Library Commission Minutes - September 3, 2002
Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, September 3, 2002 (As approved October 1, 2002.)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 3, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4: 01PM.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Coulter, Higueras, Streets, and Strobin. Commissioner Bautista was reported excused attendance. Commissioner Chin’s arrival was expected to be delayed.
President Higueras announced that he was reordering the taking of the agenda items and moving approval of the August 6th Minutes first followed by the City Librarian’s report and then the rest of the agenda.
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST 6, 2002 MINUTES
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST 6, 2002 MINUTES
An anonymous member of the public found the minutes lacking citing a number of omissions and in particular calling attention to remarks attributed to Commissioner Coulter. This individual provided a partial transcript of comments attributed to Deputy City Attorney Chris Hiyashi that this individual felt mis-stated the City Attorney’s remarks regarding the fairness and legality of the process used to consider and choose as new ILS (Integrated Library System. Mr. Ed Regan commented that his remarks had been accurately reported.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST 6, 2002 MINUTES
The Commission Secretary called the Commissioner’s attention to a mistaken listing of former Commissioner Swig reported as casting a vote instead of Commissioner Strobin who had cast the vote.
In response to Commissioners’ questions in response to the public comment Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes noted that the Minutes provided a summary record of meeting discussions and all actions taken and that while she could not speak for Deputy City Attorney Hiyashi, who was unavailable to comment on the views attributed to her, it was the Commission’s prerogative to accept the Minutes as reflecting their understanding of Ms. Hiyashi’s observation that the process had been done properly.
MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Strobin for approval of the Minutes of August 6, 2002 as amended.
ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Aye - Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
City Librarian Susan Hildreth provided the Library Commission with an update on recent exhibitions and programs in September. The City Librarian then gave the Commissioners a report on the highly successful beginning of the Library’s online reservation system currently available at the Main Library, Eureka Valley-Harvey Milk Branch and at the Richmond Branch. Ms. Hildreth lauded the hard work of Assistant Chief of the Main library John Kenny in overseeing the phase in of the new system. She noted that complaints were reduced and that there were no longer long lines waiting to use the computers at the Main Library. Additionally, the City Librarian informed the Commission concerning the planned closing of the Golden Gate Valley Branch to allow for an electrical infrastructure upgrade similar to that being done at the West Portal Branch. Ms. Hildreth noted that this was the last planned electrical upgrade to be done outside the Branch Library Bond Program work. Ms. Hildreth then informed the Commissioners of the details of the California Council for the Humanities statewide LSTA supported program of reading John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Ms. Hildreth called attention to special programs highlighting the availability of the work in Spanish, and pointing out that this was the first such translation into Spanish. The City Librarian then introduced a presentation of a KRON-Channel 4 video clip on the how the public could gain free access to subscription databases through the Library.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public commented that they were pleased to learn that the Library was not becoming obsolete and remarked that the Library’s online reservation system was not a book reservation system. This person expressed the hope that the Library would continue to support computers solely dedicated to providing access to the catalog. This anonymous member of the public observed that the Golden Gate Valley Branch was being closed for three months for work that should not require that the branch be closed. In addition this person commented that everyone should read The Grapes of Wrath and found this to be a positive program.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:27PM.
AGENDA ITEM #3 RECORDS RETENTION POLICY
The City Librarian explained to the Commissioners why the Library was proposing a revised format for the Records Retention Policy adopted by the Library Commission in May 1998. Ms. Hildreth noted that the Library had been one of few City departments that had adopted a formal records management policy and that the Library’s Records Retention Policy was among the most detailed. She noted that as a result of revisions in the Sunshine Ordinance, the City Administrator’s Office had directed all city departments to adopt records retention policies based on a standardized format, thus requiring a redrafting of the Library’s current policy to meet this new standard. Ms. Hildreth observed that the proposed revised Records Management Policy was substantially the same as the existing policy but reformatted to conform to the requirements of the standardized model. Ms. Hildreth called special attention to skillful work on this project done by Ms. Mary Hudson, her Executive Assistant. The City Librarian then turned to Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes who gave the Commissioners an overview of what was required in the policy.
The City Librarian noted that there was no change in the records retention schedule in the proposed revised version and pointed out that management of the Library’s business records was the primary focus of this policy. Ms. Hildreth called attention to inclusion of the card catalog in records to be retained and noted that the many listed categories of library materials listed in the current policy had been simplified to a single category of Books and Materials. Ms. Hildreth then noted that records retention policy varied as required by law when involved with state or federal documents that had their own mandated records retention requirements. Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes noted that the first part of the revised policy constituted a recap of the requirements of Sec. 8 of the San Francisco Administrative Code and discussed details of the record retention schedule, calling particular attention to the extension of retention of personnel records to 50 years or the lifetime of the employee and contract records to 20 years. Ms. Barnes reiterated that there were no reductions in the retention period in the current policy and that that the primary reason for this change was to have the Library’s policy conform to the mandated template. Ms. Hildreth noted that the policy would be posted on the Library’s and the City’s website.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 RECORDS RETENTION POLICY
An anonymous member of the public suggested that the policy was in fact a records destruction policy, thus destroying the evidence. This individual commented that it was their belief that the intention of the Sunshine Ordinance was not the creation of a uniform template but that each department should have its own records policy. This person expressed a preference that everything be retained and expressed concern that Commission records could be stored in an offsite location after three years, making ease of retrieval an issue.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 RECORDS RETENTION POLICY
In response to questions by President Higueras, the City Librarian confirmed that the new format would entirely replace the existing policy and discussed where the details were to be found of what kinds of records and how long various kinds of records would be kept. Ms. Hildreth noted that the Collection Development Policy also addressed some of these issues. In addition in response to other questions by President Higueras, the City Librarian noted that while City Archivist Susan Goldstein could most thoroughly answer his question, that under the revised policy the Library would continue its role as set out in Section 8.7 of the Administrative Code as the repository for City Archives and that all of these archival records were to be permanently retained. The City Librarian next described how the categories in the revised policy matched categories of City records created by the Office of the City Administrator so that someone looking for a certain type of record could more easily locate them in various City departments. Vice President Steiman noted that this would simplify searching for records and inquired if the policy included drafts of documents. Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes noted that generally only final documents were included in a records retention policy. In response to a question by Commissioner Streets, the City Librarian reported that retrieval of stored documents would not be difficult because library records were stored in Brooks Hall. In answer to a question by President Higueras, Ms. Hildreth confirmed that the policy was ready for adoption. In response to a question by Commissioner Chin, the City Librarian reported that the historic school district records transferred to the Library several years ago were included in the permanent City and County Archives.
MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Vice President Steiman moved for approval of the proposed revision of the Library’s records retention Policy.
ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #4 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
Ms. Danielle Kern, Special Projects Manager of the Friends & Foundation, called the Commissioners’ attention to the Friends & Foundation’s Great Annual Book Sale, this year occurring on September 8-12 at Fort Mason and outline its scheduled events. Ms. Kern then brought the Commissioners up to date concerning the schedule of this fall’s City Arts & Lectures series and invited them to attend any of a series of five meet the author receptions to be held prior to scheduled lectures. Ms. Kern lastly informed the Commissioners that representatives of the Friends & Foundation would be attending upcoming Branch Library Bond program related meetings.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
An anonymous member of the public looked forward to receiving invitations to the author receptions and noted that they could become passive meetings should Commissioners attend. This person then commented concerning a concept paper found at the rear of the auditorium that this person attributed to the Friends & Foundation and suggested that it highlighted this person’s concerns about the relationship between the Library and the Foundation and its philosophy concerning money. This person remarked that the lesson of modern life was that money never solves anything and that understanding and commitment should get attention instead of money.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
AGENDA ITEM #5 LABOR UNION REPORT
AGENDA ITEM #6 NEW BUSINESS
Commissioner Coulter requested that a discussion of the concept paper San Francisco Neighborhood Hall of Fame be calendared for discussion at the Commission’s September 19th meeting, noting that the ideas put forward in the paper were not developed by the Friends & Foundation but the result of conversations with more than 30 individuals. Commissioner Coulter noted that holding a formal discussion of these ideas would allow for a wider discussion of how the Library might fulfill this important role in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 NEW BUSINESS
An anonymous member of the public offered an apology if they had misunderstood the source of the concept paper. This person expressed apprehension that there had already been an extensive discussion of it and suggested that it should be discussed in a wider circle, noting that previously the Commission had discussed such matters in a committee.
AGENDA ITEM #8 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public informed the Commission of their record of continuous regular attendance at Library Commission meetings recalling that in the past the Commission had often taken an August break, returning after labor Day. This person then discussed what had become of an art festival that had formerly been held in the Civic Center during the Labor Day weekend, suggesting that while it had been a volunteer community sponsored event it had thrived but after accepting corporate sponsorship it had changed and ultimately ceased to occur. This person felt that this was the result of giving money the highest value. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight seven days per week. Mr. Regan additionally recommended that the Fuhrman Fund be tapped to add more books on politics and economics to the Library’s collections. Ms. Sue Cauthen, urged the commissioners to take up a suggestion by Commissioner Coulter and convene a wide-ranging group to discuss the issues involved in weeding the library collections. Ms. Cauthen expressed a perception that branch library renovations would lead to reductions in the size of collections and that loss of book space could become a political issue.
AGENDA ITEM #9 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Vice President Steiman that the meeting be adjourned
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #9 ADJOURNMENT (none offered)
ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin)
The meeting was adjourned at 5:11PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 9/12/02
Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of September 3, 2002
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 (PDF) available for viewing in pdf format.