Michigan Library Advocacy Day 2024 Frequently Asked Questions

During Advocacy Day

Where should I park?
There is a map on the MLA website that indicates the closest parking structures to Heritage Hall.

What should I wear?
The dress code for legislative visits is business professional.

What should I bring with me?
We encourage you to bring business cards, a one-page flyer about your library and most importantly your driver's license or another form of personal identification. You will need this to check in for your legislative visits.

What is the most important priority during Michigan Library Advocacy Day?
Michigan Library Advocacy Day is an opportunity to meet with elected officials. These legislative meetings are the most important and biggest priority of the day! Nothing else on the agenda should take precedent for the meetings that MLA has scheduled for you.

What does the schedule for Advocacy Day look like?
We have a great day planned! Click here for the most current schedule.

What will I get in my packet on the day of the event?
On the day of the event, you will be provided with a packet that will include a copy of your schedule, a map, talking points, information to share about MLA and our partners, and details about the Capitol tour as well as any other resources you will need for a successful Advocacy Day. These materials are also available at https://www.milibraries.org/advocacy-day.

Where are my legislators' offices?
Here is a link to the map of where the legislative offices are located. We encourage you to be on time for these visits and to take into consideration that only a few offices are located in the Capitol. Most legislative offices are within a 3-5 minute walk from the Capitol. You will also need to take into account a few extra minutes to stop at the reception desk at each of these locations and check-in for a guest badge.

What if my legislator isn’t available?
We will make every effort to arrange a legislative visit but they are not guaranteed based on the schedule of the legislator. You may or may not meet with the legislators directly due to their schedules, but if they aren’t available, their staff will be there to listen and share your conversations later with your legislator. On your customized schedule, we will indicate who you will be meeting with based on what we know at the time these are printed.

What are the specific “asks” we're making of our legislators?
Facts sheet and talking points are posted on the MLA website.

How long are the legislative meetings and how are they conducted?
To respect the time and work of our legislators on a session day, visits will be scheduled for no more than 30 minutes. Some visits will be shorter, some longer at the discretion of the legislator or their staff. We have put together a resource page that indicates the five key steps to a successful meeting.

What should I talk about at the in-person meeting?
Present the issues and actions you would like your legislators to take. Use personal experiences to emphasize the importance of these issues. Make sure you stay on topic, remain nonpartisan, and avoid discussions of elections and politics that aren't immediately relevant to your priorities. Offer yourself, your organization, and the host organizations as resources for finding solutions. Stay positive and focused! Will I meet my legislators alone or will I be in a group? Depending on your House and Senate districts and who has registered for Michigan Library Advocacy Day, your meeting may include just you, or it could include a small group of 3-4 or an even larger group. Once we close registration in early April, we will be able to communicate this with you and provide names, emails and phone numbers so you can communicate with others that will be in your meeting.

What do I need to know about visiting the libraries of downtown Lansing?
Cooley Law School is open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on April 16. Because the library is not open to the public, when you arrive, tell the guard you are with MLA. The Capital Area District Library Downtown Lansing branch is open from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The Library of Michigan is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.


What should I do after Advocacy Day?
Within 24 hours, send your legislator a thank you email. Use this as an opportunity to restate the issues you have addressed in the meeting. If the legislator asked for follow-up materials, make sure that it is attached to your thank you email. Continue to build a relationship with the legislator by staying in contact after the meeting. Invite the legislator to conduct office hours at the library, read to children or take a "backstage" tour.

Preparing for Advocacy Day

When is Michigan Library Advocacy Day?
This year, Michigan Library Advocacy Day is Tuesday, April 16, 2024 from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM.

Where is Michigan Library Advocacy Day being held?
Heritage Hall at the Michigan State Capitol at 323 W Ottawa Street, Lansing will be “base camp” for the day.

Who hosts Michigan Library Advocacy Day?
The Michigan Library Association is the host for the event.

What is the deadline to participate in Michigan Library Advocacy Day?
The deadline to register is Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 5:00 PM. We know that this is two weeks early, but advanced registration is necessary so that we can make sure there is ample opportunity for you and everyone else that has registered to get an appointment on the calendar.

How much does it cost to attend?
The registration fee is $25.

What is included in my Michigan Library Advocacy Day registration?
Your registration will include an Advocacy Day t-shirt, a boxed lunch, and a customized legislative meeting agenda and packet.

Is this event only for Michigan Library Association members?
You do not need to be a member of MLA to register to attend Advocacy Day.

How do I register?
You must register through the MLA website and create an MLA account if you do not currently have one.

I need more training on being a good advocate. Is there a session I could attend prior to Advocacy Day?
For those new to advocacy, and for those that are pros and would like a refresher course, MLA has scheduled an additional session via zoom on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM. We’ll discuss how the day will run, review our talking points in depth, and the best ways to deliver the message to our House and Senate Members.

How do I identify my state legislators?
When you register for the Michigan Library Advocacy Day, you will be asked to include your House and Senate district based on your home address (where you vote). This is the address that we will use to schedule your visits. If you would like to add additional visits with legislators using your work address, please indicate this on your registration.

Find Your State Senator: https://senate.michigan.gov/FindYourSenator/
Find Your State Representative: https://www.house.mi.gov/#findarepresentative

How will my meeting be scheduled with my legislator?
If you register by our deadline (April 2, 2024), MLA will schedule your visit. We will send you your schedule via email in advance and it will also be printed for you in your packet when you arrive with times and locations indicated. Schedules are in flux and very fluid for legislators so we will keep you updated in real time at Advocacy Day in case anything changes if you provide us your cell phone number.

How should I prepare for Advocacy Day?
MLA’s website is the best place to get up-to-date information prior to Advocacy Day. Make sure you review your legislators' committee assignments, leadership roles, and priorities ahead of the event.

What should I do if I need any accessibility accommodations?
Please indicate any accommodations you may need on the registration form or contact the MLA office at least two weeks in advance at (517) 394-2774 and speak with Lisa Buttigieg.

What should I do if I am unable to make my scheduled meetings?
Please send an email to Lisa Buttigieg ([email protected]) as soon as possible if your schedule changes and you won’t be able to attend advocacy day. It is vital that we keep the legislators informed of who they will be meeting with. There is nothing worse than to not show up for a scheduled visit. Please be courteous and let us know in advance.

What if I can’t attend in person? Is there anything I can do to make my voice heard?
If you can’t join us in person, we hope you will engage in any or all of the following online activities on Michigan Library Advocacy Day, April 16, 2024.

  • Post on Social Media. Your voice has power and we want you to leverage your network to support library advocacy on social media.
  • Call or Send a Letter/Email to Your Elected Officials. We have a phone script to use, and letter and email templates for you to customize and send to your elected officials.

I have a bookmobile that I would like to bring and park in front of the Capitol. Who should I contact?
Libraries with bookmobiles are being asked to bring their vehicles and park on Capitol Avenue in front of the Capitol beginning at 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Special parking permits have been secured for our use. Please contact Amber Sheerin at [email protected] if your library has a bookmobile or book bike and you are interested in participating.

How can my organization be involved with Advocacy Day?
Partnerships and sponsorships are available for Michigan Library Advocacy Day! Please contact Debbie Mikula at dmikula@milibraries for further details.


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.

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