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Washington Office at Annual 2017: “catalyzing” change in communities and Congress

ALA’s Office of Government Relations (OGR) in Washington is pleased to present at ALA’s upcoming Annual Conference in Chicago two important, but very different, perspectives on how libraries and librarians can succeed in producing positive change. Both sessions will take place in the Conference Center on the morning of Saturday, June 24. IMLS logo

The first, from 8:30 – 10:00am, is titled “Be A Catalyst: Your Portfolio of Resources to Create Catalytic Change in Communities” (Room MCP W176a). It will feature Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Dr. Kathryn (“Kit”) Matthew, Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson and Barbara Bartle, President of the Lincoln Community Foundation in discussion of how institutions can best leverage outside investments and their own assets through collaboration to be “enablers of community vitality and co-creators of positive community change.” The panel will explore IMLS’ new Community Catalyst initiative, take a deeper dive into the agency’s late 2016 “Strengthening Networks, Sparking Change” report, and profile a recent IMLS funding pilot (now closed) to further library “catalyzing” projects.

The second program, “Make Some Noise! A How-To Guide to Effective Federal Advocacy in Challenging Times”, will run from 10:30 to 11:30am (Room MCP W178b). Sponsored by ALA’s Committee on Legislation (COL), the session will be a fast-paced, practical discussion of what works in motivating members of Congress (and, for that matter, all elected policy makers) to support libraries and the issues we champion in Washington and outside the Beltway alike.

Incoming COL Chair (and Director of Library Journal’s 2017 Library of the Year in Nashville, TN) Kent Oliver will be joined by Georgia State Librarian (and COSLA Legislative Co-Chair) Julie Walker and Virginia Library Association Executive Director Lisa Varga. They’ll share their recent experiences in the ongoing Fight for Libraries! campaign for federal funding, and from decades of successful library advocacy in the “real world.” The program – which also will offer lots of audience “Q&A” opportunities – will be moderated by OGR Managing Director Adam Eisgrau.

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This content was written by the ALA Washington Office. Please be in touch if you have any questions:

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