SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, March 5, 2002 (As approved April 2, 2002)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 5, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
The meeting was called to order at 4:07 PM by President Higueras.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Swig. Commissioners Bautista and Streets were excused attendance.
Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:10PM.
1. APPROVAL OF THE FEBRUARY 5, 2002 MINUTES
2. CITY LIBRARIAN'S REPORT
3. BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING POLICY
4. STRATEGIC PLAN
5. FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
6. LABOR UNION REPORT
7. NEW BUSINESS
8. PUBLIC COMMENT
10. Appendix A
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE FEBRUARY 5, 2002 MINUTES
An anonymous member of the public commented on the Commission meeting on Election Day, and noted that a public comment summary had been included on the Library’s website. The anonymous member of the public found the Minutes misleading. Mr. Ed Regan found his comments accurately reported. Mr. Peter Warfield observed that it was unfortunate that the Commission was meeting on Election Day. Mr. Warfield found that the Minutes had both high and low points but contained many generalities and few specifics, citing several examples of discussions that were not fully reported.
MOTION: for approval of the February 21st Minutes by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Swig.
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Swig)
AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT
Branch Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson introduced Mr. Mark Tororich, FAIA, of URS Corp, a respected licensed architect intimately involved and well versed with the federal General Services Administration (GSA) Design Excellence Program. Mr. Tororich reported that this model design excellence program promoted opportunities for a diverse group of architects, women, minorities and emerging talent to participate in designing federal government building projects. Mr. Tortorich then briefly outlined aspects of the program in a series of slides. In particular, Mr. Tortorich reported that design excellence programs such as this could reduce projects costs, improve quality of work done, and most importantly promote greater creativity in the work commissioned.
President Higueras called for special public comment on Mr. Torotrich’s presentation.
Public comment on the DESIGN EXCELLENCE PRESENTATION:
Mr. Peter Warfield inquired as to the relationship between the design excellence program described and the Library’s plans for its branch libraries and expressed concern with what seemed to be limited opportunities for public comment or input from the general public.
Mr. Ed Regan inquired if information concerning the GSA Design Excellence Program could be made available. An anonymous member of the public found the discussion of excellence interesting and worthy goal to strive for, and inquired about what kind of design excellence program that the Commission might undertake.
Commission comment on the DESIGN EXCELLENCE PROGRAM:
President Higueras noted that the federal design excellence program model could be adapted for the Commission’s use and that there would be many opportunities for public comment on and input into the Branch Bond Program projects. In response to a question by President Higueras, Mr. Tortorich discussed the architect’s stipend for participating in the design competition element of the program. President Higueras noted that the Branch Library Bond Program would certainly benefit from the example provided by this model program. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Tortorich discussed how a final project might be developed in ways significantly different from what was proposed during the competitive phase when seeking a potential architect.
AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT (continued)
Ms. Thompson gave the Commissioners a recap of the ongoing evolution of Bond Program schedule and budget noting no proposed changes and then she proved a review of the financial plan format. Ms. Thompson then outlined current expenditures and encumbrances. Ms. Thompson next gave a program schedule report highlighting the delay of the Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) application for the Richmond Branch Library. The Bond Program Manager then provided a brief overview of site acquisition activities since her last Bond Program report. Ms. Thompson next discussed in some detail the active projects at the Richmond Branch Library, the new Glen Park Branch Library, and the new Mission Bay Branch Library. The Bond Program Manager then highlighted Prop. 14 application work for the Excelsior Branch Library, preliminary outreach at the Noe Valley Branch, and reporting details of community meeting discussions concerning the development of these branch libraries. Finally, Ms. Thompson provided information on upcoming community meetings hosted by the Library or where the Library would be making presentations on Bond related projects.
An anonymous member of the public called attention to the omission of discussion of an article appearing in the "Richmond ReView" that discussed concerns expressed by neighborhood residents at the Richmond Branch Library community meeting. The anonymous member of the public recommended that the Library Commission pay close attention to public input on this project. Mr. Jack Coll, a retired librarian, described his life long involvement with the Richmond Branch Library as a patron and staff librarian and expressed concerns with comments ascribed to library consultant Dallas Shafer that he felt over emphasized providing library resources in non-book formats at the expense of books.
Mr. Coll described e-books as not having achieved the popularity with readers that their promoters suggested. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed concern that public comment was not
being sought and that efforts directing public comment discouraged it. Mr. Warfield requested that he be provided with more information concerning these projects and more explanation of the details of the schedule’s description of program phases 3,4, and 5. Mr. Warfield suggested that according to the schedule some libraries might be closed for 2 years and that the Library Commission had not discussed a decision to close libraries during the construction phases as reported.
In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Thompson and the City Librarian discussed the issues involved in obtaining the $10 million in Prop. 14 funds needed to make sure that the bond projects were fully funded. In response to another query by President Higueras regarding the Library Administration’s general philosophy concerning branch closures during the course of the Bond Program, the City Librarian reported that a staff task force was working on those issues and a report would be brought to the Commission for discussion. In answer to questions by Commissioner Bautista, the City Librarian described in some detail the questions and issues raised at the Richmond Branch Library community meeting. Commissioner Coulter inquired concerning reports that the Friends of Noe Valley were considering mounting an effort to raise additional funds for an as yet unspecified additional expansion of that branch library, noting that while it could be considered, doing so might significantly push back work on that project.
AGENDA ITEM #3 MOU DPW and the LIBRARY
Marilyn Thompson briefly outlined aspects of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Library for the management and oversight of the Branch Library Bond Program. Ms. Thompson then requested Commission and public comment on the proposed terms of agreement.
An anonymous member of the public noted that while this agreement promises to clarify the relationship between the Library and DPW, previous experience with the Main Library project indicated that it was necessary that an outside party take a role such as that played by (former San Francisco Chief Administrative Officer) Rudy Nothenberg for the Main Library in making the final decisions. This individual additionally commented that the proposed agreement gave the Department of Public Works strong responsibility leaving the Library in a secondary position, which he alluded might be the case in the current bond program. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that the Library hire a team of carpenters to make furniture for its use and for other city departments. Mr. Peter Warfield inquired regarding which document was being considered. Mr. Warfield noted serious deficiencies in the proposed agreement: lack of a clear procedure for revisions; no indication of ultimate responsibility; and no provision for public discussion of MOU related matters. Mr. Warfield also found that there was no clear statement concerning financial oversight.
Commissioner Coulter recalled the important role that former Chief Administrative Officer Rudy Nothenberg had played in overseeing the construction of the Main Library, calling particular attention to his ability to get needed timely responses from other city departments involved in the project. Commissioner Coulter recalled difficulties that the Commission had experienced in dealings with the Bureau of Architecture and discussed how the Library had hired a librarian to monitor work being done on the Main Library to maintain oversight on what was happening as construction went forward. In response to a question by President Higueras regarding the Library being billed for non-project charges by the Public Works, Ms. Thompson clarified that budgetary control would be maintained over project expenditures by not releasing funds to pay invoices until the Library’s Project Manager was satisfied with progress of the work and not paying for work not done on library projects. Commissioner Coulter stated that he wished it to be made completely clear that City Librarian backed by the Library Commission would make the final decision on what was done on these projects. President Higueras observed that the Library Commission was in the end accountable for what was done on the projects and noted that the best candidate for Project Manager had been selected. President Higueras remarked the Project Manager would be working in-house with library staff, and had developed a personal focus on the success of these projects. President Higueras further noted that the Library Commission had taken ownership of these projects, would be exercising greater oversight, and that the buck would stop with the Library Commission. In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Thompson discussed how she proposed to address revisions and changes in the bond program, as they became necessary. Ms. Thompson remarked that DPW could provide project services similar to those offered by private firms per agreement with the library. She also commented that funds would not be made available until a project was approved and if DPW ran up unapproved cost overruns they would have to find the funds to pay them. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, the City Librarian reported that the Bond Oversight Committee would receive the same information on bond program projects provided to the Library Commission.
AGENDA ITEM #4 GIFT RECOGNITION POLICY
City Librarian Susan Hildreth gave a brief outline of the proposed gift recognition policy then introduced Library Public Affairs Chief Marcia Schneider who discussed and showed examples of the various kinds of donor recognition signage that could be considered for this purpose. Ms. Hildreth emphasized that approval by the City Librarian and the Library Commission would be required for any program of donor recognition plaques in branch libraries, but that approval of this policy would allow display of such plaques.
An anonymous member of the public remarked that at least the Library was honest that this policy was not passed for the Main Library and that the Friends and Foundation as a private organization should not be involved in providing recognition in a public institution. The anonymous member of the public suggested that any such recognition of donors should be provided by the public library in a public way. Ms. Deborah Doyle, President of the Friends and Foundation noted the previous successful partnerships between the Library and the Friends and Foundation on the Mission and Oceanview Branch Library campaigns. Ms. Doyle remarked that the Friends and Foundation welcomed Library Commission oversight of this program, noting its purpose was to properly thank the people of San Francisco for their support for their public libraries. Ms. Sue Cauthen observed that virtue should be it own reward and that if necessary recognition should be provided by small tasteful signs. Ms. Cauthen additionally, suggested that small donors be given recognition as well. Mr. Peter Warfield agreed that virtue should be its own reward, suggesting that anonymous donations were the highest virtue. Mr. Warfield asked what kind of recognition he would receive if he were to raise money for the library, raised questions concerning accountability for these funds and what overhead would be charged. Mr. Warfield suggested that the Library was giving privileges away and that this policy should be reconsidered or rejected. Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Noe Valley, commented that gift recognition was a sensitive issue but that gratitude for private support was appropriate. Ms. Przyblyski recommended that any such recognition be sensitive to the community and reject inappropriate gifts. She also called attention to the support that the Friends of Noe Valley had given to the Library to promote a community sensitive renovation of their branch library.
Commissioner Coulter found the proposed policy acceptable and recalled the positive experience in recognizing donors during the Main Library campaign, especially the important contributions of the late Mel Swig and Mrs. Charlotte Swig in achieving its great success. Commissioner Coulter observed that he didn’t believe that it was necessary that the Commission approve every sign, but that they should approve the program for placing such signs at branch libraries. The City Librarian recalled and lauded the important support that the Friends and Foundation had provided to the Library and looked forward to decades of successful collaboration in support of the libraries. Commissioner Bautista raised the importance of a common artistic theme for the signs, noting a representation of a donor tree as a possible concept. Commission Bautista then informed Mr. Warfield that should he wish to raise large amounts of money for the Branch Library Capital Campaign he would be given recognition. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Hildreth noted that a professional signage expert would be used to develop signs in a tasteful and thematically related format. Commissioner Coulter noted that many people donated so that their grandchildren would be able to see their contribution and that there were many good reasons for people to make donations in support of the library. President Higueras commented that it was important that donor recognition be done properly and that he would prefer that names were collected in one place rather than scattered about throughout the branch library. In response to questions by President Higueras, Martín Gómez, Executive Director of the Friends and Foundation, discussed how they planned to keep overhead costs down and that he would bring a report on that matter to the Library Commission. Commissioner Swig recommended that the various criteria for recognition be fully developed and then brought back to the Commission for its approval. Mr. Gómez reported that he would work closely with the City Librarian to address these concerns as well as meet the needs of the various communities.
MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Bautista that the proposed Gift Recognition Policy be adopted.
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Swig
Agenda item #5 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public thanked Commissioner Bautista for acknowledging receipt of a copy of the "Richmond ReView" article and questioned whether they were receiving all of the materials that they should be as required by their public records request. The anonymous member of the public then commented on the work of Douglas MacGregor suggesting that it demonstrated the superiority of organizations based on inclusive and democratic principles.
Agenda Item #6 ADJOURNMENT
Motion: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Coulter that the meeting be adjourned.
Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Swig)
The meeting was adjourned at 6:10PM.
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 4/19/02
The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting: 1
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
Public Comment available for viewing in PDF format