The next Missouri Library Advocacy Day
is February 8, 2011.
Library Legislative Day is one of the most important events of the year. Scheduled
during February, the event is timed so that we can have the maximum
possible impact upon our legislators' votes for funding. It is vitally
important to libraries everywhere in Missouri that we have excellent
turnout at this event.
This webpage will help you prepare for Library Legislative Day. Please select from the following options:
to get there
The morning orientation
session will be held in the first floor auditorium of the Missouri State
Information Center. The Center is located at 600 W. Main Street,
just a few blocks from the Capitol building. Click on the aerial photo
at right or get detailed
driving directions from Yahoo. Free visitor parking is available
in the lot in front of the building, and also across the street in the
Truman office building lot.
Some things you might
want to bring:
Schedule of the
appointments you have made with legislators
literature, or brochures about your library to give to your
Your own list of
"talking points" about matters pertinent to your library
Paper pad for taking
notes during the morning orientation session.
Map of offices
within the Missouri capitol building (you can pick one up at the
Capitol Information Desk)
roster of the Missouri General Assembly. This is especially
useful for identifying legislators at public hearings. The
roster is available on
the web for printing out, but you might find it in paper
format in your library.
Optional, personal items
you might want to have with you:
Umbrella in case of
rain (it is a 3-block walk from the MO State Information Center to
the Capitol building.) It is not possible to park very close
to the Capitol.
for the daytime events. The Capitol building is very large
and you will probably do a lot of walking between legislator
offices and hearing rooms.
There is a small cafeteria in the basement of the Capitol, but it
might be a long walk from wherever you happen to be when you have
only a few minutes to eat.
Bring a camera if
you would like to have a picture with your legislator for your
to stay overnight and eat
MLA will not be reserving a block of hotel rooms for this event.
If you need overnight accommodations, we suggest you use the lodging guide provided on
City Convention & Visitors' Bureau website.
It is not essential
you find a hotel within walking distance. Parking in the lots and side
streets around the Missouri State Information Center is free and
You have several options
for lunch if you are on foot. There is a small cafeteria in the
Capitol basement which offers some hot food options such as hamburgers
and fish sandwiches, a small salad bar, soft drinks and packaged
snacks. If you have time and prefer more options, it is
just a short walk to several downtown eateries. See a full list
of restaurants on the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors'
the Day / What to Expect
Library Legislative Day usually starts
with coffee and donuts in the auditorium of the Missouri State
Information Center, 600 W. Main Street. There will be time
to talk or read as librarians arrive from around the state.
There will be many handouts. You might feel most prepared if
you allow some time to read through the handouts before the speakers
take the podium and discuss them.
orientation lineup of speakers might include the Secretary of
State, the MLA president, the recipient of the Bud Barnes
Outstanding Legislator award, the State Librarian, MLA's
Legislative Advocate (lobbyist) and maybe a few others.
These individuals provide legislative updates and mention
important bills and their status.
After the morning
orientation, participants either proceed to pre-arranged
appointments or seek out lunch on their own.
Afternoon time is up
to the individual. It is generally divided between meetings
with legislators and listening in on hearings. There will probably
be some time between noon and 6:00 that you have no appointments
and no important hearings to attend. Consider doing
something for enjoyment within walking distance. With
some advance planning, you could get in on a tour of the
Governor's Mansion. Jefferson's Landing is also nearby and has
The evening buffet
begins at 6:00pm at the Jefferson City Country Club. Click
for a map and directions. MLA directly invites all
legislators to attend this event. Sometimes the legislators
come and are disappointed to find that no librarians from their
districts are present. Conversely some librarians attend and
are disappointed to find that their own legislators had
last-minute conflicts. There is no way for us to know in
advance which legislators will come because their unusual
schedules make it impossible for us to ask for RSVPs.
Therefore we hope that librarians whose own legislators are not
there will be willing to meet and chat with legislators from other
Lobbying / Advocacy
As soon as you register
for Library Legislative Day, check with colleagues in your area
to find out who else is planning to go. Find out if
the other librarians have already invited your legislators to
the buffet dinner. Basically this is your chance to
coordinate. Compare notes, consider sharing rides, etc.
Make appointments to visit with legislators sometime during the
afternoon of Library Legislative Day. In addition to scheduling
office visits, invite the legislators to the MLA dinner buffet
at the Jefferson City Country Club. Though MLA sends invitations
to every legislator, the personal invitation is also appropriate.
You could offer to pay for the legislator's dinner.
facts and figures about your library that support your need for
continued funding. Update and solidify your library's
stance on legislation such as copyright, privacy, censorship,
information licensing, etc. Work together with your library director
to create a list of talking points for your local institution.
Late January: Check
this website again for late-breaking information on the status
of appropriations bills, legislative updates, etc.
Early February: Attend
Library Legislative Day. During the orientation you will be
told about the status of important bills. When speaking
about bills to legislators, it will be important to give bill
Mid February: Send
thank-you notes to the legislators who met with you on Library
Check our expanded
Legislative Calendar for ideas on year-round
for talking with your legislators
There has been much
written on this subject. The American Library Association has an
abundance of printed and online material to help you get acquainted
and accomplished at this sort of work. We've taken some of
the best links we could find on the web and put them under the "Links"
section in our navigation bar. If you have specific
questions, you can write to
us, the MLA Legislative Committee.
to Academics and Library Trustees
We now have a special
page for academic librarians.
Library trustees will
find a lot of good information on ALA's ATLA (Association for Library
Trustees and Advocates) advocacy