Library Commission Minutes - May 6, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION (As approved June 3, 2004) Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, May 6, 2004 The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, May 6, 2004 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:02pm. The following members were present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Higueras, Commissioners Steiman, Streets, and Strobin were excused attendance. Agenda Items: 1. Public Comment 2. Approval of the Minutes of April 1, 2004 3. Privacy Policy 4. RFID Recommendation 5. City Librarians' Report 6. Library Security Issues Report 7. Friends of the Library Report 8. Labor Union Report 9. New Business 10. ADJOURNMENT 11. APPENDIX A AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public discussed a lawsuit this person had filed against the Library. Mr. Peter Warfield discussed recent Sunshine Ordinance Task Force rulings on his complaints against the Library. Mr. Timothy Gillespie informed the Commissioners that he moved back from Canada, and called attention to recent press reports concerning RFID and the Library and to a website critical of the Library. AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF APRIL 1, 2004 Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF APRIL 1, 2004 An anonymous member of the public found the minutes full of errors and distortions, discussed comments attributed to President Higueras before the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee, and suggested that the minutes were widely read. Mr. Peter Warfield found the minutes too brief and inaccurate in reporting discussion concerning the library citizen advisory committee. COMMISSION discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF APRIL 1, 2004 Approval of the April 1, 2004 Minutes was tabled in order to allow for inclusion by the Secretary of a report on the presentations made by Library and Department of Public Health staff concerning RFID issues during the April 1, 2004 regular Library Commission Meeting. Please note: Amendments to these Minutes are in alternative typeface. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 AGENDA ITEM #3 LIBRARY PRIVACY POLICY Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood presented an overview of the proposed Library Privacy Policy. Mr. Underwood then discussed in detail the process used to gather additional comment and input from Library staff and interested members of the community as well as civic organizations. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 LIBRARY PRIVACY POLICY An anonymous member of the public complained that the revised draft had not been posted but found the policy at least set a benchmark and was therefore a step in the right direction. Mr. Peter Warfield found the proposed privacy policy improved, but still woefully deficient and full of gaps. Mr. Warfield also objected that the revised text of the policy was made available just prior to the meeting. Mr. Lee Tien, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), expressed happiness with the substance of the proposed policy, but emphasized the importance of how such a policy was implemented, and recommended periodic independent privacy audits. Mr. David Molnar, UC Berkeley doctoral student, called attention to the importance of including specific mention of the chips’ security tag in its RFID section in order to avoid potential conflict with the language in the proposed Bowen state legislation on RFID use. Mr. David Pilpel, member, Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, suggested that the language be redrafted in order to be more internally consistent and clearly state what would be the Library's policy. Mr. Charles Munster, Laborers Union, questioned the politics of the proposed Policy and asked why there was any section for law enforcement access to library records. Mr. Timothy Gillespie expressed concern about the San Francisco Board of Supervisors involvement in the proposed policy and while noting that the draft represented a great deal of work by Library staff opposed its adoption without further review and public discussion. Ms. Marcia Popper, Council for Neighborhood Libraries, requested additional information concerning concurrent use of barcodes and RFID technology and about the placement of Section 12 “response to lawful law enforcement requests” within the policy. Mr. Seth Schoen, Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF, called attention to a mistaken reference to the privacy policies of IPOs that should properly refer to ISPs (internet service providers). Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 LIBRARY PRIVACY POLICY Commissioner Coulter suggested that the policy be redrafted to read in a single voice and called attention to the point that privacy issues were addressed in several other library policies. Commission Bautista suggested that the proposed policy be rearranged by section to more closely align topics and that specific language be included to remove any doubt about protecting users’ privacy. Commissioner Chin suggest hat the redrafted policy move from the most general to more specific to address in turn all users, computer and online users, and those for whom RFID was a special concern. Commissioner Bautista noted the importance of “privacy audits” as recommended by the American Library Association (ALA). President Higueras discussed the importance of including different points of view in the revised policy, calling attention to useful comments offered by Mr. Tien and Mr. Schoen. Approval of the proposed Library Privacy Policy was tabled to a future meeting for redrafting to include suggested revisions, clarification, and improvements that were raised during the Commissioners’ discussion of and public comment on the proposed policy. AGENDA ITEM #4 RFID RECOMMENDATION (A Presentation was made by Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood outlining the staff response to Commissioners’ requests for more information concerning specific aspects of the proposed RFID technology.) Presentation on and discussion of use of a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system in the Library in order to reduce workplace injuries and enhance Library operations, and possible action to approve acquisition of RFID-based technology to replace existing barcode based circulation and magnetic security systems, subject to adoption of suitable criteria and policies to protect user privacy. The City Librarian reported that this action would simply authorize the Library to expend the approximately $300,000 for RFID as outlined in the proposed budget (initially presented at the April 1, 2004 Commission meeting). Ms. Vicky Wells, San Francisco Department of Public Health Occupational Health and Safety Officer presented information responding to specific health related concerns raised by the public. Ms. Wells also noted that vendors of this technology could be required to submit certificates of compliance with FCC (Federal Communications Commission) health and safety standards. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 RFID RECOMMENDATION Anonymous member of the public cited opposition by the American Civil Liberties Union to RFID implementation, noted the lack of mention of explanatory documents, and suggested that privacy concerns were the essence of this issue. Mr. Peter Warfield opposed to RFID implementation, and found the documentation, information concerning costs, and privacy policies inadequate. Mr. Warfield suggested that reports concerning employee repetitive stress injuries (RSI) were not substantiated. Mr. David Molnar reported his research indicating that no existing RFID system possessed the kind of protections deemed essential to preserve privacy. Mr. Timothy Gillespie recommended that questions concerning theft of library materials should be addressed but cautioned that previous Library technology based programs such as Info Express had proved to be unsuccessful. Mr. Lee Tien, EFF, opposed to RFID implementation, again repeating his concern with potential problems with this new technology and expressed distrust of vendor claims that RFID technology would resolve the Library's RSI injury-related concerns. Mr. Tien expressed hope that if RFID were to be approved, that the Library's RFP (request for proposals) process would be used to carefully evaluate any system and critically review vendor claims prior to implementation of RFID technology. Mr. Seth Schoen, Electronic Frontier Foundation, (EFF), noted that current technology limitations of the ability to read RFID tags might quickly be superceded by more powerful readers, said claims concerning reduction of employee RSI injuries were unsubstantiated, and suggested other means were available to address those issues. Mr. Ken Jones expressed mystification about concern that someone might be able to read coded numbers on his library materials and observed that the new system could be very beneficial to the Library in reducing injuries and theft. Ms. Lee Asseria read a letter from Ms. Ann Brick, ACLU, opposed to FRID implementation. President Higueras called for a recess at 5:57pm The Public Library Commission returned to session at 6:06 pm Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 RFID RECOMMENDATION In response to Commissioners’ questions Ms. Wells amplified on her discussion of a lack of data suggesting any health risks associated with use of RFID technology and about RSI injuries. It was the consensus of the Commission that the Library should proceed cautiously with RFID implementation. Commissioner Coulter noted that the Library's process to consider use of RFID provided an opportunity to work together with respected civic organizations like ACLU and EFF as partners in a dialogue to address their concerns. President Higueras suggested maintaining dialogue with those expressing concerns with this technology and that staff make efforts to address remaining questions. He noted that the Library retained the option not to proceed further if it did not identify a system that met its needs. Commissioner Chin urged independent verification of vendor claims and suggested a making a comparison of the costs and benefits of both the current and proposed systems. It was the sense of the Commission as they were not technical experts and as the technology was coming to the library world, more input was needed to fully understand the issues. Commissioner Coulter urged the Library to work with vendors, ACLU, EFF and others to develop a trial that would test some of the claims made both for and against RFID to see what happened. MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, 2nd Commissioner Chin that the Library Commission authorize expenditure of the budgeted reserve funds for acquisition of RFID-based technology to replace existing barcode based circulation and magnetic security systems, subject to adoption of suitable criteria and policies to protect user privacy. Approved by the following vote: 4-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Higueras) President Higueras remarked that the Commission’s decision to proceed with allocation of the reserve budgeted funds for RFID did not indicate that the Commission would rush into this technology. President Higueras noted that the Library was committed to working with those expressing concerns about use of RFID so that in the Library's RFP (request for proposal) process questions and issues of concern could be addressed prior to full implementation. AGENDA ITEM #5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT The City Librarian reported on the following subjects: Library Legislative Days in Sacramento (April 21st) and Washington, D.C. (May 3rd &4th); an update on the library citizen advisory committee; Proposition 14 3rd cycle eligibility review completed; the Ocean View Branch public art project, and exhibits and programs. Ms. Hildreth also reported on a re-flooring project at the Chinatown Branch that came to her attention too late to include in the meeting agenda. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood reported on a recent conference he attended on developing library policies. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 CITY LIBRARIAN’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public admired the Ocean View public art, commented on competitive nature of the 3rd cycle Prop 14 applications, and spoke about the proposed library citizens’ advisory committee. AGENDA ITEM #6 LIBRARY SECURITY ISSUES REPORT (Library Director of Security Rachel MacLachlan presented an update on the security status of the Library system) Ms. MacLachlan presented an update report on Library Security related issues. The Director of Security noted that incidents and problems continued to reflect problems going on in the larger society, but noted that there had been fewer problems during the past year. She noted that disputes over computer access, while much improved since the installation of online booking, were still a significant problem area. Ms. MacLachlan reported that security in branches had been much improved since additional staffing had been made available. Ms. MacLachlan reported that exterior problems at the Main Library were down, partially as a by product of the Mayor’s recent efforts to address quality of life issues in the Civic Center area. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 LIBRARY SECURITY ISSUES REPORT An anonymous member of the public agreed that the security problems in the libraries reflected larger social problems and noted that it was necessary to take action to stem a general decline. Mr. Peter Warfield suggested that the use of online computer booking resulted in library computers being under utilized because of the system’s rules on time limits. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 LIBRARY SECURITY ISSUES REPORT In response to questions by President Higueras, the Director of Security observed that is an ongoing effort to successfully address the outside social problems that manifest themselves in the libraries. Commissioner Bautista lauded improvements in addressing restroom cleaning problems as well as staff’s efforts to meet security needs in the branches. AGENDA ITEM #7 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT Ms. Deborah Doyle, representing Martín Gómez, Executive Director of the Friends of the Library reported on: the 8th Annual Library Laureates Dinner on April 30; concerning the Friends Board’s consideration of $720,000 in grant requests submitted by library staff for 2004/05, and on upcoming author programs sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #7 FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY REPORT President Higueras thanked the Friends of the Library for their support for the Ocean View Branch Library art project. AGENDA ITEM #8 LABOR UNION REPORT (No report offered) AGENDA ITEM #9 NEW BUSINESS (No items were proposed) ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Coulter that the meeting be adjourned. Approved by the following vote: 4-0 AYE (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Higueras) There being no further business, at the hour of 7:32 pm the Public Library Commission adjourned. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 6/4/04 Please note: Amendments to these Minutes are in alternative typeface. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 ATTACHMENTS: 4/30/04 draft Privacy Policy (PDF 162K) 5/02/04 RFID memo & revised budget (PDF 169K) Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of May 6, 2004 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 Explanatory documents: Copies of listed explanatory documents are available as follows: (1) from the Commission Secretary/Custodian of Records, Main Library, 6th Floor, (2) in the rear of the Koret Auditorium immediately before and during the meeting, and (3)to the extent possible, on the Library's Web site. Additional materials not listed as explanatory documents, if any, that are distributed to the Library Commissioners prior to or during the meeting in connection with any agenda item will be available to the public for inspection and copying in accordance with Government Code Section 54954.1 and Sunshine Ordinance §§ 67.9, 67.28(b) & 67.28(d).
Take our survey