2012 ALA President's Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF

SCLAIn 2012, the South Carolina Library Association (SCLA) received the ALA President's Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF, for its work to save state funding.

In 2010, SCLA joined forces with the South Carolina Association of School Librarians, the South Carolina State Library, and other state library agencies to create a library data day that would develop a meaningful demonstration of the importance of libraries for those who generate funding through their legislative authority. A “Day in the Life of South Carolina Libraries” handout was created, which resulted from a survey and photographic documentation of library activities over a single day in all types of libraries across the state.

When South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford vetoed $4,653,933 in state aid to public libraries and $1,172,758 in stimulus funds to public libraries, stating that “fully funding local libraries does not rise to the level of many of our other core services such as law enforcement and health care,” librarians and library advocates went to work contacting their legislators via Capwiz. Due to these efforts and a social media campaign, in less than one week the South Carolina House of Representatives voted to override the governor’s vetoes, which would have been a tremendous cut to South Carolina public library funding.