Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My Library Legislative Day Experience

It had been a few years since the last time I participated in Library Legislative Day, so I had forgotten how this day makes me feel like a newbie and a veteran at the same time. I felt like the excited yet nervous graduate students who were participating for the first time, but at the same time I felt like I was experienced enough that I should know what to say. The day didn't disappoint, by the day's end I had learned new things from others and had shared my knowledge with others. Funny who Legislative Day can do this to you every time.

The morning informational session and keynotes were just great. Kris, Paul and all of the others did a great job informing everyone about the issues. Rep. Kim Hixon gave a great keynote, as did Sen. Dale Schultz. Elizabeth Burmaster was awarded the Public Policy Award and in her speech she said gave the library profession a wonderful compliment by stating that "There are no people who will speak out more passionately than the library community."

This year all of the Legislators that I was scheduled to see were in the district, but that was ok, we were able to speak to a number of wonderful aides that really took the time to listen to our issues, ask questions, and who showed a genuine interest in our agenda, which can't be an easy thing considering all of the people that must come ask them to support their issues.

Once again I left Library Legislative Day with a renewed sense of how important it is for us all to participate in state and local governance, whether it is going to the capital once a year on a cold day in February or by writing a letter to you legislator thanking him/her for their support, we just all need to do our part and in the end our profession, our libraries, and our communities will be better for having done so.

1 comment:

Julie Schneider said...

What a great posting! I hope everyone that has not had the opportunity to experience Library Legislative Day get a chance to read your post. Maybe your post will encourage others to join us on Library Legislative Day. It is not intimidating. It is a very enjoyable and productive opportunity to talk with both colleagues and legislators.