Mid-Term Elections: You Decide!

The day has finally come, Mid-Term Elections are here! It is imperative that you make time to cast your votes today! We are blessed as a nation to have the privilege and the right to vote and choose our political leaders. Make your voices known and heard! As you step up to fill out your ballots, remember your libraries, schools, and teen participants. How will your votes impact them?

In the last week, you have seen a variety of resources about what some of the major legislative issues are that are impacting young adult library services. In addition, tons of excellent information has been shared about the different resources for advocacy and how to advocate for your libraries and teens. The Legislation Committee hopes that everyone was able to take away at least one nugget of wisdom that has helped you in making your voting decisions.

Don’t wait; cast your vote!

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.