Saturday, May 16, 2009

Library Legislative Day

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful comments and encouragement. I've learned a great deal in my short time at my new job.

Library Legislative Day

The California Library Association hosted Library Legislative Day on April 15th. (There was a press conference included, which was a bit overshadowed by coverage of Anti-Tax protesters.)

We were able to speak with our local State representatives and provide support to other libraries on several issues:
  • ACA 9 which reduces the requirement for bond to a simple majority from a super majority (66%).
  • Lobbied to fully fund the Public Library Fund, which allows libraries to share resources and allow reciprocal borrowing.
  • We also lobbied for Recovery Act funds to be set aside just for libraries.

When it comes to lobbying and advocacy, the best stories are human stories. This story came from a library's Friends board member who attended:

"A high school student comes into the library weekly to use the computers to finish her homework online. She not only completes her own homework, but does her mother's as well. Now, the first thought is, 'Hey she is doing her Mom's homework!' In reality, she prints out the homework assignment afterward and then tutors her mom at home. Her mom can't make it to the library during its open hours. If the library were to close just one hour earlier from budget cuts, both of them would fail through lack of resources."

We can talk about how efficient we are and our great services, but the human stories often make the most compelling argument.

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