Terri Rheinheimer (Middlebury Public Library Director), Robin Crumrin (Dean of Library Services, Indiana State University), Gigi Shook (Center Grove School Librarian), Lissa Krull (Nappanee Public Library Director) and Kathy Hicks-Brooks (Ben Davis High School Librarian) met with members of Congress from May 4–5, 2015, to discuss key library issues during the American Library Association’s 41st annual National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. The Indiana library advocates joined several hundred librarians and library supporters to support federal funding for our nation’s libraries.
Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) jumpstarted the event by discussing the importance of constituent advocacy at an opening briefing. Additional speakers included ALA President Courtney Young; John Carlo Bertot, co-director of the University of Maryland’s Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC); and Patrice McDermott, director of Openthegovernment.org.
During legislative meetings, supporters discussed the need to level-fund the Library Services and Technology Act, continue funding for the school library initiative Innovative Approaches to Literacy and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Library supporters who could not attend the Washington meetings connected virtually with legislators via phone calls, emails and social media platforms.
“National Library Legislative Day advocates are true ‘nation builders,’ and we are appreciative of their commitment to supporting the country’s builders, innovators and dreamers,” said Courtney Young, president of the American Library Association.
Picture above features, left to right: Kathy Hicks-Brooks (Ben Davis High School Librarian), Devin Benavidez, Sen. Joe Donnelly’s Legislative aide, Terri Rheinheimer (Middlebury Public Library Director), Robin Crumrin (Dean of Library Services, ISU), Gigi Shook (Center Grove School Librarian), Lissa Krull (Nappanee Public Library Director).