Expert legal guidance on makerspaces, meeting rooms and displays offered in two new e-books

For Immediate Release
Thu, 08/25/2016


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — The team of Mary Minow, Tomas A. Lipinski and Gretchen McCord offer legal answers to potentially thorny situations in two new e-books published by ALA Editions. Library makerspaces are truly transformative, inviting library users to create, innovate, and collaborate. But like any cutting-edge initiative, makerspaces also bring up a host of new and unique legal questions. “The Library’s Legal Answers for Makerspaces” delivers detailed and reliable answers in plain language for library managers and staff, along with legal citations. Organized in Q & A format for quick reference, this concise resource offers sound advice on such issues as:

  • key clauses to look for when evaluating insurance coverage;
  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance;
  • how copyright applies to 3-D printing, plus guidance for handling controversial output such as sex toys or swastikas;
  • parental release forms for minors;
  • what trademark law has to say about action figures and logos;
  • how to protect the library from secondary infringement claims; and
  • avoiding negligence lawsuits.

When your public library invites the community to its spaces—a meeting room, an auditorium, bulletin board, or exhibit case—you take on the responsibility to uphold First Amendment rights of free expression.  That includes the members of your frontline staff, who are busy fielding calls and responding to emails.  Grounded in the authors’ expert guidance, “The Library’s Legal Answers for Meeting Rooms and Displays” will give your staff the knowledge they need to keep your library out of messy legal problems.  The convenient Q& A format offers straightforward answers to common situations, addressing such topics as:

  • the legal concept of “public forum” and how it applies to meeting rooms and the outside grounds of the library;
  • the rights of religious groups to use library spaces;
  • understanding the balance between free speech rights and offensive ideas or behavior; and
  • dealing with groups with discriminatory policies.

Both e-books are available from the ALA Store as well as many e-book vendors.

Minow is counsel to the Califa Group and a library law consultant on issues of copyright, privacy, intellectual freedom, and related issues. She is a co-author of “The Library's Legal Answer Book,” and manages the website for the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center. He is dean of the School of  Information Studies (SOIS) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). He is also the author of “The Librarian's Legal Companion for Licensing Information Resources and Services” and co-author of “The Library's Legal Answer Book.” McCord is a Texas attorney and librarian, focusing on intellectual property in digital formats.  She is a former academic librarian, and has practiced law for nine years before starting her own legal advising and training consultancy. She is also the author of “What You Need to Know About Privacy Law: A Guide for Librarians and Educators.”

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or