Learning Live Monthly Webinar Series

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 and group members of United for Libraries.

Friends and Foundations Working Effectively with the Library
Tues., Jan. 11, 2022 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Please register here.


Cybersecurity: What Your Friends, Foundation, and Library Needs to Know
Tues., Feb. 8, 2022, 2 p.m Eastern
Please register here.

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.


Previous sessions


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

  • 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

  • Group members of United receive FREE registration for all named board members for the live webinar and on-demand access for the duration of your paid group membership. Please note that the group membership type determines the board members included. For a Board of Trustees Group Membership, only the Trustees/board members are covered. For a Friends Group membership, only the Friends board members are covered. For a Foundation Group Membership, only the Foundation board members are covered.

Organizational Members of ALA & United

  • Organizational members of ALA & United receive access to benefits, including Learning Live, for one named individual.

Previous Learning Live sessions

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.

Presenters

Megan CusickMegan 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-StoneDeborah 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 DoyleDeborah 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 NawalinskiBeth 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.

Presenters

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

Featured presenters will include Lauren Trujillo, executive director of the Santa Barbara Library Foundation, and Ari Brooks, executive director at Friends of Montgomery County LibrariesLearn fundraising tips, strategies, and techniques for your end-of-year giving campaigns, plus how to connect with potential donors. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Presenters

Lauren TrujilloLauren Trujillo attended UCSB where she received a B.A. in History. She recently received her Masters in Library and Information Science from UCLA. She has worked with several nonprofits and organizations in Santa Barbara, including the Isla Vista Memorial Project, the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. She sits on the board for the Santa Barbara Women’s Literary Festival and volunteers with the nonprofit Self Enquiry Life Fellowship in Montecito. As gift operations manager at SFMOMA she managed over 60,000 members and assisted with the re-opening campaign after a three-year closure. Her background in nonprofit fundraising is diverse and aligns with the needs of the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation.

Ari Z. Brooks, MSW is an experienced fundraiser and nonprofit manager having held leadership positions in three not-for-profit organizations for twenty-five years in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Her work has primarily focused on engaging and inspiring the community to provide volunteer and philanthropic support. She lectures and trains library-support groups throughout the region on organizational development, fundraising, and program development and evaluation. 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.


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.

Presenters

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.

Presenters

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.

Presenters

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.

Presenters

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. 

Presenters

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.  

Presenters

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.

Presenters

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

United for Libraries President David Paige and United for Libraries Board Member Maura Deedy will lead a discussion on how library Trustees, Friends groups, and Foundations can advocate for funding in the current environment. Participants will be invited to share success stories and tips. Additional topics will include partnerships, messaging, and shifting expenditures for Friends groups and Foundations. 

Presenters

David Paige is 2020-2021 President of United for Libraries and the director of Libraries Unlimited. He has served as both a library Trustee and Friends board member in New Hampshire and California.


Maura Deedy is the Library Advisory Specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). She serves as a Board Member at Large for United for Libraries, and is a co-chair of the United for Libraries Programming Committee. At MBLC, she supports library directors, Trustees, municipal officials, and Friends on legal and governance issues, and matters relating to the administration and development of public library services in Massachusetts.