This week, hundreds of library supporters met in D.C. to speak with their legislators about the importance of libraries. From May 5—6, 2014, more than 420 librarians, patrons, teens and parents met with members of Congress to discuss key library issues during the American Library Association’s 40th annual National Library Legislative Day. The event focused on supporting federal funding for national libraries.
This week’s legislative activities even included a dance rally. On Tuesday May 6, 2014, students, librarians and parents gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol for a “Happy” flash mob dance to support public libraries. Sponsored by the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA), dozens of K-12 student ambassadors led the flash mob dance. Earlier that day, North Carolina State Librarian Cal Shepard joined the student ambassadors in speaking to legislators about the importance of libraries.
As part of this week’s activities, Kentucky library advocate Mary Lynn Collins received the White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST) Award for her commitment to supporting national libraries. Additionally, Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) received the United for Libraries’ 2014 Public Service Award for his efforts to protect the privacy of people who borrow from the nation’s libraries.
“The advocates who came to Washington are true ‘nation builders’ that help citizens reach their potential,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s Washington office.
Now that the annual advocacy day has ended, National Library Legislative Day participants are encouraged to use the following media template to notify local media outlets about their advocacy work: