New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Why Join NYLA at Library Advocacy Day 2016?

Attendees of Past Advocacy Days Share their Experiences

From Cece Fuoco, School Library Systems Director, CA Boces:
As a librarian, passion and vision is the impetus that allows me to meet with lawmakers in Albany on Library Advocacy Day. The best thing is that I don’t have to advocate alone!  2015 was my first year attending and it was an experience that I am happy to repeat.  Not only did the experience serve as an example to my students, but also to my twelve year-old son.   My mental image of a mob of vociferous librarians carrying signs was quickly replaced with colleagues who were pleasant and professional as they met with lawmakers and advocated for the various needs all librarians have.

As a former educator, I was periodically amazed at how special projects within the school were funded despite the “lack of funds” available.  Paint for a classroom wall to replace the drab white may not be funded, but painted walls that allowed for interactive and engaging activities through magnetic or chalkboard paint had a great chance of being paid for.  Why?  More than likely it was the combination of passion and vision held by the educator.

Why should you join your colleagues in Albany on March 2nd?  Your presence alone sends an important message and that should never be underestimated.  As Aristotle once said, “What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do”.  How will you use your power?

From Art Friedman, Professor, Library, Nassau Community College:
During a time of fiscal exigency in NY State (when are we not?), I participated in a NYLA Library Day when the weather was frightful and most advocates stayed home due to the weather or a feeling of hopelessness about the State budget. I was walking in the halls of the LOB (Legislative Office Building) and met my local Assemblyman (I hadn’t made an appointment with him). As we spoke, I asked him if we were wasting our time.

His very clear, concise and cogent answer was: “Those groups that are here will probably see their appropriations reduced less than otherwise.” Everyone was projected to have a 5 to 10% decrease in their allocation! By the time the smoke had cleared, and the NYS Budget was adopted, the amount of money allocated to library service in NYS had been increased BEFORE the required reduction was made.

In essence, the Library Advocates had won the day for our community!

From Aletta Seales, Queens Library Volunteer, Friends Group Member (Cambria Heights Library):
I attended Library Advocacy Day in March 2013 and 2015 with the Queens Library.  As a Friend of the Cambria Heights Library in Queens and Queens Library Volunteer at the Hollis Library in Queens I applied to go on the bus trip to Albany with the Queens Library and was accepted.

A group of us rode the bus from the Central Library in Queens and arrived in Albany at approximately 10:00 a.m.  We were given a T-shirt and a packet.  In our packet was a note that the New York Library Association will present a briefing on the current status of budget negotiations and NYLA’s Legislative Priorities. Upon arrival we were directed to go through a security check and then we visited the NYLA information area.  Next we visited our Assembly Members to present our requests and shared our Queens Library stories.  We also took photos and then it was time to have lunch and board the bus at 2:15 p.m. to return to the Central Queens Library.

Both times, it was a very interesting and rewarding day.