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ACRL Road Trip: From Baltimore to Washington, D.C. to Meet Your Legislator

Are you going to the ACRL conference in Baltimore this spring? Interested in a little side trip to Washington, D.C.?

A fellow ACRL-Oregon member suggested that this might be an ideal time to go talk to your legislators! You can make an appointment to talk to legislative staff about what matters to you in Oregon and in your district, be it libraries, copyright, intellectual freedom, privacy, or higher education.

How do I set up a meeting?

Most of the legislators have a “contact me” page on their website and some of them include a “request a meeting” option, which is probably the best way to schedule a meeting. You can also call their DC office directly (again, phone numbers are on the website).

Use this easy tool to find your elected officials: http://cqrcengage.com/alaor/. Enter your zip code to find information tailored to your district.

What do I talk about? Do I have to come up with talking points on my own?

You don’t have to do this alone. There are resources available to help you from:

  • Your own library: Materials from you library (in your legislator’s district) can help you tell your story.
  • The State Library: they make a handout each year of how LSTA dollars are used; additionally, the State Librarian, MaryKay Dahlgreen, is an excellent resource who knows what is happening with libraries, copyright, privacy, etc. at a national level because the State Librarians meet regularly.
  • The OLA Library Development and Legislative Development CommitteeFeel free to contact committee co-chairs Abigail Elder or Janet Webster for any questions or help in preparing for your meeting.
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