Library Legislative Day Is Every Day!
Library Legislative Day at the Massachusetts State House last week was (as always) inspiring! Library staffers, library trustees, library advocates, and library supporters from communities all over the state came by bus, train, and car to rally legislators to support the Massachusetts Libraries FY2017 Legislative Agenda.
Visit the Massachusetts Library Association’s Take Action Center for an easy way to take action by sending an email, calling, or tweeting your legislator. Just put in your zip code, and your legislators’ contact info and a suggested message pops right up!
If you call, you’ll probably reach an aide; he or she will be friendly and ready to pass your reason for calling on to your senator or representative. (Still nervous? Check out these tips from the American Library Association for communicating with elected officials!)
Spring is Budget Decision-Making Time
Library advocacy doesn’t have to become a full-time job! Like supporting any cause, a little bit done by a lot of people can have a real impact. But budget decision-making time is often when your little bit can make the most difference.If you don’t live in Massachusetts, chances are good that libraries in your state need your advocacy, too. Check out your own state’s library association for details or click here for a handy list of Take Action in Your State links!
Also, there’s always something you can do on the federal level to support libraries. The American Library Association provides a ton of information in the form of an entire “Advocacy University“, but first, try dipping your toe in by contacting your representatives in Washington to advocate for federal funding for libraries by using the ALA’s very easy way to make a difference for libraries here!
Friday is the last day for representatives to sign the “Dear Appropriator” letters supporting LSTA and IAL FY17 funding that supports programs for libraries all over the U.S.
“We’ve made real progress with the help of library supporters all over the nation, but we still don’t have enough Members of Congress signed on yet to keep these critical programs reliably out from under Congress’ budget cleaver.” — American Library Association, Washington DC office
Everyday Library Advocacy
Interested in finding out more? Check out Everyday Advocacy! It’s a great site from The Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association, full of tips on how to get your message across in a way that will make a positive difference for libraries in any U.S. state. The Take Action Tuesday challenge for this week: Champion the importance of school libraries and school librarians.
Everyday Advocacy is geared towards children’s and school library staff, but the information can apply to all types of library advocacy.
Public libraries, school libraries, services to the blind, Centers for the Book, and the agencies that support these important educational and cultural institutions all need funding! Library lovers, please add your voice!