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TLA-Legislation : Local Library Legislative Month : October 2008
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Local Library Legislative Month 2008!

Introduction | Tip Sheet


This is a call to action for advocacy for our Tennessee libraries. We encourage all Tennessee libraries to participate in the fourth annual Local Library Legislative Month, October 2008, by inviting your elected officials to your libraries.

In the past year, library supporters continued to increase their strength through our participation at Tennessee Library Legislative Day and National Library Legislative Day. On Tennessee Library Legislative Day, 220 advocates registered to tell first-hand stories to attending legislators. On National Library Legislative Day, a group of 9 advocates met with Tennessee's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.

Now it is time to bring our message to the local front. This will help us to involve many more Friends and patrons to meet our elected local, state, and federal officials on their home ground.

To help you start planning we have developed an event tip list. We know that many of you are already doing wonderful, creative events to bring the importance of libraries to your officials and we would love to share your success stories. Tell us about your events through the Advocacy/Legislation section of the TLA Website!

As always, the real key to these events is to involve trustees, Friends, patrons, and residents: the voting constituents. Partnering with other local libraries for our events will make them even stronger and will allow our elected officials to visit with more of us.

Have fun and please fill our event form on the TLA web page!


Vandy Owen

Dinah Harris

TLA Legislation Committee Co-Chairs


Introduction | Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet

We would like to have as many libraries as possible advocate with elected officials during the month of October. This will give TLA a great chance to publicize the event state-wide. Please tell us about your events through the Advocacy/Legislation section of the TLA Website!

We know that you all have wonderful, creative ideas on how to advocate for your library and here are a few more tips to get your planning started. All of these events should include Friends, patrons, and residents—the voting constituents officials want to hear from!

  • Hold a business breakfast with the Friends and invite elected officials as guests (ask your local Chamber of Commerce to co-host)
  • Have an elected official visit your campus or school to give out student library awards
  • Have a teen program to help teens understand how government should work with your elected official as the guest
  • Hold an ice cream social with the Friends and invite elected officials as guests
  • Hold a student art or literary contest. Ask your local official to be one of the judges. Make it a yearly event!
  • Have a party to celebrate the __th birthday of your library. "Give the Library a Hug" by having enough people to hold hands and circle the building with your elected official leading the way (GREAT photo op!)
  • Ask an elected official (try for a FEDERAL official) to read at story time
  • Ask an elected official to greet people in the school library on the night of a Parent/Teacher meeting
  • Together with your friends, arrange to meet your STATE officials. Use this time to invite them to have lunch with you on: THURSDAY, FEB 21, 2008: TENNESSEE LIBRARY LEGISLATIVE DAY!
  • Create on on-going list of library heroes. Include elected officials and honor them at an induction ceremony
  • Hold a panel discussion on the vital role of the library in democracy. Have your elected official participate or moderate
  • Plant a tree on library property to honor your elected official
  • Invite your local officials to the library to learn about the information resources that will help them make decisions. Assign a reference librarian to be their special researcher (trust us – they will LOVE this!)
  • Together with your Friends, arrange to meet your FEDERAL officials in their home offices. Present them with important statistics about their library and lots of fun gifts such as library t-shirts, mugs, book bags, and library magnets
  • Offer to host a community meeting for your official at your library (some officials refer to these meetings as "holding local office hours")
  • Hold a forum on Intellectual Freedom at your college library with your elected officials as speakers
  • Demonstrate TEL in a major program and ask your official to participate in the demo
  • Hold a potluck dinner with the Friends and invite elected officials as guests
  • Plan a Photo Op! Arrange Newspaper and Television coverage for a public presentation thanking your public officials for their library support
  • Be sure ALL officials have library cards and information about the library!

Introduction | Tip Sheet


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