choices open to the Commission between using a pre-qualified firm or choosing a firm through the City’s request for proposals (RFP) process. In response to a question by Commissioner Chin, Ms. Hildreth outlined what had been done during the previous City Librarian selection processes.
Commissioner Coulter noted that use of a combined Commission and staff committee had worked well. Ms. Hildreth outlined how using a pre-qualified firm could speed up the process but still retain options for extensive input. Ms. Hildreth noted that each of the pre-qualified firms had indicated willingness to use a specialized library consultant as a subcontractor in conducting the search process. The City Librarian noted that it would be important to get the word out about the City Librarian search at the upcoming American Library Association (ALA) conference in Florida. Commissioner Chin noted that choosing a City Librarian was one of the most important jobs of the Commission and that community stakeholders input should be sought. Commissioner Bautista observed that qualities the Commissioners might want in a candidate to be City Librarian and the potential challenges any new City Librarian might face had not yet been discussed. In response to a question by Commissioner Strobin, Ms. Hildreth outlined the various steps in the proposed search process. President Higueras noted that the Commission would make sure that the process used was one that the Commissioners wanted.
MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, 2nd Commissioner Chin to authorize the Library’s Director of Human Resources with the assistance of a staff committee that also could include at least two Library Commissioners to recommend to the Commission selection of a professional executive search firm using one of three firms pre-qualified for use by City Departments to conduct the search process for the position of City Librarian.
Approved by the following vote:
5-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #10 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
Ms. Deborah Doyle, Friends Board member, announced that Martín Gómez, Executive Director of the Friends of the Library would be leaving to become the President of the Urban Libraries Council and that with the concurrence of the Board, she would serve as Acting Executive Director until a new permanent Executive Director for the Friends was selected. Ms. Doyle then reported on: the Friends support for the Library’s 125th Anniversary activities; and reported Friends’ grants of $725,000 to Library staff for 2004/05.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
The Commissioners thanked the Friends of the Library for their support for the 125th Anniversary celebration and applauded the new design for the Friends logo.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT
AGENDA ITEM #11 LABOR UNION REPORT
(No report offered)
AGENDA ITEM #12 NEW BUSINESS
(No items were proposed)
AGENDA ITEM #13 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Strobin that the meeting be adjourned.
Approved by the following vote:
4-0 AYE (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
There being no further business, at the hour of 6:57pm the Public Library Commission adjourned.
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 9/3/04
Please note: Amendments to these Minutes are in alternative typeface. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
to the June 3, 2004 Minutes:
2004/05 Budget Report
Dr. Starr resolution
BALIS Update Report
Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of June 3, 2004
Appendix A Library Commission meeting of June 3, 2004
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
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).