Support Library Funding by Contacting your Legislators

As you may know, last month we sent a group of library lovers down to the Minnesota State Capital for Library Legislation Day. We advocated for a variety of library legislation that has the potential to positively impact all libraries across the state! 

ECRL Library Legislative Day Attendees.

This week, library systems around Minnesota are advocating for staff, patrons, and community members to reach out to their own legislators to ask them to support these pieces of legislation. Writing to your legislators makes a difference, and is actually pretty quick and easy! You can find contact info for your legislators here: https://www.gis.lcc.mn.gov/iMaps/districts/

Interested in sending a message, but not exactly sure what to say?  We suggest something like “As someone who lives in your district, I appreciate my local library because ___________.  I strongly encourage you to invest in our libraries and our communities by supporting the bill(s) for ​_______.”

Here are some of the bills we are advocating for:

  1.  Regional Library Basic Systems support (RLBSS) funding (SF1919/HF1917). Interesting tidbit: These funds are critical to the operation of regional public library systems like ECRL. This funding hasn’t been increased since 2008!
  1.  Arts & Cultural Heritage Funding through the Legacy Amendment for Minnesota Public Libraries (SF664 & HF2386). Interesting tidbit: This funding is what makes our Legacy programs possible. Without it we wouldn’t have had Sustainable Safari, Bruce the Bug Guy, Tuey the Comic Stunt Juggler, PolkaSol, For the Love of Loon Storytime, Manga workshops, macrame workshops, cross stitch critters workshops, author visits, and so much more last year!
  1. Bonding for Public Library Construction and Renovation Grants (SF677 & HF670).
    Interesting tidbit: This is a $1:$1 match grant program distributed through the Department of Education. Over 40 public libraries across MN have identified needs for repairs, expansion, or new construction totaling over $90 million dollars. The city of Sandstone is renovating a new space for our Sandstone Public Library branch with a million-dollar grant received from this very program! Did you know the average age of a MN public library building is 52 years?

If you love your library, and we’re guessing you do if you’re reading this, we encourage you to contact your legislators today. Let’s inundate them with support for our Minnesota libraries! 

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