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Lay Groundwork Now: Get to Know Legislators, Candidates for Public Office

Posted by on Tuesday, July 03, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives

It may be summer, and the legislature may not be in session, but fall elections are right around the corner, to be followed by an important and difficult state budget discussion in the spring.  That means that right now it's time to lay some groundwork, and take advantage of opportunities.

The Library Development and Legislation Committee would like to encourage all supporters to consider taking several steps:

  • Pay attention to, and become familiar with, legislative candidates, races and issues

  • Library supporters should find a means to contact and build relationships with all candidates for fall elections

  • Tell your library's story

  • Learn their concerns

  • Get to know one another

  • Show up at candidate forums, and plan some key questions you might ask

  • For public libraries, get legislators to summer library programs, get them to read to kids, and have them attend end-of-summer wrap-up programs – possibly escorted by a library board member or friends’ group representative

  • For academic libraries, invite legislators to fall semester activities or offer to provide a tour of the library to showcase resources and services

Libraries are not an inherently partisan issue: get to know your candidates and current elected officials and let them get to know you and your library.

If you need more information or ideas, check out all the great legislative resources on the updated WLA website!
--Terry Dawson, Chair, WLA LD&L Committee

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