Library Commission Minutes - October 1, 2002
Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, October 1, 2002 (As approved amended November 6, 2002)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, October , 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4: 07PM.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, President Higueras, and Vice President Steiman. Commissioners Chin, Streets, and Strobin were excused attendance.
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 3, 2002 MINUTES
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 3, 2002 MINUTES
An anonymous member of the public noted that the reported ordering of the agenda items is not accurately reported and that this created confusion when trying to follow comments submitted in their public comment summary statement; and expressed disapproval that their public comment summary statements were not included in the Commission’s agenda mailing. This person also noted that they had submitted a transcript of the Deputy City Attorney’s remarks that differed from those reported in the Minutes that was not explained. Mr. Ed Regan found his comments accurately reported. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that there were many things that occurred in the meeting not reported in the Minutes, calling particular attention to a discussion of the City Attorney’s remarks regarding the ILS process, and regarding details of the discussion of the Records Retention Policy.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 3, 2002 MINUTES
President Higueras inquired if Vice President Steiman wished changes made in her remarks in the reported minutes, inquired concerning the correct numbering of agenda items, and suggested that the Minutes be amended to reflect receipt of a copy of a transcript of the Deputy City Attorney Hiyashi’s comments discussed in the Minutes.
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Vice President Steiman for approval of the Minutes of September 3, 2002 as amended.
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
City Librarian Susan Hildreth reported that John Perkins, the alleged book slasher, who had been caught defacing materials relating to gay and lesbian issues, had been convicted with a hate crime enhancement and was on probation with restitution required of $9,600 to the Library. Ms. Hildreth then introduced Ms. Tonia Macneil of the Arts Commission, who presented an update on the Ocean View public art enhancements. The City Librarian then informed the Commission that she had been elected Vice President/President-Elect of the California Library Association CLA) with her Presidential term occurring in 2004. Ms. Hildreth then told the Commissioners that all facilities except for two branches were using the library on-line automated computer management software and that new copy machines and networked printers were available at the Main Library and the branch libraries. The City Librarian additionally reported that as of September 28, 2002, the 2nd overdue notice would no longer be produced or mailed as it was an expense in a tight budget year and was not producing any results. The City Librarian also highlighted the current Vietnam exhibit as well as the Mission Bay Branch public art proposals. Ms. Hildreth then reported on upcoming programs including "Grapes of Wrath" activities at several locations, the "Litquake" author celebration, and several election forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The City Librarian called the Commission’s attention to recent security improvements at the City Librarian’s Office.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public congratulated Ms. Hildreth, discussed how books are powerful totems of our literate heritage, and commented on the lack of details concerning the Xerox contract and about problems for patrons using the Time-out software. This person complained that the discontinuation of the 2nd notices was not properly noticed or fully discussed. Mr. Ed Regan congratulated Ms. Hildreth and recommended that copies be made available for 1 cent each. Mr. Regan additionally asked how many overdue notices were sent out and how many books were missing. Mr. Peter Warfield congratulated Ms. Hildreth; asked for more details on items discussed in her report; commented on copying costs; and requested statistics on recovered materials. Mr. Warfield also urged that in fairness 2nd notices be continued; and spoke about problems users experience with the Time-out software.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
In response to a question by President Higueras, the City Librarian outlined the history of problems with the previous contracts and how this contract was negotiated. Ms. Kathy Lawhun, Chief of the Main Library explained further details of costs of copying and other aspects the Xerox Contract. Ms. Lawhun noted that costs might come down as more information on how the new system works becomes available. The Library’s copying charges were reported among the lowest in the Bay Area. Responding to Commissioner Bautista’s question concerning why the copier revenues were going to the City’s General Fund, Ms. Hildreth explained the City policies governing such revenues. Responding to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Hildreth proposed to provide additional information concerning the costs of sending out the additional overdue notices as well as discussed the very low rate of returns resulting from the additional notices. Regarding the Time-out software, Ms. Hildreth reported very few complaints had been received and as the system was just being introduced in the branches its trial period there is still underway. Commissioner Coulter noted that Ms. Hildreth’s election to statewide CLA office reflected great credit on the library. In response to a comment by Commissioner Coulter calling for recognition for those staff members who went far beyond the call of duty in helping catch the book vandal, Ms. Hildreth noted that those who helped catch him would share the reward offered for the apprehension of the vandal. In response to questions by President Higueras, Art Commission staff made clear that there would be every effort made to avoid any disruption of services at the Ocean View Branch during installation of the new art. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Hildreth reported increasing use of email addresses to contact library users by email.
President Higueras announced that Agenda Item #4 Main Library Signage would be taken up before Agenda Item #3 the Budget Workshop.
AGENDA ITEM #4 MAIN LIBRARY SIGNAGE
The Chief of the Main Library Kathy Lawhun presented an overview of the process beginning with recommendations in the POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report on the Main Library that led to the development of a new signage and way finding program. Ms. Lawhun then reported on the work of a staff Signage Task Force including Phil Sowers, Bureau of Architecture, Barbara McMahon, Library graphic designer, and the Chief of the Main, assisted by a large working group of Main Library staff, in developing and refining signage proposals to resolve identified problems. Ms. Lawhun reported improved overall way finding, directory kiosks, finding specific destinations, and specific design and legibility issues were identified by Main Library staff as the prime areas in need of improvement.
The Chief of the Main Library then introduced signage consultant Kate Keating, who provided a detailed presentation including slides concerning the proposed Main Library signage improvements to the Commissioners. Ms. Keating identified way finding as the critical core component of the new signage system and visually walked the Commissioners through the building showing where and how new signage and podium style signage presentations designed to be compatible in materials and designs with and complementary to the building’s existing design would be placed. Ms. Keating highlighted efforts made to increase ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance and legibility as well as facilitate finding collections and more clearly identifying designated locations. Ms. Keating concluded her presentation with examples of signage prototypes.
An anonymous member of the public noted that there were many verities of addressing signage problems expressed a preference that staff retains an ability to produce as needed changes in the signs. This person also noted that there was frequently is a trade off between the prominence of a sign and addressing other issues in the library. Ms. Barbara Berman, Friends & Foundation expressed satisfaction with the improvements she had seen and found them a step in the right direction. Mr. Ed Regan lauded the presentation, and suggested signage directing users to the library collections be mounted on the bookshelves. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed disappointment that library users had not been included in the discussion of signage planning relating an anecdote highlighting practical issues concerning signage on a bathroom hand dryer. Mr. Warfield suggested visual pathways might be created to address problems people had experienced in getting around the Main Library. Mr. Warfield also noted the importance of having signage directing users to specific destinations.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 MAIN LIBRARY SIGNAGE
In response to a query by Commissioner Coulter, Ms. Lawhun discussed the Main Library’s talking signage for the blind and print disabled. Commissioner Coulter expressed approval of the proposed signage as highly complementary to the Main Library’s design and inquired concerning design advice offered pro bono by SMWM (Simon Martin-Vegue, Winkelstein Moris), the Main Library’s original designer. In response to queries by President Higueras, Ms. Keating described how they had worked with a functioning system in making improvements and noted that the signage pedestals will not be specially illuminated. Ms. Lawhun described how the improved signage to specific destinations and describing specific collections and new way finding maps had been working. The Chief of the Main informed the Commissioners that the next steps in this process would be development of the designs costs and a recommendation being brought to the Commission later in the year. Vice President Steiman lauded the clarity in identifying what was on each floor on the new signage and inquired what process was planned to try out designs and make any needed modifications before going forward with the rest of the Building. Ms. Lawhun informed Commissioner Bautista that this plan addressed the signage issues raised in the Post Occupancy Evaluation Report. In response to a suggestion by Commissioner Bautista that ordinary users be invited to review the signage, the City Librarian noted that staff had thoroughly evaluated the proposed signage program and that a public presentation or a review by members of the Council for Neighborhood Libraries might be considered.
AGENDA ITEM #3 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET REPORT
(Explanatory document: FY 2003-04 Budget Planning memo & slide presentation)
Library Finance Director George Nichols presented the Commissioners with an overview of the recent history of Library budgets and revenue background and the budget related issues facing the Library in FY 2003/04. Mr. Nichols called attention to a summary of his slide presentation that had been provided to the Commissioners and was available to members of the public at the rear of the auditorium. The Library’s Finance Director noted that an economic recovery had not occurred and cited figures reflecting economic problems at the federal, state, and local levels and related likely budget reductions from all levels of government. Mr. Nichols observed that this situation had serious implications for future library budgets.
Mr. Nichols next outlined the principle baseline budget issues that would have to be addressed in the next budget. The Library Finance Direction reported negotiations for new labor contracts with major employee groups citywide would take place next year with related potential budget impacts. Mr. Nichols called attention to new expenses related to operating 190-9th Street that would have to be absorbed as well. The Library Finance Director indicated that even given these circumstances he was guardedly optimistic that no program or services reductions would be needed in the next budget.
Library Budget Officer Kathleen Lucey then discussed in greater detail the baseline budget beginning with a review of the current year’s $54.872 million baseline budget paying for 612 fulltime staff and Library program operations. Ms. Lucey called attention to this year’s one time budget costs, the $23.82 capital budget, and discussed various charts in the slide presentation providing various views of how budget funds were expended. Ms. Lucey explained the expenditures by category in the FY 2001/02 Budget and called attention to likely areas where costs could be expected to increase an estimated $2.3 million over the current baseline. Ms. Lucey cited a figure of S55.96 million as the expected baseline budget for next year.
Mr. Nichols noted that, as he had just learned that the Commission was about to lose its quorum, this discussion would be continued to the November meeting and wrapped up his comments with a recommendation that Commissioners review the materials provided in the budget handout.
President Higueras reported that as the Commission was about to lose its quorum that he was continuing the Budget Workshop item and striking Agenda Item #6, Union Report, and Agenda Item #7 New Business, and moved directly to Agenda item #8 Public Comment.
AGENDA ITEM #8 PUBLIC COMMENT
Mr. Terrill Timberlake inquired concerning the status of the Library’s Dorothy Starr collection of sheet music. Mr. Timberlake provided background information on how this important collection was acquired and expressed concern that there had been an 11 year wait for these materials to be made available as promised to the public. An anonymous member of the public expressed concern with terms used to describe the inclusion of citizen Summaries in the Minutes, inquired concerning a question raised by Commissioner Bautista regarding the accounting of the Fuhrman Fund, and described Mr. Fuhrman’s background. Mr. Peter Warfield suggested that the proposed budget included no increase for books and requested clarification of any increase in costs of copying. Mr. Warfield suggested that all collections of library materials not yet cataloged be cataloged and made available.
Vice President Steiman left the meeting at 6:14PM
The meeting ended at 6:14PM as a result of the loss of the quorum.
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 11/7/02
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 1, 2002
Library 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