Foundations of Information Law

This title will be available Summer 2023. You may place an order and the item will be shipped when it becomes available.

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Item Number: 
ALA Neal-Schuman
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A, I
  • Description
  • About the Authors

Serving as both an accessible introduction for LIS students and a go-to reference for current practitioners, this book offers an incisive examination of the numerous ways in which law about information directly impacts the roles of information professionals and information institutions.

Learning the basic concepts of information law and the many legal concepts that come into play in the field of librarianship can seem like an overwhelming endeavor. Drawing upon the authors’ unique backgrounds in both law and librarianship, this text is designed to empower readers to understand, rather than be intimidated by, the law. It melds essential context, salient examples of best practices, and stimulating discussions to illuminate numerous key legal and social issues directly related to the information professions. Helping readers better understand the role of law in their work, this primer

  • discusses information law as part of a continuum of interrelated issues rather than an assortment of discrete topics;
  • examines information law in the context of different types of libraries;
  • delves into the manifold legal issues raised when interacting with patrons and communities, from intellectual freedom topics like censorship and public activities in the library to the legal issues surrounding materials and information access;
  • elucidates operational and management legal issues, including library security, interacting with law enforcement, advocacy, lobbying, funding, human resources, and liability;
  • promotes literacy of the law, its structures, and its terminology as a professional skill;
  • gives readers the tools to find and understand different sources of legal authority and demonstrates how to interpret them when they conflict; and
  • explores information law as a national and cross-national issue.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use. An e-book edition of the text will be available shortly after the print edition is published.

Paul T. Jaeger

Paul T. Jaeger, PhD, MLS, JD, MEd, is a professor at the College of Information Studies and codirector of the Museum Scholarship and Material Culture program at the University of Maryland. He studies the impacts of law and policy on information access, accessibility, and literacy, with a primary focus on human rights and civil rights. He is the author of about 200 journal articles and book chapters, as well as twenty books. His research has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Science Foundation, the American Library Association, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. He is coeditor of Library Quarterly. In 2014 he received the Library Journal/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award. A 2019 study published in Public Library Quarterly named him one of the two most influential scholars of public library research in the past thirty-five years (it was a tie).

Jonathan Lazar

Jonathan Lazar, PhD, LLM, is a professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Dr. Lazar joined the University of Maryland in 2019, after 19 years as a professor of computer and information sciences at Towson University, where he served as director of the information systems program for 14 years.

Dr. Lazar has authored or edited 16 books, including Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction (2nd edition, co-authored with Heidi Feng and Harry Hochheiser); Ensuring Digital Accessibility Through Process and Policy (co-authored with Dan Goldstein and Anne Taylor); Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology (co-edited with Michael Stein); Accessible Technology and the Developing World (co-edited with Michael Stein); Universal Usability: Designing Computer Interfaces for Diverse User Populations; and Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach.  He has published over 150 refereed articles in journals, conference proceedings, edited books, and magazines, and has been granted two US patents for his work on accessible web-based security features for blind users.

Dr. Lazar frequently serves as an adviser to government agencies and regularly provides testimony at federal and state levels, and multiple US federal regulations cite his research publications. He has been on the Executive Board of the Friends of the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (now called the Library for the Blind and Print Disabled) since 2009, has served as the co-chair of the Cambridge University Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology (CWUAAT) since 2012, has been on the program committee of the ACM Conference on Accessible Computing (ASSETS) most years since 2006, and served on the executive committee from ACM SIGCHI from 2010-2015. Dr. Lazar was the general chair of the ASSETS 2021 conference. Dr. Lazar is the director of the Trace Center and is a faculty member in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab.


Ursula Gorham

Ursula Gorham, PhD, JD, MLS, MPM, is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Information Studies (the iSchool) at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the current Director of the Master of Library and Information Science program in the iSchool since Fall 2018 and a member of the American Library Association’s Policy Corp. She is admitted to practice law in Maryland and previously served as a law clerk in Maryland appellate and federal bankruptcy courts. Dr. Gorham’s research spans the role of libraries in public policy and political processes; access to legal information and court documents; and, collaborative efforts among libraries, community organizations, and government agencies to meet the information needs of underserved populations. Her research has been published in Law Library JournalGovernment Information QuarterlyPublic Library QuarterlyJournal of Education for Library and Information Science, Journal of Open Access to LawInformation Polity, and First Monday. She is the author of Access to information, technology, and justice: A critical intersection (2017), as well as the co-author of Public libraries, public policies, and political processes: Serving and transforming communities in times of economic and political Constraint (2014) and Libraries, human rights, and social justice: Enabling access and promoting inclusion (2015).

Natalie Greene Taylor

Natalie Greene Taylor, PhD, MLS, is an associate professor and coordinator of the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the School of Information of the University of South Florida. Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on youth information literacy, information intermediaries, and information policy as it affects youth information access. She has published articles in more than two dozen scholarly journals, her research has appeared in American Libraries and other professional journals, and she has coauthored five books: Digital Literacy and Digital Inclusion: Information Policy and the Public Library; Libraries, Human Rights, and Social Justice: Enabling Access and Promoting Inclusion; Foundations of Information Policy; Libraries and the Global Retreat of Democracy: Confronting Polarization, Misinformation, and Suppression; and Foundations of Information Literacy. She is coeditor of Library Quarterly.

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