North Dakota Library Association

NDLA Legislative Advocates

It's Up to You: Advocating for Libraries
In order to become an even stronger voice for North Dakota libraries, NDLA needs the help of many more members. We need your help.

Don't worry if you don't have much political experience. Elected officials want and need to hear from their constituents. Besides, some of the most effective things you can do are the simplest ones. Vote--in both primaries and general elections. Legislators know who votes, and they pay more attention to people who vote than to those who don't.

Keep abreast of legislative issues which affect libraries by reading your mailings from NDLA, ND State Library, MPLA and ALA. Read emails sent through the NDLA email list. Read your local, regional and state newspapers. Find a way to meet your legislators. Many events are held throughout the state where library issues are the main agenda. Attend and you'll find other library colleagues to discuss issues with. If LV2020 grant funds assisted your library in some way, let your legislator know how this affected you.

Keep in touch with your elected officials. Write a letter to your legislator indicating your support of library issues you feel are important. Let them know what you like about services being provided by the ND State Library. Cover only one or two issues in each letter, and use your own words. Call or visit your legislator to discuss your concerns about library issues as they arise. Remember that the personal touch is important; use e-mail only if something is urgent, and, if possible, address your e-mail message to the staff person in charge of that particular issue. The next step is to get involved in a campaign, either by giving time or money--or both!

Adapted from WLA, Wisconsin Library Association with thanks!

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