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.
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.
Are your legislators planning to attend an upcoming Meet-up? If so, which one? We update these lists daily as we receive confirmations:
1/29/2021 South Suburban Zoom @ 10:00 a.m.
2/5/2021 Southern Illinois Zoom @ 10:00 a.m.
2/8/2021 Chicago Zoom @ Noon
2/15/2021 North Suburban Zoom @ 9:00 a.m.
2/19/2021 West Suburban Zoom @ Noon
2/22/2021 Metro East Zoom @ 10:00 a.m.
2/26/2021 Central Illinois Zoom @ 8:00 a.m.
3/5/2021 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. 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!
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.