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