National Library Legislative Day
May 1-2, 2017
Liaison Hotel, Washington D.C.
Online registration is now open for National Library Legislative Day!
Library supporters are encouraged to support federal funding for our nation’s libraries by registering for the American Library Association’s 43rd annual National Library Legislative Day, an advocacy event that will be held May 1-2, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Every year, hundreds of library supporters, leaders and patrons meet with members of Congress during the two-day event to advocate for national library funding. As part of the event, participants will receive training and briefings to prepare them for meetings with their members of Congress.
A scholarship opportunity is available for first-time National Library Legislative Day participants. The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce (WHCLIST) and the ALA Washington Office are calling for nominations for the WHCLIST Award, the award provides a stipend ($300 and two free nights at a D.C. hotel) to a non-librarian participant in National Library Legislative Day. Apply now.
Hotels in the Washington, D.C. Area
To make reservations at the Liaison Hotel:
- Hotel registration is currently open
- Click here to book online (Please select your arrival and departure) - the code for online registration is: ALA017
- Call toll free 1-888-513-7445. Be sure to reference the American Library Association group when making reservations, or provide the Reservation ID: American Library Assn - National Library Legislative Day
- Please Note: If you are planning on booking nights outside our room block (May 1-2), you must book the additional nights separately in order to take advantage of the discount.
The Liaison Hotel on the Hill is where National Library Legislative Day participants can receive a special ALA rate. If the Liaison Hotel is booked, a good online source for alternate accommodations is HotelGuide Washington, D.C. - Metropolitan Networks' HotelGuide for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area at http://washington.dc.hotelguide.net.
Photo Credit: Adam Mason
Join the New York Delegation!
This two-day advocacy event brings hundreds of librarians, trustees, library supporters, and patrons to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Members of Congress to rally support for policies for all types of libraries. Participants will receive advocacy tips and training, along with important issue briefings prior to their meetings.
What should a delegate expect?
The ALA Washington Office (WO) arranges the event hotel and meeting spaces, sets the legislative agenda, develops the briefing documents documents (take a look at last year’s documents), invites the presenters for Monday’s briefing session and arranges a Congressional Reception. First time delegates may participate in an advocacy training sessions on the Sunday afternoon, usually at the WO offices.
How should delegates prepare?
Delegates need to familiarize themselves with the issues that will be on the legislative agenda and be prepared to share local stories about how these issues may affect the residents in their communities.
The Representatives’ web pages are similar in terms of their layout, with tabs that include “about” biographical and District information; “services” available from their local constituency offices; “newsroom” with links to articles, press releases, etc.; “legislation” including Bills sponsored, voting record and committee memberships; “issues” which provides background resources for issues that are of interest to the Representative.
All of this information is very valuable in better understand your Representative and help you to tell your library’s story in a manner that will be of most effective. For example, if your Representative is interested in health care issues, perhaps you can emphasize the wellness sessions your library offers or highlight the consumer health information available at your library.
The WO hosts a Briefing on Monday (legislator visit is on Tuesday) which is very useful in that it provides the delegates with up to the minute information about the status of legislation we will be addressing and talking points we can use.
Is there a list of the Representatives the delegation will be meeting and a schedule for the NYS delegates to review in advance?
Each delegate is responsible for setting up appointments with their Representative and coordinating with other delegates who share the same Representative.
Who leads the discussions at the meetings for the NYS delegation?
The NYS Coordinator provides an overview for the meeting with the Senators and then others are called on for their knowledge/experience.
The entire delegation usually visits our Senators. Meetings with Representatives are usually attended by those who live within the constituency; although occasionally one or more delegates may be free to join the meeting to provide support.
How can the delegates support the discussion effectively?
By providing local stories about successes and how particular legislation may affect their community.
Do you have NY bullet points ready?
The State Librarian, Bernard A. Margolis and the staff at the Division of Library Development (DLD) usually prepare the NYS briefing documents.
Who follows up with the legislators after the visits?
Each delegate is responsible for sending a follow-up letter to the legislators they met.
What is the expected protocol?
The meetings are fairly informal. If you have participated in meetings with our state legislators you will find the experience in Washington to be very similar.