Everyday Advocacy

More Than One Day!

Advocacy is a year-round commitment to building relationships with elected official. Strengthening these connections help promote an understanding of the economic, cultural, and community values of libraries. You are encouraged to reach out to your legislators throughout the year to remind them of the value of libraries and Minnesota's library systems.

Staying Informed

  • Keep up-to-date on the latest issues and trends in library advocacy so that you’re ready to discuss them with legislators, lobbyists, and staff members.

  • Read MLA/ITEM Legislative Updates from the lobbyist & the other information in the Legislative Update Newsletter.

Tips!

Grassroots work is not only effective but also a good way to involve coworkers, friends, and others who may be interested in library advocacy. Here are some tips and tricks for making the most of calls and emails or letters.

Letter writing/emailing

  • Make your communication as personal as possible, which will be more effective than a form letter.

  • If you are pressed for time, call with your message. Email is also an effective method of communicating with your legislator, but make sure you check with their website to see if there is a specific form that needs to be filled out. Email sent to a legislator’s email may be filtered as spam, so it is best to check the website for details.

  • Snail mail is acceptable, but if you are pressed for time, it may not be the best method of communication.

  • Be respectful and polite.

  • Be concise, specific, and support your argument with facts that can be verified.

  • Stay on message and keep to your main points.

  • Thank them for their time.

  • Don’t expect to speak to your legislator directly. Phones are often answered by staff who are responsible for taking messages, which are then passed along to your legislator.

  • Be prepared with a written statement that will help you stay focused and on message.

  • “Talking libraries”—what is my local, regional, state level elevator speech about how libraries are important in my community

  • Follow the same general guidelines as listed above for writing a letter or email.