SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, October 2, 2003
(As approved amended Nov. 6, 2003)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting
on Thursday, October 2, 2003 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:01pm.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin. Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:09PM. Commissioner Streets was reported as excused attendance.
President Higueras announced public comment would be limited to two minutes on each item.
APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 4, 2003 COMMISSION MINUTES
Public comment on APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 4, 2003 COMMISSION MINUTES
An anonymous member of the Public commented that points of controversy were not reflected in these minutes; noted that the approved versions of the April and June minutes had been posted on the website; and found their comments on RFID inaccurately reported. Mr. Peter Warfield objected to the reduction in public comment time; found the Strategic Plan discussion lacking in details; and noted that his public comment was inaccurately reported. Additionally Mr. Warfield found the report concerning discussion of RFID’s costs/benefits and potential problems lacking.
Commission discussion of APPROVAL OF THE JSEPTEMBER 4, 2003 COMMISSION MINUTES
MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the June 5, 2003 Minutes.
ACTION: 6-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
City Librarian Susan Hildreth noted two items in her report that came to her attention after the agenda was posted concerning the Portola Purchase and sale agreement going before the Board of Supervisors for approval and regarding selection of the Clean City Coalition as the community based organization to operate the Tool Lending Center. Ms Hildreth then presented a report (copy attached) consisting of a Glen Park Branch update; a KQED Forum Live report; a report on the landmarking of the Sunset and Presidio Branches; and concerning several recent and upcoming exhibits and programs.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public noted that there had been no litigation update or reports on the North Beach or Visitacion Valley Branches; expressed alarm that the Tool Lending Center would begin operating again without public input and extensive discussion of issues and potential budget implications. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed concern that there had not been a more detailed discussion of the old and new Tool Lending Center operating agreements and urged the Library Commissioners to look into the details of what was proposed before going forward.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
In response to questions by President Higueras, the City Librarian and Library Finance Director George Nichols outlined in further detail steps that had been taken to strengthen the Library’s oversight and the reporting requirements agreed to by the Clean City Coalition as conditions of their assuming management of the Tool Lending Center. Ms. Hildreth noted that the Tool Lending Center was a very popular program. President Higueras emphasized that with this new agreement care must be taken to minimize any risk to the Library, noting that the previous community partner’s failure could reflect poorly on the Library. President Higueras requested a more detailed report on the Tool Lending Center contract. In answer to questions concerning the tool inventory and the need for additional outlay for tools, Mr. Nichols informed Commissioner Bautista that there seem to have been little loss of inventory during the transition and that there would be no need for any large outlay for new tools beyond that that would occur in the course of the Center’s being in operation. Mr. Nichols then reminded the Commission of the budget history of the Tool Center and noted that there were ongoing discussions with the Mayor’s Budget Office concerning the Library’s $175,000 annual budget allocation for the Tool Center. Vice President Steiman called attention to a Collection Development Workshop being held by a task force of the Council for Neighborhood Libraries from 4 to 6:30pm on October 8th in the Main Library’s Latino-Hispanic Room.
AGENDA ITEM #3 SUMMER READING REPORT
Library Children and Youth Services Coordinator Toni Bernardi presented a detailed report on the significant success of the Library’s 2003 Summer Reading Program.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 SUMMER READING REPORT
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 SUMMER READING REPORT
Commissioner Bautista saluted the KidPower program and commended Ms. Bernardi and her staff for their hard work on behalf of children and youth. Commissioner Chin joined in commending the success of this year’s Summer Reading Program noting that it was a critical tool in helping children and teens go on to future achievements. President Higueras noted that the Summer Reading Program inspired a life long love of reading and commended efforts to involve teens in providing input into how programs geared to them were done.
AGENDA #4 AFFINITIY CENTERS REPORT
Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun introduced City Archivist and San Francisco History Center Director Susan Goldstein and Jim Van Buskirk, Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center Librarian for presentations on recent Center programs and activities. Ms. Goldstein outlined in extensive detail the Koshland San Francisco History Center’s very active year of collaborative efforts with branch libraries, City Departments, and community programs. She then reported on recent exhibitions, gifts and donations and the ever increasing use of the Center’s historical photograph collections. Mr. Van Buskirk then presented a similarly detailed overview of the Hormel Center’s wide array of programs, exhibitions, and collaborative work with the History Center and community organizations. Mr. Van Buskirk called particular attention to a project “reversing vandalism” where artists had been invited to submit works reclaiming library books that had been vandalized.
Public comment on AGENDA #4 AFFINITY CENTERS REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented that these exciting presentations confirmed their view that nothing holds interest like the Library’s central role in preserving history. This person additionally noted that the proper name Koshland San Francisco History Center was not noted whereas the Hormel Center’s full name had been. This individual found the report of the “Reversing Vandalism” project was fascinating because of the subtleties and ironies involved in artists who frequently break convention responding to vandalism. Mr. Doug Loranger commended the resources available through the San Francisco History Center noting he had made use of its collections in his own research. Mr. Peter Warfield lauded the presentations featuring materials in the Library’s collections noting that these collections contained materials not available elsewhere, and commented that he had used both of these collections which he termed valuable.
Commission discussion of AGENDA #4 AFFINITY CENTERS REPORT
Commissioner Coulter commended both reports and expressed support for efforts to bring all of the library affinity centers to the high standard of program and community engagement exhibited by the Gay and Lesbian and San Francisco History Affinity Centers. Commissioner Coulter noted the wonderful additions to both collections and cited the outstanding example of the New York Public Library’s Schaumburg Center as perhaps a model for the future development. In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Goldstein discussed the ongoing program to digitize photographs in the collection. Responding to a query by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Goldstein confirmed that photo credit and fees were required for images requested from the History Center’s collection. In response to comments by Commissioner Chin calling attention to her school, Spring Valley, California’s oldest continuing public school, Ms. Goldstein discussed the ongoing work in organizing and cataloging historic San Francisco Unified School District records transferred to the Library several years ago. President Higueras thanked the Affinity Center staff for their hard work and informative presentations.
AGENDA #5 LIBRARY STRATEGIC PLAN
The City Librarian noted that the revised draft 2003-06 Strategic Plan had been submitted to the Mayor’s Office as required by the Performance and Review Ordinance of 1999 on October 1 with a notation that final Library Commission approval was scheduled for this meeting. Ms. Hildreth then outlined in some detail each of the changes made since the previous draft, calling particular attention to the establishment of a collection management committee and further addressing concerns raised with the proposed implementation of RFID technology. Ms. Hildreth proposed a public program be held to fully air and address concerns raised by the RFID technology in association with the California Library Association and civil liberties organizations. Ms. Hildreth then addressed other minor changes in wording and the numbering sequence of some sections.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 LIBRARY STRATEGIC PLAN
An anonymous member of the public suggested that not all of the changes in the proposed draft were noted calling attention to items this person believe were not called out and commented that they were concerned that additions had been made without noting a change. Mr. Doug Loranger, San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union, commented about concerns with use of RFID technology including radiation risk not discussed and called attention to the Board of Supervisors adoption of a “precautionary principle” requiring all City Departments to consider public health and liability issues , as well as expressed his view that wireless communication was not secure. Ms. Debra Pierce commented that privacy activists were very concerned with use of this new technology and suggested its implications were not fully studied, calling attention to the controversies surrounding it commercial uses. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that the proposed plan was a disaster for books finding insufficient specificity regarding books, nothing on catalog improvements, and decried efforts to move forward on RFID.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #5 LIBRARY STRATEGIC PLAN
Commissioner Coulter noted and expressed appreciation for the modifications made from the previous drafts citing in particular the improved language concerning the affinity centers and the addition of Section 16.2 Commission review and approval after public hearings. Commissioner Coulter noted the importance of encouraging a community dialogue and addressing privacy concerns. President Higueras and Vice President Steiman found the proposed changes improvements. Commissioner Chin discussed and called attention to the ongoing controversy and public debate concerning possible dangers of radiation and the lack of scientific evidence addressing its risks. Commissioner Chin urged that the Library be involved in public forums to address any unknown hazards and sort out differing standards so that how and where these technologies would be implemented could be fully discussed. The City Librarian and Deputy City Librarian responded with a discussion of how wireless technology was being widely used in libraries, noting that the tags were very useful for many library purposes, reduced risk from repetitive stress injuries to staff, and as they were readable only at very short range. In answer to comments and questions by Vice President Steiman, Mr. Underwood emphasized the security features of the library’s separate network and noted that it would be impossible for the Library to respond to the growing public demand for access to materials without use of wireless technologies.
MOTION: by Vice President Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Chin to approve the proposed 2003-06 Strategic Plan as revised.
ACTION: 5-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
President Higueras announced that the agenda items related that the proposed 2004 Commission Meetings Schedule, the Friends Report, and the Union report would be continued to a future meeting and called for the BALIS Update report to be heard next in view of the limited time remaining before the quorum would be lost.
AGENDA #7 BALIS UPDATE REPORT
Ms. Deborah Doyle, San Francisco BALIS representative, presented a n extensive update report on ongoing 15-member Bay Area Library and Information Systems Advisory Committee activities, (copy attached).
Public comment on AGENDA #7 BALIS UPDATE REPORT
Commission discussion of AGENDA #7 BALIS UPDATE REPORT
In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Doyle outlined the impact of the state budget reductions on planned integration of services and shared access to resources by Bay Area libraries through the Golden Gateway Library Network, reporting that while there was not sufficient funding available to go forward now that an organization for future cooperation and resource sharing had been created and that systems were already working together each using its separate funding.
AGENDA #8 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES
Public comment on AGENDA #8 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES
An anonymous member of the public commented that this person perceived there to be a double message in Commissioner Coulter’s call for public comment on the proposed Library History plaques.
Commission discussion of AGENDA #8 LIBRARY HISTORY PLAQUES
President Higueras noted that there would be additional opportunities for public comment on the proposed Library History Plaques offered at the October 16, and November 6th meeting.
AGENDA #11 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public questioned the accuracy of the announced loss of the meeting’s quorum and commented that the adoption of the Strategic Plan seemed to create a situation where what was included in Library’s collections could be determined by popularity and thus ignoring the library profession’s standards for building collections. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed disappointment with the Library Commission’s approval of the 2003-06 Strategic Plan.
AGENDA ITEM #13 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Coulter that the meeting be adjourned.
ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
The meeting was adjourned at 6:06 pm
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 11/7/03
Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of October 2, 2003
Library Commission meeting of October 2, 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
available for viewing in PDF format
City Librarian Report – 10/2/03
Property acquisition for Portola Branch from San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) was heard at the Board of Supervisors Finance Committee on 10/1/03 and recommended unanimously to the full Board for approval
Joint-use agreements for four branches with several public schools were approved on 9/23/03 by the SFUSD Board and will be introduced to the Board of Supervisors for approval
Tool Lending Center – Through an RFP process, the Library has selected the San Francisco Clean City Coalition operate the Tool Lending Center on behalf of the Library. A three- year grant agreement is being negotiated; and we hope to re-open the Tool Lending Center in November.
Glen Park Branch – The purchase and sale agreement for the new Glen Park Branch in the Glen Park Marketplace was approved by the Board of Supervisors. The current branch is closed during the week of September 29th to facilitate the installation of an ergonomically correct service desk.
KQED Forum Live – Will be held live on October 15th at the Koret Auditorium discussing issues in the SF Mayor’s race
Sunset and Presidio Branches – Nominated for landmark status by the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board as the most significant renovation work has been completed
Exhibitions - 3rd Annual Deaf Visual & Performing Artists Art Show, October 1-31, 1st floor; Closer than Ever: 25 Years with the Gay Men’s Chorus, 10/03 – 1/04, 4th floor.
Programs – Laboring for Coverage – 10/9; District Attorney forum – 10/14; 14th Annual Poetry Recital – 10/15, Bayview Branch; USA Patriot Act Panel Discussion – 10/21, co-sponsored by Japanese American Citizens League and Organization of Chinese Americans, Bay Area chapter; Youth Expressions, “Who are Youth? Exploring Individuality of Youth and the Labels Put on Them” – 10/22 with 3 other programs to follow in the Bay Area