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Oct. 2 – SF Treasurer Cisneros Speaks on Innovative Fine & Fee Reforms

Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Noon to 1:00pm
How San Francisco is Working To Reform Fees and Fines
Presented by San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros
1 Hour Free Participatory MCLE Credit
**Download Flyer Here**
Too often government programs and courts levy fines and fees on people, partly to generate revenue to balance public budgets. San Francisco is the first city in the nation to launch a Financial Justice Project to assess and reform how fees and fines impact our cities’ most vulnerable residents.
The Financial Justice Project has worked with more than a dozen city and county departments to advance reforms over the last year, both citywide and department to department. Come learn about how The Financial Justice Project has approached these reforms, from hosting a Fines and Fees Task Force that brought together community advocates and city departments, to working with the Mayor’s Budget Office to conduct a comprehensive audit. The Financial Justice Project is one of only seven finalists for the 2018 Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Innovations in American Government Award.

October 2 2018 Financial Justice Program Flyer

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Libraries & Librarians at the Movies: A September Collection 

Blog Movies

The intertwining of free speech, knowledge, the diversity of information, and the challenges to what we know and what we would like to know is all contained in libraries – we can just step into one and ask.  The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has an ongoing project, called Public Knowledge, which is soon to feature a film series based on libraries as carriers of that mission. Over the weekend of September 22-23, and free to the public, SFMOMA will be offering the classic, Fahrenheit 451, and several other films worth an afternoon for a double-bill, including Bette Davis as a librarian fighting the tides of McCarthyism.  By happenstance or by synchronicity, both SFMOMA and the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive will be showing Ex Libris, the Frederick Wiseman documentary on the New York Public Library the same afternoon.

The extracts below and fuller information can be found at the SFMOMA site: https://publicknowledge.sfmoma.org/added-value/libraries-in-the-movies/

San Francisco: SFMOMA: Saturday, Sept. 22 -23, 2018

Saturday, September 22: 12:30pm

Toute la MemoireToute la Mémoire du Monde.  Alain Resnais, 1956, 22 minutes.

Toute la Mémoire du Monde is both a look at the inner workings of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris and a meditative piece about the fragility of human memory and the ways in which we try to support it.”

Also available through the Criterion Collection here.

Saturday, September 22:  1:30 p.m.

ExLibris2017Ex-Libris: The New York Public Library. Frederick Wiseman, 2017, 197 minutes

“Frederick Wiseman’s film, Ex-Libris: The New York Public Library, goes behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions in the world and reveals it as a place of welcome, cultural exchange, and learning.”



Sunday, September 23, 12:30 p.m.

Storm CenterStorm Center. Daniel Taradash, 1956, 85 minutes

“Filmed in Santa Rosa, California, the film stars Bette Davis as the small town librarian who fights the city council when asked to withdraw the book The Communist Dream from the library’s collection. This was among the first overtly anti-McCarthyism film to be produced in Hollywood exploring the effects on the free circulation of ideas and the damage that can be done to an individual and to a community when this freedom is challenged.”

Sunday, September 23, 2:30 p.m.

F451 PosterFahrenheit 451.  François Truffaut, 1966, 112 minutes

“Based on the author Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel, this film is set in a future where the possession of books is considered a crime by the government whose squad of firefighters sets out to destroy the illicit literature with flamethrowers. Fahrenheit 451, it is explained, is the temperature at which books are reduced to ashes.”


Berkeley: BAMPFA: Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2:00 pm. Tickets $9.00-$13.00.

ExLibris2017Ex-Libris: The New York Public Library. Frederick Wiseman, 2017, 197 minutes

As part of the BAMPFA Frederick Wiseman festival, another showing of Ex-Libris: The New York Public Library is offered on the opposite side of the Bay, in Berkeley, on Saturday afternoon, September 22nd.  The Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive will be featuring Ex-Libris at 2:00 p.m., at a ticket rate of $9.00-$13.00. The price of a ticket also includes admission to the BAM galleries and a 10% discount at Babette Café. Information and tickets at:  https://bampfa.org/event/evening-frederick-wiseman

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New LibGuide: Environmental Law

From September 12th to the 14th San Francisco will host the Global Climate Action Summit, an event which will bring together environmental leaders and activists from around the world, both for the summit as well as the hundreds of related affiliate events throughout the week.  Even if you can’t make it to any programs or events, you can still take a look at our newest LibGuide: The San Francisco Law Library Guide to Environmental Law.

In this guide you will find information on local, state, and federal environmental statutes and regulations, library resources in print and online, current news and events, wildfire resources, and links to the many state and federal agencies dealing with environmental issues.

Environment Guide - Snip

Environmental law is an interdisciplinary field which encompasses science, technology, the economy, industry, and more.  To that end, this research guide also includes links to local and global organizations dedicated to environmental activism, as well as informational sites on related topics.  We will keep updating the guide (and all of our guides), so be sure to check back in!

And for more on environmental law, check out our September Books of the Month:


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Book Review: The Clean Water Act Handbook

Clean Water Act 4thThe Clean Water Act Handbook, 4th
Edited by Mark A. Ryan
Reviewed by Courtney Nguyen, Reference Librarian

With current attacks on clean water protections for rivers, lakes, streams, and other waters still making headlines, the Clean Water Act (CWA) is as relevant today as ever. Learn more about one of our most important environmental law statutes in The Clean Water Act Handbook (4th), edited by Mark A. Ryan. The contributors reflect a thoughtful balance of public and private sector attorneys, all experts in the CWA, and topics range from the broad (enforcement) to the narrow (calculating Total Maximum Daily Loads in accordance with section 303(d)). The handbook begins with the historical background of the CWA, tracing its origins from the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899 (the first federal statute governing water pollutions control) to the 1972 act itself, which was passed in response to a flood of litigation concerning sources discharging pollutants, as well as growing public awareness. Once grounded in the historical context of the act, the book then moves on to tackle the essentials of the various collaborative federal and state programs which have risen up to regulate water pollution.

nature water blue abstract

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

The purported goals of the CWA are eliminating pollutant discharges and providing fishable and swimmable waters, and the handbook addresses each item and related issues in turn, including explanations on implementing regulations and guidelines. The threshold (and still contentious) question of what constitutes “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) which the act protects gets its own chapter, as do the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs), Section 311 Oil and Hazardous Substances Spills, the types of activities considered “discharges of dredged or fill material,” enforcement, whether civil judicial, civil administrative, criminal, or citizen suits, and how the CWA applies to federal facilities. In the absence of congressional amendments, the scope of the CWA is still being discussed by the courts, and later chapters discuss the powers and limitations of judicial review, as well as the influence exerted by successive administrations in Washington.

Even if you live in an arid, landlocked part of the country, the CWA still matters since the act affects the economy, industry, politics, technology, and much more. This handbook serves as both a practical tool for practitioners as well as a good introduction for the interested citizen to this ever-evolving statute. Though the CWA hasn’t been amended since 1990, the act is still heavily litigated, debated, and reinterpreted, so staying on top of changes is crucial. Come read this and other environmental law titles (such as The Clean Air Act Handbook) at the Library today!



September Book of the Month: The Clean Air Act Handbook

Clean Air Act 4th

The Clean Air Act Handbook (4th)
Edited by Julie R. Domike and Alec C. Zacaroli
Reviewed by Courtney Nguyen, Reference Librarian

The air we breathe may be free, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t regulated. Nearly five decades old, the Clean Air Act (CAA) remains one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation in the United States, and it is still the only available tool for regulating greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. To help practitioners and concerned citizens alike understand this complex statute, the Library has The Clean Air Act Handbook (4th), edited by Julie R. Domike and Alec C. Zacaroli. The contributing authors bring their collective years of public and private sector experience and knowledge of the CAA, and many were even involved in the development of the very statutes and regulations discussed in the book. From the beginning of modern air pollution control laws in the postwar era, to the minutiae of current permitting processes, this book covers the entire act in twenty comprehensive chapters. Some of the topics discussed include National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the Visibility Protection Program designed to protect scenic vistas in our state parks and wilderness areas, State Implementation Programs (SIPs), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), and civil and criminal enforcement. Perhaps of particular interest to Californians are the chapters about global climate change/greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the regulation of motor vehicles, including the seminal 2007 Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA. The authors also point you towards related documents, such as the legislative history of the CAA or the EPA’s administrative records, which can be found for free online or maybe even at your local law library.

photo of blue sky

Photo by Elia Clerici on Pexels.com

The authors believe that practitioners who master the basic CAA policies and tools available, as laid out in the book, will find solutions to most CAA problems. Though intended as a reference resource and tool for CAA practitioners and the more general environmental practitioner in need of a quick CAA tutorial, the handbook is clear and straightforward enough to appeal to any interested citizen as well. You will gain a solid foundation for understanding environmental current events (of which there seem to be many), and will learn to tell your HAPs from your SIPs.

The Clean Air Act is the intersection of law, politics, science, technology, economics, and everyday life, and changes can happen very quickly or possibly not at all. The act affects both the regulated/corporate community and the public, and anyone with computer access can participate in rulemakings, monitor workshops, apply for a permit, watch webcasts, and send emails to EPA and state agency staff. The editors stress that this book is merely a snapshot of the act in time since the EPA regularly issues new regulations and guidance, and the courts continue to shape the law in the absence of congressional action. So use this book as a starting point. It could give you something to think about the next time you take a breath.


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September Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of September. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Rose BirdDonated!

Thank you to John Kelly for generously donating this title.

The Case of Rose Bird: Gender, Politics, and the California Courts
Written by Kathleen A. Cairns
$36.95, Hardcover, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-80325-575-3

Value-Able Law FirmThe Value-Able Law Firm: Delivering Client-Focused, Higher-Value Legal Service for Clients and Law Firms
Written by Kenneth Vermilion and Steven A. Lauer
$79.95, Paperback, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-64105-174-3

End Presidency


Thank you to Suzanne P. Marria for generously donating this title.

To End a Presidency
Written by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz
$28, Hardcover, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-54164-488-5

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!

Recent Book Drive Donations

Thank you to Shannon K. Mauer for generously donating the ABA’s Women in Law Book Bundle, which includes The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Law FirmsGrit, the Secret to Advancement: Stories of Successful Women LawyersZero Tolerance: Best Practices for Combating Sex-Based Harassment in the Legal Profession; and Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!

Thank you for your support!