Legislation and Policy
To increase ACRL's visibility and influence in the arena of higher education policy development and legislation, the ACRL Government Relations Committee (in consultation with the ACRL Board and staff) takes a direct and active role in formulating the ACRL legislative agenda including objectives for legislative action at the national level on issues which may affect the welfare of academic and research libraries. Find out more below:
Printable PDF of the legislative agenda
ACRL’s annual Legislative Agenda lists objectives for legislative action at the national level on issues that affect the welfare of academic and research libraries. This document is issued each spring, prior to National Library Legislative Day, and focuses on issues that the U.S. Congress has recently taken, or will likely take, action on in the year ahead. ACRL is active in advocating for policy and legislation through the ALA Washington Office as well as through coalition work with groups such as the Open Access Working Group and the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA). The following list is in priority order and includes the most important issues upon which ACRL will focus in 2014:
- Access to Federally Funded Research
- Net Neutrality
- Curbing Government Surveillance
Are you interested in federal legislation and policy affecting libraries? Are you connected in your campus community? Are you willing to work with your members of Congress for change? ACRL needs you! Become an ACRL Legislative Advocate. We’re seeking to expand our group of ACRL Legislative Advocates and invite you to join.
Read more about the responsibilities and duties of being an ACRL Legislative Advocate and hear what it means from current advocates.
Lobbying to win the support of legislators is part of our great democratic tradition. Smart legislative advocates know which lawmakers are most important. They also know the names of those who are in a position to influence the legislator. The most important person to any elected official is a voting constituent. Other influential people are: campaign donors, civic and business leaders, editors of local media, friends or family member and others whom they know and trust.
To be effective, library advocates must present themselves as credible, knowledgeable and articulate. They must have a working knowledge of the political process and their role in it.
Whether you do it in person, by phone, e-mail or letter, communication is the key to building good relationships with your legislators—not just when library funding comes up for a vote, but on a regular basis. But don’t wait for a crisis.
- Tips for success
- Framing the message
- Ways to communicate
- Winning champions for your library
- On Capitol Hill
- Pocket Checklists
- ALA's Legislative Action Center
ALA Washington Office
ALA's Legislative Action Center
ACRL's Scholarly Communication Page
The American Association of Law Libraries: Washington Affairs Online
The Association of Research Libraries: Federal Relations and Information Policy
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Library of Congress
LIS News: Library and Information Science News
Educause: Policy Initiatives
GPO Access: Official Federal Government Information at Your Fingertips
Thomas: Legislative Information on the Web
The United States House of Representatives
The United States Senate
The White House
Supreme Court of the United States