ILA Legislative Meet-Up Days

Published 1/14/2021 5:38 PM CT; updated 2/2/2021 11:17 AM CT

ILA Legislative Meet-Up Days - Advocacy for Illinois Libraries with The Illinois Library Association

Speak Up for Your Area's Libraries at an ILA Legislative Meet-up

Once again, Illinois Library Association has arranged its spring 2021 series of legislative events as opportunities for you and other library staff members and advocates to hear about and ask questions of legislators about issues affecting your library. This year, all legislative meet-ups will be held in a virtual format. Library trustees, directors, and staff from public, school, and academic libraries are encouraged to attend and participate.

Three of these meet-ups are dedicated to elected officials and library representatives from the central and southern Illinois areas: the Central Illinois Library Legislative Zoom Meet-up, Metro East Library Legislative Zoom Meet-up, and the Southern Illinois Library Legislative Zoom Meet-up.


This year's Virtual Meet-ups will be free for ILA members, including staff and trustees from ILA institutional member libraries. For non-members who wish to attend, registration will be $15. Non-members will be invoiced after registering.

Here's how to get started: 

1. Find Your Area's ILA Legislative Meet-up


Southern Illinois Library Legislative Zoom Meet-Up

Friday, February 5, 2021
10-11 a.m. 

Cost: Free for personal and institutional ILA members

Southern Illinois Legislators Invited/Attending


Metro East Library Legislative Zoom Meet-Up

Monday, Feb. 22, 2021
10-11 a.m. 

Cost: Free for personal and institutional ILA members

Metro East Legislators Invited/Attending

Central Illinois Library Legislative Zoom Meet-Up

Friday, Feb. 26, 2021
8-9 a.m. 

Cost: Free for personal and institutional ILA members

Central Illinois Legislators Invited/Attending

2. Register for the event

Registration includes a program featuring state and federal legislative briefings, library-related priorities, speakers, and Q&A with local elected officials. 

Advance registration is required. Register for an #ILAMeetup by visiting the ILA Legislative Meet-ups information page. Events will not be recorded. 

Register for an #ILAMeetup

3. Recruit a friend to go with you

The bigger the attendance at these events, and the more librarians and library staff members share their stories, the more powerful our collective library voice.

  • Can you think of 3 to 5 friends/colleagues who you think should attend? Share this webpage with them by email or text, and then reach out to them with a call to ask them to go with you. 
  • Share the news on social media. Tell your network on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter that you're going to an ILA Legislative Meet-up, and send out a call-to-action asking library staff and trustees to meet you there. Share the ILA information page or this IHLS page.

4. Prepare for the day

Use this opportunity to learn more about library-related legislation, to incorporate stories into Q&A questions regarding how your library has positively impacted your patrons' lives, or to invite legislators to visit your library.

Learn about your representatives. 

Review the issues. 

Prepare a few questions for your representatives during the Q&A portion of the meet-up.

  • We won't have a meal this year over which we can discuss issues with our legislators, so incorporating very short stories into the Q&A may turn out to be the best way to converse with our legislators. Remember, you'll be attending to kindly persuade.
  • Questions will be moderated.

5. Attend your ILA Legislative Meet-Up

  • On the day of the event, log on to the Zoom conference 5 to 10 minutes early.
  • Make sure you have a professional-looking virtual background, if you plan to use one.
  • Share your day on social media using #ILAMeetup and #IHLSLibraries. Tag your officials, too!

After the event, follow up with legislators after the event to invite them to your library or to schedule an individual meeting.