Library advocates to converge in Washington to protect libraries

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/04/2015

Contact:

Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

ALA Washington Office

202-870-7730

jwright@alawash.org

Hundreds to gather in D.C. for 41st annual National Library Legislative Day


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today marks the beginning of the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day, the annual event when hundreds of library supporters from across the country meet with their members of Congress to advocate for library funding. This year’s 41st annual National Library Legislative Day takes place from May 4–5, 2015, in Washington, D.C.


Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) will jumpstart the event by discussing the importance of constituent advocacy at the opening briefing, which takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2015, at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, D.C. Additional speakers include ALA President Courtney Young; John Carlo Bertot, co-director of the University of Maryland’s Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC); and Patrice McDermott, director of Openthegovernment.org.


National Library Legislative Day advocates will ask their congressional representatives to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and support programs that provide school libraries with needed funds for materials. Additionally, advocates will ask legislators to support library policy issues, such as the restoration of reasonable expectations of privacy.
“National Library Legislative Day advocates are true ‘nation builders,’ and we are appreciative of their commitment to supporting the country’s builders, innovators and dreamers,” said Courtney Young, president of the American Library Association.


During the annual event, the ALA Washington Office awarded Mas’ood Cajee, a library advocate from Stockton, California, the 2015 White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIST) Award. Given to a non-librarian participant attending National Library Legislative Day, the award covers hotel fees in addition to a $300 stipend to reduce the cost of attending the event. Cajee is on the board of the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County, and serves as the chair for Strong Libraries = Strong Communities, a group working toward a ballot measure that will support his city’s county library system.



Library supporters who cannot attend the Washington meetings have the opportunity to connect virtually with legislators via phone calls, emails and social media platforms. Photos from the event will be made available immediately after the event takes place (email ALA Washington Office Press Officer Jazzy Wright at jwright@alawash.org). Access media templates and other resources.


About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.