So you are planning to talk to your representative and share with them the values of libraries in the lives of our teens; may I suggest you utilize the YALSA District Days brochure.
In a previous life I had the chance to visit my local representatives in an effort to raise awareness regarding sexual violence and the importance of continuing to fund resources for prevention and survivors. I truly enjoyed going in to the state offices of individuals I had (or hand not) voted for; met their staff; and see where the work was done. What I took away from that experience is the realization that my pitch wasn’t the only one he/she would hear. My pitch was one of so many wishes, complaints, and demands our representatives hear every day.
So how can you distinguish your statement, or “ask”, from all the others? Make your ask easy and short. Leave just enough information in your take-a-way literature (what you leave with the representative) to peek their interest and equipment to know just enough to be dangerous.
YALSA has done an excellent job of putting together for you with a simple brochure that breaks down the numbers and makes the case for the value of libraries in our teens’ lives. The YALSA District Days brochure not only gives you talking points but also provides hard-hitting national statistics. In addition to the brochure, I would suggest you provide a short half page invitation to visit your library. Invite the representative to come talk to your teens; provide a simple statistical breakdown of local numbers similar to that in the YALSA brochure; quotes from your teens about the value of the library to them; and your contact information. Even better, invite some of your teens to come along. They can make the formal invitation to your representative to come and visit one of their TAG meetings or attend a teen event and see teens in action at your library.
Good luck and have fun!
Mary Olive Thompson