Contact Your Legislator:
What To Do…
Always remember the three most important principles when contacting legislators in person or in print:
- Be accurate
- Be brief
- Provide information they do not have
Identify yourself, including city, county and library.
List bill number. Use OLC’s Advocacy Tools.
Legislators want to know who is touched by your issues and how they are affected.
Share a story that tells the impact of your library.
Be specific in what you want:
- Don’t make additional cuts in funding to public libraries.
- Maintain the current level of funding.
Tell why your position is a good idea – if possible, give 3 reasons – for example: Ohio’s public libraries have already received cuts in state funding over the years (24% reduction since 2001) and library usage actually increases during economic downturns as people turn to their local libraries for computer and Internet access and job search assistance.
Be sure legislators understand the following:
- Who you are
- What you want
- Where the issue is in the process
- When the next step is likely
- What the effect is on real people in your library/community
Keep it short; one page is recommended; if you need to do so, send more information later.
If meeting in person, always follow-up with a thank you note for the meeting.
OLC Legislative Network
The Legislative Network supports the OLC in its advocacy efforts on behalf of public libraries. Find your Legislative Network contact (PDF).