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Library Commission Minutes - April 2, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, April 2, 2002 (approved as amended May 7, 2002) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:00PM. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets. Commissioners Coulter and Swig were excused attendance. Commissioner Bautista’s arrival was expected to be delayed. Agenda Items: 1. APPROVAL OF THE MARCH 5, 2002 MINUTES 2. CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT 3. BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING POLICY 4. TIME-OUT & WEB FEAT DEMO 5. FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT 6. LABOR UNION REPORT 7. NEW BUSINESS 8. PUBLIC COMMENT 9. ADJOURNMENT 10. Appendix A AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MARCH 5, 2002 MINUTES Public comment: An anonymous member of the public expressed dissatisfaction with Library website commission meeting minute’s lack of public comment summary statements. This person also called attention to the lack of report of criticism of the Foundation on page 6. Mr. Ed Regan found his comments accurately reported. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that there were serious problems of both accuracy and omission in the Minutes citing the City Librarian’s Report, those of retired librarian John Coll, and the manner in which the Richmond Branch Library Community meeting was reported. Commission comment: MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the Minutes of March 5, 2002. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets) AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT City Librarian Susan Hildreth informed the Commissioners concerning a recent community meeting held at the Presidio Branch Library on March 20th and at the Ingleside Branch Library to be held on April 3rd. The City Librarian then announced that applications were being taken by the Board of Supervisors to serve during 2002-04 as San Francisco’s representative on the BALIS (Bay Area Library and Information Systems) Advisory Board. Ms. Hildreth then called the Commission’s attention to the ongoing work in response to the recommendations of the POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation), of the Main Library reporting a delay in the bid process for the Phase I package of projects but progress on addressing the signage and radio repeater project. The City Librarian then gave the Commissioners a report on the recent PLA (Public Library Association) meeting in Phoenix that was attended by a number of library staff members. Ms. Hildreth then called the Commissioners’ attention to the upcoming State Legislative Day activities in Sacramento. The City Librarian then reported that the new air conditioning system at the Chinatown Branch was up and running. Ms. Hildreth next provided a brief overview of the ongoing city budget process informing the Commissioners concerning upcoming library budget hearings at the Board of Supervisors. The City Librarian further announced that the date for a community meeting at the Excelsior Branch had been set for 1PM on April 20tht since the Commission meeting agenda was mailed out. The City Librarian finally called the Commission’s attention to a special exhibit "Under the Big Top" featuring circus related materials from the Library’s Schmulowitz Wit and Humor Collection. Public comment: An anonymous member of the public commented that the presentation on the POE was lacking in details, to wit air conditioning and noise problems at the Chinatown Branch and a user complaint about urination at the Main Library. Mr. Peter Warfield requested more information on the topics discussed, in particular more information regarding the POE related work and the pending signage contract. Mr. Warfield noted that he would like to see more exhibits based on the Library’s collections. Commission comment: In response to questions by Commissioner Streets regarding the status of the proposed budget cuts, Library Finance Director George Nichols reported that so far the budget that had been reported to the Board of Supervisors by the Mayor’s Budget Office was as approved by the Commission. Mr. Nichols noted however, that the Mayor’s Budget Office also reported to the Board of Supervisors the alternative budget proposal encompassing a 10% budget reduction as was approved by the Library Commission. Mr. Nichols suggested that the Board of Supervisor’s Budget Committee meeting set for April 23rd could be the first place where a real assessment of the need to make budget reductions would be broached. Mr. Nichols then informed the Commissioners that the Controller’s Six-Month Report had revealed that the revenue situation was not as bad as had been projected and seemed even to indicate that the economy may be improving. He noted that the Nine-Month Report could provide a firmer basis to indicate if budget reductions will be necessary. The Library Finance Director also commented that while General Fund Revenues had indeed decreased, property tax based revenue, as expected, had continued to increase. In response to questions by President Higueras, the City Librarian outlined the process used to select the BALIS representative. Then, Kathy Lawhun, Chief of the Main Library outlined the next steps in addressing the signage issues in the Main Library to end with a presentation to the Commission for its approval in the Fall. President Higueras commented that it was his hope that lessons learned in the signage process at the Main Library could be applied to Branch Library Bond Program projects as well. Ms. Hildreth then provided President Higueras with details of how the CLA (California Library Association) organized its State Legislative Day lobbying program and Vice President Steiman observed that participating had been a useful experience to gain insight into the big picture statewide. President Higueras then recalled and discussed the background and lengthy process, including controversies and hearings at the Board of Supervisors, which had occurred before the much needed air conditioning system was installed at the Chinatown Branch. AGENDA ITEM #3 BRANCH LIBRARY NAMING POLICY (Explanatory document: draft Branch Library Naming Policy revision) Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes described the most recent changes that she had made in this proposed revision of the Naming Policy. Ms. Barnes identified 10 or 12 major changes in the proposed draft including: removal of references to entities; that the new policy was silent concerning naming for businesses or non-profits; that honoree should be deceased for a period of time; that all of the criteria noted in the existing policy had been consolidated into one place in the proposed new draft; that voting requirements for a name change were clarified to conform with City Charter requirements; that the Commission President would be authorized to reject a proposed name change; that the new draft clarified that any naming would be in addition to the geographic name rather than a renaming of a branch; that out-dated references to Commission committees and a built in waiting period were eliminated; that no alternative means of recognizing suggested honorees was included; and finally, that a new overall criteria that the naming "be in the public interest" was added. Public comment: An anonymous member of the public commented that the existing policy had been designed in response to a land for naming deal; and suggested that the policy was designed to make naming changes difficult. Mr. Ed Regan commented on the three existing branch libraries named for individuals (Anna Waden-Bayview, Sally Brunn-Noe Valley, and Harvey Milk-Eureka Valley) as well as the proposal to rename the Richmond Branch for the late Sen. Marks and a failed proposal to rename the Parkside Branch Library. Mr. Regan suggested that an individual’s permission to place the name on a library be obtained while they were alive. Mr. Peter Warfield found a waiting period for naming appropriate, but opposed having the President have discretion to reject proposal, instead suggesting that the entire Commission consider any proposed name change. Mr. Warfield questioned a point raised that required that the costs of the renaming be paid by those requesting the change, finding it unclear as to who would pay or what they would pay. Mr. Warfield suggested that there be no charge to maintain free and equal access. Ms. Sue Cauthen commented that there should be a community groundswell before any change was made and suggested that the proposed change in the name of the Richmond Branch be brought up at planned Branch Bond program community meetings. Ms. Cauthen further suggested that volunteer service to the Library be an important consideration in any name change to be considered. Commission comment: In response to questions by Commissioners, Ms. Barnes clarified that the Board of Supervisors under the (1996) City Charter has the authority to change the name of a library at its discretion. Vice President Steiman noted that the section of the policy referring to paying the costs of a name change was the result of previous lean budget times for the Library. Vice President Steiman suggested that the policy should clearly state: what groups or entities could be included or not; that it should only consider deceased individuals, that the scope of the policy should remain local; and that naming for non-profits might be considered. President Higueras observed that allowing for a period of time after someone has died allows for appropriate reflection on their contributions and suggested a five year period. President Higueras emphasized that naming should be strongly focused on the local and specific contributions to the library. Commissioner Bautista joined the meeting at 5:05PM. Commissioner Chin recommended that voluntary contributions be given the greater weight, not just accomplishments done as a function of doing one’s job. There followed a general discussion of possible criteria among the Commissioners including: that an individual should be deceased five years; that service to the nation be dropped as a qualification, that the Commission President convene a meeting in the branch library or community where a name augmentation is proposed, and that all costs should be borne by those proposing the change. It was the consensus of the Commission that developing alternative ways of recognition for support for the library or community leadership recognized in branch libraries should be addressed in a separate policy. Commissioner Chin proposed that even use of the words "name change" be dropped from the proposed policy and that another title be used so as not to encourage people to think of it as an option. AGENDA ITEM #4 TIME-OUT & WEB FEAT DEMO Time-Out Demo: Library Technical Services and Automation Chief Vivian Pisano gave an extensive demonstration of the Library’s new Time-Out software. Ms. Pisano emphasized that the new systems were very flexible allowing library staff great ability to both manage and track use of library computers. Public comment on Time-Out demo: An anonymous member of the public found this presentation raised digital divide issues noting that this software served those whom already had computers. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed appreciation for the demonstration but wished that he could have had an opportunity to use the software himself. Mr. Warfield raised questions concerning equity of access, noting that computer users would have greater access through this system. Mr. Warfield had questions concerning advanced reservations, limits on use, and the range of hours offered. Mr. Warfield also expressed concern with difficulty that users might encounter using the system and asked how the Library would manage the system. Mr. Warfield suggested efforts be made to minimize the use of confusing technical language. Commission comment on Time-out demo: In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Pisano explained how the staff planned to address issues such as providing additional time for users and how bookings could be limited to a three-day period. In answer to a query by Vice President Steiman, Ms. Pisano noted that the company producing the software would provide training for staff in its use. The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting: 1 The City Librarian remarked that the software should be in place by late Summer. Web Feat Demo: Library Information and Resource Management Chief Roberto Esteves gave the Commissioners a detailed demonstration of the capabilities of the Web Feat one step search model. Mr. Esteves noted that the San Francisco Chronicle reported that San Francisco was the most wired city in America and that this website tried to help users make the best use of and have better access to the Internet and library resources. Mr. Esteves reported that the Library holds training classes try to keep library users up to date with the latest search processes but that Web Feat offers a one step easy to use model for conducting web searches. Mr. Esteves presented a model screen and described in detail several kinds of search model options, noting that Web Feat allowed for individual customized searches. The Chief of Information and Resource Management noted that the currently available databases required manual processing to gather statistics and that a change to this system could save up to 15 hours of staff time each week. Mr. Esteves discussed a planned usability study that was proposed to identify any problems prior to launch and that afterward there would be a month long evaluation process based on the experience of regular users. Mr. Esteves noted that Allison Head was the consultant who would select the sample of a variety of users and gather staff input in an effort to get a good cross section of experience with this system. Public comment on Web Feat demo: An anonymous member of the public commented that these seemed to be a wonderful and needed product if it worked and inquired on how much the software would cost. Mr. Peter Warfield commented on existing problems users experienced with the Library’s databases and suggested that there be more training. Mr. Warfield found the new system potentially confusing, noted that there was costs to changing a system that was familiar to users, and inquired regarding the cost of the system and where else it was used Commission comment on Web Feat Demo: Vice President Steiman called the proposed new system a positive step and much easier to use. In response to a query by President Higueras, Mr. Esteves commented that use of this system could reduce the use of the Library server, as the searches would be done through the Web Feat server. Mr. Esteves further clarified that there would be a one year contract for use of this system and informed the Commissioners that it was currently being used by the King County Public Library, and the City Librarian noted it was used as well at the Solano and Marin Libraries. In response to a question regarding the library’s options with this system by President Higueras, Mr. Esteves further noted that he believed that there would be increased market competition for systems of this type in the coming years. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Esteves reported that there would be training available for users. AGENDA ITEM #5 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT Martín Gómez Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation reminded the Commissioners of the Friends and Foundation’s Annual Library Laureates Dinner scheduled to be held on Monday, April 8th and encouraged Commissioners to participate. Mr. Gomez then reported that the Friends & Foundation would be providing a letter of credit for their contribution to the preparation of the Excelsior Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) application process. Mr. Gómez then discussed upcoming "Herb Caen Day" writers programs on April 4th. Public comment: An anonymous member of the public spoke about letters that they had sent to the Commission President and the (San Francisco) Chronicle suggesting that the Foundation was inappropriately usurping the power of the Library Commission and Library administration over Prop. A funds in response to a newspaper article that stated that Mr. Gomez had been brought here to remodel the branches. The anonymous member of the public commented that they foresaw Mr. Gómez overseeing expenditures of Prop. A funds as City Librarian in what this person termed a serious usurpation. This person imagined that Ms. Hildreth would withdraw from her role as city Librarian and that Mr. Gómez would conveniently be available to take over the Library. This person termed this a violation of a promised public process to select the City Librarian and a plum for the Foundation. The anonymous member of the public commented that they based their comments on years of experience in how the City and the Library Administration worked. Commission comment: Commissioner Bautista wondered if the anonymous speaker was joking, and suggested that an apology by the speaker might be warranted. AGENDA ITEM #6 LABOR UNION REPORT Not offered. AGENDA ITEM #7 NEW BUSINESS An anonymous member of the public said that their comments in response to Mr. Gómez’s Report were not totally serious but were directed toward a point and that they had not intended to offend anyone. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight 7 days per week noting that there was much to be said for uniform hours. Ms. Deborah Doyle, President of the Friends and Foundation and current BALIS Advisory Board representative informed the Commissioners that she would be applying to continue to serve as the Library’s BALIS representative and that she would make a report on recent BALIS activities at an upcoming meeting. Mr. Peter Warfield called attention to the 100th Birthday of Langston Hughes and expressed disappointment that the Library had not observed it with reading or others events. Mr. Warfield expressed happiness that the Library had a number of works by Langston Hughes in its collection and read a selection from The Collected Works of Langston Hughes. Agenda item #8 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public said that their comments in response to Mr. Gómez’s Report were not totally serious but were directed toward a point and that they had not intended to offend anyone. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight 7 days per week noting that there was much to be said for uniform hours. Ms. Deborah Doyle, President of the Friends and Foundation and current BALIS Advisory Board representative informed the Commissioners that she would be applying to continue to serve as the Library’s BALIS representative and that she would make a report on recent BALIS activities at an upcoming meeting. Mr. Peter Warfield called attention to the 100th Birthday of Langston Hughes and expressed disappointment that the Library had not observed it with reading or others events. Mr. Warfield expressed happiness that the Library had a number of works by Langston Hughes in its collection and read a selection from The Collected Works of Langston Hughes. Agenda Item #9 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Vice President Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Bautista that the meeting be adjourned. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets) The meeting was adjourned at 6:28PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 5/8/02 Appendix A 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 San Francisco Public Library Commission Policy Manual Branch Naming Policy Policy #601 Section: Facilities Adopted: June ‘96 Revised: _______ (changes in text shown in bold type) It is the policy of the San Francisco Public Library to name libraries according to geographic location and to identify the facility with the neighborhood where it is located or the neighborhood it primarily serves. This Policy enables anyone interested in finding a branch library to easily ascertain its location by its geographic or neighborhood name. It shall be the policy of the San Francisco Public Library not to name any library for specific individuals or entities. However, there may be reasons so compelling that adding a name of a person or other entity to the geographical name of a specific library may be appropriate. To be so honored, a person or entity must have performed a myriad of services and dedicated a substantial amount of energy, time, resources, leadership and volunteer service to improve and benefit the library in substantial ways. The depth and breadth of the contributions shall be obvious and compelling, and shall reflect a dedication and beneficence to the library over a great span of time. There shall be a strong consensus among that branch library's users and the surrounding neighborhood to name the library for the proposed individual or group. It is our intention that naming a library for a person or entity is a rarity and that the dedication and service to the library is recognized as rare, unique and of the highest quality. **The Library Commission reserves the right to consider alternative forms of recognition in addition to naming a branch library to recognize and honor outstanding community leaders." PROCEDURES FOR ADDING NAME TO A BRANCH LIBRARY 1. Any members of the Library Commission or a member of the public may submit a proposed name to be added to the geographical name of a library in writing to the Library Commission or during public open time at any noticed, public meeting of the Library Commission. The proposal shall include extensive and rigorous research to demonstrate that the individual or entity suggested meets the stringent criteria of dedicated service and benefit to the library and all other criteria for naming set forth in this policy statement. 2. The President of the Library Commission, in his or her sole discretion, shall determine whether the proposal is sufficiently documented to warrant further consideration by the Library Commission. The President shall agendize proposals that appear to meet policy criteria for Commission consideration at a future duly noticed, public meeting. The Commission may hold a special meeting at the branch to be affected to solicit testimony from members of the public living in the neighborhood should the Commission decide that such a special meeting would be helpful. 3. Members of the public shall have a minimum of 90 days from the date of the meeting at which the Library Commission first considered the proposed name change to submit written comments in favor or opposed to the proposal. 4. After the expiration of the 90 day comment period, the Commission shall act on the proposal at a future duly noticed, public meeting. The Commission shall take public comment on the matter, and shall discuss, and vote on, whether the proposed name change satisfies the criteria set forth in this policy and would be in the public interest to implement. At its discretion, the Commission may refer the proposal to staff for research and analysis prior to voting on the matter. The name change shall be approved or rejected by majority vote of the Commission. CRITERIA FOR ADDING A NAME TO THE GEOGRAPHICAL NAME OF A BRANCH LIBRARY 1. There should be a broad base of agreement on the desire for a name change within the neighborhood or community that is served by the branch. 2. The name change should reflect the San Francisco Public Library's mission of free and equal access to information for all. 3. The name change should honor an individual or entity that has made a significant contribution to the branch library, the San Francisco Public Library system, the City and County of San Francisco or to the nation. 4. In all cases the geographic name shall precede any honorific name. 5. The new name should reflect the tradition and stability of the library as an institution. The new name should avoid controversy and not promote a transitory cause, however worthy. 6. All costs associated with the name change, including staff time and material expense, should be borne by the parties desiring the change, unless the Commission finds such reimbursement, on the facts of a particular case, to be contrary to the public interest. 7. In all cases, the Library Commission shall find that it is in the public interest to adopt the name change. M. Housh 2/27/02 Public Comment available for viewing in PDF format.