This committee considers any program that might lead to legislation for the advancement of the profession or the status of libraries. If bills are to be presented to the Nebraska Legislature, this committee should attend to the writing of the bills, select the sponsors, and brief them for the need for the bill as well as its results. This committee should be the originator of any publicity on the bill and should organize correspondence carried on by the individual members of the Association concerning the bill. The committee should be constantly on the alert to guard against unfavorable action by the legislature. The committee works closely with the Nebraska Library Commission, the lobbyist, and the NLA President to see that information is disseminated among the membership.
One of the chief duties of the Legislative Committee is to “brief each state legislator at least once annually on important library issues” (Goals and Objectives). This is done through a three part program:
- The committee maintains a “Linking Librarians to the Legislature” program, where one librarian in each legislative district is designated to coordinate communication between NLA and his/her legislator. This library link also coordinates the legislative lobbying activities of other NLA members in that district.
- The committee solicits and summarizes the needs of the membership into a brief legislative agenda, to be submitted for Board approval at the fall retreat board meeting. This agenda is used in conjunction with an innovative “gift” to the incoming legislature, so that they might be reminded of NLA’s existence and its purposes.
- The committee organizes and implements Legislative Day. The chair of this committee, conferring with the lobbyist and the NLA President, sets the date, usually sometime in February, so as to catch the legislature after most bills have been introduced and while they are still in session. The Committee then contacts the “library links”, notifying them of the date and encouraging them to invite their senator to a potluck meal in Lincoln, where librarians can discuss issues of import to libraries with their own senators. The Committee arranges for the lunch near the capitol and attempts to find “host” librarians from a reasonably close area to stand in for librarians who are unable to attend the lunch.
It is the duty of this committee to get information before the membership of the Association of the activities of the ALA Washington office. It is their duty to urge the support, through correspondence, personal contact, or other means of legislation proposed by the Washington ALA office, or called to the attention of the committee by the Washington office.