SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, May 20, 2003.
(As approved amended June 26, 2003)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin. Commissioners Steiman and Streets were excused.
1. Approval of the Minutes of the April 1, 2003 Commission Meeting
2. Approval of the Minutes of the April 17, 2003 Commission Meeting
3. BLIP Advisory Committee Revision
5. Bond Program Manager's Report
6. PUBLIC COMMENT
8. APPENDIX A
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 1, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 1, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING An anonymous member of the public observed that their comment expressing satisfaction with the Minutes applied only to the report of Agenda Item # 10 Public Comment not the minutes in general. Additionally, this person cited other page 9 errors in a discussion of the Fuhrman Fund and called attention to their public comment offered on adjournment concerning late Commissioner Nate Schmulowitz that was not reported. Mr. Ed Regan commented that his remarks were accurately reported. Mr. Peter Warfield cited: incomplete remarks about the strategic plan not mentioning books; a City Librarian’s statement concerning credit reporting; that POE related work was not providing space for books; and no report of his approval of suggested agenda items offered under New Business. Deborah Doyle, Friends & Foundation requested that a Friends & Foundation Report mention of $50,000 Osher Foundation grants to branches be clarified to note that this referred to first phase branches with a reasonable hope that similar amounts would become available as the Friends & Foundation Capital Campaign for Branch Libraries gets underway.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 1, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING:
President Higueras noted that the Minutes were not intended to be a verbatim report of the meeting, recommending that those seeking a word for word account review the tapes of the meeting and suggested that those dissatisfied with how items were reported in the minutes submit Public Comment Summary Statements as provided in the Sunshine Ordinance. President Higueras suggested omitting the Agenda item #1 reference to the anonymous member of the public approving the Minutes. The Commission Secretary proposed to correct omission of any public comment offered on adjournment. Commissioner Coulter asked that Ms. Doyle’s proposed clarification in the Friends & Foundation Report be made.
MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Strobin that the April 1, 2002 Minutes be approved as amended.
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 17, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 17, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING
An anonymous member of the public called attention to a change made in the minutes’s report of the City Librarian’s remarks on the availability of Richmond Branch Prop. 14 Application documents, two typographical errors, and a mention of assumptions made that did not make clear what was referred to. Mr. Peter Warfield found that the reports of bond related matters were omitted and noted lack of report of his remarks concerning: Friends & Foundation fundraising overhead, a Prop 14 Application discussion in the February minutes; and the Excelsior Branch renovations and the size of the Branch collection.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 17, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING:
Commissioner Coulter suggested that the Commission Minutes take a less is more approach. President Higueras agreed that the minutes could be simpler, more concise, and that the Library Commission’s minutes were clearly by far the most detailed done by any City Commission. Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:23PM
MOTION: Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Strobin that the April 17, 2002 Minutes be approved.
ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #3 BLIP ADVISORY COMMITTEE REVISION
The City Librarian outlined for the Commissioner a report (copy attached) recommending an expansion of the BLIP Advisory Committee. Ms. Hildreth provided an overview of the background of this proposal, citing in particular the extensive and positive contributions made by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick in considering ways to improve and expand citizen input. Ms. Hildreth then discussed the nature and work done by the various oversight and advisory bodies such as the General Obligation Bond Oversight Committee (GOBOC) and the Strategic Planning Task Force that had a role in assisting the Library. The City Librarian then described the current BLIP Advisory Committee makeup and discussed its work since being convened in October 2001. Ms. Hildreth next outlined key points in the proposed reconstitution of the BLIP Advisory Committee.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BLIP ADVISORY COMMITTEE REVISION:
Ms. Denise D’Anne, San Francisco Tomorrow criticized the proposed reconstitution of the BLIP Committee and recommended an oversight committee created by and reporting to the Board of Supervisors instead. An anonymous member of the public suggested that the proposed body would be unwieldy and that any such body be independent and report to a higher authority such as that proposed by former Supervisor Yee or creation of a committee of the Commission to address these issues. Ms. Barbara Berman, Friends & Foundation, noted that as a book person, she was comfortable with the City Librarian’s proposal and called attention to the importance of including youth input. Mr. Dick Millet, Potrero Boosters, expressed concern that the group was too large and not sufficiently representative of neighborhood organizations, suggesting inclusion of a representative from the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Mr. Tony Sacco, New Mission Terrace Neighborhood Association, noted that he was involved because of his interest in the Excelsior Branch renovation and suggested that a 21 member group could work, but should have monthly meetings and include more neighborhood organizations such as the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Ms. Ellen Egbert, Bernal Heights ‘ representative on the Council for Neighborhood Libraries, expressed support for the City Librarian’s proposal; and suggested that there was sufficient neighborhood representation on the proposed 21 member committee. Mr. Peter Warfield found the proposed body unwieldy and commented that the charge for the group was too restrictive and opined that there should be real oversight and real independence. Ms. Deborah Doyle, Friends & Foundation, reported that the Friends & Foundation supported the proposed expansion and noted that the Board of Supervisors had recently consolidated or abolished many of its citizen advisory committees in view of the current budget situation. Ms. Susan Hall, Richmond Democratic Club, suggested that the proposed committee was too large and had too many members affiliated with the Library. Ms. Hall suggested that such a body not be limited to bond related matters, meet monthly, and include a representative from the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Ms. Charlotte Breckinridge, expressed a preference for a Board of Supervisors appointed committee, opposition to efforts to digitize books, and recommended creation of computer centers. Ms. Vicky Moses, homeless, noted that the library was very important to her and asked that it be open more hours. Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Friends of Noe Valley, noted the importance of a branch centered view of libraries and suggested that the expanded Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) Advisory Committee, with additional suggestions, would be a big but inclusive body and that the Commission should move forward. Ms. Sue Cauthen, Neighborhood Library Coalition, urged that the Commission not take action and gather additional input and that she favored the approach proposed by former Supervisor Yee. Mr. Emeric Kalman questioned the budget for the BLIP Advisory Committee, questioning the cost of including city employees, and opined that everything was connected to taxpayers’ money. Ms. Debra Neiman, Noe Valley resident, suggested inclusion of more branch library stakeholders and expressed concern that fighting over appointments could drive away interested library users.
Vice President Steiman limited public comment to 2 minutes to allow everyone who wished to speak in view of the short time left before the meeting must conclude.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BLIP ADVISORY COMMITTEE REVISION
In response to questions by President Higueras, the City Librarian discussed the various Supervisors’ reactions to the proposed expansion of the BLIP Advisory Committee and outlined the various ways neighborhood representatives were included in the proposal. Ms. Hildreth noted that the proposed number was not too unwieldy as the usual attendance could be expected to be 15 to 18 members. Commissioner Bautista expressed misgivings about the potential for conflict between the appointed representatives concerning what was wanted in their particular branches as well as conflict between adult and youth users. The City Librarian suggested that it was not necessary that the Commission take action at this meeting. Commissioner Chin noted that there was a difference between being heard and being able to stop the program. Commissioner Chin urged that individuals look beyond selfish goals. She also strongly urged that youth be represented. President Higueras concluded the discussion by noting that there were many difficult choices that had to be made in renewing existing libraries to meet the needs of users within the limitations imposed by spaces and budgets as well as address accessibility concerns and seismic safety issues. He pointed out that there was no bias toward computers over books and noted that younger users continually requested more media access. President Higueras remarked that the Branch Library Improvement Program was addressing both physical spaces as well as services offered in our libraries and that it was vital to trust the professionalism of the Library’s staff to tailor each branch collection to the expressed needs of the neighborhoods. President Higueras commented that in his view the BLIP Advisory Committee should focus on the Branch Library Improvement Program alone.
Commissioner Bautista left the meeting at 5:33PM.
In response to a question by Commissioner Coulter, the City Librarian discussed the primarily fiscally oriented work of the General Obligation Bond Oversight Committee (GOBOC) created by the voters. Commissioner Coulter suggested that making the work for the proposed committee more interesting would attract and motivate involvement. He suggested that to address a broader issue that there could be an advisory committee on collection management issues created, but noted that these issues were tied together and should not be addressed in isolation. Commissioner Coulter recommended that a Commission Committee be created so that the Commissioners were actively involved in this process. He also suggested that a respected chair be recruited to lead this committee with clear assigned responsibilities. Commissioner Coulter further recommended that designated representation for communities of interest such as the disabled, youth seniors, and those not using libraries among others be identified for the committee appointments. Commissioner Coulter concluded that this committee could be either a great success or a real mess. He additionally recommended that the committee do an annual report and develop a charter to guide its activities. Commissioner Coulter noted that timing was everything and that the branch improvement projects could not wait but must go forward.
President Higueras noted that the proposed BLIP Committee should provide broad oversight over the Branch Library Improvement Program, but that the individual neighborhoods should have more direct input on their individual projects.
President Higueras called for a brief recess at 5:47PM The Commission returned to session at 5:53PM
President Higueras explain that as the quorum would be lost at 6:30PM he was taking up Agenda Item #5 The Branch Improvement Program Managers’ Report next and would then take Public Comment
AGENDA ITEM #5 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT (copy attached)
Branch Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson noted that there would be an informational report on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) issues and the Branch Library Improvement Program this month. The Branch Improvement Program Manager then introduced Kevin Jensen, DPW Disability Access Coordinator and Marti Goddard, Library Access Services Manager for presentations on these issues. Ms. Goddard presented a report Accessibility for people with disabilities in SFPL Facilities (copy attached). Mr. Jensen then gave an overview of how City Capital projects must address disabled access issues. Mr. Jensen also provided a overview of ADA/Accessibility Regulations (copy attached) and discussed how they related to the Branch Improvement Program.
Ms. Thompson then presented her regular Budget, Schedule, Active Projects, and Community Outreach updates (copies attached). The Branch Library improvement Program Manager concluded her report noting the BLIP website was up and being updated, the current newsletter was available, and that there would be no special report this month.
Public Comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public called attention to the significance of the ADA as legislation that benefited not only the disabled but the entire community. However; this person noted that the potential impact of related costs should be carefully considered. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that it was good to have a presentation on ADA requirements and noted that it was important everyone understood what was required. Mr. Warfield expressed concern about any potential impact on book capacity and urged that staff be properly trained to use ADA assistance devices.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #5 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT
In response to questions by Commissioner Chin the requirements for library shelf height and accessibility were explained.
AGENDA ITEM #6 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public suggested that the City Librarian’s action to organize the BLIP Committee after a discussion of the issue before Library Commission was a violation of the Brown Act as an un-noticed action. This person also complained that Commissioners’ comments during approval of the minutes recommending greater brevity and more concise reporting if taken as direction by the Commission Secretary also violated the Brown Act. Mr. Peter Warfield objected to materials not be made available in advance of the meeting. Mr. Warfield also found problematic the reported numbers of increase in books in the collection at the Richmond Branch Library. Mr. Ed Regan noted that it had been a very interesting meeting and that it was critical to understand the basics, know the rules, and identify the collection by fiction and non-fiction titles. He also suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight 7 days per week 365 days each year. Mr. Peter Warfield.
AGENDA ITEM #7 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Chin that the meeting be adjourned in memoriam of the late Robert Hansen, longtime Director of the Golden Gate Park Band. President Higueras fondly recalled attending Mr. Hansen’s concerts in the park as a young child with his grandmother.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 ADJOURNMENT
An anonymous member of the public suggested that the meeting be adjourned in memory of the late, Robert Hansen, Director of the Golden Gate Park Band from 1946 to 1999 who had recently passed away.
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
The meeting was adjourned at 6:36PM
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 6/26/03
Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Copies of Public Comment Summary Statements as authorized by San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.16 can be found in Appendix A. These summary statements are provided by the speaker and their contents are neither generated by, nor subject to approval or verification of accuracy by, the San Francisco Public Library Commission.
The 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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