The Nuts and Bolts of contacting legislators

 

Individualized letters are typically more persuasive than form letters. When writing a letter, remember to:

  • Use the proper form of address --the Honorable (full name); Dear Representative/Senator (last name)
  • Keep it brief -one page is ideal
  • Identify yourself as someone who lives in the legislator's district (a constituent).
  • Get to the point and use supporting facts and statistics
  • Use a story to illustrate your point and make a personal connection whenever possible (see Your Library Message)
  • Close your letter with an offer to be an informed source of information

 

When planning to invite your legislator to a library event or open house:

  • Send the invitation four to six weeks in advance when possible
  • Plan to have coverage from local media outlets or be prepared to take pictures and submit a story yourself. Include it on your website and social media platforms.
  • Develop an agenda for the event and walk through it with relevant staff, trustees and library friends
  • Craft talking points to highlight your library's services and programs, usage, and transformative power
  • Don't let them leave empty-handed; create a brochure, print a 3D take-away, present them with a library card!
  • Follow up with a letter of thanks and additional materials if necessary or desirable

 

Legislative Coffees or Town Halls

 

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