Federal Library Legislative and Advocacy Network
What is the Federal Library Legislative and Advocacy Network (FLLAN)?
Members of the Committee on Legislation, the Public Library Association Legislative Committee and the ALA Office of Government Relations (OGR) have been discussing how we can better share federal legislative and advocacy information with state chapters. There are many more legislative battles affecting libraries in the coming year and a broad and active united library community will be necessary for success.
As part of our effort to win these legislative battles, we are launching a new initiative to establish a national grassroots advocacy network. Our goal is for every state chapter to designate a representative to contact as federal legislative issues arise. These advocates would, in turn, relay information and calls-to-action to contact persons in each Congressional district and for each Senator. A network of advocates will ensure that we will be able to respond quickly and effectively to legislative issues as they arise. By having this established network in place, we can maximize our efforts on a national level.
What does the FLLAN contact do?
The Federal Library Legislative and Advocacy Network contact is a person designated by his or her state chapter to serve as the primary point of contact in the state for federal issues related to libraries. As federal issues arise, staff at the OGR will communicate with the network contacts to request that they convey the library position to congressional representatives and senators in the contact’s state.
Specific network contact responsibilities include the following:
- Identify an individual in each Congressional district who can serve as a primary contact for that representative and write or forward letters when asked.
- Identify individuals in the state who will take the lead in advocating in specific critical issue areas such as copyright, intellectual freedom, government information, school libraries and library funding. These experts would be asked to draft letters in response to requests from the ALA Washington Office.
- Call, write or email Congressional offices on issues as needed.
- Be informed of federal issues related to all types of libraries.
- Disseminate information and action needs on federal library issues from the OGR to all interested parties within the state.
- Keep OGR informed of any information learned at the state level that is pertinent to federal legislative and advocacy issues.
- Track the impact of federal library issues on libraries in that state.
The contact is strongly encouraged to attend National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) or, at the least, to provide all necessary information on federal legislative and advocacy information to the NLLD coordinator for that state.
Who appoints representatives to be the FLLAN contact?
The process for appointing a contact is different for every state. If you are interested in being the contact for your state or would like to designate a contact, you may want to begin working with your chapter legislative committees and executive boards to identify an individual who would be willing to serve as a representative to this legislative network from your state. The selected contact should be someone familiar with and willing to advocate for all types of libraries. You may already have a person in your state who coordinates an existing grassroots network for federal issues. If so, please forward their name so that we can coordinate with them for national legislative issues.
To see who your state's coordinator is, please visit the FLLAN Member Directory.
Key action issues for current and potential library advocates are as follows:
- Support increased federal funding for Libraries;
- Take action on privacy, surveillance and the USA PATRIOT Act issues;
- Fight for balanced copyright law and fair use;
- Support E-rate discounts for telecommunications;
- Support free and open access to government information.
Please share this request with your legislative committees and executive boards.
Contact information for any individuals that you identify in your state should be sent to Ted Wegner