If You Invite a Legislator to the Library…

If you invite a legislator to the library…

She will see an effective 21st-century school library program (perhaps very different from what she remembers from her K-12 years).

If a legislator sees an effective 21st-century school library program…

He will see a school librarian who is a master teacher, technology integrator, and collaborative instructional partner.

If a legislator sees a school librarian who is a master teacher, technology integrator, and collaborative instructional partner…

She will see students who are engaged in inquiry, digital literacy, reading, and personalized learning.

If a legislator sees students who are engaged in inquiry, digital literacy, reading, and personalized learning in the library…

He will realize that, in times of budget cuts and limited funds, providing funding for the school library program serves all students and positively impacts student learning.

If the legislator supports funding for the school library program, perhaps next year you can invite her back to the library to see even more exciting and impactful learning taking place!

FACT:  Senators and Representatives are on recess the weeks of April 10 and April 17, reflected on the Congressional calendar as “District Work Week.”

FACT: There are 435 Representatives and 100 Senators serving in the 115th Congress, each with schools in his/her home district or state.

YOUR CHALLENGE, should you choose to accept it (and I hope you will):  Invite a legislator to visit your library during his/her Congressional spring break! 

Your library doesn’t have to be perfect with the most amazing facility, state-of-the art technology, and up-to-date collection, because it’s not the facility, technology, or collection that the legislator needs to see but rather the teaching and learning that is taking place!

Will your legislator come? Maybe. Maybe not. If she doesn’t come she may send a staffer or community liaison. What if your legislator receives invitations from more than one librarian? That would be great. The more, the merrier! Even if no one comes, you will have issued the invitation and brought school libraries to the attention of your legislator.

Steps to finding contact information for your legislators and a sample message are linked here.

Once you have invited your Representative and/or Senator, please complete this brief form.

And, if your legislator accepts your invitation, be sure to let AASL know: aasl@ala.org

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had 25? 50? 75? 100? 200? federal legislators visiting school libraries during April which, of course, is School Library Month?

If you invite a legislator to the library, hmm, who knows what wonderful things might happen next?



Author: Audrey Church, Leadership Development Committee Chair and 2017-2018 AASL Past President

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Community, Presidential Musings

Tags: ,

4 replies

  1. Great blog post, Audrey! I have posted additional resources to help plan a visit with legislators at http://libraryschool.libguidescms.com/legislative. Please adapt and use! Our Congressmen and women need to hear from library advocates now more than ever!

  2. This is a great campaign, Audrey though I would’ve titled it not “If” but “When you invite…” And while some school districts, like mine in Seattle will be on Spring vacation that week, I suspect that in offering to open doors and hold discussions with legislators in our school libraries we will be sending a loud and clear message to elected officials who need our stories to strengthen their efforts to support the staff and students we serve.

  3. Thanks so much, Deb, for sharing these great resources!
    Craig, Congress is on spring recess the week of April 10 AND the week of April 17, so I’m hopeful that at least one week will not coincide with our schools systems’ spring breaks.

  4. I have invited Rep. James Comer to our library on Friday April 14th. His Paducah office says he probably won’t come but I invited his staff person to attend in his place. I will let you know if she shows. Thanks for your encouragement!

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