Take Me To Your Leader Tour
April 2013, by Carol Anne Germain
This year, Advocacy Day was a great success! We had a wonderful turnout – from the brightly lighted students (thanks Sue) to Art Friedman with his message sandwich board. I extend a HUGE thank you to all who could attend and coordinated this effort – you make advocacy work! The restoration of $4 million in Library Aid to the final FY 2013-14 NYS Budget indicates that library advocates were heard.
In this process, reaching out to legislatures is vital. While Library Advocacy Day provides an excellent venue for outreach, with many dedicated individuals and groups attending advocacy events and meeting with legislatures, we need to do more. I have heard from in many individuals who have noted that it is difficult to attend Advocacy Day because of travel restrictions, work obligations and other commitments. My response is that advocacy is not limited to one day, but can be done at any time of the year.
Library constituents can visit their legislator at the home office and discuss the need for support. It is likely that your representative will hear you better in his/her locale, so the effort is more than worthwhile.
Still a little timid with a visiting your assemblyperson or senator? To motivate the process, I am offering a challenge: Take Me to Your Leader (yes, your legislators). I will travel to Jamestown, Riverhead, Watertown, Brooklyn Heights, … anywhere in New York State… to assist with your local advocacy efforts. So please contact me, and with NYLA staff, we can coordinate a visit with your representative.
The more voices that are heard the stronger the voice New York libraries.