Advocacy Updates from Indiana Library Federation
January 25, 2019
In this issue of your ILF Advocacy Update
  • Updates from the Statehouse
  • Quick Links
  • Spotlight on Public Library Transparency and Accountability
What YOU can do
What you missed in prior issues - Catch up here - Be sure to review issues from Jan. 11 and Jan. 18 , full of important information and links.
Updates from the Indiana Statehouse
Here are the highlights from the past week in the Statehouse:
  • The General Assembly passed several bills out of committee or out of the first chamber, including bills related to teacher pay, civics tests for high school students, school safety and much more.
  • Lawmakers adopted a sexual harassment policy.
  • The Indiana Department of Education reminds educators that more than 15% of the bills relate to K-12 education. IDOE shares its Government Affairs page.

The Indiana Library Federation and its contracted firm, Bose Public Affairs, met with legislators who authored or served on committees where library-related bills will be heard. ILF members may stay updated using our ILF Bill Track link on page 2 of the Bose Report (member login required).
Indiana Library Federation Links
Spotlight on Public Library Accountability and Transparency
Indiana's public libraries are sometimes questioned, compared and contrasted to other units of government. In meetings with legislators, ILF received questions about salary schedules, benefits, budgets and reserves in contrast to other local units. Legislators have asked about compliance with open door laws and best practices in transparency.

ILF advocates remind legislators that public libraries comply with many levels of requirements established in Indiana Code, Administrative Code and by IN Dept. of Local Government Finance (DLGF) and the State Board of Accounts (SBOA). See our one-pager on Library Transparency and Accountability . Email us if you have another idea to add. We are also watching several bills related to library budgets, capital projects, TIF districts, property and local income taxes .

HB1343 would subject a library board to binding review and approval of the public library budget . The bill is anticipated to be scheduled for a hearing in the Local Government Committee on 1/31. ILF invites its members to learn more on the Jan. 28 Update (see below).

What YOU can do:
  1. Stay informed.
  2. Invite your legislators to visit your library. Better yet, invite them to host a Third House meeting at your library if one is not already offered in your community.
  3. Communicate with all legislators the value of the tax structure that supports libraries and the State budget appropriations for INSPIRE and Internet Connectivity. Show how your library stewards taxpayer dollars. If you have reserves, show your long-range facility maintenance and improvement plans.
  4. Attend the Advocacy Update on Jan. 28 to learn more.
What YOU can do: Visit the Statehouse and Meet with Your Legislators
Are you in Indy for another meeting? Are you coming to the Indiana State Library? Plan a short visit to the Statehouse on your visit. Legislators are in town Mondays through Thursdays.

Library Directors Jordan Orwig (Sullivan County Public Library) and Emily Bunyan (Knox County Public Library) were in Indy for a meeting of the Indiana Public Library Association (IPLA) Advisory Board 1/23. They joined Lucinda Nord for a quick tour. Photo above is in front of the Governor's office, shortly after an elevator ride and introduction to Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch .
The Indiana Library Day at the Statehouse will be held Tuesday, March 12 . Plan to attend and bring a board member or community library champion. Register today. Participants are provided an update at ISL and then are accompanied by experienced advocates to meetings with your legislators. Note: we also are looking for a few volunteer photographers. Email us to volunteer or with questions.

Photo above (L-R): Rep. Bob Cherry and Pendleton Community Library Director Lynn Hobbs at the 2018 Statehouse Day.
What YOU can do: Attend Advocacy Update on Jan. 28
ILF offers bi-weekly Advocacy Virtual Updates during the legislative session. Learn the inside scoop from our Advocacy Committee co-chairs and staff. Share what you are hearing about issues in your local community. Ask questions. Learn more about the issues. While usually a member-only benefit, we have extended the Jan. 28 session for all public libraries.

RSVP for the VIRTUAL Advocacy Update at 10am ET on January 28 to receive the link to join the online meeting by computer or telephone. Note that sessions are scheduled bi-weekly: 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/11, 3/25 and 4/8.
What YOU can do: Develop and Strengthen Relationships
ICYMI (In case you missed it) - Kristi Howe (photo at left), new co-chair of the ILF Advocacy/Legislative Committee , shared her thoughts on the importance of relationship building and partnerships in the last issue of Focus on Indiana Libraries .

She writes, " Instead of building strong partnerships, we are often tempted to overwhelm council members, mayors, and state officials with information …after all, we’re information professionals! However, too much raw data, policy language, etc., can actually backfire when personal relationships are missing ." Review her full guest leader column here .
What YOU can do: Attend a Third House or Meet Your Legislator event
Legislators meet with constituents through "Meet your Legislator," "Third House" or "Cracker Barrel" events from December through May. Sessions are often hosted by a local library, chamber of commerce or League of Women Voters. See our calendar for upcoming Third House events in your area. Several are coming up in the next two weeks.

THIS 11-SECOND VIDEO shows what happened at a Third House sessions in Hamilton County, 1/11/19. Thanks to ILF Advocacy Committee member and Carmel Clay Public Library Trustee Jane Herndon for the photos.
Prepping to Meet Your Legislator
  1. Find your legislators where you live and where you work. Research their bio and committees.
  2. Download the 2019 Policy Priorities or one-pager. Email us for specific information and let us know what you learn. Develop a relationship.
  3. Plan to develop or deepen your relationships with legislators and key influencers in the community. Introduce yourself. Offer to be a resource for them about any library questions.