Does your State Legislature Support Libraries?

Has it crossed your radar yet that there’s been a big shift in how laws are getting made?  Last year state legislatures around the country passed 45,564 bills, compared with just 352 passed in Congress.  That works out to an average of 911 bills per state.  This change in the way laws are getting made means that we need to change the way we advocate for teens and libraries.  Spring is the time of year when many state legislatures are in session.  What can you (or your teen patrons) do to call their attention to the importance of libraries?  YALSA has the answer!  We have everything you need to reach out to your state legislators and ask them if they will sponsor a resolution in support of libraries.  A resolution is not legislation or a bill–just a feel good message about libraries.  Both Congress and state legislatures pass these types of warm fuzzies all of the time in an effort to make nice with the voters.  YALSA has a few sample documents compiled into one file that you can adapt and use, including a sample resolution, emails and a press release.  Access the MS Word file today for an easy way to raise awareness about libraries with the elected officials in your state!
If you want to learn more about what’s going on at your state legislature, check out The 50 State Project, and find out what’s happening with library related-legislation and/or get in touch with your state legislators by visiting http://cqrcengage.com/ala/chapters. And don’t forget that National Library Legislative Day is May 5th!  If you can’t make it to Washington DC, ALA has several ways that you can participate virtually.  Lastly, there are a bunch of advocacy resources on the YALSA web site at ala.org/yalsa/advocacy that you can use year round to advocate for teens and libraries.

-Beth Yoke

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