The Library's Legal Answers for Makerspaces—eEditions e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Library makerspaces are truly transformative, inviting library users to create, innovate, and collaborate. But like any cutting-edge initiative, makerspaces also bring up a host of new and unique legal questions. In this first-of-its-kind e-book, three legal experts deliver detailed and reliable answers in plain language for library managers and staff, along with legal citations. Organized in Q and A format for quick reference, this concise resource offers sound advice on such issues as

  • key clauses to look for when evaluating insurance coverage;
  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance;
  • how copyright applies to 3-D printing, plus guidance for handling controversial output such as sex toys or swastikas;
  • parental release forms for minors;
  • what trademark law has to say about action figures and logos;
  • how to protect the library from secondary infringement claims; and
  • avoiding negligence lawsuits.

Untangling the knotty legal questions surrounding makerspaces, the authors' straightforward answers will empower libraries to use makerspaces to foster a true sense of community.



Library Liability and Immunity       


  • Injuries, Makerspaces, and Liability       
  • Product Liability       
  • The Library as Provider of Makerspace Equipment       
  • Intentional Tort (Harm) by a Patron and Library Negligence       
  • Federal Statutory Protection for Instructions Obtained from Online Sources       
  • Immunity for Public Employees from Tort Liability Under State Law       
  • Summary Points       
  • Notes   

Waivers and Releases       



  • Notes   

Free Speech and Privacy       



  • Free Speech and the Law: Basics       
  • Makerspaces and Free Speech       
  • Privacy       
  • Disclosure of Personal Information      
  • Notes   

Health, Safety, and Disability Access       



  • Health and Safety       
  • Disability Access   




  • Copyright Concepts       
  • Understanding Infringement      
  • Copyright Issues in Makerspaces       
  • Notes   




  • Trademark: The Basics       
  • Identifying Trademarks and Trademark Rights      
  • Infringement and Trademark Issues in Makerspaces       
  • Notes   




  • Summary Points       
  • Notes


Mary Minow

Mary Minow is a consultant with She has worked as an attorney, as a public library branch manager, and as an online database ocnsultant. She has taught as an adjunct professor of library law at San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science. In addition, she has served as a library commissioner for the Cupertino (Calif.) Public Library, and is currently the president of the California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners. Minow received an A.M.L.S. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a J.D. from Stanford University.

Tomas A. Lipinski

Tomas A. Lipinski has worked in a variety of legal settings, including the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. He taught at the American Institute for Paralegal Studies and at Syracuse University College of Law. In summers he is a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. From 1999 to 2003, during summers, he taught at the Department of Information Science, School of Information Technology, at the University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. Professor Lipinski was the first named member of the Global Law Faculty, Faculty of Law, University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Belgium, in fall 2006, where he continues to lecture annually at its Centre for Intellectual Property Rights and Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT. Prior to becoming Executive Associate Dean at Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, in 2011, he was Director of the MLIS program at the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Beginning in January 2013, he will be Director of the School of Library and Information Science, Kent State University in Ohio. Author of The Complete Copyright Liability Handbook for Librarians and Educators, he researches, teaches, publishes, and speaks widely on issues relating to information and Internet law and policy, especially copyright in schools, libraries, and other information settings. He holds a law degree from Marquette University, a master of laws degree from the John Marshall Law School, and a doctorate in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Gretchen McCord

Gretchen McCord is an attorney and librarian, focusing on intellectual property in digital formats. Previously an academic librarian, she practiced law for 9 years before starting her legal advising and training consultancy. She has taught as an adjunct at both university and community college levels in the areas of copyright, privacy, trademark, and First Amendment law. A frequent speaker, she is the author of Copyright in Cyberspace: Questions and Answers for Librarians, What You Need to Know About Privacy Law: A Guide for Librarians and Educators, and Fair Use: The Secrets No One Tells You.