Use this resource from ALA's Washington Office to help you plan a successful visit from your elected officials.
Keeping advocacy efforts at the forefront right now is important in this tough economy. Some organizations refer to the time that Congress is out of session as "District Days," because Congresspersons usually go home to their districts. In 2011 all of Congress is out of session August 8th through Sept. 5th. This is an ideal time for librarians to do some advocacy at their libraries by opening your doors and inviting elected officials in to see what great things you’re doing. Members of Congress need to see firsthand how libraries are having a positive impact on the lives of teens, so they understand how critical it is that libraries receive support and funding from Congress. Many public libraries will be hosting culminating events for their summer reading programs, so YALSA encourages you to incorporate an advocacy effort into what you’re already doing. You can invite Congresspersons to be guests or speakers at these events, or if your library is having some sort of contest, the Congresspersons could be judges. School libraries are encouraged to participate in District Days as well. Invite your Congressperson to an open house of your library, or ask him or her to roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help you get the library open and ready for the new school year! Don’t forget that there will be midterm Congressional elections in November 2011. If your Congressperson is running for reelection, then he or she will be grateful to you for giving them an opportunity to meet with voters and get their photo taken interacting with library patrons. Look for other great ideas for how to participate in Legislative Day on YALSA’s blog and share your own here.