Contacting Legislators and Getting Them Involved in Libraries

Talk to Your Legislators!
One of the key factors in gaining library support is making sure your legislators know what’s going on in libraries in their districts and states.

To find and contact any member of the House of Representatives visit http://www.house.gov. To locate a senator visit http://www.senate.gov.
Each site provides an option to look up any member by state.

So how else can you make them aware? Here are some easy tips involving just a little of your time –
1. Put a link on your library website to allow your patrons to more easily contact
legislators. Many have email addresses and websites.
2. Friend them on Facebook. Many have accounts in Facebook and Twitter.
3. If you publish newsletters or annual reports, send them a copy.
4. Involve them in your activities – ask for pocket Constitutions to give out to patrons;
invite them to be part of a special event, such as a building renovation dedication
or an exhibit opening.
5. Ask them to be part of a local READ poster initiative – they may be willing to pose
with their favorite book.
6. Create a video! – Let your patrons tell them why their library is so important to them
and their community.
7. Ask to host them the next time they visit your city or district – the library is an easy
place to find.
8. Issue them an honorary library card during National Library Week or Teen Read Week.
9. Regularly post in your library any pending legislation and encourage patrons to
contact their legislators.
10. And most importantly – ALWAYS take the time to write a thank you to them for
supporting legislation for library services.

Many thanks to Betsy L. Blankenship, Library Director and Head Librarian, The Ohio State University, Marion, OH, for compiling these suggestions.

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