Published 1/14/2021 5:38 PM CT; updated 12/22/2021 11:15 PM CT
2022 ILA Library Legislative Meet-Ups
#ILAMeetup and #IHLSLibraries
Once again, Illinois Heartland Library System is joining the Illinois Library Association at the annual ILA Library Legislative Meet-Ups, and we encourage library trustees, directors, and staff from public, school, and academic libraries to attend and participate.
This series of legislative events provides opportunities to meet with your legislators and hear their thoughts firsthand about issues affecting libraries in your area. All elected officials on the state and federal levels are invited by ILA to attend.
The legislative events will look a little different this year as they will all be held virtually through Zoom. We'll miss the interactive give-and-take that gathering over a meal allows in this webinar format, but there will still be opportunities for Q&A. What won't change is our commitment to advocating for Illinois libraries!
Advance registration is required.
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
Central Illinois Library Legislative Zoom Meet-Up
Friday, January 28, 2022
8 - 9 a.m.
Metro East & Southern Illinois Library Legislative Zoom Meet-Up
Monday, February 14, 2022
10 - 11 a.m.
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 ILA Meet-up by using the relevant link above or visiting the ILA Legislative Meet-ups information page. Events will not be recorded.
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 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.
- Look up your state and federal legislators.
- See if your legislators have responded "yes" to attend. All federal and state representatives for Illinois have been invited to attend.
- Visit your representatives' websites to learn about their political priorities.
Review the issues.
- Visit the ILA Legislative Issues hub to review (and perhaps print) the ILA's summaries of the top library-related legislative issues and ILA's position on them:
- BONUS POINTS 1: Read summaries of specific issues and links to more resources on the ILA Making Your Case page.
- BONUS POINTS 2: Review ILA's NEW library advocacy toolkit, Ready, Set, Advocate!
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 and will likely need to be submitted in advance.
5. Attend the 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!
6. Follow up with your legislators after the event
- Retrieve the contact information for your state and federal legislators.
- Contact them and thank them for attending the meet-up.
- Comment on something heard at the meet-up.
- Invite them to your library or to schedule an individual meeting.