Library Commission Minutes - December 3, 2002
Minutes of the regular meeting of Tuesday, December 3, 2002 (As approved Amended 1/7/03)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Tuesday, December 3, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
Vice President Steiman called the meeting to order at 4:08PM.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin. Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:12PM.
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER 6, 2002 MINUTES
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER 6, 2002 MINUTES
Anonymous member of the public noted that public comment summary statements were not included with the Minutes and criticized the portion of the Minutes concerning alleged mis-representation of Ms. Cauthen’s views. This person noted that the Minutes did not state Ms. Cauthen had submitted a letter regarding this matter to the Commissioners. Mr. Warfield commented that the Minutes did not include the Commission Secretary’s suggestion to amend the Minutes to reflect the exact words used by Mr. Warfield in his public comment and noted that a page 3 reference to his not having sufficient time to review the material was solely because those materials were not made available. Ms. Sue Cauthen remarked that she was not a critic of the Branch Library Bond Program and that the comment attributed to her was not what she had said. Ms. Cauthen additionally noted that the detail provided in the Commission’s Minutes was greater than required by the Sunshine Ordinance.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER 6, 2002 MINUTES
President Higueras observed that the Library Commission’s Minutes were a summary report on the actions taken by the Commission and that they were not intended as a transcript of the meeting.
MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Vice President Steiman for approval of the Minutes of November 6, 2002.
ACTION: AYE 7-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #2 RICHMOND BRANCH RENAMING
City Librarian Susan Hildreth outlined for the Commissioners the requirements set forth in the Library Facilities Naming Policy then introduced Mrs. Carolene Marks, wife of the late Senator Milton Marks, who requested that Library Commission initiate the mandated public process so that his name could be added to the name of the Richmond Branch Library. Mrs. Marks then gave a detailed presentation highlighting Senator Marks’ lifetime of community service, civic leadership, and public service as a member of the Board of Supervisors, Judge, and State Senator that had earned him the regard, respect, and affection of the entire community. Mrs. Marks called particular attention to Senator Marks’ decades of leadership on behalf of California’s libraries, noted the hundreds of signatures on petitions supporting the renaming, and cited State Librarian Dr. Kevin Starr’s endorsement of the proposed addition of the Senator’s name to the Richmond Branch Library.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 RICHMOND BRANCH RENAMING
Anonymous member of the public commented that renaming of a branch was a difficult question, and that the speaker had opposed two previous renaming proposals. This person noted that while Senator Marks had been a rare individual who supported libraries, there was a long list of people that by any criteria who could also be so honored.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 RICHMOND BRANCH RENAMING
Commissioner Bautista observed that she supported the proposal to rename the Richmond Branch Library to honor Senator Marks, noting that is was time that his support for libraries be recognized. Commissioner Coulter noted that in his view elected officials considered for such an honor had a greater burden of evidence of extraordinary support, calling attention to the decades of heroic volunteer efforts by civic leaders such as the late Mary Louise Stong and Marjorie Stern. Commissioner Coulter offered a suggestion that the Library could name the park surrounding the Richmond Branch as an alternative means of recognizing Senator Marks’ contributions. Commissioner Coulter suggested that a bust of the Senator could be placed on the grounds and flowers that the Senator liked could be planted. Vice President Steiman found Commissioner Coulter’s proposed alternative merited consideration. Commissioner Bautista thought it also a good idea and again pointed to Senator Marks’ history and lifetime of ties to the Richmond neighborhood and the library. Commissioner Strobin noted however that care needed to be exercised so that the named grounds did not overshadow the identification of the branch building. In response to Commissioner Bautista’s suggestion that there could be an archive of Senator Marks’ papers located at the branch, there was a brief discussion concerning what kinds of material could be included and the limitations imposed by the size of the branch. President Higueras lauded Senator Marks’ major achievements and contributions to San Francisco and noted the breadth and depth of community support for the renaming. President Higueras noted that naming a branch library must require that the very highest standard of civic and community contributions be demonstrated. President Higueras found Commissioner Coulter’s suggestion interesting and merited additional consideration. President Higueras called the presentation and discussion a good first step in the process and that the next step would be to go to the community for further input at a widely noticed community meeting to be held early in the new year in the Richmond district. In response to a question by Commissioner Streets it was noted that naming grounds surrounding the branch would be among the options discussed at the neighborhood meeting.
AGENDA ITEM #3 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
City Librarian Susan Hildreth updated the Commissioners concerning the details of the December 2nd meeting of the Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) Board meeting in Sacramento. Ms. Hildreth discussed in detail the allocation of the first $130 million among 13 projects that included 2 renovations. Ms. Hildreth further reported $40 million of the projects funded were in Northern California, while the rest were in Southern California, with an additional $20 million to be allocated at a Bond Board meeting later in December. The City Librarian then informed the Commissioners that the West Portal Branch would reopen on December 14th and that the Golden Gate Valley Branch would reopen on January 28, 2003. The City Librarian announced that the Library had received two PR Excellence Awards for the 2000/2001 Annual report and the Project Read newsletter at the at the CLA (California Library Association) Annual Conference. Ms. Hildreth then discussed the problems reported in the press concerning the lack of payment to the artist for the Chagoya Mural located in the Main Library’s Grove Street entry area. The City Librarian reported no response so far from the Mexican Consulate but that the Friends & Foundation were exploring purchase of the artwork and its long term loan to the Library. Ms. Hildreth then provided background on her decision to resume sale of library discards through the Friends & Foundation’s monthly book sales with all proceeds earmarked for the Library. The City Librarian then gave an update on exhibits and programs calling attention to the Speak Truth to Power Exhibit in the Jewett Galley opening on December 12, the Caring for Creation program in the Koret on December 4th, the Book Arts and Special Collections lecture, "Ready when you are Mr. DeMille" in the Koret on December 7, an Evening of Mystery at the Noe Valley Branch on December 11th, and the very popular Book Appraisal Clinic in the Main Library’s Skylight Gallery on December 14th. Chief of Branches Donna Corbeil then concluded the City Librarian’s report with an update on the branch reorganization.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
An anonymous member of the public requested a written copy of the report on Prop. 14 allocations and suggested that there were serious policy implications with risk of a trap in developing branch library plans so as to meet Prop. 14 criteria. Additionally this person criticized use of library staff to sell discards at a book sale benefiting the Friends & Foundation. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed alarm at the selling of library discards and questioned every aspect of the proposal. Mr. Warfield also expressed concern with the impact of the Prop. 14 allocations on the Library’s Branch Bond Program.
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT
In response to a question by Vice President Steiman, Roberto Esteves, Chief of Information and Resource Management discussed the Library’s extensive redistribution program for materials removed from the collection and not wanted by other libraries. Such materials are then offered to a wide variety of community organizations with only those not wanted by anyone being considered for sale. Vice President Steiman noted that sale of discards was common among libraries and it was good that any money received would be returned to the library. In response to questions by President Higueras, the City Librarian gave a more detailed overview of the fierce competition for Prop. 14 funds, noting that the Bond Board had a difficult time given the limited funds available. Ms. Hildreth noted that she believed the Richmond Branch application would be very competitive and that the Library was discussing opportunities for cooperative uses with the school district. President Higueras praised the Library staff’s hard work and skillful presentation, citing the Excelsior video as example, of the Prop. 14 applications
In response to Commissioner Bautista’s reservations about the sale of discards, the City Librarian explained that the Library had a City Attorney’s opinion permitting the sale of discards and noted that all proceeds would be returned to the Library. In response to a query from Vice President Steiman, Ms. Hildreth discussed the likely reasons that the larger portion of the first Prop. 14 allocations had gone to Southern California libraries and reported that that situation had not gone unnoticed by the Bond Board members. In response to a question by President Higueras, Ms. Hildreth confirmed that clear notice of the reduction to what were normal public service hours would be provided to users of the nearby branches whose hours had increased while West Portal was closed. In answer to a question by President Higueras, Ms. Corbeil discussed how the staff was responding to the branch reorganization. In response to a query by Commissioner Bautista, Ms Corbeil noted that branch managers of large branches could now focus on managing their branch. President Higueras thanked Ms. Corbeil and noted that he looked forward to continued reports on the branches.
President Higueras called a brief recess at 5:46PM
Commissioner Chin left the meeting during the recess.
The meeting resumed at 6:00PM
AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET REPORT
(Explanatory document: FY 2003-04 Budget report)
Library Finance Director George Nichols presented the Commissioners with a detailed report (copy attached) on the gloomy economic outlook and the projected $20 million shortfall in the City Budget. Mr. Nichols then outlined in great detail how in 2002/03 the Library proposed to address a minor imbalance in the current budget. The Library’s Finance Director then presented an extensive update on the likely 2003/04 Library Budget highlighting factors beyond the Library’s control, such as potential increases in COLAs negotiated by the city. Mr. Nichols then concluded his report with a brief recap and overview of the budget outlook.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET REPORT
Mr. Peter Warfield commented that the budget reports were not included in the agenda materials he received. Mr. Warfield commented that all such materials should be routinely provided.
Commissioner discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 LIBRARY 2003/04 BUDGET REPORT
Responding to questions by Commissioner Streets, Ms. Hildreth reported that the City’s negotiating position was for no salary increases but that a salary freeze was only discussed as a possibility. Additionally Ms. Hildreth noted that keeping positions vacant could impact public service and informed Commissioners Streets that the Tool Lending Center was still included within the Library’s baseline budget. Commissioner Streets indicated that the Tool Center remained at the top of the Commissioners’ list of programs to be cut if reductions were needed. Vice President Steiman said that it was the Commissioners’ preference that every effort be made to protect the books/materials budget and to keep PTAN (part time as needed) positions vital to maintaining public services.
AGENDA ITEM #5 NOMINATION OF COMMISSION OFFICERES FOR 2003
At President Higueras’ request the Commission Secretary outlined the process for nomination of Commission officers. Commissioner Streets nominated Vice President Steiman for another term as Vice President in 2003 and Commissioner Streets nominated President Higueras to continue in office for 2003. No other nominations were offered.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 NOMINATION OF COMMISSION OFFICERES FOR 2003
An anonymous member of the public lauded the Commissioners’ willingness to serve.
AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
Mr. Martín Gómez, Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation, briefed the Commissioners concerning recent and upcoming Friends & Foundation sponsored events such as the December 17th lecture by author Jonathan Franzen, inviting the Commissioners to attend a reception for the author prior to the lecture. Mr. Gómez reported on progress in getting the capital campaign for the branch libraries underway and informed the Commissioners that he would bring the plans before them for their review and endorsement.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 FRIENDS & FOUNDATION REPORT
AGENDA ITEM #7 LABOR UNION REPORT
AGENDA ITEM #8 NEW BUSINESS
President Higueras noted that it was his goal to complete all of the outstanding Commissioners’ requests for agenda items during the next year and that efforts were underway to plan the meeting agendas accordingly. Commissioner Bautista called attention to addressing POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report related issues such as Main Library signage and emergency systems. President Higueras noted that the Commission had been addressing a heavy workload of business and that the Commissioners had only one more year in office remained to complete its unfinished work.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #8 NEW BUSINESS
An anonymous member of the public commented that they had no seen such a list but that it was very important that when things are brought forward they be addressed. This person called attention to a request by Commissioner Bautista for accountability for the Fuhrman Fund.
AGENDA ITEM #9 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public commented that they had provided the Commissioners with materials related to the new Glen Park Branch but the copies provided to the Commissioners cut off some of the material. This person again referred to Commissioner Bautista’s request for a report on the Fuhrman Fund noting that if there were no accountability there would be no limits on how the funds are expended. This person suggested that Commissioner Bautista’s rights to ask questions did not weigh against the influence of money. Ms. Maryanne Duke, Richmond resident, called the Commissioners attention to problems she found with the proposed staff work spaces in the redesigned branch. Mr. Peter Warfield thanked the Commissioners for giving books and staffing priority, noting they should be the last things cut. Mr. Warfield also inquired regarding the propriety of a Friends & Foundation solicitation letter signed by the City Librarian and wondered if user registration lists were used in the mailing
Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #9 PUBLIC COMMENT
President Higueras noted that the proposed redesign of the Richmond branch was a work in progress and Vice President Steiman requested that a report be made to the Commissioners concerning resolution of the staff space issue. Ms. Hildreth reported no library registration lists were used by the Friends & Foundation in support of its fundraising efforts for the Library.
AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Streets a that the meeting be adjourned.
ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, Streets, and Strobin)
The meeting was adjourned at 6:45PM
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 1/8/03
Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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.
Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of December 3, 2002
Library Commission meeting of December 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.