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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

Trustees: United for Libraries Statewide Group Membership

Information, resources, and advice for library trustees in Massachusetts.

Welcome to United for Libraries Statewide Group Membership


Welcome to MBLC's United for Libraries Statewide Group Membership. This membership is brought to the library community in part with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and a lifetime of learning. 

United for Libraries is the division of the American Library Association for library supporters, like trustees, advocates, friends and foundations. The Statewide Group Membership is open to all library staff, trustees, friends and foundations who work in or support libraries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Here are some of the highlights of the content that is available: 


Access the Statewide Group Membership

  1. Do you have an ALA eLearning account?
    Users must create an ALA eLearning account in order to access the Statewide Group Membership. 

    To verify you have, or to create, an ALA website login, follow the instructions below and/or view the video walk-through at
    Go to

    Enter your login/password and click, "continue." If you successfully login, use the email address associated with this login in the "Email" field on this form.

    If you don't remember your username or password, select the option, "Forgot your username or password?" and enter your email or member ID on the next screen. You will receive an email with your username and a link to reset your password.

    If you don't have an ALA website login, select the option, "Don't yet have an ALA account? Make one!" and complete the form.
  2. Register for an account. You'll be asked to fill out a short form, asking for your library affiliation. There is a space for libraries not listed. Please allow for one business day for this registration request to be processed.
  3. You'll receive an email that the request has been received. 
    Check your email for a message with the subject, "You are now enrolled in Massachusetts Statewide Group Membership"
  4.  Login at the ALA eLearning and start learning! 

Recommended Webinars

Here are some curated recorded webinars, Learning Live sessions, or conference events to get you started: 

  • Friends and Trustees Under 40: Recruit Them, Retain Them, Engage Them
    Millennials are more likely than other adults to have visited the library recently. However, most friends and trustee boards do not have even a single millennial member (Pew 2016, ALA 2018). What accounts for this discrepancy between the demographics of our library users and library civic leaders, and how do we rectify it? The presenters will argue for the importance of developing generationally representative boards and explore common barriers to service for those under 40.
  • Communication and Dispute Resolution Strategies for Board Problems
    Board tenure shouldn't feel like a punishment. It is common for there to be tension between library boards and directors - and even between board members themselves. However, recent events have tended to exacerbate existing problems by increasing stress levels and inviting further divisions among people, including boards and directors. This presentation will provide communication and dispute resolution strategies to help board members work with each other (and their director) to navigate through disagreements, personality differences, political problems and other uncomfortable situations, and focus on the one thing everyone has in common: the welfare of the library.

  • Challenges & Crises: Preparing Your Board of Trustees
    Presented Live: June, 2021

    What training and preparation does your Board of Trustees need to be prepared for a crisis? Do your policies properly address intellectual freedom issues? How do you handle it when a board member speaks against a board decision? What happens when a board member's values clash with a board decision? Learn how to be proactive in developing a well-prepared board, and what best practices, policies, and procedures need to be developed or revisited. A panel of experts will include a library director and a member of that library's Board of Trustees.

  • Facing the Challenge: Intellectual Freedom in Libraries
    Welcome to this virtual town hall's course page in ALA eLearning. Originally presented live on March 4, 2022, the recording is available for on-demand viewing. Scroll down to watch the recorded webinar, complete the post-event evaluation, and download your certificate of completion.

  • 2022 United for Libraries Virtual Conference

    Session 1: Intellectual Freedom Challenges: How to Strengthen Your Library's Response

    Session 2: Practical Policy Management: A Guide for Trustees

    Session 3: Diversity in Library Boards, Friend Groups, and Foundations: Successes and Struggles in Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Members

    Session 4: Our Collection & DEI: A Richmond Public Library Story

    Session 5: Preparing for a Material Challenge

    Session 6: Successful Bequest Fundraising: Planned Giving Lessons from the Field

    Session 8: Community Needs Assessment: Informing Library Goals and Strategy

    Session 9: Political Advocacy: The Most Important Kind of Fundraising

    Session 10: Tweeting to Congress: Library Social Media Advocacy





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