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Historical Records Commission Minutes December 8, 2020

Members present:
Joyce Sayed (Chair)
Steven Lovejoy (Vice-Chair)
John Murphey
Eric Stanley

Members excused:

Associate Members present:
Amanda King, Secretary

Guests present:
Sabrina Condon, Business Systems Analyst, Sonoma County Records Center
Deborah Lindley, Sonoma County Records Manager
Deva Marie Proto, County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters
Sarah Vantrease, Sonoma County Library Public Services Division Manager
Gretchen Emmert, City of Santa Rosa Records Manager
Lynn Downey, Friends of the Sonoma County Archives, Co-Chair and Archivist
Chris Wendt, Architectural Historian and member of the Friends of the Sonoma County Archives
Deborah Doyle, Library Commissioner, Chair
Katherine Rinehart, Sonoma County Heritage Network, Chair and Friends of the Sonoma County Archives, Co-Chair
Reece Foxen, Library Commissioner (LC) Liaison to HRC

  1. Call to order 4:02 pm
    1. The October 13, 2020 Minutes were re-approved after formatting change
      1. Motion by Steven Lovejoy
      2. Second by Eric Stanley
      3. Approved
      1. November 10, 2020 Minutes approved
        1. Motion by Steven Lovejoy
        2. Second by John Murphey
        3. Approved
        1. Introduction of Guests
        2. Budget Discussion
          1. $4,292 balance
        3. Continuing Business
          1. Archives Activity
            1. Update by Sarah Vantrease:
              • Paused on staff accessing records at the Archives
              • County has completed surface cleaning
              • Facilities manager is working with the County to get the results of the environmental testing to see if they need to do additional cleaning.
              • Surfaces are cleaned but not documents, is the dust normal or corrode the materials or unsafe for humans.
              • No movement on Disaster Recovery Plan
            2. Secretary met with Michelle Arellano to discuss PG&E money allocation. Updated HRC with discussion that ended with Secretary referring Michelle to Sarah Vantrease.
          2. Library Commissioner Update
            1. Update from Sarah Vantrease:
              • Oversight of the History & Genealogy Library currently running a recruitment for a Supervising Librarian job classification. Adult Services Manager who will oversee History & Genealogy Library as well as other Adult Services.
              • In terms of special collections, those will be overseen by the Collections Department.
              • The Library has not had a specific Archives/Archivist position; however, the History & Genealogy Manager position, also a Supervising Library job classification, had also worked with Archives.  The History & Genealogy Library is a public service location of Sonoma County Library with staff, materials, services and programs; the Archives is a special collection of materials.
              • The History & Genealogy Manager position is frozen and not included in the library's balanced budget for FY 21.
              • Katherine: in the past, the Manager of the H&G Library has overseen the Archives at Los Guilicos are part of their responsibilities. It was part of the job description. Tony Hoskins did it before me, Linda Phillips and Audrey Herman before him. SCL administration has decided that a librarian III working at the Central Santa Rosa Library (a new hire), will provide day to day supervision of H&G staff. This new position will not require experience in special collections or Archives making it difficult for them to be an advocate for the H&G Library. Existing H&G staff will have no responsibility for the Archives, nor will the “new” librarian III. Providing day to day supervision of the H&G Library will be just one of many duties assigned to the “new” librarian III.
                • On Monday, December 7ththe SCL Commission approved the creation of a new position – a Deputy Director, among many responsibilities that person will oversee the new Librarian III who again will oversee the H&G special collections. Neither will be required to possess any understanding of special collections or archival management
                • Sad and disappointed with these choices. Hopes that the FY 22 budget will including funding for a manager for the H&G library
              • Steve: Without someone that is passionate about the Archives, it will languish.  Importance of the materials out there, not just someone who is a caretaker and ignore what is happening.
              • Joyce: this is not an attack on you, this is us saying what you do is really important and the Archives are important.  We want to act as a support for the Library Commission, Library itself, because you have a lot going on and the Archives is something we feel is very important for the Sonoma County community.
              • Deva: Prior to Katherine serving as H&G Manager, Tony Hoskins was on the HRC 2002-2015 as H&G Manager/Archivist.  When Katherine came on in 2015, she assumed the role, which was a part of her duties.
            2. Update from LC Reece Foxen:
              • Figuring out where we stand and best arrange our budget for the benefit of everyone.
              • Waiting mode
              • Preparing budget starting first of the year.
              • Steve: do you think the Library Commissioners are aware of the situation happening at the History & Genealogy Library?
                • Yes, we are and talked about it at the LC meeting last night.  With everything happening and limited hours/curbside service, we need to make some changes. 
              • Steve: Trying to get a sense of the importance the LC has for getting the H&G Manager position filled?
                • We do not have a role in the recruitment.
              • We are aware of the danger of the Los Guilicos area and know it needs to be taken care of and the issues need to be resolved.  It’s the people that are running the Library that have the hands-on ability to make it move.  Bottom line, we don’t make the decisions.
          3. Archives Task Force
            1. Library Director Ann Hammond has convened a meeting scheduled for 12/16/20 at 2PM. 
            2. Joyce would like to mention that HRC would like to have a presence on that committee.
            3. Steve: Do we have any idea of what the County is doing with Los Guilicos? 
              • Deva: Not sure of the long term plans, but there are other County facilities there such as Juvenile Justice Center, which will probably continue to be at Los Guilicos.
              • Sarah: Library has been involved in a group about the Los Guilicos campus focused on fire recovery. 
            4. John: Have county departments wanted to recall their records due to safety concerns?
              • Sarah: No
              • Deborah Lindley: No requests regarding that
            5. Joyce: Debbie, how much material do you send out to the Archives at this time?
              • Deborah: Archives had said we are full and cannot take more boxes, since February 2020
            6. Steve: how many boxes would you send if you could?
              • Deborah: a rough estimate of a couple thousand boxes
            7. Joyce: How many boxes are currently at the Archives?
              • Sarah: I do not have the exact number but the amount of boxes to be sent are about how many boxes we have currently.
              • Katherine: The Archives at Los Guilicos currently contain over 5,000 cubic feet of materials - boxes, bound volumes, photos, archival drawings, etc.
            8. John: Where are the records staying?
              • Deborah: We are not on the county Campus.  Facility is leased.
              • Deva: Clarified that Deborah was saying that the Records Center is not a part of the County Campus and would not be a part of the new County Campus.
            9. Joyce: Are you currently digitizing?
              • Deborah: Current digitization is for customers.  We have plans that would be beneficial but not able to do them right now with the priority being on active file scanning.
              • Deva: there is a push for department-level digitization so we are producing less paper records.  Paper records weigh a lot.
              • Deborah: Digitization helps a lot with telework, which is very important right now.
            10. Joyce: Is Records Center able to accept boxes?
              • Deborah: For the time being.  We want to make sure we maintain space by moving items from the Records Center to the storage area.
          4. Strategic Planning
            1. Joyce: would like everyone to review the HRC 3-year Strategic Plan
            2. John: The formatting of the strategic work plan spreadsheet was impossible to use. 
            3. John: where is the video of the Archives?
              • Katherine: I have the video in my own Dropbox and I’m happy to share it.
            4. Steve: One of our tasks was to reach out to the existing library commissioners and inform/educate them about the Archives.  In the past, Commissioners have been taken out to the Archives or seen the conditions, provided them with information.  The Library Commission continues to turn over every 2 years.  I reached out to Joel Neuberg, who was familiar with the Archives because he had been out there teaching.  I would encourage all HRC members to reach out to their LC who may not be the same person as before.  Shared with him: HRC brochure, Archives Fact Sheet, the PD article from after the fire.  Once able to go out there, would like to see a concerted effort to get the LC to visit.  Requested of LC, during the library commission meetings, to please inquire at every single meeting about what is happening at The Archives.  Also asked LC to make sure that the inventory that was cut is fully funded for the next round when they begin the Budget.  Also told him that I was concerned that the Library Director said that they would not be filling the H&G Library role with someone who could be an advocate for the Archives within the Library system.
            5. Secretary to create single PDF handout for future use
          5. Collections & Archives Recognition Awards
            1. Eric: Currently delayed until October 2021.  Will check back in March 2021.
          6. Outreach
            1. Steve: please have any other historical society you are in contact with to send a letter to the Supervisors and Library Commission to talk about the importance of the Archives to them. 
        4. New Business
          1. Open HRC Commissioner position
            • Update from Steven:
              • Spoke with Katherine about potential members and I reached out to them
              • Gretchen Emmert, very interested and will apply online.
                • Records Manager for the City of Santa Rosa.  Background is BA in Anthropology and Archaeology and MS in Library Science.  General background for historical records.  Hands on work with archival work.  Strong interest with historical records. 
                • Would fall under the Records Management or conservation aspect of membership.
          2. Joyce would like to step down early next year.  Once we have a new commissioner appointed, we will revisit resignation date.
          3. Question: Does Commissioner need to live in Sonoma County? Secretary response, no.
          4. Library does not anticipate putting anyone forward for the open HRC position.
        5. Public Comment
          1. Sonoma County Heritage Network Meeting, January 9, 2021, 10am to 12pm on ZOOM.  HRC, Steve Lovejoy, to serve as host.
          2. Katherine:
            • I am really excited that Gretchen is interested in HRC.  She was a volunteer at the H & G library when was working on her MLIS. While working for the City of Santa Rosa, she has provided excellent customer service on numerous occasions. 
            • The Sonoma County Library is about to launch a Strategic Planning (Sonoma County Reimagining Plan). This provides a great opportunity for the public who are concerned about special collections and the Archives to provide input. Information will be on the library’s website at some point.
            • Sonoma County Friends of the Sonoma County Archives, kickoff meeting, Wednesday, December 9, 2020.  Updates will be shared through the Heritage Network ListServ
              • Steve: this is currently a committee under the Heritage Network, under the Sonoma County Historical Society
          3. Museum of Sonoma County Online Exhibits:
          4. Secretary to send out the Bylaws and last resolution to the Board.
        6. Meeting adjourned at 5:38PM

          Next Meeting - January 14, 2021 - WebEx, 4:00PM

          Contact Information

          Secretary of the Commission
          Historical Records Commission
          County of Sonoma
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          8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
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          Sonoma County Historical Records Commission

          585 Fiscal Drive, Rm 103

          Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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