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TLA Talks: Legal & Policy Issues Related to Materials Challenges

January 25, 2022 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Materials challenges in school and public libraries are increasing at a dramatic rate in Texas and around the country. In the heat of this public outcry, librarians are seeking tools and resources to support their efforts to keep books on the shelves. But the legal and policy issues can be confusing and complicated. At this TLA Talks, experts will provide information on legal precedents, how librarians can protect themselves, and their students’ and patrons’ right to read.

Presenters: Joy Baskin, Director of Legal Services, Texas Association of School Boards; Theresa Chmara, General Counsel, Freedom to Read Foundation; and Megan Santee, Attorney, Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal & Zech, P.C.

Moderator: Mary Woodard, Director of Library Services, Mesquite ISD.

Registration is closed.

Joy Baskin has been the Director of Legal Services of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) for 16 years and before that she worked as an attorney in TASB’s Legal Services division for eight years. As director, Joy plans and oversees the activities of ten attorneys, a policy consultant, and four support staff. TASB Legal Services provides legal information through online publications, phone consultations, and live and online training for Texas public school officials, along with specialized services for education service centers and community colleges.  She is the chair of the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys and a member of the School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Theresa Chmara is an attorney in Washington, DC, and 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 thirty 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. She also served as an instructor for the Lawyers for Libraries training seminars and an instructor for the American Library Association First Amendment and Library Services E-Course.

Megan Santee is an Attorney with 20 years of municipal legal experience including serving as an assistant city attorney, executive director of a Municipal Housing Authority, assistant director of Planning and Community Development, and as a director of Public Works. She is experienced in litigation, appeals, local government and municipal law, Texas Public Information Act, Open Meetings Act, ordinance and resolution drafting, personnel policies, and employment issues. She also has legal experience as a Briefing Attorney for the Eleventh District Court of Appeals and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District.

Mary Woodard, Texas Library Association president-elect, is the Director of Library Services for Mesquite ISD She is responsible for supervising district processing center staff, designing professional development for librarians, establishing, and implementing a vision for school libraries. She has more than 30 years of experience as a school librarian.


January 25, 2022
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category: