Library Board Liveblog

5:12 – Going over Library Materials Subcommittee reports now.  Jyoti reporting; Bill C. is not here.

Quite a few members of the public in attendance.

5:13 – Donna is reviewing the minutes of the second meeting from subcommittee now.

You all know this; I’m saving my fingers from unnecessary typing.

Bringing the decision to not change the meeting room policy now.

Bill C. entering the room; Ron Madnick as well.  (Jo Hart, the Davises, and Russell James here as well.  There’s another gentleman next to me, and Steve F. is here as well.)

5:16 – Bill C. speaking now.  “It showed that this city…is in absolute desperate need for discussion of issues of race and tolerance.”  He mentions that Jordan Levy spoke for 25 minutes on the work of the library, and also talked about how people can’t imagine that there are groups that deny the Holocaust, etc.  A guy from the white pride group (“he was a stutterer”) who put up the video wanted to apologize because he didn’t mean for all this to happen.

“You had people who were extreme in their feelings…shaking hands with one another.”

“We worked to protect the safety of our patrons at this library. … In the event that a group comes who violates the rules,… we will shut them down.”

“We were in the press in a very positive way…but [also] in a very challenging way.”

Recommends board adopt the report.

5:21 – Kevin asks Mark to look at posting the rules and meeting room regs in meeting rooms.  Could we look into listing in front of/outside the room who is meeting as well?

Motion to adopt minutes from two meetings.  Approved.

Now reviewing report of the Committee on Administration [July 13] as a result of a special request for meeting room space.

Susan — took a look at whether they had strayed outside of their rules with meeting room arrangement.  They had reviewed whether the Youtube video & fallout to patrons.  The group had requested several consecutive meetings.

Russell James is disputing this.  He says Dee and he worked through this in anticipation of future meetings.  He spouts off about how Bill is proud for the library board trying to keep white people out.

This blogger told Russell that they’re talking about two different things.  He was conflating meeting room guidelines and his own meeting room request(s).

5:27pm – Russell James – “Is the suspension of NEWP lifted?”

Kevin D. – until October.

Susan – when clarification was asked, there was no response [from the group].

RJ says that it was confirmed; Kevin says that they’ll have to agree to disagree.

RJ – “we’ll continue to make videos and make fun of them.”

RJ – “We had the largest meeting we ever had” that day.

Six people is their largest meeting ever.  Keep this in mind.  Also, the quietest meeting ever outside of a Quaker Meeting.

5:31 – Oh, Jo, put your hand down.  I want to eat dinner tonight.

Jo Hart – suggests that they add something to meeting room regs that people can protest but not disturb the meeting.  Gordon Davis laughs. 

Gordon has a petition; he laughs at the concept that they’re trying to rule on counterprotest.  Which, of course, they’re not.  He was stopped from going to the meeting because he had a sign.

Kevin and Mark have discussed that specific incident and similar ones with the law department and the ACLU.  And will continue the discussion.

Dante asks whether Kevin Ksen’s three questions and whether there was follow up.  Mark – not from the law department or police department yet.

Jabian – is it appropriate for them as a library board to deny a group based on where they meet elsewhere?  Kevin D. – that was from Kevin Ksen, not necessarily a recommendation of the committee.

5:35 – Susan – that was not part of the discussion or the action that was going to be taken that day (what their history was).  Kevin – strictly as a cooling off period because of the video.

Jabian recommends they follow back up with Kevin K. to respond to his questions.

Mark responds to Gordon about what is disruptive — library is a “quiet reflective place”, anything that goes beyond the intent and purpose of the building — when people are being disturbed in their abilities to do that…

Long back-and-forth; there’s still outstanding question with the law department.

Ron feels this was not the way to go with a cooling off period; should rather have a cop to protect the peace.  Feels signs should be allowed.

5:41 – RJ – “we were trying to [start a dialog]” with this meeting.  Russell is discussing the oppression of the white man.  “White men are simply not allowed to talk in this country.”

Jo talks about how “library materials subcommittee” was not adequately descriptive.

5:45 – Correspondence from Gordon Davis.  I don’t have this in front of me.  Actionable item: asks that library board ban NEWP from use of meeting room unless criminal proceding against them is resolved.  [Good luck!]

Davis speaks.  “Because this board has found that the policy should not change…” asks that they be banned out of public safety.  “Board has a responsibility to the public.”  “City manager himself felt NEWP was a danger.”  He only saw NEWP strike the counter-protesters, etc., etc.  If you haven’t heard it before, I have.  About five times.

“Fine line between someone who defends himself and someone who goes on the attack” – regarding the man who was hit with a bike lock.

5:49 – Davis – “due diligence” to ban them until there’s a resolution.

Jo Hart – thinks it was wrong for the library to have cancelled the meeting.  Feels that the Telegram screwed up the whole thing.  Votes to not suspend that group.

Russell addresses the board – “Someone keeps [singling out] one single group” when we’re supposed to be talking about the guidelines as a whole  – “no criminal charges against group or me”.  “We don’t commit crimes…we even invite them to our meetings.”

Donna — has Mark heard anything from the police regarding incident report?  No.

Kevin D. recommends that the board not ban NEWP summarily.  “The presumption of innocence is a foundational concept in our democracy.”  “Dangerous precendent if we can NEWP based on a police report being filed.”  We don’t look into the criminal background of other groups reserving the room.

Gordon – not looking into the past, looking at what happened on that day.  “Clear and present danger…not past history.”

Darryl from OPP (oh my word, you down with OPP/yeah, you know me).  It’s like the hit parade in here.  The concern that his organization has about safety.  “when NEWP was supposed to return for another meeting, they tried to pick a fight with the video.”  He has a problem with NEWP in general, recognizes that the library has to maintain the same rights & privileges to everyone.  “We have already seen that NEWP encourages” counter-protests.  What other libraries has done is to say that if this is going to disrupt the library, then we’ll have to take a look at it. 

Gwen says she’s opposed to nazis.  Workers of the world unite, etc.  You know the routine.

5:59 – Jo Hart – her understanding that they met with no incidents previously.

I speak against a permanent or semi-permanent ban.  I may have said something about refusing to live in fear and refusing to have my children live in fear.

RJ – Darryl’s group is a violent communist group.  A lot of drama with he-said, he-said.  I don’t want to engage in the drama.  “The word nazi is … means to silence the voice of white men.”  Oh my word this is awesome.  “He’s been causing harm to white people for 20 years, 30 years.”

Darryl affirms that he is not being sued.  I am trying desperately to stay away from the drama.  Not really succeeding.

“Whenever they meet people will protest…and I might be one of them.”

6:06 – Kevin feels library has to be a democratic institution.

Jabian – thanks everyone for coming out.  Agrees with Kevin’s points.  Don’t go back on original decision of 90-day cooling off period to extend ban.

Bill C. – shouldn’t ban anyone from meeting.  Everybody has their own viewpoints.  Would like to see particular request to come back in six months’ time in case there’s an issue.  “Maybe someday the call for a conversation for race and tolerance” will happen.

Moving to table the proposal to ban NEWP for six months.  Not seconded.

Jyoti – there is no way that a library can come and not follow guidelines; police will be called and there will be action taken.

6:12 – Bill C. – moves to table the proposal for six months again, slightly re-worded.  Dante seconds.  Voted down.

Jabian moves to decline the proposal.  Seconded.  Approved.

AH!  Now on to this blog’s bread and butter: boring library stuff!

Jim “Supastar” Izatt is here from the Talking Books Library.  Kudos for his advocacy to keep Talking Books here.  Discusses Mark and him attending Perkins board meetings, talk of consolidation [which has obviously not happened].  100,000 people in the state do not know about the Talking Books library in the state [who could avail of the services].

Going to be focusing this year on outreach/marketing efforts to meet the needs of the underserved people.

Developing an MOU to be presented to the board in November so that they can have clearer sense of the marketing efforts.

[I’m feeling a certain amount of guilt for not further publicizing Talking Books.  As someone who sees by virtue of the miracle of modern optometrics, I am very sensitive to the needs of the vision impaired.  Rock on, Jim Izatt!]

6:23 – Report of the President – Mark and Kevin did a ‘TAG gig with Polito.  Discussion of automation efforts.  Kevin cannot express his thanks to the Manager and Council enough.

Remember: there will be two seats up on the library board in late November!  Tell your friends!

Mark thanks the library staff for their commitment to the first amendment.  “Incredibly stressful on this staff…handled it with grace.”

I have received a note that Talking Books is not just about the visually impaired.  The audio is also used for those with learning disabilities.  Awesome!

6:34 – Evergreen migration moving to the winter.  Circulation is up, even though it’s summer.  1600 kids in summer reading program.

Will soon be offering downloadable e-books.  (I’m going to have to type the whole report, when I get it, so this will be clearer.)

Doing a lot of work at Union Hill School.  In October, will be opening a library there.  Joel & his crew have helped out there.  Friends may be donating some money to the cause.

Abraham Lincoln is coming in November.

(sorry, got beeped and had to step out; I heard stuff about the bookmobile and Joel being awesome)

Kevin – at the NEWP event on July 16, one of the police officers got his library card that day!

Donna – Report of the Finance Committee.  Did not yet approve FY12 budget for trust because Jyoti was not able to attend.

October 16 will be Sundaes on Sunday.

Met on August 30 to review Foundation’s annual audit for FY10.  They should have FY11 around Nov/Dec.

Report on the Friends: membership has been very low, hoping that summer t-shirt giveaway would help, but won’t find out until next week.  Right now, only two volunteers who do sorting.  Looking for more volunteers.  Made $203 on the summer book sale.  As of June 21, made a bit over $11,000 in the bookstore. 

Friends are selling coffee and tea in the bookstore.

Administration Committee met yesterday – opening for a Grad Librarian IV.

(Sorry — had to leave to go to City Council.  Liveblog ends)