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!!!

Report From the Ground on Library Advocacy Day

Like so many at this year’s ALA Annual, I took advantage of being in DC to play a part in Library Advocacy Day. Although ALA’s own press office was there recording and taking photos, I thought I’d mention some of the highlights related to Teens and Teen Services and share some of the photos I took this morning.

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Advocate for Libraries in DC or at Home

Librarians know more than anyone how important it is right now for our profession and our advocates to speak up for libraries — to rally our communities behind our libraries and to encourage our elected officials to support funding and policies for libraries. Next Tuesday, June 29, the ALA Washington Office is sponsoring Library Advocacy Day on the Hill, beginning with a rally at 11 a.m. Eastern to which the public — and you — are invited.

If you’re attending ALA Annual Conference or live near DC: Join YALSA at the rally, wear read, and bring your teens and any other library advocates you k now! We would love to have your support. The more people we can bring to Library Advocacy Day, the more impact we have on legislators, letting them know that librarians are a force to be reckoned with.’  For more information on the rally, see the Library Advocacy Day website at www.ala.org/lad and YALSA’s information on participating in the rally.

Unable to attend: Of course, not everyone can make it to the rally in DC on Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be part of Library Advocacy Day! We’re also hosting Virtual Library Advocacy Day.’  Show your support for libraries the week of June 28-July 2 by participating in Virtual Library Advocacy Week. A simple phone call or e-mail is all it takes.’  To send an e-mail, go to Capwiz and click on the issue you are interested in.’  The website will take you to a sample form letter.’  Customize it with stories on what your local library is doing to help people look for jobs or gain digital literacy skills as well as other programs. These examples truly matter to your elected officials. Looking for more tools for advocacy? See YALSA’s Advocacy Wiki and our District Days page. Learn more about how to participate in Virtual Library Advocacy Day!

In both cases, feel free to post to Twitter about what you’ve done and use the hashtag #LAD2010.

Thank you for all you do for teens and libraries in your community. Your voice, along with over a thousand advocates rallying on Capitol Hill on the 29th, will raise awareness about the important work that libraries and librarians do on a daily basis to help kids learn to read, help people find jobs, and so much more.

Cash Prizes for Library Advocacy Videos

Looking for a way to get your teens involved in your library and shoot a fun video at the same time? Submit an entry to ALA’s contest for Library Advocacy Day! Getting your teens behind the camera (and in front of it) is a great way to show just how vital libraries are in the lives of young adults.

All entries must

1. illustrate the importance of libraries,
2. motivate people to attend the ALA’s rally for libraries during Library Advocacy Day,
3. include interesting visuals and quality sound design, and
4. be no more than three minutes.

To enter, upload your video to Vimeo, tag it “library advocacy day,” and send your full name, phone number, city, state and the url of your work to jroberts@alawash.org with the subject line “LAD video entry.” All submissions must be uploaded, tagged and e-mailed by 12pm EDT, May 26, 2010. ALA will announce the winners and recipients of the prize money–$175 for the first place winner and $75 for the runner-up–on Tuesday, June 1.

For complete rules and more information, visit the District Dispatch from the ALA Washington Office.