SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, February 04, 2003.
(As approved amended March 04, 2003)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:06PM.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman. Commissioners Streets and Strobin were excused attendance.
1. APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY 7, 2003 MINUTES
2. CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
3. EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF PAGES
4. MAIN LIBRARY SIGNAGE
5. REVISED COMMISSION MEETING SCHEDULE
6. REVISION OF THE HOLIDAY CLOSURE POLICY
7. USA PATRIOT ACT RESOLUTION
8. LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET UPDATE REPORT
9. AFFINITY CENTERS UPDATE REPORT
10. COLLECTION RECOVERY PROGRAM
11. FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
12. LABOR UNION REPORT
13. NEW BUSINESS
14. PUBLIC COMMENT
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE January 07, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING
Anonymous member of the public called attention to problems with the recordings of this meeting and cited two examples where the Minutes were abbreviated and/or eviscerated of meaning. Mr. Ed Regan reported that his comments were accurately reflected in the Minutes.
Commissioner Coulter called attention to a missing article in the report on public comment on the Minutes.
Motion: by Commissioner Chin, seconded Commissioner Bautista by for approval of the Minutes of January 7, 2003.
Action: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood presented the City Librarian’s Report in place of City Librarian Susan Hildreth who was participating in the Board of Supervisor’s meeting, (copy attached). Public comment:
An anonymous member of the public noted that the reason the City Librarian was attending the Board of Supervisors meeting was because matters related to the new Glen Park Branch Library were being addressed. This individual additionally noted that the announced meeting of the Library’s Strategic Planning group, by its nature as a passive meeting body, is open to the public.
President Higueras noted that there were many exciting programs, exhibits and activities at the Library and commended staff for their hard work.
AGENDA ITEM #3 EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF PAGES
Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood gave a detailed presentation to the Commissioners concerning the employment status of Library Pages resulting from Department of Human Resources action to enforce City Charter provisions limiting the number of hours allowed to be worked by city employees (Pages) classified as "temporary". This he noted would effectively deny opportunity for pages to achieve the minimum number of hours worked in a year needed to qualify to receive employee benefits. Mr. Underwood reiterated that the Library was working cooperatively with the Union and the Department of Human Resources and doing everything that it could to find ways to resolve this problem and in particular to preserve the benefits previously granted to some Pages. The Deputy City Librarian then described a proposed three step effort to resolve the problem by the creation of a fully benefited category of Pages, creation of a Page category, and a new Bookshelver classification with duties limited to handling materials, and temporary.
Library Human Resources Director Donna Marion began her presentation noting that the Commission’s authority in this matter was limited to its authority to budget and then outlined the City Charter language found in Section 10.104, category 16 as it applied to the Library’s 3602 page classification. Ms. Marion reported that by Charter these kinds of positions citywide were supposed to be capped at no more than 1040 hours per year. Ms. Marion then discussed how improved weekly computer oversight of how City Departments expended budgeted funds by position by Human Resources had resulted in the enforcement memo no longer permitting exceeding this cap, a longstanding practice. Ms. Marion reported on meeting with the Library’s union and the four meetings held to discuss the issue with Pages and noted report of these discussions were available on StaffNet. The Library’s Director of Human Resources called attention to the strong commitment and very active involvement of the City Librarian to find a workable solution and outlined to steps involved in a civil service resolution of the matter. Ms. Marion noted the Director of the Department of Human Resources had promised to work with the Library in finding a solution.
In view of a large number of likely public comments President Higueras limited each comment to 2 minutes on this item.
An anonymous member of the public said that he had prepared a 3-minute comment and would therefore reserve his remarks. Mr. Ed Regan noting that this was a beginning jobfor many young people and that while the position could be called temporary some should be hired permanently. SEIU Local 790, Representative Timothy West commented that the Library had had Pages receiving benefits since as far back as 1932 Mr. West additionally observed that 90 to100 pages hired before July 1, 2002 needed hours exceeding the 1040 limit to access benefits and additional pages should have their needs for benefits addressed. Ms. Catherine Bernard, a Library for the Blind Page, spoke again in support of the Union’s position noting that she liked her job and was proud of her work. Ms. Bernard noted that the Charter provisions in question did not address the issue that Pages were not seasonal workers nor did it reflect current concerns with employment of the disabled, policies against sexual harassment, or, the encouragement of employment of single parents. Ms. Judy Beck, a West Portal Branch Page, spoke for other Pages unable to attend noting that an injustice to some effects all and that Pages were not temporary but vital to the functioning of libraries. She noted that Pages are year round workers who perform many duties and that they were not just kids but workers needing benefits. Ackerman Jones, SEIU Chapter leader, commented that Pages were vital, necessary, and deserving of benefits. Mr. Jones noted that he had begun as a Page 22 years ago and that steps should be taken to make permanent the 3602 class. Mr. Wayne Doyle, husband of a Page, called the City Charter language archaic, noting that Pages had had benefits for 20 years and were not just college interns. He remarked most Pages were not students and that their classification should be rewritten to treat them as normal City employees receiving benefits. Mr. Doyle suggested that San Francisco should set an example. Ms. Carol Raymond, an Ortega Branch Page for four years pointed out that she had had to use vacation, had worked steady regular hours, and that this sudden loss of hours and benefits was a serious problem. Reese, a Main Library Page, noted that the timesheets had been computerized for a long time and that he had been asked to accept a 20-hour position so that he would be able to get benefits. He suggested that the Library had been aware of this situation and was only now considering a three-tier system to placate DHR. Ms. Missy Bradford, an Ocean View Page found the proposed treatment of Pages wrong, noting that in small branches Pages frequently did all of the jobs and that they needed sick and vacation pay. Mr. David Hill, a Presidio Page since 1999 commented that he was not temporary or seasonal and had always worked a regular schedule. Mr. Hill noted that he loved his job and had great co-workers and that Pages should be getting benefits. Ms. Cathy Bremer, Librarian’s Guild Steward, observed that the 300 Pages were vital to the Library, that the Library was not suffering from a budget shortfall or faced with layoffs, and that the Library should resist DHR rules as it had since 1932. Ms. Bremer remarked that Pages were essential workers and that denying them benefits sent the wrong message. Mr. Peter Warfield reiterated previous remarks in support of Pages having good working conditions and noted that Pages provided important services to users. Mr. Warfield urged the Commission to make every effort to support the Pages. Ms. Shelly Roushman, a Richmond Page for two years working in the Children’s Room noted that she helped the librarians with every program and task, that she enjoyed her job working with the public, and that it was skilled work. Joshua, a newly rehired Main Library Page, now without benefits, observed that these plans said something about the City’s commitment to public service, that this issue had been a longstanding problem, that the Shelver Class was not wanted, and that all Pages should get benefits.
President Higueras thanked everyone for coming to inform the Commissioners and noted that the Commissioners valued the contributions of Library Pages. President Higueras pointed out that this was a City imposed requirement that did not square with how the Library had treated the Pages and therefore left few easy answers. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood make it clear that it was Library Administration’s goal to preserve the benefits of those Pages receiving them and that a great difficulty lay with the Department of Human Resources’ (DHR) frequent shifts of position regarding what they would allow. Mr. Underwood pointed out that a tiered system for pages already existed in fact and that the current problem was created by the shifts in the City’s policy on these positions. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Underwood noted that the Library wanted to continue paying these benefits but that DHR was not allowing it. The Deputy City Librarian further explained not all Pages have benefits or even the same levels of benefits citing 76 of 294 Pages with benefits and another 188 with vacation and sick leave were affected. Attention was called to a DHR Memo of June 2002 indicating strict citywide enforcement of the City Charter requirement and monitoring of Department expenditures so that the 1040 maximum annual hours could not be exceeded even if a part-time worker went from one City Department to another. It was noted that there were no funds budgeted to provide additional benefits for Pages not already receiving them and that the Page classification had only a 2-step salary scale with additional increases only through COLAs. In response to a question by Commissioner Chin, Mr. Underwood noted that reclassification was a possibility but that the negotiations with DHR had not achieved an answer yet. Commissioner Coulter observed that this was a difficult problem with citywide implications, noting that Pages were very important to the Library. Ms. Hildreth pointed out that the Library’s situation in this matter was sufficiently unique that a change in the type of appointment with cooperation from DHR, the Mayor, and the Controller and Health Services might be possible. Tim West responding to the Commissioners’ discussion commented that there were 1500 people in these classifications citywide but that the Library’s situation was different. Mr. West remarked that the Pages did not want to lose benefits and hours and that the Union would continue to appeal the Page’s designation as "temporary" to the Civil Service Commission.
In response to calls by members of the public for additional public comment, Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes reported that as public comment had been taken and closed for this item those wishing to make additional comments on this topic would have to wait until the Labor Union Report or general Public Comment
AGENDA ITEM #4 MAIN LIBRARY SIGNAGE
Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood presented a brief summary report (copy attached) and status update on POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report projects focusing in particular on efforts to address Main Library signage concerns. Mr. Underwood noted that after extensive staff evaluation and work by signage consultants it was the staff’s recommendation that an additional $100,000 for a total of $450,000 be authorized to cover increased costs to fund fabrication and installation of the new signage as well as needed lighting.
An anonymous member of the public noted that the explanatory document had not been listed on the agenda and questioned shifting of funds earmarked for a apparently now eliminated 2nd Floor Bridge to this project. This person additionally found that $500,000 was a large amount for signage and wondered why it was being funded by the Library Preservation Fund instead of the Library Improvement Fund. Mr. Peter Warfield complained about the unavailability of explanatory documents and found the signage proposal expensive. Mr. Warfield questioned exactly how the proposed funding would be spent and asked if there was a contract.
Vice President Steiman pointed out that all of these matters, in particular the signage issues, had been extensively discussed at previous meetings. She observed that it would not be fully known if the new signage worked as intended until it had been put up and suggested inclusion of contract language that would allow for modification if elements did not work as planned. Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun noted that there was no fabrication contract as yet but that a clause could be included to address changes if found to be needed. President Higueras commented that this was difficult to do within most contracts and suggested that staff phase in the projects so as to allow flexibility. President Higueras recommended that significant prominent locations be done with follow up checking as each segment is completed. Then Ms. Lawhun reported that the program schedule was still being worked out. Ms. Lawhun additionally noted that the proposed Signage Program had been presented to the Council for Neighborhood Libraries, a knowledgeable group of library users, and been found to be a great improvement. In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, Ms. Lawhun reported that $68, 000 would be paid to the consultant, that $214,000 was for fabrication, and $379,000 for demolition, lighting, and sign installation. Ms. Lawhun noted a $26,000 contingency reserve for the project. The Chief of the Main Library then outline d the RFP and contract issuance process, and clarified that ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) concerns had been addressed. Commissioner Coulter recalled that the root of this problem resulted from the original signage fabricator of the Main Library bankrupting just prior to its opening and that as a result staff with little time and resources to do the job properly had thrown signage together.
Motion: by Commissioner Coulter, 2nd by Commissioner Bautista for approval of the proposed reallocation of funds for Main Library signage.
Action: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
AGENDA ITEM #5 REVISED 2003 COMMISSION MEETING SCHEDULE
The Commission Secretary presented a brief overview of why changes in the regular meeting day of the Board of Supervisors from Monday to Tuesday suggested that the Library Commission move its regular meeting day from the first Tuesday of each month to the first Thursday. This he pointed out would reduce the likelihood that Library staff would have conflicts between a need to address issues before the Board of Supervisors at the same time a Library Commission meeting was scheduled. The Commissioner Secretary called the Commission’s attention to a proposed-revised 2003 meeting schedule (copy attached) setting out the new meeting dates. The Commission Secretary recommended that the change in meeting day not go into effect until May to allow sufficient time for everyone concerned to be made aware of the change.
Public comment: An anonymous member of the public while finding the presentation confusing saw some advantage to the proposed change in schedule, finding it probably better that the meetings not be in conflict. Mr. Ed Regan while generally opposed to changes found them justified in this case. Mr. Peter Warfield while generally supportive queried if such a change should be made without all of the Commissioners being present. Mr. Warfield also recommended moving the start time for meetings back to 5:30. Ms. Elaine Tanzman recommended a later start time for meetings to allow those who worked to attend.
Commission action: Commission Bautista had no problem with the proposed change in meeting day. Commissioner Coulter noted that while first Tuesday Commission meetings had been traditional, staff concerns with having scheduling conflicts with attendance at the Board of Supervisors made sense for the change. The City Librarian reported that staff had proposed this change in order to avoid such future scheduling conflicts. Vice President Steiman found the change reasonable and affirmed support for maintaining the 4PM start time. Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes pointed out that question of meeting start time was not on the agenda for discussion/action and so could not be addressed in any event.
Motion: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd by Commissioner Chin for approval of the proposed revised 2003 Meeting Schedule changing regular Library Commission meetings to the first and third Thursdays of each month beginning in may 2003.
Action: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
AGENDA ITEM # 6 REVISION OF THE HOLIDAY CLOSURE POLICY
Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood briefed the Commissioners on the reasoning behind the proposed revision of the Library’s Holiday Closure Policy ending the system wide closure on Easter. Mr. Underwood reported that the traditional observance of this religious holiday was no longer in keeping with the wishes of library staff, that this holiday closure alone was not among the City’s recognized holidays, and noted that the closure sometimes forced staff to use vacation hours they would prefer to take at another time. Additionally, library users had also requested that the libraries remain open on that day.
Public Comment: Mr. Ed Regan found that this change provided an opportunity for more public services hours and so met with his approval. An anonymous member of the public found favorable the addition of more hours, and but expressed concern that if that the change was based on a rationale the fewer Christians resulted in less interest in honoring the holiday this person was less favorably inclined to the change. Mr. Peter Warfield spoke in favor of additional open hours but questioned why only the Easter holiday closure was being considered instead of others as well.
In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, the Deputy City Librarian clarified that staff who wished to honor the religious holiday would be accommodated as were other staff wishing to observe other such holidays.
Motion: by Commissioner Chin, 2nd by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the proposed revised Holiday Closure Policy to end the system wide closure on Easter beginning in 2004.
Action: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
AGENDA ITEM #7 USA PATRIOT ACT RESOLUTION
City Librarian Susan Hildreth reported to the Commissioners concerning the controversy about the USA Patriot Act and the recent adoption by the Board of Supervisors of a resolution in opposition to the USA Patriot Act. Ms. Hildreth additionally noted that the American Library Association (ALA) had adopted a similar resolution at its recent Mid-Winter conference reflecting the deep concerns and misgivings in the library profession about the negative impact of the USA Patriot Act’s provisions on user privacy and intellectual freedom. The City Librarian observed that, while everyone agreed that terrorism must be combated, those goals could be achieved without sacrificing civil liberties, library users’ right to privacy, and intellectual freedom that the Patriot Act seemed to sanction. Ms. Hildreth noted that approval of the proposed resolution would express solidarity with the Oakland Public Library that had adopted a similar resolution as well as with the ALA, and the Board of Supervisors in support of library users’ right to privacy and pursuit of intellectual freedom. The City Librarian reported that this resolution reflected the Library staff’s desire to go on the record with their concerns about this law. Ms, Hildreth reported that there had been thus far no requests for information by government agencies made to the Library under provisions of this law
Mr. Peter Warfield expressed agreement with the intent of this resolution but was concerned that the Library’s use of time out software created a use record tied to library cards that might pose a potential threat to privacy of users. An anonymous member of the public commented in support of the resolution, finding this a serious topic, and noting that in this matter the Library was defending the rule of law and respect for everyone. This person found this resolution preserving libraries traditions and wondering how long they might last without any rights. This individual suggested that this had nothing to do with being against terrorism and much to do with affirming commitment to freedom. Mr. Ed Regan noted that he did not know much about this law but from what was said he supported the proposed resolution.
In response to comments by Commissioner Coulter and Vice President Steiman the proposed resolution was modified to clarify that the Library Commission was addressing its opposition to those specific sections of the Patriot Act that impacted library users’ rights.
Motion: by Commissioner Coulter, 2nd by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the proposed resolution in accordance with American Library Association and Board of Supervisors resolutions expressing the concern with and opposition to certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act.
Action: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
President Higueras called a brief recess at 6:09PM
The meeting resumed at 6:19PM
AGENDA ITEM #8 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET UPDATE REPORT
Library Finance Director George Nichols provided an update report on the current status of the 2003/04 City and Library budgets. Mr. Nichols clarified that there would be no explanatory document for this brief report contrary to what was noted on the meeting agenda. The Library’s Finance Director reported that as a result of additional increases in the City’s likely budget shortfall to $350 million and declining City commercial revenues, the Mayor’s Budget Office had issued new budget directions requesting that City Departments prepare and submit a new contingency plan for a 10% reduction in proposed 2003/04 budgets. Mr. Nichols reported that the new budget instruction also directed a stop to discretionary spending and for some Department’s the preparation of lay-off lists. The Finance Director discussed the possible ramifications of the Mayor declaring a City State of Emergency and what that might mean for the Library Budget. Mr. Nichols reported that the Library’s budget was currently within the limits funded by Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund 1994) and that no reductions in staff or programs were expected this year. Mr. Nichols then outlined issues such as: the 10% contingency reduction plan due March 15; the likelihood that there would be no salary increases next year; a baseline budget correction that would be needed to cover $182,000 in underfunding for premium pay; and the impact of a DHR memo on increased workers compensation costs. Additionally, Mr. Nichols called attention to an upcoming premium increase for employee health insurance and noted that some outcomes of the Page situation could have budgetary impact. Mr. Nichols concluded his report by observing that the next year would be difficult as the city’s budget problems were tied to the even more serious State government budget shortfall. The Finance Director noted that in this very fluid situation he would be providing monthly updates so that the Commission could be aware of and ready to respond to ongoing development if necessary.
An anonymous member of the public expressed appreciation for being informed that there was no explanatory document for this item and regret that none was available. This person criticized the Commission’s approval of a 2003/04 Budget that spent down reserve funds suggesting that continuing decline in the City General Fund revenues could have serious impact on the Library. Mr. Ed Regan found Mr. Nichol’s presentation excellent and suggested a break out of the entire budget displaying wages, benefits, and expenditures for books, denoting expenditures for fiction and non-fiction books.
In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Nichols discussed the as yet hypothetical results of the various budget reduction contingency plans called for by the Mayor’s Budget Office noting that it was not his expectation that they would be put into effect until the situation became quite dire. Ms. Hildreth reported that the budget picture changed day by day and agreed with Mr. Nichol’s assessment that continuing General Fund reductions would likely be off set by increases in Prop. E revenues from property taxes.
AGENDA ITEM #9 AFFINITY CENTERS UPDATE REPORT
Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun introduced Librarian Doris Tseng of the Chinese Affinity Center for an update report on recent activities. Ms. Tseng began by wishing the Commissioners Happy Chinese New Year and outlined the extensive array of programs, services, and materials available in both Chinese and English for the Center’s users. Ms. Tseng provided highlights of recent programming calling attention to the more than 1400 people who had participated in immigration related programs, Peking Opera programs, author readings, and bi-lingual tours and internet classes in Chinese offered by the Chinese Affinity Center. The Chinese Center Manager then described the recent China Wonders Exhibit and the upcoming Wonders of Taipei exhibit, a new display of Chinese pottery, and spoke about the many new multi-cultural users attracted to the Library by the Center’s activities. Ms. Tseng reported that efforts were underway to create a homepage for the Center and a Chinese language version of the Library’s home page. Ms. Lawhun then introduced Librarian Stuart Shaw of the African American Affinity Center who presented an extensive update on that Center’s programs, exhibitions, and recent activities. Mr. Shaw described the Center as a gateway collection that helped guide users to resources available. Mr. Shaw then discussed the 14 programs, author talks, lectures, the Hopes & Visions exhibit from the New York Public Library’s famed Schaumburg Center, a program featuring African American Authors of the past 30 years, programs on 20th century African American writers/poets, and a video program "Unchained Memories" done to coincide with an HBO program presentation of the same name. Mr. Shaw reminded the Commissioners that February was African American History Month and called attention to a storyteller festival to be held from February 15 through 22nd in cooperation with the Library’s Children’s Services Department. Mr. Shaw also discussed the upcoming 6th Black Independent Film Festival and discussed planned exhibits to be held in the African American Center in the coming months.
None offered Commission discussion:
President Higueras congratulated and commended the affinity center staff for their excellent presentations. In response to a query by Commissioner Bautista, Library Community Affairs Chief Marcia Schneider discussed the extensive support her department provided to the affinity centers to assist in publicizing their programs and activities. Ms. Schneider noted that extensive outreach was made to the ethnic and community press to maximize exposure of the centers’ programming. Ms. Tseng noted that the Chinese Affinity Center was extensively covered in the Chinese language media, including the press, radio, and television. Commissioner Coulter congratulated the staff for the continuing good work of the centers, calling attention to monthly update emails he received on current affinity center activities. Commissioner Coulter suggested that efforts be continued to let previous affinity center donors know about current activities and make outreach to bring the communities into the centers. Commissioner Coulter called attention to a planned event honoring the late Dr. Arthur Coleman, a pioneering civic and community leader and a founder of the African American Affinity Center at the Library to be held on March 3rd. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, it was reported that center donors were recognized in publicity concerning center events and in photographs displayed in the centers. In response to questions by Commissioner Chin regarding outreach to schools and youth, Mr. Shaw and Ms. Tseng discussed their efforts to make outreach to children and youth.
President Higueras left the meeting at 6:58PM.
AGENDA ITEM #10 COLLECTION RECOVERY PROGRAM
City Librarian Susan Hildreth presented a report (copy attached) discussing the background and reasons that staff felt that the Commission should again consider requesting that the Board of Supervisors authorize the Library to collect a fee to fund an effective collection recovery program. The City Librarian outlined in some detail the largely unsuccessful efforts which the Library had pursued to try to recover the over $600,000 in materials that were not being returned annually. Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun provided details of three proposed alternatives that might be considered to address the problem. The Chief of the Main Library noted that there had been virtually no change in returns with the additional mailed notices from the Library. Ms. Lawhun outlined the key comparisons and options of using the professional recovery company Unique Management Services, having the City’s Tax Collector recover delinquent accounts, and having expanded Library staff attempt to increase the rate of materials returned. Ms. Lawhun noted that of these options: Unique Management was revenue neutral with the highest proven record of getting materials returned; that the Tax collector would charge the Library an $81,000 annual fee and commit to an estimated 60% rate of return; and that increased Library staff could cost $162,000 with an estimated 50% rate of recovery. The City Librarian noted that what the Library most wanted was a system that would get materials returned rather than one that focused on collecting money. Ms. Hildreth asked that the Commissioners review the proposed options and noted that this matter would be returned to the Commission for further consideration and possible action in March.
An anonymous member of the public noted that there was no mention of the explanatory document on the agenda and found curious that the additional notices had had no impact as the reported missing/assumed lost category of materials had dropped from 125,000 to 86,000 in the period covered by additional notices. . This person suggested that the Board of Supervisors request for reports on recovery of materials had not received due attention. Mr. Peter Warfield complained that explanatory materials were not available, noting that this was a controversial topic about which the Library had suffered defeat at the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Warfield found the proposed collection recovery program outsourcing of librarian’s work and indicated a preference for being contacted by librarians when it was necessary to recover un-returned materials. Mr. Warfield suggested that using Unique Management would lead to damaging the credit rating of those with un-returned materials.
In response to a question by Commissioner Coulter, Ms. Hildreth confirmed the $600,000 loss figure and emphasized the need to act to address this serious erosion of the Library’s collections. The City Librarian confirmed that Unique Management had been very successful in recovering materials for other libraries such as the Oakland Public Library, which now had a better than 65% rate of materials coming back. Commissioner Bautista noted that it seemed like a good program, remarked that librarians were not debt collectors, and that this was a reasonable first step in recovering lost materials. In answer to a question by Commission Chin, Ms. Lawhun noted that Unique Management was currently the only significant operator in the field. In response to a question by Commissioner Coulter, Ms. Lawhun confirmed that there were still some problems with recovering materials checked out by homeless users but that in the overall picture this was a very small part of the problem as they could only check out one item at a time and not receive anything else until that item was returned.
AGENDA ITEM #11 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
Ms. Deborah Doyle, President of the Friends & Foundation brought the commissioners up to date concerning recent activities. Ms. Doyle invited the Commissioners to participate in the March 3rd reception co-sponsored by Mayor Brown and the Library honoring the late Dr. Arthur Coleman and marking the beginning of creation of an endowment in his honor. The President of the Friends & Foundation then reminded the Commissioners to keep April 4th the date of the Annual Library Laureates Dinner, this year featuring special honors for the 3 M’s, Marjorie Stern, Mary Louise Stong, and Margaret "Mig" Mayer for their decades of leadership on behalf of San Francisco’s public libraries. Ms. Doyle additionally reported that the Friends & Foundation Board had approved support for the proposed Library Wall of Heroes, approving $10,000 for design and installation of the dedicatory plaques. Ms. Doyle also noted the participation in the ALA Mid-Winter conference by several library staff members had been assisted by the Friends & Foundation.
AGENDA ITEM #12 LABOR UNION REPORT
AGENDA ITEM #13 NEW BUSINESS
AGENDA ITEM #14 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public called attention to their observance of 28 years of attending Library Commission meetings, noting that this represented half of their lifetime. This person commented that this experience had demonstrated that: everything that they had though to be true was not true; and that a mechanisms exists to lie to, ridicule, and blame the victim. This individual additionally noted that such attacks on self-esteem, the promotion of which was an interesting California State policy, were attacks on self-respect. Mr. Ed Regan recommended that libraries be open from 6AM until Midnight, seven days per week, every day of the year. Ms. Deborah Doyle, Library BALIS representative, called the Commissioner’ s attention to a March 1st joint workshop held at the Main Library sponsored by BALIS focussing on how to make more effective library friends groups.
AGENDA ITEM #15 ADJOURNMENT
Motion: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Bautista that the meeting be adjourned.
Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Steiman)
The meeting was adjourned at 7:30PM
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 3/5/03
Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Library Commission meeting of February 4, 2003
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
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