Just the "T": Duty, Authority, Responsibility and Liability - Library Trustees as Public Officials

NOTE: This webinar is FREE to some United for Libraries statewide partners.
Please read the information below *before* purchasing registration for this webinar.

Live Webinar Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern | 1:00 p.m. Central | 12:00 p.m. Mountain | 11:00 a.m. Pacific | 10:00 a.m. Alaska
Duration: 75 minutes


Library trustees and directors have difficult jobs at the best of times, and unfortunately, now is arguably not the best of times. The issues currently faced by libraries include materials challenges, community conflicts, funding struggles and difficult municipal relationships. Managing one of these situations is difficult and stressful, but library boards now find themselves juggling multiple complex situations.  This presentation will provide clear information on how understanding their official duties, authority and responsibility (and potential liabilities) can help trustees and directors create policies and strategies for facing complex situations in a unified, organized, legal and community inclusive manner.


Clare MembielaClare 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.

Please read the information below *before* purchasing registration for this webinar.

Webinar Includes
  • Live webinar
  • On-Demand access to recording
  • Slides and handouts

Target Audience
  • Library Directors
  • Library Trustees / Library Board Members
  • Students

How It Works
  • All registration and participation is per person; there is no group viewing or group registration option.
  • Base price is $79 per person. Membership‐related discount is based on the membership status of the person purchasing the seat(s):
    • ALA personal members receive a 10% discount
    • United for Libraries personal members receive a 35% discount.
  • Bulk purchase discounts apply for purchases of multiple seats (3‐6 seats extra 30% off; 7‐12 seats extra 35% off; 13+ seats extra 40% off).
  • Purchaser receives one “sign‐up code” per seat purchased and distributes sign‐up code(s) to individuals, who then redeem the sign‐up code to complete their registration.

Before You Register

Residents of MA, MD, MI, MS, ND, NE, OR, SC, SD, VA, WI

  • Do not purchase registration for this course.
  • Your state library provides FREE registration to attend the live webinar and access the on-demand video for the duration of the statewide partnership.
  • Please register for your statewide access here.
  • If you have questions, please contact united@ala.org.

United for Libraries Personal Members

  • Make sure you are logged in with the account associated with your personal membership to ensure the 35% discount applies.
  • All registration and participation is per person; there is no group viewing option.
    • You may purchase individual seats for your library director and Trustees/library board members.
    • You will receive 35% off all individuals seats purchased. Additional discounts apply as follows:
      • 3-6 seats: additional 30% off per seat
      • 7-12 seats: additional 35% off per seat
      • 13+ seats: additional 40% off per seat

Tech Requirements

The live webinar will be held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform. Text-based chat is available, and attendees will use the Q&A panel to submit questions to the presenter. Speakers will answer questions as time allows. The webinar will be recorded and accessible within 72 hours of the live session.


If you have a question or need to make arrangements for additional assistance or accessibility, please contact Jillian Wentworth (jwentworth@ala.org).