We’ve passed August’s halfway mark. That means school is just around the corner and we’re in the middle of District Days! Your state’s representatives are home for a short recess from their Washington business. They’re taking this time to learn about what’s happening in their communities, and what issues their constituents have on their minds.

It’s our chance to advocate for libraries! For teens! For the valuable work libraries do in communities across the nation! Not sure how to proceed? Check out YALSA’s Advocacy page for ideas ranging from short and simple to more complex (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/advocacy). Find your representative’s  office information at ALA’s Legislative Action Center (http://cqrcengage.com/ala/).

Since August is a quiet month in our library, instead of inviting our elected officials to come to us, we’re going to them. Members of our Teen Advisory Group will create a “highlights packet” to send to Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines, and Representative Ryan Zinke at their Helena offices. Packets will feature teens’ favorite library activities and personal statements about why the library is important in their community. I’ll include YALSA’s great infographic “What Public Libraries Do For Teens,” an infographic about teen services at our library, and an open invitation to attend teen programs. One event we’ll feature is from January 2015, when, I took five teens to demonstrate MakerSpace gear –robotics, MakeyMakeys, and button making – at the Montana Library Association’s Legislative event. The Governor and state representatives enjoyed interacting with our teens, going so far as to offer engineering advice!

This is me, standing on the street corner of the internet, inviting you to get the word out. Call, email, or visit your elected official’s office to share the super cool things teens are doing at your library.


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