United for Libraries Webinars

United for Libraries now offers affordable recorded webinars/webcasts that you can access 24/7 from the comfort of your own home, work, or the library. All you need is a computer with speakers or a headset, Internet connection, and a Web browser. United for Libraries personal and group members receive significant discounts on the registration cost.

Friends and Trustees Under 40: Recruit Them, Retain Them, Engage Them

Wednesday, February 19 at 2 p.m. eastern
Individual Registration: $65 non-member; $60 ALA members; $40 United for Libraries member; FREE for Statewide Group Members
Group Registration (any number of people viewing from a single physical location): $195 non-member; $180 ALA members; $150 United for Libraries members; FREE for Statewide Group Members

Millennials are more likely than other adults to have visited the library recently. However, most friends and trustee boards do not have even a single millennial member (Pew 2016, ALA 2018). What accounts for this discrepancy between the demographics of our library users and library civic leaders, and how do we rectify it? The presenters will argue for the importance of developing generationally representative boards and explore common barriers to service for those under 40.

Friends and Trustees Under 40: Recruit Them, Retain Them, Engage Them is an intensive follow-up to the Monthly Member Forum presented by United for Libraries in January, “Recruiting Younger Board Members for Trustees, Friends, and Foundations.” This webinar will expand on the information that was overviewed in January’s forum. Participants will leave with practical strategies for identifying and recruiting the right millennials to serve and for adapting board cultures to engage and retain them.

Madeline Jarvis is the Adult and Information Services Manager at the Marion (IA) Public Library. She and her team cultivate collections, services, and partnerships to serve the Marion community. She is passionate about identifying and eliminating barriers to resources for her patrons and helping the library serve as a catalyst for community development.

Tess Wilson is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region. She serves as YALSA Blog Manager and Youth Services Division Chair for the PA Library Association. She was a 2018 ALA Emerging Leader and is an active privacy advocate with the Library Freedom Project. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University and her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

Lina Bertinelli is the Workforce Librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Maryland State Library Resource Center in Baltimore, MD.

Kathy Kosinski is the Member Services and Outreach Manager at Califa Group. Previously, she worked at the Library of Michigan as the Statewide Library Services Analyst. She began working with United for Libraries in the 2018 ALA Emerging Leader Program.

Use this form to register for this series. If you are a United for Libraries Statewide Group Member, register here.

Fundraising & Building Support for Your Library: A Three-Part Webinar Series

These sessions are available for purchase as a package; they cover fundamental aspects of fundraising, advocating, and building community engagement and support for libraries. Live webinars take place during the month of October and are recorded for further access. Each webinar lasts 60 minutes. Pricing is as follows:

$179 Non-Members
$149 ALA Members
$99 United Members
FREE for Statewide Group Members

Crafting a Compelling Case for Support on Thursday, October 3rd at 2 p.m. 

This webinar offers an overview of the importance of a fundraising organization’s case for support and provides the building blocks for creating your own. The case for support articulates all the reasons and justifications for supporting a cause; therefore, a strong case for support is an essential resource to anyone soliciting donations on your foundation’s behalf. Without a case statement, an organization will struggle to establish an effective fundraising program and the materials necessary to raise money and support volunteers in their fundraising roles. By attending, you will acquire fundamental fundraising skills necessary to engage prospective donors for your organization and seek their philanthropic support.

Presenter Lisa Lintner, a library director leading a newly formed foundation in 2016, will share her experience in developing her foundation’s first case for support, and the subsequent updated versions. Presenter Dr. Sarah Nathan, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Associate Director of Public Programs, will share an overview of their signature program “Fundraising for Small Nonprofits,” where Lisa first learned how to create a case for support.

How Everyday Relationships Build Support and Help Libraries Transform on Thursday, October 10th at 2 p.m.

Libraries are fighting for support and dollars in every community across the country. Asking for support when the ballot is printed is too late. How do you create a community of advocates before a ballot initiative or budget request is on the agenda? Learn how one library has developed an advocacy plan to build a community of library champions who are ready to be activated when needed. Through strategic communications planning, utilizing the Libraries Transform campaign, and one-on-one meetings with stakeholders, the Cedar Rapids Public Library will show you how to take on advocacy one step at a time.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library learned a hard lesson after losing a ballot initiative in 2016 and being forced to reduce hours and services. Since that time, the Library has taken a strategic approach to advocacy, meeting regularly with a committee of people to prioritize communications and to assign work. Through this process, the Library was able to restore partial funding after two years through the City Council—avoiding another ballot initiative that may not have passed. Learn from their mistakes and hear how the Library has transformed a loss into a victory by making advocacy the focus all year long, every year. Speakers: Amber McNamara, Community Relations Manager, Cedar Rapids Public Library; Dara Schmidt, Director, Cedar Rapids Public Library

Annual Giving Campaigns - Best Practices From Across the Country on Tuesday, October 29th at 2 p.m.

Presenter Kathy Selking will dissect and compare successful campaigns from libraries across the country. After attending this webinar, you will have a list of best practices and tools you can immediately implement in your next campaign.

Kathy Selking is the Manager of Library Development for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, as well as the Secretary and Treasurer for the Library Legacy Foundation of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. With over 10 years of fundraising experience, Kathy has earned her CFRE credential and is currently leading the Foundation to its most successful year in decades. Kathy also manages the Library’s events and volunteer work. Currently, she is working with other Library staff on finalizing the completion of the renovation work at their Main Library. Her future plans include growing their planned giving program and increasing corporate giving.

To register as a Statewide Group Member, click here.

All other registrants should use this form.

Local, State, and National Library Advocacy: A Grasstop Approach

This workshop will last 60 minutes and take place on Monday, June 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Library Trustees, advocates, Friends, Foundations, directors, and staff are invited to hear from experts about the difference between grassroot and grasstop advocates, how to identify them in their communities, and how to engage them in their efforts. Attendees will learn how to build key library advocates to cultivate allies and develop constituencies in support of their positions at every level of government.

Featured speakers will be Julius Jefferson, 2020-2021 ALA president; Kathi Kromer, associate executive director of ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, and Skip Dye, 2018-2019 United for Libraries president and vice president of library marketing and digital sales at Penguin Random House.

To register for the webinar, visit www.ala.org/united/advocacywebinar.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: What Library Trustees Need to Know

This workshop will last 60 minutes and take place on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) impacts all communities and all aspects of librarianship. Library Boards of Trustees have an important role in supporting EDI and related initiatives. This workshop will help trustees and library directors understand how to incorporate EDI into policy development, strategic planning, funding initiatives, board development, and more. Anne will present a variety of interactive scenarios in which EDI issues are a factor, with time for Q&A and discussion. In this event, Anne Phibbs, PhD, Founder and President of Strategic Diversity Initiatives, will give a basic introduction to EDI and discuss what library trustees and boards need to know about EDI. 

You are entitled to free registration if you are United for Libraries Statewide Group Member in Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, or Texas. To register, please contact us using this form.

This workshop is presented in a morning session (10:00 am Eastern/9:00 am Central/8:00 am Mountain/7:00 am Pacific) and an afternoon session (4:00 pm Eastern/3:00 pm Central/2:00 pm Mountain/1:00 pm Pacific), and is offered in group and individual rates. Please register accordingly:

Group rate morning session 

Group rate afternoon session

Individual morning session

Individual afternoon session

Troubled Library Boards: Prevention and Survival

Troubled library boards are increasingly common. Serving on a troubled board is stressful, and it can take the focus away from a board’s primary mission. What essential practices can prevent or minimize board problems? When a board does become dysfunctional, how can those involved survive and create change? This recorded webinar is led by Sally Gardner Reed, former executive director of United for Libraries; Trustee Jo Beckwith of Illinois, and Stephen Bero; director of the Algonquin (Ill.) Public Library.

Learn more and register

With Friends Like These

Friends are wonderful assets to their libraries... until they're not! Sadly, some Friends groups fall into cliques, start demanding to determine how the money is spent, start believing that they "own" the money raised rather than understanding their role as "trustees" of the money, and even start wanting a say in the library’s governance and/or operations. Based on her recently published book, The Good, the Great, and the Unfriendly: A Librarian's Guide to Working Effectively with Friends, Sally Gardner Reed (Executive Director of United for Libraries) discusses ways to work with Friends who go rogue, how to bring them back in line, and what to do when nothing works.

Learn more and register.

Merging a Friends and Foundation

In the library world today, there is a huge need for support organizations – Friends & foundations-  but often the lines between these two groups are blurred and their work counter-productive. In this webinar, presenters Peter Pearson and Sue Hall discuss the difference in the roles of Friends and foundations and identify areas where there can be conflict – and present strategies for minimizing conflict. They also address the question “When is it time for the two organizations to merge?” and share solutions for engaging in a merger process that minimizes pain and maximizes potential. Pearson and Hall also talk about national challenges and trends for Friends and foundations.

This webinar is led by Peter Pearson and Sue Hall. Pearson is the retired President of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library (the Library’s foundation) and Lead Consultant with Library Strategies. Hall is the Director of Library Strategies, a consulting group of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Both Hall and Pearson were contributing writers to Public Libraries bi-monthly fundraising column and were authors of Library Strategies’ book, Beyond Book Sales: Raising Real Money for Your Library, which was published by Neal Schuman Publishers, through American Library Association Publications.

Learn more and register.

Short Takes for Trustees logo

Short Takes for Trustees

Short Takes for Trustees is a series of 10 short videos (8-10 minutes each) that can be shown during Trustee meetings to stimulate discussion about the important role that Trustees play in the governance of their libraries. Topics in the series explain the basics, such as what it means to be a Trustee (discussing the broad fiduciary responsibilities of governing boards as well as the limits of an advisory board), as well as how to set policy, how to evaluate the library director (and why you should!), along with board self evaluation, and the ethical and parliamentary standards for boards — both governing

and advisory.

The courses are: What It Means to Be a Trustee; Board Meetings; Board Ethics; Library Advocacy; Library Policies; Strategic Planning; Working with Friends; Evaluating the Library Director; Board Self Evaluation, and Succession Planning and New Board Orientation. Learn more about the series, pricing, and how to register.

If you have already registered for Short Takes for Trustees, or are part of a statewide group membership, please click here to access the videos (login required).

TTrustee Academy logorustee Academy

The United for Libraries Trustee Academy is a series of online courses to help Trustees become exceptionally proficient in their roles on behalf of their libraries. The online courses are taught by a professional in the field. Courses include:

  • Trustee Competencies
  • Working Effectively with the Library Director
  • The Library's Budget for Trustees
  • Standing Up for Intellectual Freedom
  • Everyday Advocacy - Why the Library Matters!

Learn more or access courses.

Engaging Today's Volunteers for Libraries and Friends

The baby boomers are retiring! And...they are volunteering in large numbers in communities across the country. If libraries and Friends groups aren’t successful in recruiting this special group, some other community agency will be. This three-part series of webcasts is designed to inform library Friends, Trustees, and staff about this new generation of baby boomer volunteers — how they are different from volunteers in the past, what they want from service opportunities, and how libraries and Friends can attract them. Courses include:

  • Meet Today's New Volunteers
  • Friends and Baby Boomers - Getting New Active Members for Your Group
  • Library Volunteers - Bringing in Skilled and Committed Baby Boomers

Learn more, register, or access courses now! NOTE: Online registration is only available for the single-seat (member or non-member) option. To register for the multi-seat, single library site option, please see the registration form (PDF, 267 kb).

Library Campaign Training Institute logoFREE Webinar Series: Library Campaign Training Institute

Developed and presented by Libby Post of Communication Services, the Library Campaign Training Institute will teach attendees how to create, market, and implement an effective advocacy campaign for your library. The Library Campaign Training Institute is jointly sponsored by the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and United for Libraries. Click here to learn more and access the recorded sessions. Sessions include:

  • Building Your Base
  • The Best Defense is a Good Defense
  • Message, Marketing & Media
  • Connecting with YES Voters
  • Get Out the Vote

FREE Webinar: Responding to a Budget Crisis

Learn how to develop a campaign for your library in a budget crisis from a group that fought for an additional $3.8 million for their library system. Find out how to work with the media, get publicity, find creative ways to campaign, and more. Watch the free recording (50 minutes).

Speakers include Kate Park, executive director of the Friends of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library; Patti Clapp, advocacy chair of the Friends, and Sally Reed, executive director of United for Libraries. 

Friends of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library was one of 20 recipients of the Neal-Schuman Citizens-Save-Libraries grants. The library had experienced budget cuts of 40%, leaving it the worst funded urban library system in the country. The Friends used their training to develop an advocacy plan that resulted in the library receiving an additional $3.8 million to hire 92 full-time employees, allowing the library to open 12 branches for 50 hours a week.

FREE Webinar: Anatomy of a Successful Library Campaign: Real World Tips for Getting the Funding You Need

In celebration of the ninth annual National Friends of Libraries Week, United for Libraries recorded a webinar with Libby Post of Communication Services and Doreen Hannon, executive director of the Salem-South Lyon (Mich.) District Library, who discussed the library’s successful millage campaign, developed thanks to a Neal-Schuman grant. Watch the free recording, which runs just over one hour.

Doreen Hannon received a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and a MLIS degree from Wayne State University. She has worked at the Salem-South Lyon District Library (SSLDL) since 1996 and has served as Library Director since 2002. Libby Post, one of United for Libraries' advocacy consultants, has been working with public libraries to pass funding and district initiatives as well as building referendums since 2005. She is the founder of the Library Campaign Training Institute and has a success rate of over 80%. She consulted with Salem-South Lyon Library District and helped the library lay out a successful strategy for their millage campaign utilizing the Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide for Successful Advocacy.

FREE Webinar: How to Start a Friends Group

United for Libraries coordinated the eighth annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 20-26, 2013. As part of the celebration, United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed presented a free webinar on how to start a Friends of the Library group. View the webcast

FREE Webinar: Library Advocacy at the State Level: 12 Steps to Success

Jeffrey Smith, director of public affairs for Humanim and president of the Foundation for Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library (BCPL) shares the basics of government/legislative advocacy and 12 steps necessary to be an effective advocate for library issues when meeting with key decision makers. Additionally, a case study in successful advocacy for library related funding is presented. The webcast is geared toward Trustees, Friends, Foundation staff members, and library staff members, and is co-sponsored by ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy. View the webcast

FREE for Members: Broadening the Scope of Small/Mid-Sized Library Foundations

Did you think library Foundations were really only for large libraries?  Think again – library Foundations have become increasingly important for libraries of all types and all sizes. In fact, mid-sized and smaller libraries are finding ways to partner with library staff to create greater community awareness and engagement in the library’s financial future.  To learn more about how working with a library foundation can benefit your library, join United for Libraries for this important webinar featuring Paula Beswick, director of the Bozeman (Mont.) Library Foundation. Members can login to the Friends & Foundations Zone or the Trustee Zone to access the recording.

FREE for Members: Leaving a Legacy Through Planned Giving

Liz Boyd, Director of Individual and Planned Giving for The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, leads this informative webinar that covers what is a planned gift, the benefits to donors, best prospects, creating and growing a planned giving program, 10 steps to a successful planned giving program, most popular methods, and additional resources. Liz Boyd is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law. She spent several years in practice specializing in probate and estate planning.  Liz was hired by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library in 2007 as Planned Giving Officer. She now serves as Director of Individual and Planned Giving for The Friends and is in charge of all individual fundraising and donor relations. Originally recorded October, 2013. Members can login to the Friends & Foundations Zone or the Trustee Zone to access the recording.

FREE for Trustee Members: Working Effectively with Your Library Trustees Webinar

Led by United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed, learn tips and strategies for working effectively with your Trustees. Topics include orientation for new Trustees, understanding roles, meetings, emergencies, and effective communication. Presented live on April 9, 2013, the recording is now available FREE to United for Libraries Board of Trustees group members and personal members in the Trustee section. Members can login to access the link and additional resources.

Questions or Assistance

If you have any questions about the courses or registration please call the United for Libraries office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161 between 9:30 and 5:00 EST or e-mail united@ala.org. E-mails are also monitored evenings and weekends to ensure a quick response.