Library Advocates Tell Legislators to Protect Libraries and Library Funding

May 22, 2013

Teresa Church, Kay Hagen and Janice HodgesDrs. L. Teresa Church (Ph.D. ’08, MSLS ‘98), Robin Boltz (Ph.D. ‘10), and Rev. Janice Hodges (MSLS ‘07) and Cal Shepard (MSLS '77), alumnae from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, joined more than 350 librarians and library supporters from across the country who traveled to Capitol Hill on May 6, 7 and 8, 2013, to meet with members of Congress to discuss key library issues during the American Library Association’s 39th annual National Library Legislative Day. The event focused on supporting federal funding for national libraries.

During their trip, the group met with U.S. Senator for North Carolina Kay Hagan and others to advocate for libraries. They discussed the need to fund the Library Services and Technology Act, support legislation that gives people who use libraries access to federally-funded scholarly journal articles and continue funding that provides school libraries with needed funds for materials.

“We shared personal stories about the importance of libraries (public, academic, special and school) to put faces with statistics,” said Hodges. “Senator Hagan is very supportive of all that we do and what libraries are about as information facilities -- providing needful services in a time of recession and budget cuts.”
 
Vote for LibrariesThe group left information about North Carolina libraries with Senator Hagan’s assistant for viewing after their visit. Hodges says they missed her last year and “it was a treat meeting her personally this year!”

“Libraries are vital to connecting people with the information and critical resources they need to find jobs, learn new skills, complete homework assignments and educate themselves,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s Washington office. “The advocates who came to Washington are true 'nation builders' that help citizens reach their potential."

This year's National Library Legislative Day event included a virtual advocacy component for library supporters who could not attend the Washington meetings—advocates worked remotely to connect with legislators via phone calls, e-mail messages and social media platforms.”
 
To learn more about National Library Legislative Day and view photos of the event, go to http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/nlld.
 
 

Photo from left to right, Dr. L. Teresa Church, Senator Kay Hagan and Rev. Janice Hodges.