Are you ready for a late summer tradition? It’s not the end of SRP or back to school shopping, it’s District Days. Not quite sure what District Days are or need a refresher?
District Days are when congressional representatives return home to their districts on recess. The recess this year is from August 2-September 7. It is during this time that representatives will have office hours at their local offices, attend town hall meetings, and meet with constituents to speak with them about their issues and concerns.
This is a great opportunity for you to advocate for libraries and teens! You can demonstrate to your representatives why libraries are a valuable asset to their constituents and communities. District Days provide you the ability to let your voice as a librarian be heard before the representatives head back to Washington, D.C.
Not sure what to do or how to get started? The Legislation Committee will be providing you with some ideas and tips throughout District Days. However, a great place to start is with the District Days wiki.
Some things to keep in mind, as you start to prepare for District Days.
- Keep it simple. You don’t have to create an event just for your congressional representative to attend. Invite them to a teen program, such as a summer reading wrap up party.
- Include the event details. Date, time, location, and type of event plus estimated attendance and who will be attending the event.
- Provide information about your library. Key statistics, demographics, etc. but keep it concise.
- Make sure to publicize the event! Send information to local news outlets along with using social media.
- Follow up after the invitation is sent. Call them a week after it’s sent, if you haven’t heard back from them.
- They can’t make it, then try going to them. Contact their local office to schedule an appointment, while they are at home in their district.
- Send a thank you note. Once the event is over, don’t forget to thank your representative for taking the time to visit your library!
Staci Terrell is the Teen Services Librarian for the Anderson Public Library in Anderson, IN. She currently serves as the Chair for the Children’s and Young People’s Division of the Indiana Library Federation. Staci is also the Chair of the YALSA Legislation and is a member of the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults selection committee.