Each year, the American Library Association coordinates National Library Legislative Day, a national advocacy effort in support of libraries. This year, library advocates from across the country will come to Washington, DC on Monday, April 23rd and Tuesday, April 24th to learn about legislation and issues and visit members of Congress. Although advocacy is a year-round activity, this coordinated effort helps to make an impression on legislators.
On Monday, April 23rd, a briefing day will be held at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, DC. Speakers will present information on federal legislation and issues that impact libraries to prepare library advocates for legislator visits on Capitol Hill. To register, complete the online registration form. The registration fee is $20 and includes breakfast and an afternoon snack.
Reception – 4/16/2012 Update
There is also a reception in the evening of Monday, April 23rd from 5:00-7:00pm in Room 116 of Dirksen Senate Office Building. Senator Jack Reed will be accepting an Honorary Membership to the American Library Association shortly after 5:00pm. Legsislators and their aides should be invited to attend.
On Tuesday, April 24th, library advocates will visit members of Congress and ask for support of libraries. In Maryland, in order to present an organized advocacy effort, formal meetings with legislators will be coordinated through the Maryland Library Association’s Legislative Panel. If you are interested in participating in the scheduled meetings, please contact Natalie Edington, Maryland’s State Coordinator and the Federal Coordinator of the Legislative Panel, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, April 2nd.
4/23/2012 Update: Virtual Library Legislative Days
Even if you can’t make it to DC, you can still participate in this national advocacy effort by calling your representatives in Congress during Virtual Library Legislative Days any day the week of April 23rd. In addition to saying a simple thank you for their support, there are many issues about which you can voice your opinion. See the Legislative Panel blog post for more information.
4/3/2012 Update – Webinar: What to Know Before You Go
The American Library Association Washington Office is offering this free webinar on Tuesday, April 10th at 1:00pm. Before heading to Capitol Hill for National Library Legislative Day, learn how to be the most effective during meetings with legislators and more. See this link for more information, including how to register.
4/12/2012 Update: A video of the webinar is now available. Links to resources mentioned in the webinar are also provided.
4/3/2012 Update – Legislative Scorecards available
What legislation of interest to libraries did Maryland’s legislators support in 2011? Check the American Library Association’s Legislative Scorecards for the Senate and the House to find out. Be sure to thank legislators for their support and focus your message on other areas where they could increase their support.
ALA Washington Office has already blocked off rooms at The Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel. These rooms will be available until March 22nd. To make reservations:
- By Phone: Call 1-866-AFFINIA and reference the ALA National Library Legislative Day group or the reservation ID NLLD30.
- Online: Go to the online reservation form and be sure that NLLD30 in the “Group Code” box.
- By E-mail: Send reservations to email@example.com. Reference the ALA National Library Legislative Day group or the reservation ID NLLD30, confirm dates and provide payment information.
The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST) and the ALA Washington Office are calling for nominations for the WHCLIST Award. This award is granted to a non-librarian participant of NLLD, who receives a $300 stipend and two nights in the Liaison Hotel. For more information, including the application, see the WHCLIST Award page.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available. For some additional information, you may also visit the National Library Legislative Day web page of the American Library Association Washington Office.