United for Libraries and OIF to present May 11 webinar on ‘First Amendment Audits: What Your Library Board and Staff Need to Know’

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/12/2022


Jillian Wentworth

Manager of Marketing & Membership

United for Libraries


Exton, Pennsylvania — What should library staff do when self-proclaimed “citizen journalists” enter the library claiming a right to question employees and film in any space accessible to the public? The May 11 webinar “First Amendment Audits: What Your Library Board and Staff Need to Know”, presented by United for Libraries and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, will share how to prepare by adopting well-crafted policies and training staff.

This program will also cover the library as a public forum and the necessary components of user behavior policies and meeting room policies. The program will include opportunities to participate in role-play scenarios that demonstrate best practices when board members interact with library users and members of the public. The program will include a Q&A with presenters Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Lori Fisher.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone is Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is a recovering attorney and former appellate litigator who works closely with library professionals and library trustees on a wide range of intellectual freedom issues. She advises ALA's Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee on law and policy issues, and has served on the faculty of the ALA-sponsored Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians workshops.  She is a contributor to the 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual and has contributed articles on law, policy, and intellectual freedom to American Libraries and other publications.

Lori Fisher is the Assistant State Librarian for New Hampshire since 2019, previously working as a small public library director for over 11 years in Bow, NH.  She is the ALA Councilor for the NH Library Association (2019-2023) and a current member of the ALA Committee on Legislation, ALA Policy Corps (cohort 2), and the United for Libraries Public Policy & Advocacy Committee.  Lori has served as President of NH Library Association (2012), and is a current co-chair of the NHLA Advocacy & Legislative Committee. Aside from managing IMLS ARPA monies on behalf of the state library, Lori creates and leads professional development opportunities for staff at all types of libraries locally, regionally, and nationally.

This webinar is free for Intellectual Freedom Round Table members, and United for Libraries Statewide All-Access Partners (those in MD, MA, MI, MT, NE, NH, ND, OR, SC, SD, TX, & VA). Visit the eLearning registration page for more information and to register. Statewide All-Access Partners can register here.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. To join, please visit www.ala.org/united or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.