United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the second Tuesday of each month* at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Each month’s session will cover a hot topic of interest to Trustees, Friends and/or Foundations, followed by Q&A and/or discussions. Sessions are open to all personal members of United for Libraries and those with statewide access.
*Learning Live is not held in August due to United for Libraries Virtual: Trustees, Friends, Foundations.
Using the DEI Scorecard for Library and Information Organizations
Tuesday, February 14 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Do your library’s mission/value statements, policies, and recruitment processes support a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion? The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Scorecard for Library and Information Organizations, developed by the ALA Committee on Diversity, is a template to assist library administrators and other decision-makers with gathering actionable data for strengthening DEI in their institutions. In this session, library Trustees/board members will learn how to support the implementation and use of the DEI Scorecard in their libraries, and how using the scorecard can support DEI in the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of people of color. Friends groups and library Foundations will also learn how to use and adapt the scorecard for their own organizations and programming.
Heather Slania is the Library Director at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her mission is to help libraries actively create sites of belonging while centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. For over a decade, Heather has led museum and academic libraries, illustrating her passion for strategic planning, facilitating change, and holistically integrating library operations to support a user-centered experience. She is originally from Chicago, and would most want Francis Bacon to paint her portrait.
Social Media and Library Policies
Tuesday, March 14 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Whether your library has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram, or other platforms, it’s important to have policies in place to protect both library board members and staff. Learn how to ensure you are complying with legal guidelines, what library board members and staff should know about posting on their personal accounts, and how the library, board, Friends, and/or Foundation should work together on social media policies and procedures.
Clare Membiela is the Library Law Consultant for the Library of Michigan. She helps public libraries understand and manage legal issues that impact library services. Before joining the Library of Michigan in 2016, she was the associate director for library and instructional support for the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Libraries. Before moving to Michigan, she worked at the University of Miami Law Library as the head of reference services. Prior to her academic library work, she worked for two major law firms as a librarian in their Miami offices. She has an MLS. from Southern Connecticut State University, a JD from the University of Miami, and 30 years of law library experience. She is excited about helping public libraries by connecting them to the legal information they need.
Board Support for Success
Tuesday, April 11 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Cedar Rapids Public Library, which received the prestigious Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize from Library Journal in 2022, the library’s Executive Director Dara Schmidt noted that the Board of Trustees’ confidence in leadership and staff was what enabled the library to achieve its ambitious goals. According to Library Journal, “What has made all the difference is that the library’s ideas, large and small, are developed with input not only from leadership and the board but from staff, residents—both patrons and non-library-users—and partners.” Learn how the CRPL board helped shape the library’s strategic plan, and how the board’s work and involvement helped the library achieve its goals of working with community partners and stakeholders to become an invaluable community resource.
Dara Schmidt is the Director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, winner of the 2022 Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize and 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Services. She previously worked for Anythink Libraries in Colorado, Los Angeles County Library and Downey City Library in California, and began her career as a shelver at the Manchester Public Library her Iowa hometown. She has a BA from Baldwin-Wallace College, a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California, and an MLIS from San Jose State University. Schmidt was chosen as a Public Library Association Leadership Fellow in 2017 and currently serves as a member of the PLA Board.
Rev. Clint Twedt-Ball is the Founder & Executive Director of Cedar Rapids' nonprofit Matthew 25. Their focus is on growing stronger neighborhoods through the building blocks of healthy food access; quality, affordable housing; educational opportunity and community building. Clint is an ordained United Methodist pastor with his Master's of Divinity from Garret-Evangelical Theological Seminary and his B.A. in psychology from the University of Iowa.
Details about previous Learning Live sessions available here.
Who can attend and watch United for Libraries Learning Live sessions?
Statewide Group Members - MA, MD, MI, NE, SC, SD, TX
- Statewide Group Members receive FREE registration for the live webinar and on-demand access for the duration of the active statewide group membership.
Statewide All Access - MT, ND, NH, OR, VA, WI
- Statewide All Access receives FREE registration for the live webinar and on-demand access for 30 days.
Personal Members of ALA & United
- Personal members of ALA and United receive FREE registration for the live webinar and on-demand access for the duration of your paid ALA/United membership.
- NOTE: You must be a personal member of *both* ALA and United for Libraries. To add United for Libraries to your current personal ALA membership, click here.
Group Members of United
- Effective May 6, 2022, the group membership option is transitioning to personal membership in ALA and United for Libraries. Current group members will receive information and details by email and mail, and are eligible to receive group member benefits through their current paid through date. Please email email@example.com with questions.
Organizational Members of ALA & United
- Organizational members of ALA & United are not eligible for Learning Live.
Non-Profit Members of ALA & United
- Non-Profit members of ALA & United are not eligible for Learning Live. Convert your non-profit membership to personal membership to be eligible to receive benefits, including Learning Live.
- MA, MD, MI, NE, SC, SD, TX - login at https://elearning.ala.org/ and go to your statewide course. You'll find Learning Live on-demand access under the eLearning menu. You have ongoing access so long as the statewide access provided by your state library is current.
- MT, ND, NH, OR, VA - login at https://elearning.ala.org/ and go to your statewide course. You'll find Learning Live on-demand access under the eLearning menu. You have 30 days of on-demand access to each month's recording. To watch on-demand after the 30 days has passed, you may join United for Libraries and receive on-demand access to all past Learning Live webinars.
- Personal Members of United - login here for on-demand access. Click here or more information about personal member benefits.
- Legacy Group Members - click the link below based on your legacy group membership type. Click here for more information about legacy group member benefits.
Privacy 101: How to Support Your Library
Tuesday, January 10 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Privacy is a core value of librarianship. Libraries also have an ethical commitment, and often legal obligation, to protect the privacy of their users. In this session, you'll learn why privacy is so critical to library operations and how you can develop strong privacy first policies.
Erin Berman is a fierce privacy advocate, formerly leading the American Library Association’s Privacy Subcommittee. Erin got her start with ALA as an Emerging Leader in 2014 and quickly joined the Rainbow Roundtable as their Fundraising Chair. In 2016, she was named one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers. During her time as Innovations Manager for San José Public Library, she published the book Your Technology Outreach Adventure: Tools for Human-Centered Problem Solving. Currently, she works as the Division Director of the Learning Group for the Alameda County Library in California.
Intellectual Freedom Update: Reflecting on 2022 and Recharging for 2023
Tuesday, December 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Join a panel of speakers to reflect on intellectual freedom and libraries during the past year and prepare for 2023. Topics include:
- A look back at the trends/issues in 2022.
- A look ahead at forecasted trends and issues in 2023.
- A sneak peek at United's brand new toolkit launching in December.
Ned Davis has served on the United for Libraries Board of Directors, and as a featured blogger for the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Intellectual Freedom Blog. He has been Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester (N.Y.) Public Library. Ned has been honored with the New York Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Award in recognition of his effort to make connections, clear obstacles and find resources allowing the library to host lively discussions, big thoughts, diverse stories, colorful people and ideas that stretch boundaries. In his non-spare time he also plays several musical instruments of and with varying degrees of difficulty and skill.
Kathleen McEvoy is the Vice President of Communications at EBSCO Information Services, and Secretary on the United for Libraries Board of Directors. She has served on a variety of ALA committees, including the United for Libraries Board Corporate at Large, 2016-2019; United for Libraries Conference Program Committee, 2017-2019; and the United for Libraries Finance & Audit Task Force, 2017-2018. She edits a column on the Future of Libraries and Analytics for Against the Grain.
Deborah Doyle is a writer, editor and fundraiser as well as an active library advocate at local, state and national levels. She played board and staff roles at Friends of the San Francisco PL and was actively involved in helping to create SF’s well-funded modern library system. She has served as President of the California Library Association and is the only person to receive CLA’s President’s Award twice— the highest honor given to an individual for significant contributions to libraries. She is the current United for Libraries President-Elect and serves on the ALA Committee on Legislation, the CLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee, and chairs the Sonoma County Library Commission. Deborah holds a BA from University of Virginia (high honors) and an Executive MLIS from San Jose State University.
Ask the Experts: Fundraising & Library Foundations
November 15th at 2 p.m. Eastern (3rd Tuesday due to Election Day)
A panel of experts will address common questions about library fundraising and foundations, and practical strategies for libraries/Foundations of all sizes. Panelists will provide tips and best practices, and answer questions from attendees.
A non-profit executive, Jenni Gaisbauer has more than 20 years of experience in strategic planning, philanthropy, comprehensive campaigns, special events, board development, and community partnerships. Jenni joined Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in 2013 and serves dual roles as the Chief Development Officer and the Executive Director of the Library Foundation. Previously, Jenni served as the Senior Vice President of Development at Levine Museum of the New South and Assistant Development and Marketing Director at World T.E.A.M. Sports.
Rachel Heine is the Director of Development at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She is a valuable member of the library’s leadership team, supervising the development department and managing the Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation. Rachel has almost twenty years of fundraising experience primarily in university and healthcare organizations such as The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Her level of expertise and guidance has made an indelible mark on the library; most recently, the Foundation met and exceeded its campaign goal set as $7.7M expected in five years by raising $8.5M in two years, including closing 5 gifts over $1M and tripling the Foundation’s donor base.
Let's Execute! Identifying Actionable Steps in Your Strategic Plan to Create the Impact Your Community Deserves
October 11th at 2 p.m. Eastern
Are you tired of your library being stuck in a rut? Are you looking for ways to ensure your library creates meaningful impact in the community? Then it’s time to look at your strategic plan. In this session, we will dust it off and look at methods to fast track your library's strategic plan with tools that will lead to the dynamic transformation of your community. It’s time to execute - are you ready?
With 20+ years of award-winning experience, Arnessa Dowell’s library expertise ranges from being a Library Page to sitting in four different Library Director’s chairs. Since receiving her Masters in Library Science from North Carolina Central University and a Masters in Business Administration for Executive Leadership from the University of North Alabama, Ms. Dowell has used the library as a platform to promote community engagement, workplace inclusion, and enhance customer service standards by creating a sound strategic framework. A master strategic planner, she has a high implementation and success rate with long and short-range plans resulting in 14 individual awards, six individual staff member awards, and two team awards. She is currently the Executive Director of Kent County Public Library system in Maryland.
Ask the Experts: Boards of Trustees
September 13th at 2 p.m. Eastern
Learn about common issues that arise among library Boards and how to solve them. Two in-depth scenarios will be presented, along with tips and best practices, and speakers will answer questions from attendees about the presented scenarios. During a "lightning round" session, speakers will field questions from attendees.
Deborah Doyle is a writer, editor, and fundraiser as well as an active library advocate at local, state, and national levels. She played board and staff roles at Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and was actively involved in helping to create San Francisco’s well-funded modern library system. She has served as President of the California Library Association (CLA) and is the only person to receive CLA’s President’s Award twice – the highest honor given to an individual for significant contributions to libraries. She currently sits on the United for Libraries board, the ALA Committee on Legislation, and the CLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee, and chairs the Sonoma County Library Commission, and she is treasurer (and a past president) of California Public Library Advocates. She also chairs United for Libraries’ Public Policy & Advocacy Committee. Deborah holds a BA from University of Virginia (high honors) and an Executive MLIS from San Jose State University.
Buzzy Nielsen has over 25 years’ experience working in libraries of all types, including public, academic, K-12 school, and special. He’s spent most of his career in small and rural public libraries, including city, county and independent district libraries. Currently, he manages consulting and grant programs for the State Library of Oregon, which serves over 1,600 libraries.
Gift Acceptance Policies through a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lens
Tues., July 12, at 2 p.m. Eastern
By their nature, gift acceptance policies can be exclusionary. How can a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens challenge us to nuance these policies? Greg Giles and Emma De Vera from The Friends of Saint Paul Public Library will walk through their process.
Greg Giles is the Senior Director of Development for The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, a position he has held since April 2015, where he oversees individual and institutional giving, corporate sponsorship, and fundraising events. Greg has raised money for Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Endowed Violist Chairs, scholarships, landmark theater buildings, award-winning exhibits on Mayan Civilization, and much more. What he is most proud of is what he has helped donors and organizations achieve in their communities, which has made a difference for millions of people.
Emma De Vera is the Individual Giving Manager at The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. She earned a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College. She has worked in various roles throughout public and academic libraries and is a 2018 Spectrum Scholar.
manages all aspects of business development of the organization including overseeing both of the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County bookstores. Mr. Salins began volunteering in 2009 and was hired part-time as a Clerk working for the organization in 2011, before being promoted to Assistant Manager and, then, full-time Business Coordinator in 2014 and currently serves as the Director of Business Operations. Mr. Salins earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, magna cum laude, from The University of Maryland. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Hose2Habitat, a Maryland based nonprofit working to enhance the welfare of animals in zoos and sanctuaries.
Libraries Build Business: Support from Boards, Friends, and Foundations
Tuesday, May 10, at 2 p.m. Eastern
Libraries Build Business (LBB) is a national initiative of ALA, supported by Google.org, intended to build capacity in libraries offering programming or services to local entrepreneurs and the small business community, prioritizing low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs. Learn how library boards, Friends of the Library groups, and library Foundations can help support libraries in their business-related services and programming. Megan Janicki, project manager of Libraries Build Business, will provide an overview of the program. Susan M. Preece, director of the Topsham (Maine) Public Library, will discuss how the library’s board and Friends have supported the LBB program in their library. Stacey Goddard, public services manager at the Spokane (Wash.) County Library District, will address their library Foundation and board’s involvement.
Megan Janicki is the project manager of the Libraries Build Business initiative with the Public Policy and Advocacy Office at the American Library Association. Prior to her work with ALA, Megan worked in a variety of adult education, workforce development, and social service roles in Washington, DC. She holds a master of education degree in learning, diversity, and urban studies.
Susan M. Preece is the director of the Topsham (Maine) Public Library. Career and small business support have been a part of the library’s program since 2005 in the aftermath of the Brunswick Naval Air Station closure and related economic downturn. Her work with Libraries Build Business from ALA and Google has been reinvigorating and, she is excited about the many possibilities that exist to expand business support in public libraries.
Stacey Goddard is a Public Services Manager at the Spokane (Wash.) County Library District. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature, and from the University of Washington with a master’s degree in library and information science, and has more than 35 years of experience working in public libraries. Stacey and her team focus on supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs, assisting individuals with career development, and encouraging financial empowerment through consumer education.
Unite Against Book Bans
Tuesday, April 12, at 2 p.m. Eastern
As part of National Library Week, ALA debuted Unite Against Book Bans, a national initiative focused on empowering readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. Join Megan Cusick of ALA's Public Policy & Advocacy Office to learn more about the campaign and how library board members/Trustees, Friends, and Foundations can get involved. In addition, find out about United for Libraries resources specifically for Trustees, Friends, and Foundations as they support libraries facing challenges to materials and programs.
Megan Cusick is the Deputy Director for State Advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. She coordinates ALA's state and local advocacy efforts in partnership with ALA offices and divisions; state chapters and affiliates; and librarians, library staff, and advocates across the country. Prior to joining ALA, Megan was a librarian in Chicago Public Schools and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center; she is a co-founder of the Chicago Teachers Union librarians committee. She has presented and published on topics such as partnerships, library trends, civic engagement, intellectual freedom, and advocacy.
Roundtable Discussions: Library Board and Trustees
Tuesday, March 8, at 2 p.m. Eastern
Roundtable Discussions: Friends, Foundations, and Fundraising
Tuesday, March 15, at 2 p.m. Eastern
Attendees will participate in small group discussions via breakout rooms in Zoom. Registrants will indicate first and second choice breakout topics in the registration form. Roundtable discussions will not be recorded. Each breakout will be asked to provide the top three suggestions/tips from the breakout room. These will be compiled for access by all personal and group members, and those in Statewide Group Member states and Statewide All Access states. Topics are as follows:
- Governance / Board Meetings
- Board Recruitment
- Library Policies
- Board & Director Working Effectively Together
- Intellectual Freedom & Challenges
- Board Recruitment
- Fundraising - Events
- Fundraising - Planned Giving
- Working Effectively with the Library
Cybersecurity: What Your Friends, Foundation, and Library Need to Know
Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 at 2 p.m. Eastern
In October 2021, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) experienced a cyber security attack. Prior to this incident, the Library maintained robust safeguards against threats, but still a threat actor was able to infiltrate their systems, forcing a systemwide shutdown of the entire technology infrastructure. During this presentation, TLCPL Executive Director, Jason Kucsma, and TLCPL Director of Operations, Mike Graybeal, will share their experiences and lessons-learned to hopefully help your organization better protect itself from a similar situation.
Jason Kucsma is executive director of Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL). HIs 13 years of leadership in libraries comes after nearly a decade leading a nonprofit independent media organization and publishing an internationally distributed politics and culture magazine while living in Northwest Ohio. Kucsma is a born-and-raised Ohioan who earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication and master’s degree in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University. He earned his master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Arizona.
Mike Graybeal is the Director of Operations/Deputy Fiscal Officer at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Mike is on the Executive Leadership Team and leads the Operations teams which consist of the Finance, Facilities & Operations, IT, and Public Safety departments. Mike joined the Library in 2019 where he took project lead in the midst two major capital projects, one of which won two AIA awards in 2020 and 2021.
Nathan Little is Senior Vice President of Digital Forensics & Incident Response at Tetra Defense. He leads the Digital Forensics and Incident Response team at Tetra Defense, specializing in containing ongoing incidents, finding their root cause, and determining the exact actions of malware and threat actors. Some of the most common cases Nathan’s team encounters are related to ransomware, business email compromise, financial data theft, insider threat investigations, wire transfer fraud, and more.
David Kruse is Director, Strategic Client Services at Tetra Defense. He has spent the lion’s share of his career helping organizations of all sizes understand, manage, and transfer their cyber risk. At Tetra Defense, David works daily with executive teams as they recover from severe ransomware attacks and begin to plan for future security posture improvements.
Friends and Foundations Working Effectively with the Library
Tues., Jan. 11, 2022 at 2 p.m. Eastern
This session will provide guidance on the tools and techniques needed for effective collaboration between Friends groups, Foundation members, libraries, and library directors. Presenters will discuss the roles of each group in relation to the library and provide resources on MOUs, guidelines for giving, and other subjects.
Judy Hills is the President of the Friends of the North Carolina Public Libraries (FONCPL) and Vice-President of the Friends of the New Bern-Craven County Public Library. Now retired, her first career was as a registered nurse; her second career was in commercial real estate; and her third career was in nonprofit and quasi-governmental organizations (similar to regional library systems). At the end of her career, she was the Executive Director of a nine-county planning organization. She helped secure many millions of dollars in federal, state, and other grants, and continues to provide grant opportunity information to the nonprofit community.
Peter Pearson is lead consultant and co-founder of Library Strategies Consulting Group. He is a past president of United for Libraries. He was president of the Friends of the Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library for 25 years, and was a founder of Library Strategies. As president of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, he led three capital campaigns and coordinated an annual grassroots advocacy campaign that added millions of dollars of public funding to the library's budget. He also served as a Trustee for the Twin Cities Regional Library System for 10 years.
Library Boards, Intellectual Freedom, and Challenges
Tues., Dec. 14, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
According to a recent article in American Libraries (“A Conflict of Values,” Nov. 1), “Public libraries are facing a wave of trustee candidates whose goals challenge intellectual freedom, community service, and other core values of librarianship.” How can you protect your library and board from finding itself in a position where a board member’s ideologies oppose core library tenets? This session will focus on preparedness strategies, community building, and how to create strong policies that address programming, budgeting, and services.
Megan Cusick is the Deputy Director for State Advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy office. She ccoordinates ALA's state and local advocacy efforts in partnership with ALA offices and divisions; state chapters and affiliates; and librarians, library staff, and advocates across the country. Prior to joining ALA, Megan was a librarian in Chicago Public Schools and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center; she is a co-founder of the Chicago Teachers Union librarians committee. She has presented and published on topics such as partnerships, library trends, civic engagement, intellectual freedom, and advocacy.
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.
Deborah Doyle is a writer, editor and fundraiser as well as an active library advocate at local, state and national levels. She played board and staff roles at Friends of the San Francisco PL and was actively involved in helping to create SF’s well-funded modern library system. She has served as President of the California Library Association and is the only person to receive CLA’s President’s Award twice— the highest honor given to an individual for significant contributions to libraries. She currently sits on the United for Libraries board, the ALA Committee on Legislation, the CLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee and chairs the Sonoma County Library Commission. Deborah holds a BA from University of Virginia (high honors) and an Executive MLIS from San Jose State University.
Beth Nawalinski is the Executive Director for United for Libraries. She has pursued a 25+ year career supporting libraries and literacy, first as Community Relations Coordinator with Barnes & Noble, followed by Public Relations Specialist with the Norfolk (Va.) Public Library, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator with Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA), and Director of Marketing & Communications for United for Libraries. She is the co-author of 101+ Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends and Even More Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends.
Virtual and Hybrid Fundraising
Tues., Nov. 9, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Learn about virtual and hybrid fundraising through examples of successful campaigns across the country. Presenters Reed Davaz McGowan (Eugene [Ore.] Public Library Foundation) and Kerry Barnes (Tompkins County [N.Y.] Public Library Foundation) will walk attendees through the planning processes of their respective campaigns, including Eugene Public Library Foundation’s Imagination Library Luncheon and Tomkins County Public Library Foundation’s 2021 Readathon and “Hold On, Let Me Ask a Librarian” program. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.
Reed Davaz McGowan is the executive director of Eugene Public Library Foundation. As an executive director of organizations in San Francisco and Philadelphia, she focused on increasing access to and funding for innovative arts, leadership development, and educational programming for underserved and often marginalized youth and communities.
Kerry A. Barnes serves as the assistant director for the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation. An avid swimmer, aspiring novelist, voracious reader, and intermediate knitter, she has more than 20 years’ experience fundraising for nonprofit organizations.
Making the Ask for End-of-Year Giving
Tues., Oct. 12, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Celebrating National Friends of Libraries Week
Tues., Sept. 14, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Learn about the history of National Friends of Libraries Week and ideas for celebrating, including the upcoming "I Was Born to Be in a Library" Virtual Tour & Discussion led by the Pat Conroy Literary Center in partnership with Friends of South Carolina Libraries (FOSCL). United for Libraries staff will provide resources, tips, and ideas for National Friends of Libraries Week.
Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the nonprofit Conroy Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. He is co-editor with Nicole Seitz of the anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, the recipient of 17 book awards. He is the host of the Live from the Pat Conroy Literary Center podcast on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network and an associate producer of the TELLY Award-winning ETV author interview program “By the River.” In 2020, Haupt was recognized with the Doug Marlette Literacy Leadership Award presented by Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the U.S.
Marlena White has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management. She was the Director of the Friends of the Lexington Main Library in Lexington, South Carolina for 15 years and now serves as the Financial Services Manager for a nonprofit management firm in Columbia, South Carolina. Marlena is a graduate of several leadership programs and was the 2019 recipient of the United for Libraries/ThriftBooks grant to attend the ALA Conference in Washington, D.C. She has volunteered with the Friends of South Carolina Libraries since 2016 and currently serves as their Board President.
Gift Acceptance Policies Part 2: Advice from the Pros for Writing Your Policy
Tues., July 27, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
This session is a follow-up to June’s Learning Live, “Gift Acceptance Policies I: When ‘Free’ Isn’t Free.” Find out how to craft or revise your library or group's gift acceptance policy and legal considerations associated with such policies. Participants will learn how to ensure they are prepared for navigating how to handle proposed gifts and donations. The presenters will conduct a Q&A session, so bring your questions on this topic.
Alan T. Shuckrow is a shareholder at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania law firm Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky (“SMGG”). From 2014-2019, he served as SMGG’s president and managing shareholder and currently serves on the Executive Committee as the firm’s counsel. His experience ranges from municipal and education law to civil litigation and real estate. His clients include non-profit and for-profit organizations and governmental entities. SMGG represents the two largest libraries in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
As the library law consultant at the Library of Michigan, Clare Membiela helps public libraries understand and manage legal issues that impact library services. Before joining the Library of Michigan in 2016, Membiela was the associate director for library and instructional support for the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Libraries. Before moving to Michigan, she worked at the University of Miami Law Library as the head of reference services. Prior to her academic library work, she worked for two major law firms as a librarian in its Miami offices. She has an MLS. from Southern Connecticut State University, a JD from the University of Miami, and 30 years of law library experience. She is excited about helping public libraries by connecting them to the legal information they need.
Gift Acceptance Policies Part 1: When "Free" Isn't Free”
Tues., June 29, 2021 at 11 a.m. Central
When it comes to donations to the library, free isn't always "free." Find out how to craft or revise your library or group's gift acceptance policy. Participants will learn how to ensure they are prepared for navigating how to handle proposed gifts and donations. The presenters will conduct a Q&A session, so bring your questions on this topic.
Charity Tyler is the 2021-2022 president of United for Libraries. She has been executive director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation since 2015. For the foundation, she has created policies and improved governance structures to support fundraising on behalf of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, and to support Foundation-funded programs including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For United for Libraries, she has led the Programming Committee and Governance Task Force.
As the library law consultant at the Library of Michigan, Clare Membiela helps public libraries understand and manage legal issues that impact library services. Before joining the Library of Michigan in 2016, she was the associate director for library and instructional support for the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Libraries. Before moving to Michigan, she worked at the University of Miami Law Library as the head of reference services. Prior to her academic library work, she worked for two major law firms as a librarian in their Miami offices. She has an MLS. from Southern Connecticut State University, a JD from the University of Miami, and 30 years of law library experience. She is excited about helping public libraries by connecting them to the legal information they need.
Friends of the Library & the Future of Booksales: Chapter 2”
Tues., May 25th, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Friends group leaders will speak to how each of their Friends groups have adapted their booksales models during the past year, including obstacles they’ve overcome and strategies and ideas they recommend – from online to in-person sales. Each presenter will offer insight and answer questions from attendees.
Terry Plumb is in his second year as president of the Friends of York County (S.C.) Library. A native of Florida, Plumb retired in 2007 after a 40-year career as a journalist, including serving as editor of three daily papers, most recently The Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. (1987-2007). He is a certified Master Gardener, past president of the Master Gardeners of York County and past chair of the Summer Reading Coalition, a joint effort by the York County Library and the Rock Hill School District to promote summer-time reading by elementary school children. Terry is the proud steward of the first Little Free Library to be registered in York County, S.C. There are now upwards of 60 in the county.
Karen Jacowitz is president of the Friends of the Moorhead Library in northwest Minnesota. The Moorhead Public Library, which serves approximately 48,000 residents, is the largest branch in Minnesota's Lake Agassiz Regional Library system. For more than a decade, Karen has been co-director of the organization's book sales, including coordinating the efforts of volunteers for each sale. Prior to being elected president of the Friends of the Moorhead Library, Karen served as vice president. She has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a master's and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.
Gail Youngblood joined the Friends of the Marina Library shortly after retiring from government service in 2013. She's worked on booksales, served as membership chair, and helped out as the bookstore was established, in 2017. Youngblood has been on the board since 2014, and co-manager (with Terri Wheeler) of the bookstore since mid-2019. From the early 1990s until 2013, I was the environmental coordinator for the cleanup and transfer of Fort Ord, a closed Army installation in central coastal California.
Terri Wheeler began volunteering for the Friends of the Marina Library in mid-2016, shortly after retiring from teaching at California State University, Monterey Bay. From 1997 to 2015, she taught courses in Liberal Studies, Education, Human Communication, Service Learning, Interdisciplinary Studies, and First-Year Seminar. She has been bookstore manager (with Gail Youngblood) for the last year and a half, assisting with collecting and processing donations, inventory and stocking, creating displays, training volunteers, maintaining the bookstore's Facebook page, and even helping design the layout of the store.
Ask the Experts: Boards of Trustees, Friends Groups, and Foundations
Tues., April 27th, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
A panel of experts, including Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Executive Director Marie Ciepiela, Library of Michigan Library Law Consultant Clare Membiela, Friends of the Montgomery County Library (Md.) Executive Director Ari Brooks, and Kent District Library (Mich.) Board of Trustees Chair Shirley Bruursema will address common issues that arise among Library Boards, Friends Groups, and Foundations, and how to solve them. Panelists will present two in-depth scenarios, provide tips and best practices, and answer questions from attendees. During a "lightning round" session, speakers will field questions from registrants.
Marie Ciepiela has served as the Executive Director of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library since 2016, leading the private, community-based side of a partnership for excellence with the public library. Since arriving in San Francisco in 1990, she has served as an executive leader of three nonprofit organizations, including the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco; the OMIE (Oceanview, Merced, Ingleside, Excelsior) Beacon Center; and the Youth Service Bureaus, the mental health department of the YMCA of San Francisco. She holds a California Teaching credential, a Master's degree from the University of California at Davis, and a Bachelor's degree in history from Harvard University.
Clare Membiela serves as the Library Law Consultant at the Library of Michigan, helping public libraries understand and manage legal issues that impact library services. Before joining the Library of Michigan in 2016, Clare was the Associate Director for Library and Instructional Support for the WMU Cooley Law School Libraries. She has an M.L.S. from Southern Connecticut State University, a J.D. from the University of Miami, and 30 years of law library experience.
Ari Z. Brooks is Executive Director of the Friends of the Montgomery County Library in Maryland. An experienced fundraiser and nonprofit manager, she has held leadership positions in three not-for-profit organizations for twenty-five years in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Ms. Brooks earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the 2004 Class of Leadership Montgomery and the inaugural 2009 recipient of the Emerging Leader Award for the County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.
Shirley Bruursema is chair of the Kent District Library Board of Trustees in Michigan. She was the recipient of the ALA Trustee Citation in 2009. Bruursema has been a delegate for the White House Conference on Libraries. She was treasurer and co-chair of millage campaigns that continued the Kent District Library’s service to 26 communities and 18 libraries. Bruursema has been dubbed the “Millage Queen” for her work coaching libraries through millage campaigns, helping with efforts to pass more than 80 millage elections since 2000.
Building Support for the Build America’s Libraries Act
Tues., March 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
The average public library building dates back to 1970 — before the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the World Wide Web (1991), and the “maker” movement (2005). Our communities need modern libraries to meet today’s needs. Join ALA’s Public Policy & Advocacy office staff to prepare for the next big library campaign, which is already underway.
The Build America’s Libraries Act would provide $5 billion to repair, modernize, and construct library facilities. Public libraries, tribal libraries and state libraries that serve the public would be eligible for funding, with priority for libraries serving marginalized communities. Gavin Baker, Deputy Director, Public Policy & Government Relations, and Larra Clark, Deputy Director, Public Policy & Advocacy, will share context, strategy, messaging, and action items to make the case for why libraries must be included in the anticipated infrastructure and economic recovery package.
Gavin Baker serves as Deputy Director in the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. Previously, he worked at Common Cause, the Center for Effective Government, and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Gavin earned an M.S. in library and information studies from Florida State University and a B.A. in political science from the University of Florida.
Larra Clark serves as Deputy Director for both the Public Library Association (PLA) and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Public Policy & Advocacy Office. Her career spans 20 years managing library communications, policy and research following a decade in nonprofit public affairs, government relations, and print journalism. She received her library master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Proactive Advocacy and Communication for Library Trustees and Staff
Tues., Feb. 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Is your library Board and staff prepared for change and any crises that might come your way? Learn simple steps that library boards and staff can integrate into communication processes, using both outward- and inward-facing tools. Find out about these tools and how they can set the stage for dealing more effectively with any crisis your library faces in the future.
Lori Fisher is the Assistant State Librarian for New Hampshire, and was previously Library Director at the Baker Free Library in Bow, N.H. for 11 years. She is the current New Hampshire Library Association chapter councilor to the American Library Association, as well as co-chair of the New Hampshire Library Association Advocacy & Legislative Committee. She is a member of the following American Library Association committees: Committee on Library Advocacy; Committee on Legislation, and the United for Libraries Advocacy Committee.
Fighting Budget Cuts and Finding Funding
Tues., Jan. 26, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern