November 18, 2017

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2016 New York Library Advocacy Day Ramps Up

 

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On March 2, 2016, library advocates from across New York state will head to the Legislative Office Building in Albany to ask for funding and policies that benefit libraries. The New York Library Association (NYLA) Advocacy Day, an annual effort, has resulted in $12 million in additional library aid since 2011. This year, the rally starts at noon.

Interested librarians and advocates should check with their local library director or library system director. Many systems schedule meetings with their legislators or their staff and/or provide busing. Packets of information and useful materials are provided to attendees upon arrival.

NYLA has identified several legislative message priorities. These agenda items include “libraries are education,” bolstered by a 2015 Siena poll finding that 94 percent of New Yorkers say their local library is an important part of the education system, with nearly half saying library aid should increase proportionately to increases in education funding. A second emphasis is “demand for library services is surging,” presented with the results of the same poll: usage is up 10 percent statewide, nearly 15 percent among African American respondents, 15 percent among Latino respondents, and 20 percent for households making less than $50,000 annually.

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, early arrivals can join in professional development seminars, including ones on dealing with the media and personnel evaluations, the Library Advocates Luncheon, and the New Yorkers for Better Libraries evening gala.

Additionally, NYLA has plenty of ideas for Virtual Advocacy for those who can’t make it to upstate New York.

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Christina Vercelletto About Christina Vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is School Library Journal’s former news editor. An award-winning writer and editor, Vercelletto has held staff positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, and NYMetroParents.com.

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