Tag Archives: San Francisco

Era ends: Liquidation sale at Berkeley’s Serendipity Books

“When Peter Howard, the owner of Serendipity Books, died in March 2011, he left behind more than one million books crammed into his two-level store on University Avenue in Berkeley with the oak barrel hanging out front.Howard’s collection of rare and antique books was considered one of the best in the country; he often sold books and manuscripts to places like the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley or the Lilly Library at Indiana University.The collection included so many amazing items that Bonham’s held six different auctions of his holdings, selling off early editions of John Steinbeck, a broadside by James Joyce, many modern first editions, early baseball memorabilia — even poet Carl Sandburg’s guitar.But there are still books left to sell. More than 100,000 books, in fact.” (via Berkeleyside)

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San Francisco Main Library trying to address bathroom cleanliness issues

“San Francisco Public Library officials are cracking down on bathroom conditions in the main branch in response to complaints amid an environment that over the years has led to partnering with police and employing an on-site social worker to handle troubled patrons. There won’t be full-time bathroom attendants or user fees at the Civic Center location, but there will be routine monitoring and overnight cleaning. “We are doubling down on making sure that we get hourly monitoring of the restrooms,” said Roberto Lombardi, director of facilities, adding that there also will be improved record-keeping of cleanup requests and cleanings.” (via San Francisco Examiner)

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Library Commission denies request for visuals at public comment

“San Franciscans have been known to say some pretty outrageous things during public comment at city meetings, and the Library Commission is no exception. For more than a year, one man has been kicking off every meeting by advising the commission to elect its president, Jewelle Gomez, “to the position of dictator-for-life, and then at least the rest of us would have the hope an assassination might result in a change of leadership.” Now, some of the regulars at public comment are making the case that the commission shouldn’t have to just hear everything the public has to say, but see it, too. Ray Hartz, who identifies himself as the director of San Francisco Open Government, is asking the commission to let the public show their own slides or audio and visual presentations during their three-minute comment period. “All I’m asking for is equal treatment,” he said at Thursday’s commission meeting. “Include my Microsoft PowerPoint slides just as you do for those of whom you approve.” (via City Insider | an SFGate.com blog)

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San Francisco’s library spending higher than average, report finds

“When it comes to spending money on libraries, San Francisco is leaving other cities in the dust. A new report from the city controller’s office shows that the library’s operating expenditures per capita are $100.17, or twice the average spending of libraries in other big cities like Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. San Francisco also holds a  lead over other cities in staff members per borrower and circulation per borrower. “We spend a tremendous amount on our collections, both in the physical collections and in our e-books,” said Library spokeswoman Michelle Jeffers, who said the book allocation for next year is $10 million out of a $100 million budget. “It shows we have a robust amount of materials for our citizens in San Francisco.” (via City Insider)

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San Francisco Law Library suing over facility size

“Last week’s Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee meeting was a doozy, and not just because each public speaker got two minutes to speak and Supervisor Mark Farrell spent three hours trying to get lawyers to stop talking after their time was up. The reason that 81 people showed up to speak — almost all of them lawyers who are solo practitioners or work for nonprofits — is because they want a larger public Law Library. And straight from the “completely predictable” file, the Law Library is suing to get a larger space.” (via San Francisco Examiner)

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Law library supporters lose space debate

“Dozens of lawyers made their case for more space at San Francisco’s Law Library Wednesday, but the verdict they got from a group of supervisors was not the decision they hoped for. The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance subcommittee approved a resolution stating that 20,000 square feet is enough space for the law library at a new location on 1200 Van Ness Ave., after hearing at least two hours of public comments from lawyers and library patrons supporting the library’s demands for 30,000 to 35,000 square feet of space that the site could provide.” (via SFGate.com)

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Law Library Sues San Francisco for Breach of City Charter

“The San Francisco Law Library filed a lawsuit today against the City and County of San Francisco, alleging that since 1995 the city has violated a City Charter provision that requires it to provide proper funding and adequate space for the Law Library. For decades, the Library shared part of the fourth floor of City Hall with the Superior Courts and had additional space in the building. There it served its mission by providing free and public legal resources to the courts, lawyers and self-represented litigants alike. Following the 1989 earthquake, when City Hall closed in 1995 for retrofitting, the city moved the Library to a temporary space designed for the two year retrofit period at the Veterans War Memorial building that was and continues to be insufficient.”

via Rock Hill Herald Online

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Library-goers say expanding hours would increase use

“The public clamor for expanded hours at the San Francisco Public Library may be louder than library staff and stakeholders presume, according to a new survey. Sixty-four percent of the nearly 2,500 people surveyed by the library said they would use their branch more if it was open longer. Only 45 percent of library staff and 44 percent of groups associated with the library felt a significantly higher number of patrons would use it, though about a quarter of both groups admitted they didn’t know what effect more hours would have.”

via City Insider

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S.F. Law Library needs a temporary space

“Former San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne has a wealth of resources at her fingertips as one of the city’s top lawyers. But when she needed to research the legislative history of a 40-year-old state law for a recent case, the San Francisco Law Library was the only local source. “It plays an important role,” she said. “There are many times when the ability to find documents that aren’t otherwise available is essential.” Every county in California has a law library, run independently from the regular public libraries. For small law firms, advocacy groups, public-interest lawyers, government agencies and citizens representing themselves, law libraries are vital, advocates say. The San Francisco Law Library offers free access to expensive online legal resources such as LexisNexis and Westlaw, along with more than 250,000 law books and free assistance from eight reference librarians.”

via SFGate

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Historic SF law library in jeopardy if city can’t find new site

“Robert L. Ferris, an estate-planning attorney, says the documents he has accessed through the San Francisco Law Library have helped him handle cases for nearly two decades. But he might be on his own next year when the War Memorial Veterans Building, which houses the historic library, closes for renovation in May. “The law library is a resource that I’ve relied on for years,” Ferris said. “The reason my office is located where it is is because the courts are close and the library is close.” City and county officials are required to provide space for the library and fund its operation, but a new location has not been secured.”

via California Watch

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