Hundreds of library supporters from around the nation, including a group of Iowa librarians, gathered in Washington, D.C. May 7 and 8 for National Library Legislative Day. (See photos)
Mary Wegner, State Librarian; Mary Heinzman, St. Ambrose University Library and President of the Iowa Library Association; Duncan Stewart, University of Iowa Libraries; and Alison Galstad, Coralville Public Library Director participated in briefings offered by the American Library Association. They then visited the offices of Iowa’s senators and congressmen to talk about the important role federal funding plays in enhancing public library service in Iowa. The group also explained the key role that teacher librarians play in instructing students to think critically and develop into positive digital citizens.
In Iowa, federal Library Services and Technology funds pay for SILO (the Locator, interlibrary loan and PLOW websites), the annual summer reading program, the State Data Center, e-rate consulting, the Iowa Center for the Book, Iowa Publications Online, library consulting and E-library resources such as EBSCOhost and FirstSearch.
“Libraries are vital to connecting people with the information and critical resources they need to find jobs, learn new skills, complete homework assignments and educate themselves,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s Washington office. “The advocates who came to Washington are true ‘nation builders’ that help citizens reach their potential.”