Event box

The First Amendment in the Public Library: More than Book Bans

PCI Webinar with Clare Membiela

The First Amendment in the Public Library: More than Book Bans

90 Minute Program: Tuesday, May 31st, 2022 from 11:00 - 12:30pm 

This session will lead participants through an exploration of library scenarios that involve the First Amendment. The session will begin with an introduction to the First amendment, its history, and its unique relationship to public libraries (25 minutes). Participants will learn about the intent of the First Amendment as well as the risks and possible consequences of violation.

The second portion of the webinar will be in breakout style where each room or group will be given a realistic scenario and invited to identify and discuss the First Amendment implications (if present) in the scenario.

After 15 minutes of discussion, participants will rejoin in the main webinar room and be invited to present their scenario and thoughts for greater discussion.

After 15 minutes of this, the groups will be shuffled and placed once more in breakout for a final scenario where they are asked to solve the issue/scenario

The last section (25 minutes) will be a discussion of possible solutions and a summary of tips and best practices for handling first amendment issues in a public library.

The last 10 minutes will address questions.

As a result of this program, participants will:

  • Be able to identify potential First Amendment issues in procedures, policies, and practices in their library
  • Be able to describe possible strategies to mitigate common First Amendment issues in public libraries
  • Be able to discuss with their boards and others basic First Amendment principles related to public library services

Biography ~ Clare Membiela

Clare Membiela has been a librarian for over 30 years. Much of that time has been spent working as a large law firm librarian and an academic law librarian teaching law students and assisting law professors, attorneys, and members of the public in locating legal information and authority. The past 6 years have been spent as the Library Law Consultant for the Library of Michigan where Clare helps library directors, staffs, boards, and patrons understand and obtain information about the legal issues that affect Michigan libraries. Clare has a Master of Library Science (MLS) from Southern Connecticut State University and a JD from the University of Miami.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Time (MST):
11:00am - 12:30pm
Time Zone:
Arizona Time (change)
Registration has closed.