By David McFadden, Senior Reference Librarian at Southwester Law School and member of AALL’s Government Relations Committee
So, you’re interested in law librarian advocacy. Participating in a legislative lobby day is a great stepping stone for building relationships and staying in contact with your legislators and/or their staff. Even when you don’t have a lot to discuss, the connections you create and maintain during a meeting with your legislators can prove helpful for later, bigger “asks” on important campaigns. And, it is really rewarding when you meet or contact a legislator and they actually know who you are!
But what if you can’t pack up and fly all the way to D.C. for the upcoming 2014 Local Advocate Lobby Day? Don’t fear. You can still participate. The AALL Government Relations Office is also sponsoring a Virtual Lobby Day this Thursday, March 27.
The nice thing about the Virtual Lobby Day is that it doesn’t take up a lot of your time or money. By signing up to participate in our Virtual Lobby Day, you will commit to making a simple phone call or sending an email message to your members of Congress. In doing so, you will help make a difference for law libraries.
One common concern of new advocates is that you don’t know what to say to legislators. In past campaigns, I’ve always tried to make it easier to get librarians to help out by providing materials and samples. The Government Relations Office staff does the same thing. If you sign up, they will send directions, tips, background information on legislation, talking points, and sample messages to your inbox on our day of action. Depending on your member of Congress’ background and committee assignments, the Government Relations Office staff will even help you to determine to which pieces of legislation your members of Congress will be most receptive.
Legislative advocacy often consists of many small little steps. Virtual Lobby Day is one of those. Help out in a small and relatively painless way to further the legislative efforts of law librarians.