About a month ago, Maryland library advocates joined over 350 advocates from across the country to participate in National Library Legislative Day, an annual advocacy event coordinated by the American Library Association. Many of the legislator visits have occurred over the past month because of the conflict with the Maryland Library Association / Delaware Library Association Conference.
Overall, advocacy efforts were a success! Key issues included appropriations funding for public and school libraries and access to government research. We were able to reach out to newly elected Congressman John Delaney. We also received a compliment from one legislative assistant about how organized libraries are in their advocacy efforts. Some photos are available on the National Library Legislative Day web site.
Many thanks to everyone who participated and contributed to the success—either in person or virtually!
National Library Legislative Day is being held in Washington DC on May 7th and 8th. But if you can’t make it to DC, you can still take part in this national advocacy event by virtually contacting your representatives in Congress during Virtual Library Legislative Days, May 6th – May 10th. Give a simple thank you for supporting libraries, show appreciation for signing on to a Dear Colleague letter, encourage support of legislation or advocate for a library issue that is your passion.
- Issue Briefs Read the background and talking points on key issues from the briefs available on the Capwiz Action Alert.
- Call Congress – Enter your ZIP code on the Capwiz site and get the phone numbers for your representatives.
- Email Congress using Capwiz – Visit the Capwiz Action Alert for the virtual event. For your convenience, a pre-written letter is provided and you are encouraged to personalize your message to tell your story. Never used Capwiz? This is an easy way to start!
- Tweet Congress – Use Twitter to automatically send a tweet to Congress in support of the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). Sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).
Many thanks in advance for your virtual contribution to the success of National Library Legislative Day!
Over 350 library advocates, including about 40 people from Maryland, visited Washington, DC on April 23rd and 24th for National Library Legislative Day. Advocates learned about key federal legislation with impact on libraries and visited with members of Congress and their aides to discuss these issues. Library supporters who could not come to Capitol Hill were encouraged to participate in the Virtual Library Legislative Day, which resulted in over 300 messages sent to legislators, plus phone calls and contacts via social media.
Key issues included asking for support for full funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and full funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL), a source of dedicated funding for low-income school libraries, as well as bills to work toward filling Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests more quickly and providing free access to taxpayer-funded research. Maryland’s legislators and aides overall expressed great support of libraries and recognized their value. Our efforts served to grow the connection with Maryland’s members of Congress and will serve to assist with advocacy efforts throughout the year.
Library advocates who visited Senator Mikulski’s aide are pictured below. Additional photos from this event (including a few advocates from Maryland!) appear on the American Library Association’s National Library Legislative Day web site.
Many thanks to all who participated in this important federal advocacy event—both in person and virtually!
On Tuesday, April 24th, library advocates from across the country will visit members of Congress and their aides in Washington, DC for National Library Legislative Day, an event coordinated by the American Library Association. 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 this week. In addition to saying a simple thank you for their support, there are many issues about which you can voice your opinion. See the Capwiz Action Alert for details and talking points about issues, including:
- LSTA – Ask for level funding for FY 2013 for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to support public libraries. Senators Mikulski and Cardin and Congressman Van Hollen signed Dear Colleague letters in support of this in the Spring.
- Literacy – Ask for level funding in FY 2013 for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program for school libraries. Senator Cardin and Congressmen Cummings, Sarbanes and Van Hollen signed Dear Colleague letters in support of this in the Spring.
- Privacy – Ask members of the House to oppose HR 3523, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA) and similar bills. These bills will likely be addressed this week. Please note: Congressmen Bartlett and Ruppersberger are co-sponsors of HR 3523.
- and more!
Thank you for taking the time to contact your representatives in Congress and strengthen our national advocacy voice in support of libraries!
This year’s National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) and its Virtual counterpart were again a success! Over 350 members of the library community from across the country participated in this annual event. Many others who could not make it to Washington, DC contacted their legislators by e-mail and phone.
About 30 members of the Maryland library community visited Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their aides to encourage support of libraries. In particular, people asked for support for full funding of the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA), dedicated funding for Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) and including an effective school library program in the reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Legislators and aides expressed support of libraries and, in several cases, understood the value of libraries. More importantly, good connections were made, which will help with advocacy efforts throughout the year.
Contact your federal elected officials as part of the Virtual Library Legislative Days any time during the week of May 9th! This is a great opportunity to participate in a national advocacy effort, even if you can’t make it to Washington, DC for the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day on May 10th. For more information, including talking points, see the Capwiz Action Alert.
Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts!
Can’t make it to Washington, DC for the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day on May 10th? Then participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day and be a part of the advocacy effort! Just call and/or e-mail your representatives in Congress on May 10th, or any time the week of May 9th – May 13th.
By contacting your elected officials in Washington, DC and asking them to vote for libraries, you can make a difference. Just five minutes of your time will help support and strengthen the efforts of the library supporters in Washington, DC.
Need some help? Here are two places to start:
- Legislative Action Center: Capwiz – Use this online tool to identify your elected officials. This video tutorial may help, if you have never used the Legislative Action Center before.
- Talking Points – Talking points will be posted on the website of the ALA’s Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) as the event draws closer.
Spread the word! Please share this opportunity to voice support for libraries to your Friends group members, Board of Trustees, library staff, patrons, and community at large. Here are two ways to help promote the event:
- Promotional Bookmark & Flyer – The ALA Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) has provided a reproducible bookmark and flyer to help spread the word.
- Promote on Facebook – You can promote the event on Facebook, RSVP and share this event on your Facebook page.
Virtual Library Legislative Day is sponsored by the ALA Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), the ALA Washington Office, ALA Chapter Relations, and the ALA Office for Library Advocacy.