How to Prepare for a Meet-up

So you're thinking about attending one of ILA's upcoming Library Legislative Meet-ups, or perhaps have already registered? We've compiled some information here to help you get the most out of this opportunity to learn about ILA's legislative agenda and hear from your state and federal elected officials. 

First

Who are they? If you don't already know who represents you and/or your library (often not the same individual) in either the Illinois General Assembly or the United States Congress, you can search for them here.

Second

Are your legislators planning to attend an upcoming Meet-up? If so, which one? We update these lists daily as we receive confirmations:

1/24/2022 West Suburban & Chicago Zoom @ 10:00 a.m.

1/28/2022 Central Illinois Zoom @ 8:00 a.m.

2/04/2022 South Suburban & Chicago Zoom @ 10:00 a.m.

2/14/2022 Metro East & Southern @ 10:00 a.m.

2/21/2022 North Suburban & Chicago Zoom @ 9:00 a.m.

2/28/2022 Northwestern Illinois Zoom @ 10:00 a.m.

If your legislator has not yet responded, why not reach out to his or her office to urge them to come? It is highly impactful for legislators to hear from constituents in addition to the ILA office. They've all been invited, but if the person you speak with isn't familiar with the event, just take his or her name and contact information and let us know at ila@ila.org. 

Next

What will you learn about at the meet-up? Program content will vary a bit by event, but generally the speakers will focus on ILA and library legislative priorities and the value and worth of libraries. Of particular note this year will be the remarkable work libraries have done throughout the pandemic! Review ILA's legislative issues webpage to help prepare, and/or download a printer-friendly "palm card" version. This year's meet-ups will look a little different as they will all be held virtually via Zoom and last an hour, rather than mingling over breakfast or lunch. What hasn't changed is our commitment to advocating strongly for Illinois libraries!

New this year! Learn more about how to be a strong library advocate and get prepared for a meet-up by reviewing the Ready, Set, Advocate presentations and toolkit. We are looking for content showcasing what's going on in libraries! If you have a story to share, let us know here. Thank you!

Finally

Don't forget to have fun and be excited about taking this important step toward advocating for Illinois libraries, and the millions we serve! Your homework is to follow up with legislators after the event to invite them to your library (provided it's open to in-person public services) or schedule an individual meeting. We look forward to seeing you at a meet-up. 

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