American Library Association announces Chicago, San Francisco lawyer institutes

Contact: Jonathan Kelly


For Immediate Release

April 28, 2003

American Library Association announces Chicago, San Francisco lawyer institutes

The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce two institutes for attorneys to increase their understanding of legal issues affecting libraries—specifically, censorship and privacy matters.
The Lawyers for Libraries Midwest Regional Training Institute will be held in Chicago, May 12­–13, 2003; the West Regional Training Institute will be held in San Francisco, October 16­–17, 2003.
These are the second and third institutes in an ongoing series.
Participants will be instructed by practicing attorneys specializing in First Amendment law and will be eligible for CLE credits for their participation.

“Library censorship issues impact all of us, and the future of local libraries as a repository for the broadest range of information will be strengthened by knowledgeable attorneys willing to support their local library programs,” said prominent First Amendment attorney Burton Joseph, an instructor at the institutes.
“Every attorney interested in the First Amendment and intellectual freedom should welcome the opportunity to attend an institute.”

These regional trainings feature sessions on:

  • The Library as a Public Forum
  • Unprotected Speech
  • Minimizing Liability, specifically regarding Internet filtering as well as “hostile work environment” issues
  • Privacy and Confidentiality, especially in light of the USA PATRIOT Act

“From the Children’s Internet Protection Act to the USA PATRIOT Act, not to mention persistent local challenges to library materials and policies, libraries today need committed, informed attorneys to provide clear guidance and expertise,” said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “The Lawyers for Libraries regional training institutes will ensure that attendees know about the most up-to-date, accurate and relevant legislation and case law related to the First Amendment in libraries.”

The first regional training, held February 27–28 in Washington, D.C., was an unqualified success.
One participant called it, “One of the best CLEs I have attended in 19 years of attending CLEs,” and all participants said they would recommend the program to a colleague.
Future institutes are scheduled to take place in the South and in New England in 2004.
The institutes cost $500 to attend and are open to any attorney or library trustee.
Librarians are welcome to attend, provided they bring an attorney with them.
For more information on Lawyers for Libraries, please visit our Web site at

The Chicago event will be held at the offices of Jenner & Block, One IBM Plaza.
Hotel 71 is offering a special room rate of $129.00/night for conference goers.
Call (312) 346-7100 for reservations.

Contact Jonathan Kelley with any questions at
, or call (800) 545-2433 x4226.