This week, hundreds of library supporters met in Washington, D.C. to speak with their legislators about the importance of libraries. From May 4–5, 2015, more than 400 library advocates met with members of Congress to discuss key library issues during the American Library Association’s (ALA) 41st annual National Library Legislative Day.
This year, National Library Legislative Day advocates asked their congressional representatives to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and support programs that provide school libraries with needed funds for materials.
Additionally, advocates asked legislators to support library policy issues, such as the restoration of reasonable expectations of privacy.
Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) jumpstarted the opening briefing discussion by speaking about the importance of constituent advocacy. Additional speakers include American Library Association President Courtney Young and Patrice McDermott, director of Openthegovernment.org.
During the annual event, the ALA Washington Office awarded Mas’ood Cajee, a library advocate from Stockton, California, the 2015 White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIST) Award. Given to a non-librarian participant attending National Library Legislative Day, the award covers hotel fees in addition to a $300 stipend to reduce the cost of attending the event.
Cajee is on the board of the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County, and serves as the chair for Strong Libraries = Strong Communities, a group working toward a ballot measure that will support his city’s county library system.
Join others in notifying the local press about your advocacy efforts! The Record recently published a feature article on Cajee for receiving the WHCLIST Award, while the News & Record wrote about the young students who joined the North Carolina Library Delegation during this year’s National Library Legislative Day.
Now that the annual advocacy event has ended, National Library Legislative Day participants are encouraged to use the following media template tools to notify local media outlets about their advocacy work:
- Access National Library Legislative Day Media Resources
- Access images from event
- Media training presentation notes (pdf) and slides (.pptx)