January 28, 2022

Historic San Francisco Law Library in Jeopardy if City Can’t Find New Site

From California Watch and The Bay Citizen:

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.


Former State Bar President Jon Streeter is among more than 700 lawyers, legal groups, students, judges and others who sent a letter in May urging Mayor Ed Lee and county supervisors to find a new home for the library.

“It’s a tragedy because people who come to court without a lawyer often turn to law libraries to navigate through the court system,” Streeter said. “It is not a matter of a stack of old dusty books being warehoused somewhere – it is a matter of providing basic access to the courthouse to the public.”

The law library was established more than 140 years ago as the first county law library in the state. The nonprofit is the only law library in San Francisco that provides free access to more than 90,000 volumes, as well as online legal references, such as Westlaw, LexisNexis and other legal databases.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.