Scheduling a library listening session

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  • Please contact WLA if you plan to host a listening session. This will help us to track the work being done around the state.
     
  • We encourage you to host the session as soon as possible. Go to the State Elections Board website for a list of candidates on the ballot.
     
  • Contact the candidates (including incumbents running) in your target area. For instance, you may wish to include candidates for state senator and the representatives within that senate district, or organize the sessions on a county-wide basis. Provide those invited with background information on the issues you expect to discuss. Several background information papers are provided on the Listening Sessions main page.
  • The meeting should be held in a library. Consider not only public libraries, but school, academic, or special libraries in the area who might be willing partners. Contact these potential partners early on to maximize the importance of your event in the eyes of your political guests.

Listening Sessions

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Reaching out to those running for the Wisconsin State Legislature is an important part of the "Speak Up for Libraries" campaign. It is important that current and future legislative leaders understand that there are many voters who care strongly about libraries of all types. One way to reach candidates for the state legislature is to host a library listening session. Invite key library supporters in your community to inform candidates about the resources libraries offer and speak about the challenges of meeting the increased demand for library services. WLA offers the resources on this page to assist you. Please contact us if you need additional assistance or have suggestions.

Library Listening Session Follow-Up Activities

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  • Send a thank you to each legislator who participated.

  • Get permission from attendees to maintain their names and contact information on your list of library supporters. These are individuals who may be called upon for future advocacy, fund raising, volunteer activities.

  • Thank library supporters who attended in writing.

  • After the election, contact those who were elected to office with a letter of congratulations.

  • Add your new legislators to your library's mailing list.

  • Continue to develop the relationship with your elected officials.
    • Get to know their interests and send an occasional note with information (e.g., relevant news or journal articles) about one of those topics.
    • Invite them to hold "town hall" meetings in the library.
    • Send your library newsletter to their office.
    • Cultivate a relationship with their staff.
    • Continue to inform them about library issues.

 

 

Sample letters of confirmation for library supporters and candidates

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To attendees (Library Supporters)

[Date]

Dear [Name of attendee]:

Thank you for agreeing to attend the Library Listening Session on [date, time, place] to meet with candidates for the state legislature and to discuss issues affecting library service. We appreciate your support and feel that you will find it very useful in learning more about the candidates.

We have enclosed some background information that you may find helpful prior to the forum. Of course, your personal stories about how you have used library services and what it means to you will be the most important information for you to share with the candidates.

Thank you for your commitment to this important event!

Sincerely,

 

[Name, title]

encl

 

 

Sample letter of confirmation to candidates

[Date]

Dear [Name of attendee]:

Thank you for agreeing to attend the Library Listening Session on [date, time, place] to meet with area residents to discuss your candidacy and issues affecting library service. We appreciate your participation very much and realize how valuable your time is during this busy campaign season.

A copy of potential questions that will form the basis for some of the discussion was provided to you in an earlier mailing. If you would like another copy or need any additional information, please contact me at [phone or e-mail].

Thank you again for your commitment to participate in this important event!

Sincerely,

 

[Name, title]

encl

Sample letters of invitation to Library Listening Session

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To Library Supporters


[Date]

Dear [Name of attendee]:

The [name of library or friends group] invites you to a Library Listening Session on [date, time, place] to meet with candidates for the state legislature and to discuss issues affecting library service. Because you are a library supporter, we felt you would be interested in this event.

We have enclosed a questionnaire about library issues that we will be using as a guide during the forum. Each candidate has been provided with this questionnaire and a brief background sheet on [name of library] so that they may become more familiar with us.

I will be contacting you next week to determine your availability for this forum. If you have any questions, please contact me at [phone number and e-mail address].

Sincerely,

 

[Name, title]

encl

 

To Candidates

[Date]

Dear [Name of Candidate]:

The [name of library or friends group] invites you to a Library Listening Session on [date, time, place] to share information about your candidacy for the state legislature and to discuss issues affecting library service.

We have enclosed a questionnaire about library issues to use as a guide in addressing potential concerns of attendees. In addition, we have enclosed a brief background sheet on [name of library] so that you may become more familiar with us.

I will be contacting you next week to determine your availability for this forum. If you have any questions, please contact me at [phone number and e-mail address].

Sincerely,

 

[Name, title]

encl

 

Listening Sessions