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Legislative Advocacy

Page history last edited by nancyanthony55@... 9 years, 7 months ago

1. Legislative Action Center, ALA

Provides information about current legislation that effects school libraries and

templates of letters to legislators. Example include, “Please call your Congressional

representatives and tell them to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at $300

million for FY 2011.” This site also includes a link to ALA’s posting of current action



2. Massachusetts Legislation Action Center, MA Library Association

This site includes information to help one locate their elected officials, issues

and legislation that impacts school libraries, key bills in MA with the MA Library

Associations position on each, and information about National media organizations,

newspapers, and magazines.


3. AASL Legislation Alerts: NETP, ESEA and FY2011 Budget, ALA Connect

This section of the ALA website can help school librarians stay abreast of

current legislative actions. Currently, it includes a link to the draft National Education

Technology Plan which is open for comment, recommended responses to the reform

and reauthorization Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and information about a

letter that is currently circulating in the House of Representatives urging the

Appropriations Committee to specifically appropriate $100 million for Improving

Literacy Through School Libraries.


4. Communicating with Elected Officials

Includes “Tips On Telephoning Your Elected Representatives,” suggestions for

planning a visit to a congressional office (Visiting Capitol Hill), information about

congressional staff roles, and a step-by-step outline of the legislative process.


5. The Top 10 Things Elected Officials and Their Staff Hate to Hear

This document from the Office of Government Relations, ALA Washington Office

provides tips of what NOT to say when meeting with elected officials, and why. This

information will be helpful for anyone planning to meet with their elected official to

discuss school library issues.


6. AASL Crisis Toolkit

This is a link to a kit that AASL has put together that is designed to assist a

school librarian in building meaningful and effective support for saving their library

program. The focus is on educating and rallying stakeholders to speak out on behalf of

school libraries.


7. MSLA National Advocacy for School Libraries

This page on the MSLA website includes information about Library Advocacy

Day in Washington DC, the omission of librarians from the recent Jobs Bill, ALA

Advocacy Day and the MS Crisis Assistance Tools section that includes

recommendations of things school librarians can do as budget decisions are being

made, sample letter to the Administrators/School Committee that advocates for the

school library program, suggestions for "adding value" to your school program, and a

Position Statement on School Libraries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


8. AASL Committees, Editorial Boards, and Task Forces - Legislation


This page includes important information about the charge, chair and staff

liaison for the AASL’s legislation committee.


9. Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is the agency of

state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop,

coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth.

While the MBLC no longer collections school library data, they do provide access to

data from 1999 through 2007


10. Library School Data from the National Center for Education Statistics

(NCES) This data can be helpful when promoting library programs to legislators.

NCES Statistics conducts a survey of public and private School Libraries every three to

five years as part of its Schools and Staffing Survey. The purpose of this survey is to

obtain information about school libraries, such as staffing, collections, and scheduling.

NCES collects information about school library staffing through the Common Core of

Data survey series. This data is collected nationally each year in a statistical database

and includes all public elementary and secondary schools and school districts. The

database is designed to compare data across states.

Data about school library staff are reported in the Digest of Education Statistics. It

includes federal funds for education, libraries, and international education.


11General Laws of Massachusetts (Chap 78)

The laws pertaining to the Board of Library Commissioners and libraries in the

Commonwealth are contained in Chapter 78 of the General Laws of the

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


12. A Nation Without School Librarians (Google Map)

This map provides a wonderful visual when advocating for school libraries with

legislators. City and states that have made the decision to either eliminate certified

school library positions are marked (in blue) and those that require one school

librarian to work with two or more school library programs throughout the week are

marked (in red). Detailed information is provided for each location.


13. ALA Congressional Tour Toolkit

This toolkit provides valuable information when planning a library tour for legislators.

It includes ideas for the visit, checklist for visit planning, sample library visit agendas,

draft invitation for Member of Congress, and draft letter for staff.


Compiled and annotated by Deb Morley, Library Media Studies Program, Salem State University, November 1, 2010

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