NLLD Frequently Asked Questions

National Library Legislative Day banner, displaying dates for 2018: May 7 and May 8

Note: In light of ALA's Annual Conference, which will take place in Washington, D.C. on June 20-25, 2019, the next National Library Legislative Day will occur in 2020. Check back for updates or contact Megan Ortegon, manager of Public Policy, for more information.

What is National Library Legislative Day?
National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) is a two-day advocacy training event hosted by ALA. Library advocates are invited to Washington, D.C. for advocacy training and to learn about legislative issues Advocates join their state delegations and head to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials (or, more likely, their staff). These meetings remind members of Congress of the important role that libraries play in their communities.

Who can attend National Library Legislative Day?
Anyone who loves libraries! This event is open to the public and anyone who loves libraries. It is critical that members of Congress and their staff hear firsthand just how important libraries are to their constituents.

I have never gone to a meeting with an elected official. Can I still come?
Yes. While some attendees have been following library legislative issues for many years, many are first-time advocates. We provide a full day of training to ensure participants have the most up-to-date information and can go to their meetings on Capitol Hill fully prepared to answer questions and convey key talking points.

How much does NLLD cost?
National Library Legislative Day costs $75 per person. This registration fee includes entry to the briefing and a continental breakfast, resources materials and talking points, and entry into the evening reception on Capitol Hill. Additional meals, hotel fees, and travel expenses are not included. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Where should I stay in Washington, D.C.?
ALA provides a discounted room rate for attendees. More information will be provided when registration is open.

Why won't the hotel apply the discount code?
The hotel website will apply the discount code if you are booking nights inside our room block. If you are planning on booking nights outside of our room block, you must book the additional nights separately in order to take advantage of the discount.

Do I have to go to the meetings on Capitol Hill alone?
Most states send 5-20 people to NLLD and each state delegation goes together to the meetings. If, for some reason, no other representatives from your state are able to attend, we can arrange to have one of our staff or another experienced library advocate to attend the meeting with you.

How do I connect with the rest of my state delegation?
Please contact your state coordinator for more information. If you have difficulty connecting with your state coordinator, please contact Megan Ortegon, manager of Public Policy, for assistance.

Can I participate online?
Absolutely! When registration is open, you can sign up to participate in Library Legislative Day from home. You will receive an email reminding you to participate, along with a link to the live stream and talking points to help you make calls or prepare emails to Congress.

Does any of this really make a difference?
In a recent study, it was discovered that 10-20 emails or calls from constituents can be enough to change the minds of elected officials. If a call or email has that much power, imagine how effective an in-person meeting can be.

I am not allowed to lobby - what can I do?
The IRS has developed guidelines so that nonprofit groups and private citizens can advocate legally. Even if you are a government appointee, there are ways you can advocate on issues important to libraries and help educate elected officials about the important work libraries do. Still concerned? The National Council of Nonprofits has resources to help you.

How can I support National Library Legislative Day and ensure it continues?
If you would like to make a donation in support of this event, please make a gift to the Washington Office. Visit our donations page, select "offices" and select "WO". For corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Associate Executive Director Kathi Kromer.

You didn't answer my question! Who can I talk to?
Please contact Megan Ortegon with any additional questions.