Empire State Library Network - Discover. Connect. Engage.

Libraries & First Amendment Audits
April 26, 2022; 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Public libraries across the country are experiencing an increase in encounters of patrons conducting “First Amendment audits”. The asserted purpose of these “audits” is to record alleged civil rights violations in places open to the public, but the recording can impact patron privacy, workforce conditions, and library operations.

This session will cover how libraries can prepare their policies and staff for these types of interactions, provide tips for training staff for in-the-moment response, and also discuss public relations techniques to foster respect for all people involved, willfully or circumstantially, in these types of encounters.

We invite you to submit a question for Stephanie Cole Adams – there will be a place to do that during the registration process. The deadline to submit questions is April 15th.


This training is free to ESLN Members. Registration is required.

This session will be recorded and live captioning will be provided.


About the presenter:

Presenter: Stephanie “Cole” Adams is an attorney advising libraries, creative professionals, civic organizations, and higher education institutions as they build our culture. Cole staffs ESLN’s Ask the Lawyer service. She first developed a deep connection to libraries working as a page, then clerk, at her hometown library in New Hartford, NY. For over 10 years, Ms. Adams was the in-house counsel at Niagara University. She is now the owner of her own practice, the Law Office of Stephanie Adams, PLLC, in Buffalo. Ms. Adams is admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts of New York.

 If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact Tina Broomfield.