Theresa Chmara is an attorney in Washington, DC. She also is the General Counsel of the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is the author of Privacy and Confidentiality Issues: A Guide for Libraries and their Lawyers (ALA 2009). She has been a First Amendment lawyer for over twenty-five years and is a frequent speaker on intellectual freedom issues in libraries. She is a contributing author for the Intellectual Freedom Manual published by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association.
The First Amendment and Library Services eCourse
You must complete your registration in advance of the eCourse by following the instructions contained in the PDF download that accompanies your purchase. The download can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase and may also be accessed from your account. Select "My Account" and then select the "Files" tab to see all of your digital downloads.
To: March 31, 2019
- Learning Outcomes
- About the Instructor
- Contact Us
Librarians and library staff are aware that the free and equitable provision of information is an important part of the library's mission. The First Amendment protects the right to speak, publish, read, and view materials in the library, but courts have recognized that libraries also must have reasonable rules in place for patron use of the library, consistent with the library's mission to provide access to library materials and services to the entire library community.
This course, brought to you in collaboration with the Office for Intellectual Freedom, will introduce you to the legal principles behind the First Amendment, their practical implications in daily life, and how those principles affect library work. You will learn basic legal concepts, your rights as library employees, the rights of library patrons, and what the First Amendment does and does not obligate the library to provide.
While this course will be covering basic legal concepts, the content of this course is not legal advice and should not be used in place of legal representation.
After participating in this course, you will understand:
- Basic legal concepts related to the First Amendment
- The legal foundation of patrons’ rights to access the library and resources within it
- The library’s role in providing patron access to meeting rooms, display cases, and social media within library spaces
- The difference between speech that is protected by the First Amendment and that which is not
Upon purchase you will receive a registration PDF in the form of a digital download. This PDF contains a link to our Registration page and a password. You must download this PDF and follow the instructions in order to complete the registration. The download link can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed by selecting "My Account" at the top of your screen and then selecting the "Files" tab. Confirmation with login instructions, reminders, and alerts will go to the email address used in the registration.
How this eCourse Works
The eCourse begins on March 4, 2019. Your participation will require approximately four to five hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. There are no live sessions. All activities take place on the website, and you will be expected to
- Read, listen to or view online content
- Post to online discussion boards
- Complete weekly assignments or activities
Instructor Theresa Chmara will monitor discussion boards regularly during the 4-week period, lead group discussions, and will also answer individual questions. All interaction will take place on the eCourse site, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's recommended that students log into the site on the first day of class or within a few days for an overview of the content and to begin the first lesson.
Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message boards participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (mp3 files), and downloading and viewing PDFs and PowerPoint files. ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions eCourses are fully compatible with Windows and MacOs.
This eCourse is licensed for a single user. For pricing on bulk purchases in excess of $1,000, please contact us for more information.