ALA hosted State Librarians and over 400 advocates from across the county during the 42nd National Library Legislative Day, on May 2-3, in Washington, D.C. This year, AzLA was represented by our President, Amber Mathewson; State Librarian Holly Henley; Citizen Advocate Teresa Quale; and Legislative Chair Kathy Husser. Over 700 library advocates also participated in the new Virtual Library Legislative Day this year. This platform enabled even more voices to tell their library story and advocate for our state and local communities.
Our delegation spoke to all 11 Arizona staff representatives from the House and Senate. Workforce Literacy, STEM programming, E-rate, LSTA and Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program funding were topics stressed during the appointments. Many offices requested follow up information on funding questions, collaborations on library programs, or onsite visits. The ALA Libraries Transform initiative was also incorporated into the discussions, as were specific examples of how our Arizona Libraries, from Pima County to Scottsdale, are transforming our communities and making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.
National Library Legislative Day will be held next year, on May 1-2, 2017. Please start now to encourage your Friends, Library Board Members, or active volunteers who might be interested in applying for the citizen advocate role for next year’s Washington visit.
Kathy Husser is Chair, AzLA Legislative Committee and Adult Services Coordinator, Phoenix Public Library.