Parking Lot Speech

I’m sure all of you have heard again and again “talk to your legislators” but that is much easier said than done! It can be quite intimidating talking to an elected official.

To help prepare to talk to an elected official, a tip that I recently heard in PLA’s Turning the Page 2.0 Advocacy class is to “create a parking lot speech.” It’s called a “parking lot” speech because sometimes the places you run into elected officials are parking lots, elevators and other unexpected places.

A parking lot speech is brief, ready-to-go speech that is and focused on stories not statistics. The speech is framed in a way that shows the official that THEY can benefit by helping the library, not about how the library can benefit from the official.

National Library Legislative Day is coming up on April 24th. A great way to do something for that day is to prepare your own “parking lot” speech. It can include a personal story, why the library is important to you, and a call for action from the elected official.

On behalf of the YALSA Legislative Committee, we thank you for your work.

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