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Now’s the Time to Say ‘Thank You’ to Congressional Library Supporters

You booked your appointments, prepared your talking points, attended the MLA orientation session, and, finally, had the opportunity to speak to your legislators on behalf of libraries as part of MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Day.

Now you’re done, right? Wrong. If you haven’t already, remember to follow up with a thank you note to the officials who took time out of their busy schedules to speak with you.

“Congressmen and their aides speak with many many people on any given day,” said veteran congressional lobbyist and ‘Advocacy Guru’ Stephanie Vance in her keynote speech at last fall’s MLA Annual Conference. “Following up your five-minute conversation with a prompt thank you letter or email reiterating your main talking points can cement you in their memory… And you really don’t want to run the risk of being forgotten.”


Contact information for your congressperson in both the House and Senate is available through this government representative contact info search database hosted by the state Legislative Coordination Commission.

If you’d like to go into library legislation specifics, you can review the 2013 Legislative Platform. Below is a list of platform planks being addressed in some form by a current bill. If you are from a district represented by a bill author (or co-author), be sure to thank them specifically for this sustained support.

Plank 1.  Fund Regional Public Library Basic System Support.
Bill SF453: Senator Charles W. Wiger (DFL) District 43
Bill HF630: Representative Paul Marquart (DFL) District 04B

Plank 2. Fund Multicounty, Multitype Regional Library System Support.
Bill SF453: Senator Charles W. Wiger (DFL) District 43
Bill HF630: Representative Paul Marquart (DFL) District: 04B

Plank 3. Fund Telecommunications Equity Aid and Regional Library Telecommunications Aid.
Bill SF453: Senator Charles W. Wiger (DFL) District 43
Bill HF630: Representative Paul Marquart (DFL) District: 04B

Plank 4. Fund Minitex at $5,631,000 each year of the biennium.
Bill SF995: Senator Bernhard Kent (DFL) District 4; Greg D. Clausen (DFL), District 57
Bill HF1150: Representative Ryan Winkler (DFL) District: 46A; Representative Bud Nornes (R) District 08A; Representative Kathy Brynaert (DFL) District: 19B

Plank 5. Fund MnLINK at $400,000 each year of the biennium.
Bill SF995: Senator Bernhard Kent (DFL) District 4; Greg D. Clausen (DFL), District 57
Bill HF1150: Representative Ryan Winkler (DFL) District: 46A; Representative Bud Nornes (R) District: 08A; Representative Kathy Brynaert (DFL) District: 19B

Plank 6. Fund Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) at current levels each year of the biennium.
Bill SF781: Gretchen M. Hoffman (R) District 10; Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL) District 01; Senator Vicki Jensen (DFL) District 24
Bill HF1145: Representative Kathy Brynaert (DFL) District: 19B; Representative Sondra Erickson (R) District 15A

Plank 8. Appropriate $750,000 in the first year and $600,000 in the second year of the biennium to subscribe, implement, and promote free, online homework help for all MN students.
Bill SF781: Gretchen M. Hoffman (R) District 10; Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL) District 01; Senator Vicki Jensen (DFL) District 24
Bill HF1145: Representative Kathy Brynaert (DFL) District: 19B; Representative Sondra Erickson (R) District 15A

Plank 12.  Add data privacy protection for electronic materials and services to MS13.40.
Bill SF745: Senator Kari Dziedzic (DFL) District 60; Senator Ron Latz (DFL) District 46; Senator Carla J. Nelson (R) District 26
Bill HF695: Representative Steve Simon (DFL) District 46B