District Days are fast approaching! For those that don’t know, District Days refers to the time that congressional representatives are on recess and are able to return to their home districts. This year, the break is from August 4th through September 9th 2012.’ During this time, representatives often hold town hall meetings, office hours, and meet with a variety of constituents to get their perspectives on current issues.
District Days are a great time to advocate for your library and especially your teens.’ ‘ This is a great occasion to demonstrate how vital libraries are in our communities.’ If Congress members do not hear about how important libraries are from their voters back home, it is likely the will not show their support when the return back to D.C.
Not sure what to do?’ Visit’ the District Days Website, http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/District_Days.’ The site offers tips on planning a library event, free handouts, training and tips on how to get an elected official to your library.
Offer the invitation-a quick step by step on how to invite your members of Congress.’
‘ Step 1.’ Contact their local office.’ To find out where their office is located and how to contact them, visit http://capwiz.com/ala/home/ (enter your zipcode in the box toward the lower right screen).’ Please make sure to give them as much advance notice as possible.
Step 2.’ Keep the invitation simple: invite them to something that you are already planning.’ State on the invitation whether you would like to have the elected official speak , observe or participate in a special way.’ If you are inviting the press please make sure to let your elected official know before the event.
Step 3.’ Make sure to give your elected officials have an incentive to come!’ If your Congressperson is running for reelection remind them that this will be a wonderful occasion to meet with voters and a good photo opportunity.
Most importantly, do not be discouraged if your Congressperson turns down the invitation, just remember to try again.
Help elected officials learn about your library – contact them today!