Add your voice in support of libraries during the fifth annual Virtual Maryland Library Legislative Days! This online advocacy event is being held to coincide with the live Maryland Library Legislative Day in Annapolis. Between February 19th and February 21st, members of the Maryland library community—library staff, trustees, Friends groups, customers, volunteers—are encouraged to take action! Please take a few moments to send a personal message to your state representatives to advocate for libraries. If you are already going to Annapolis, use the Action Alert to send a thank you to the legislators you visited. To get started, go to the Capwiz Action Alert.
Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!
Maryland Library Legislative Day, our annual advocacy event, is tomorrow! On Wednesday, February 19th, members of the Maryland library community will assemble in Annapolis and advocate for libraries. The agenda for the day includes:
- 8:00am – Briefing – Advocates meet at the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, Suite 303 of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, for a briefing on current issues, talking points and advocacy strategies, and to gather advocacy materials.
- 9:15am – Recognition in the Senate in the State House – The Senate will recognize the day as Maryland Library Day. Seating in the balcony is limited. In order to get a seat, advocates should arrive outside the balcony doors before 9:15am. After the library community is acknowledged, people may quietly leave the balcony.
- 10:00am – Recognition in the House of Delegates in the State House – A similar recognition will be made for Maryland Library Day in the House of Delegates. Seating in the balcony is limited. In order to get a seat, advocates should arrive outside the balcony doors before 10:00am. After the library community is acknowledged, people may quietly leave the balcony.
- Throughout the day – Advocates visit with legislators and their aides. Visits are coordinated by members of the MLA Legislative Panel and the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators (MAPLA). In addition to presenting the library community’s position on issues and legislation that impact libraries, this provides a great opportunity to thank legislators for past support, talk about services that libraries provide to their constituents, promote the value of libraries and encourage support for libraries.
- 5:30pm – 7:30pm – Reception – The day concludes with a reception in the President’s conference room of the Miller Senate Office Building. Members of the Maryland library community are welcome to attend. Invitations have been sent to Senators, Delegates and other government officials. This is a great opportunity to mix and mingle with elected officials. Large copies of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries will be posted during the reception, courtesy of Citizens for Maryland Libraries (CML). Please sign the Declaration and encourage others to do so.
If you are unable to participate in any of these activities, the Legislative Panel will also be coordinating a Virtual Maryland Library Legislative Day. Details on the virtual event will be posted on this blog on February 19th.
Today, Tuesday, February 11th, the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is asking library supporters to participate in “The Day We Fight Back.” Thousands of websites will host banners will promote a major call to action to urge Congress to pass major reforms to our surveillance laws. ALA supports this effort because of the library community’s long standing commitment to privacy, starting with the protection of patron library records.
To call or email your Congressional legislators, visit “The Day We Fight Back.” You can also use ALA’s Capwiz Action Alert to call your legislators to urge them to vote for reforms such as those in the USA FREEDOM Act (S 1599 and HR 3361) and other reform proposals. Just go to Capwiz and click on the Take Action button below “Ask Your Senators and Representative to Co-Sponsor USA FREEDOM Act.” Background information and a list of co-sponsors of the USA FREEDOM Act are also available with the Capwiz Action Alert.
For more information, see the announcement on the District Dispatch.
Thanks in advance for taking action today!