Advocacy

Librarians and Patrons are encouraged to share information with their Legislative members.   Providing information and sharing your library success stories can have a powerful impact.

Current library concerns include:

Support Net Neutrality

FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order enables libraries to fully serve the public by legally prohibiting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from speeding or slowing selected Internet traffic, blocking access to certain websites or applications, or otherwise discriminating against certain Internet services for commercial reasons. Replacing the clear legal protections of the Open Internet Order with unenforceable, voluntary net neutrality “rules” would threaten the high-bandwidth applications and services that enable real-time collaboration, content creation, sharing, and learning by educational and other community institutions, including libraries, which cannot afford to pay for prioritized access.

Full Funding for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

LSTA is the only federal funding program for libraries.  Most of its resources flow to each state through the IMLS in the form of a population-based matching grant.  Each state determines how best to use its own LSTA allocation.  Because federal LSTA funds are matched in part by each state, libraries would lose both sources of revenue if LSTA funding were reduced or eliminated.

We have attached a library postcard template that can be printed and given to your library patrons to complete.  This is a great opportunity for your patrons to speak out and be heard.

Postcard Template

Sample Letter

Find your Alabama Legislator

Find the Status of a Bill

Library Snapshot Day is a nationwide initiative purposed to show a day in the life of a library and the importance of public libraries.  Alabama libraries participate in this initiative.  Libraries collect statistics, patron comments and photographs that help capture the positive impact in their communities every single day.  This is a great opportunity to advocate for your library.

The following links are suggested to provide additional information.

National & Local Advocacy Sites

The Alabama Library Association actively supports all libraries and their interests. ALLA advocates for policies and funding that support libraries, librarians, and educational initiatives.  We encourage all library supporters to speak out for libraries!
 
Advocacy Legislation & Issues include the following resources:  Advocacy & Public Awareness; Banned & Challenged Books; Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Federal Legislation; Intellectual Freedom; Literacy; Privacy; Public Policy; State & Local Resources
 
Ilovelibraries.org is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries. Ilovelibraries.org promotes the value of libraries and librarians, explains key issues affecting libraries, and urges readers to support and take action for their libraries.
 
As a federal agency administering discretionary federal programs, IMLS receives its funding through the annual appropriations process. They are one of several independent agencies whose spending limits each year are established in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
 
Today’s public libraries are consistently being challenged to do more with less—less money, less staff, and less time. It has never been more important for librarians, staff members, trustees, and others with a vested interest in their public libraries, to convey to their communities the value of the library. Advocacy, the process of acting on behalf of the public library to increase public funds and ensure that it has the resources need to be up to date, is critical to the success of libraries.
 
Trustees play an integral role in advocating for their library. If libraries are to thrive in the 21st century, Trustees must step up and let those who fund them know that communities depend on free and open access to the wide variety of materials and resources an excellent library with excellent funding offers.  Friends groups can make the difference between a budget increase and a budget cut for their libraries.
 
Advocacy and activism is a goal in the association's 2016 - 2018 Strategic Plan.  The 2012 PLDS Survey indicated that only 1 in 3 public libraries has a young adult specialist on staff. Recent studies from the NCES indicate that only 79% of secondary schools employ a school librarian. Ongoing advocacy efforts can help ensure that all teens have access to great libraries! Why advocate? Because you are the voice for the teens!
 

Legislative sites

Alabama Legislature and ALISON (Alabama Legislative Information Service Online)
The Legislature convenes in regular annual sessions on the first Tuesday in February, except (1) in the first year of the four-year term, when the session will begin on the first Tuesday in March, and (2) in the last year of a four-year term, when the session will begin on the second Tuesday in January.
 
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Publishing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC's Congressional Research Service.
 
Library policy news from the American Library Association's Washington Office.
 

Advocacy Training & Webinars

52 weeks of ideas for advocating for your library.
 
This section is designed to help you plan and execute a successful library awareness campaign in your local community. Based on the approach devised by OCLC and used by more than 1,800 public libraries as Geek the Library, the Advocacy in Action resources will help you showcase the vital role of the library in your community and educate the public about the critical funding issues libraries face.
 
How valuable is your local library? Use this handy Library Value Calculator, created by the Massachusetts Library Association.
 
The newly-updated Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library provides tips and tools you can use from the ALA Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the Association for Rural & Small Libraries and the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.