Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 8/25/22
 

When did United stop the Group Membership option?

The United for Libraries Board voted during its May 6, 2022, meeting to cease taking new group memberships. A year-long member-led task force evaluated the group membership option and brought forth the proposal to the United for Libraries board.
 

Can my board (Trustees, Friends, or Foundation) renew its group membership?

If your group received a renewal notice by mail or email, you may proceed with renewing by mail or phone. Groups with an expiration date of November 30, 2022, and beyond will receive details by email and mail about converting to personal membership, including the many new benefits and resources included with personal membership.
 

My state library has purchased statewide access to United for Libraries. How is that different than personal membership? What is the benefit of becoming a personal member?

Statewide access provides all directors, staff members, Trustees, Friends, and Foundations access to a wide variety of training and resources at no cost to those individuals. Access varies by state, however, and does not include personal membership in ALA/United. For a comparison of included training/resources and a list of additional benefits of joining as a personal member, please visit https://www.ala.org/united/trustee-training.
 

My library is an organizational member of ALA and United. What benefits does my board receive?

If your library has an organizational/institutional membership in ALA with United for Libraries added as a division, you may be eligible to access to a sampling of tip sheets, toolkits, and on-demand webinars. Please visit www.ala.org/united/membership/access for more information and eligibility.
 

My Friends Group/Foundation joined ALA and United as a non-profit organization. What benefits does my board receive?

If your organization has a non-profit membership in ALA with United for Libraries added as a division, you may be eligible for access to a sampling of tip sheets, toolkits, and on-demand webinars. Please visit www.ala.org/united/membership/access for more information and eligibility. If you want to convert your non-profit organizational membership to a personal membership, please contact Member & Customer Relations at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5.
 

My library director is a personal member of ALA and United. What benefits does my board receive?

Your library director’s membership is for the library director only. Benefits and access to resources/training do not cover the Trustees, Friends, and/Foundation. However, your library director may purchase multiple seats for United for Libraries eLearning and receive the member discount on all seats.
 

What options are available if I choose *not* to join ALA/United for Libraries?

We understand personal membership is not right for every board member. We encourage the president of each board to join United for Libraries as a personal member. The affordable annual membership rate includes hundreds of dollars in direct benefits. Other board members may choose to purchase a subscription to Learning Live and/or on-demand access to specific sessions.
 

As a personal member of United for Libraries, can I share resources and materials with my board members?

All benefits, resources, and training are for the named member only, with the following exceptions:

  • A personal member may share Tip Sheets with their board only as follows:
    • A Trustee personal member (TR) may share Tip Sheets with other Trustees on the same board of Trustees.
    • A Friend personal member (FRND) may share Tip Sheets with other Friends on the same Friends board. This does *not* include branch Friends groups.
    • A Foundation personal member (ASSOC) may share Tip Sheets with other members of the same Foundation board.
  • A personal member may purchase multiple seats of a live and/or on-demand webinar. The personal member’s eligible discount will apply for all seats purchased by the personal member.
     

Can I share my login with other board members?

No. Each personal member has their own login to the ALA website and access is for the named member only. This includes the ALA website (www.ala.org), the eLearning site (https://elearning.ala.org/), ALA Connect (https://connect.ala.org/), and any other personal member benefit/resource.
 

Can my board watch a Learning Live webinar together in one room?

No. Learning Live is for the named personal member only. Participating in the live webinar, watching the on-demand recording, and/or accessing or using the slides, resources, or handouts, is for the named member only. United for Libraries offers a non-member subscription to Learning Live on an annual basis (includes live participation and on-demand access), and some sessions are available for a single purchase for on-demand access. For both of these options, each purchase is for a single seat; discounts for bulk purchase of multiple seats are available.
 

Can I purchase webinar registrations for others using my personal membership?

Yes, a personal member may purchase multiple seats of a live and/or on-demand webinar. The personal member’s eligible discount will apply for all seats purchased by the personal member. A signup code is issued for each seat purchased. The purchaser then distributes those signup codes to the individuals who will participate in the live webinar and/or watch the on-demand webinar. NOTE: All registrations are for a single purchase, except for Short Takes for Trustees and Trustee Academy, which cover a full board.
 

How do I access the United for Libraries listservs?

In 2020, the United for Libraries listservs transitioned to the ALA Connect member platform (https://connect.ala.org). All personal members of United for Libraries are eligible to participate in the main members community and join interest groups for Trustees, Friends, and/or Foundations. Access requires your ALA personal member login; password/access may not be shared.
 

I read that personal members of United can access BoardSource. What does that mean? Can I share that with my board/staff members?

United for Libraries has purchased a “federated network membership” for our personal members. As with other United for Libraries member benefits, access to BoardSource is for the named member only. United for Libraries personal members receive access to BoardSource membership benefits, including

  • Hundreds of topic papers: BoardSource has a collection of hundreds of topic papers and articles on a wide range of nonprofit governance and board leadership topics. They are short and easily digestible in format, making them perfect for quick reference. They are accessible online and organized by topic.
  • The BoardSource Exchange: The BoardSource Exchange is a collaborative tool that enables you to connect, engage, and share governance information with all BoardSource members – volunteers and professionals like you who are committed to effecting board leadership and making a difference in their communities.
  • Ask-an-Expert email service: Facing a challenge within your nonprofit board? BoardSource’s governance experts provide direct support. Send your question or dilemma to us through the Ask-an-Expert email service, and they will get back to you with advice and/or resources as quickly as possible.
  • Downloadable templates, tools, and infographics: We provide our community members with practical tools they can download and use right away, infographics that serve as thought pieces, and other valuable easy-to-access resources.
  • Additional discounts: Discounts on BoardSource trainings; assessments; publications; our biennial conference, the BoardSource Leadership Forum; and more!