ADVOCACY—a big word used often in library land.
Advocacy is an important part of our job, one that we don’t actually do as often as we think we should. While you have daily opportunities to talk about the great work that your library is doing, there is a really powerful opportunity for us to put our voices together on Capitol Hill for National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) on May 2–3, 2016.
There are a host of barriers that many of us think of when we hear the word advocacy; these include: I don’t have time, I don’t know what to say, no one has asked me to, I don’t think I’m supposed to. Happily, we have a handy guide here that will help you break through those excuses (be honest, they are excuses) and take a few minutes to contact your local, state, and national legislators.
If you are not planning on going to Washington, DC, in person, there are ways to let your senators and congresspersons know how vital libraries are in their districts and that you need their support.
- Know your issues. Some major concerns affecting public libraries this year include copyright, LSTA funding reinstatement, broadband access for all, & E-rate funding. ALA’s Washington Office is a great resource for background information and sample messages.
- Contact your representatives remotely. A quick Tweet, phone call, or e-newsletter will take less than five minutes of your time.
- Hold a local event with your legislator’s staffers. Since all politics are local, it’s a great opportunity to get your customers/patrons/fans involved and tell your story.
We hope to see you involved in National Library Legislative Day, whether you’re in DC or active at home!