Friday, March 30, 2012

Massachusetts Library Legislative Day Now April 11

Don’t miss Library Legislative Day at the State House on April 11th. Previously scheduled for April 30, the day and format have been adjusted to focus our advocacy efforts closer to the legislative budget time line. We don’t have a space for all events to occur together, but that does not make our attendance any less important. It is essential that our legislators (especially those receiving advocacy awards) and the Library Legislative Caucus hear from us and are aware of our support for them and the legislative agenda.

The format of Legislative Day has changed considerably, necessitated by the date and location changes. It is budget season at the State House and the Speaker has requested all rooms be available for legislators and committees so only a couple of spaces are available to the library community,

Legislators will be in session in the morning from 10 – noon. Library staff and supporters are encouraged to make afternoon appointments with legislators and meet with legislative aides during the morning. Please consider teaming up with colleagues who share Representatives and Senators for a joint visit.

Due to the scheduling issues beyond MLA and MSLA control, lunch will not be provided this year. There will be no Western MA Library Advocates bus. We encourage you to carpool.


9-9:30 Registration and coffee in Room 437

10-11 MSLA Legislative Advocacy Award to Rep. Sean Garballey and Bookmark Contest Awards Ceremony.


9-10 Registration and coffee in State Library. MBLC staff will be at the registration to highlight Legislative Agenda items.

Noon Advocacy Award and Reception for Rep. Kate Hogan in State Library.

At both registration and the award reception, the MBLC will premier its sparkling new video. It features libraries statewide with the tag line “Who needs libraries? We all do.”

Legislative Day

A Guide For Newbies

by Jan Resnick, Western Massachusetts Library Advocates

Legislative Day is sponsored by the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) and in recent years MLA joined forces with the Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA).

When you arrive at the State House:

1. Proceed to the General Hooker entrance of the building and go through security.

2. At the State Library, visit the sign in desk and pick up information packets for legislators. If you've attended a legislative breakfast you will have seen the MBLC Legislative Agenda packet.

3. It is now time to go to visit legislators. A list of legislators and office numbers will be available, and there are plenty of people and signs to help you find your way.

It is not absolutely imperative that you make an appointment. Library Legislative Day is a significant recurring event. Legislators and their staff know to expect library visitors. The most important thing is to:

  • Stop by your legislators’ offices.
  • Speak to your legislators or their aides. Describe what your library provides for your community, why the Massachusetts Library System and the Central/Western MA Automated Resource Sharing network are important for your library, and why your library is important and necessary for your users. You'll have a few minutes to make a couple of key points on the value of state funding for libraries and to ask for their support. Specific local examples of library use or need are particularly effective.
  • If you can’t speak with your legislator or an aide directly, leave your card, an info packet or a note so that they know you were there and what action you would like them to take. These notes and your presence are very important. Our legislators are aware of the commitment we have made to take the day and travel to Boston. Your note, even if your legislator is not available, makes a significant impression.
  • Offer (in person or in your note) to provide any information they may need on library issues. If you can’t supply specific answers, you can refer them to the Advocates, the MBLC, or the MLS for more detailed information.

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