Missy Creed, The Ohio State University
The 2014 National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) hosted by the American Library Association was held in Washington, D.C. on May 5th and 6th with a pre-conference on Sunday, May 4th. The days were jammed packed with information and enthusiastic public, special and academic librarians as well as library trustees, other library personnel and supporters from all over the country. All participants came in strong support of all types of libraries.
On Sunday, I attended the pre-conference at the Washington offices of ALA. Their conference room was packed and extra chairs needed to be brought in. Stephanie Vance gave a great four point talk on how we need to present our issues to legislators. The four points were know what you want (be specific), know who you are talking to (what gets them up in the morning and keeps them up at night), know how to talk with them ((SPIT – Specific, Personal, Informative and Trustworthy/Timely) and follow up (invite them to your library or follow them on social media). On Monday, the day was full of briefings, covering topics including E-rate & WIA to Privacy & Surveillance, Net Neutrality & Open Access, School Libraries & Early Learning, and Copyright. All sessions prepared us for our Congressional visits by giving us the necessary information. On Tuesday the Ohio delegation met with our senators and representatives to ask for a continuation of funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at the $180.9 million level. We also spoke about access to digital content. Bill Morris, Governmental Affairs Coordinator, from the State Library of Ohio provided the delegation with packets of information on LSTA Funds in Ohio, Access to Digital Content, Ohio Public Libraries Work, OhioLINK, and INFOhio. The packets were dropped off at offices of the representatives we could not meet with and supplemented our in-person visits. We were well received at all the offices.
Overall, the three days in Washington were very informative and exciting! I would definitely go to National Library Legislative Day again. As ALAO’s 2014 National Library Legislative Day Award recipient I encourage all ALAO members to visit http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/nlld to learn more about NLLD and to sign up for the District Dispatch, The Official ALA Washington Office Blog. Also I would encourage everyone to consider applying for this awesome opportunity in 2015.