Contact Your US Senators to Support Library Funding

In an effort to strengthen library and museum services across the nation, Senator Jack Reed introduced the Museum and Library Services Act of 2017 (MSLA) along with Senators Collins, Cochran, Gillibrand and Murkowski.   This legislation, introduced on Dec. 22nd, would reauthorize the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  For this legislation to succeed, there needs to be a grassroots effort from citizens to encourage their Senators to support it.  Please take a minute to email or call your Senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 2271, and encourage your friends, family, colleagues, and library’s advocates to do the same. Ready to use talking points and email templates available on the ALA siteContinue reading

A Message to Share with your Library Supporters

Over the next several weeks, Congress is working on a new federal education bill. Now is the time to activate your library friends and supporters and get them to speak up for school libraries! The last education bill, No Child Left Behind, did not specifically include school libraries, and as a result students suffered because schools closed libraries, cut library budgets, or eliminated staff positions. Right now we have a window of opportunity to right that wrong and help America’s youth. Congress needs to hear from as many people as possible about the importance of school libraries in supporting youth success. Provided below are two ready-to-use messages you can share out with your library supporters. Please do so today!

SAMPLE EMAIL, NEWSLETTER ITEM OR FACEBOOK POST

Studies show that strong school libraries drive student achievement. They help young people succeed in school and prepare for college, careers and life. Congress is currently working on a new education bill that would provide federal funding for the nation’s schools. They need to hear from you that it’s vital to include school libraries in this new bill.  Your calls, emails and Tweets will be the evidence Congress needs to take action for America’s youth and ensure school libraries adequately funded in the ESEA reauthorization.

Here’s how you can ensure that happens:

  1. Go here: http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home
  2. In the blue bar in the upper half of the page, choose how you want to contact your member of Congress: letter, Tweet, or phone call
  3. Click on the option(s) you want, provide the required contact info, & submit.  The letter and Tweet are pre-written for you, so it’s super easy! (but you do have the option to customize them if you want)
  4. Forward this message to library advocates in your community & encourage them to do take action, too
  5. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

For more information, read this blog post from ALA. Thank you for speaking up for youth and libraries!

SAMPLE TWEET

kids need #SchoolLibraries! ow.ly/Sf4lT -contact Congress 2 ask 4 support 4 school libs via this easy site ow.ly/S0kdw

Thank you,

Beth Yoke

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!
Continue reading

Take 60 Seconds to Help Teens & Libraries

Please email or phone your members of Congress and ask them to sign the “Dear Appropriator letter supporting library funding via these two programs: LSTA (Library Services Technology Act) and IAL (Innovative Approaches to Literacy).”  Then, ask all other library supporters you know to do the same by no later than March 20th.  Contact information for Congress members is here: http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home (just put in your zip code in the box on the lower right side).

To see whether your Members of Congress signed these letters last year, view the FY 2015 Funding Letter Signees document (pdf). If so, please be sure to thank and remind them of that when you email or call!  More information can be found on ALA’s blog, District Dispatch.  For more information about LSTA, check out this document LSTA Background and Ask (pdf).  For more information on IAL, view School Libraries Brief (pdf)

Thank you for taking this step to ensure that our nation’s teens continue to have access to library staff and services that will help them succeed in school and prepare for college and careers!

-Beth Yoke

Tweet Your U.S. Senator to Support Teen Services

May 10 is National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) and it only takes a minute of your time to make a difference! All you need is Internet access and a Twitter account.

To learn more about other ways can advocate for library services to teens specifically, visit http://tinyurl.com/YAadvocate.’  Thank you for all that you do to ensure teens have access to great library services and resources and thank you to YALSA’s Legislation Committee for creating this advocacy tool!

  1. Make sure you’re logged into your Twitter account
  2. Visit YALSA’s Google map of U.S. Senators
  3. Click on the push pin in your state
  4. Click on the “Tweet Me” link
  5. Click on the “Tweet” button (the text of the message has already been created & appears in the text box)
  6. Encourage others to do this by forwarding the link of the map to them, adding the link to your Facebook page, blog or web site, etc.

I’ve Got Their Attention..Now What Do I Say?

National Library Legislative Day is only a week away…your event is planned, or if you are traveling to the Capital, your arrangements are made. On May 10th, you will have the complete attention of your congressional representatives….but what do you say?

YALSA is here to help with a list of 2011 National Library Legislative Day Talking Points This list provides a look at all the different issues of importance that teens and their library communities are facing, as well as some of the ways that everyone can get involved and help out.

Some of the major issues are:

  • Improving Literacy Through School Libraries
  • the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
  • Including School Librarians in the Elementary 7 Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
  • Advocating for Teens to Have Access to Information, Access to Trained Professionals, and Access for Libraries.

This resource gives you background information on the issue and essential pointers to help you get the word out about them.

So, if you are wondering what to say to your legislator when you are writing your postcard during your own Contact a Congressional Member party or are trying to put together what to say during your 15 minute in person appointment, this resource will help you!

It’s Time to Get the Party Started!

This is the week to start planning your party-your “Contact a Congressperson Party” that is! On May 10th people all over the country will be contacting their legislative representatives via virtual means or in-person to let them know how important libraries are to teens and their communities.

You, too, can get your communities involved in this important event! YALSA provides a ton of different resources and tips on organizing such an event on the National Library Legislative Day Wiki.

Some of the tips include:

  • Focusing on one communication tool for the event such as Twitter, cell phones, email, or postcards.
  • Using social networking tools and fliers to announce and advertise your event.
  • Collecting personal success stories and publications about your library to share with representatives.

It also links you with many possible tools and resources to help your party complete its mission such as:

And, these are just a few of the things featured on the wiki. The time to get involved is now. YALSA is here to help you get the party started and advocate for your teens and libraries today!

Near and Far: Advocate from Wherever You Are

Want to advocate for your libraries? Want the chance for your legislators to hear what you have to say on National Library Legislative Day? Not sure how to make this happen when you lack the funds to travel?

There is an answer! The American Library Association will be hosting a virtual NLLD for all those who want to give their support but are limited in their ability to travel to the capital. You can still be part of the effort by calling, emailing, or writing your representatives on’  May 10th or even the entire week of May 9-13.

To help you in getting your message crafted and to your elected officials, ALTAFF’  and I Love Libraries have set up, on their respective websites www.ala.org/altaff and www.ilovelibraries.org,’ informative talking points and’ links, contact information, and promotional materials.

Even if you can’t be a physical presence on Capital Hill on NLLD, you can still be a vocal one! Start accessing the resources today, and take this unique opportunity to have your voice heard! The more the better!

Are You Registered?

The future of libraries is in our hands. Over the course of two days, librarians and library advocates have the unique opportunity to have’ their voices heard by the elected leaders of’ this country. National Library Legislative Day will be taking place on Monday, May 9th and Tuesday, May 10th.

It is easy to register…ALA has a National Library Legislative Day‘ webpage that makes getting involved a snap. On this page, one can look at photos from NLLD 2009, register for the event, and even reserve a hotel room for the duration.

For those who’ are first-time participants, there will be an informative training session entitled “Introduction to National Library Legislative Day: How to Make Your Participation Effective,”’ on Sunday, May 8th at the ALA Washingtion Off’ ice from 3:00-5:30 p.m.’ ‘ 

There are so many issues on the table that affect librarians, libraries, and the millions of patrons and communities out there.’  All of the legislative representatives need to hear about why it is so important to support libraries when it comes to issues such as ‘ Access, Copyright, Broadband and Telecommunications development, as well as many others.

Are you registered? What are you waiting for? Libraries need Advocates!!!! Libraries need YOU!!!

Speak up and Share: Join the Advocacy Conversation

Are you interested in advocacy related issues? Looking to get more information about how to become an advocate or become a better one? Need solutions to some advocacy issues? Or, are you just looking to be able to make some connections and share important information about advocacy resources with other librarians, teens, community members, and trustees?

YALSA has introduced a new resource to help us out! It is an open email discussion list that anyone can join to get more information about advocacy or to just share and reflect on ideas. To get more information about it or to join the list go to http://lists.ala.org/wws/info/yadvocacy-l‘ Once you have’ ‘ subscribed to the list,’ you can send messages to yadvocacyl@ala.org.’ With National Library Legislation Day fast approaching, this forum would be the perfect place to get some ideas to attract your Legislators’ attentions and get their support!

Share this resource with your teens, your colleagues, your administrators, and most importantly your community! Advocating for our libraries is absolutely essential! Start some necessary conversations today!