All statements made by the Georgia Library Association are on behalf of the association and should not be construed as speaking on behalf of any particular member or their employer.

Purpose & Contact

The purpose and function of the Advocacy Division of the Georgia Library Association is to promote the development and improvement of libraries for the benefit of the people of Georgia by serving as the primary liaison between the Georgia Library Association and state and national legislative bodies to advocate for policy changes, legislative decisions, funding, and increased awareness of the role, value, and goals of the public library and library services in the community.

Contact the division at advocacy@georgialibraryassociation.org.

Take Action for Libraries

Open calls to action are listed below–please reach out to your legislators to protect library services and funding. Need a sample email script? Check out our folder and feel free to adapt to your needs.

Defend Librarian Expertise; Reject SB390

SB390 prohibits Georgia libraries from spending any funds–public or private–on resources, materials, or programs provided by the American Library Association (ALA), and raises significant concerns about state-dictated use of local and donated funds. These actions would would threaten our constitutionally-protected freedom to associate, deprofessionalize our libraries, and undermine Georgia’s ability to attract and retain competitive library staff–all at a time where we need trained information professionals more than ever.

We encourage you to please reach out to your elected Representatives using the campaigns below or this draft email and let them know the impact SB390 would have on your library and community.

SB 390 would:

  • Hurt librarian recruitment and retention at Georgia’s colleges and universities: Georgians and other candidates will choose jobs in other states able to support their professional engagement in ALA-affiliated organizations, including the Association of College and Research Libraries and Association of Research Libraries. Existing employees will lose access to vital professional development necessary for maintaining Georgia’s world-class libraries.
  • Rob library staff access to more than just membership. SB390 bans more than just access to ALA: it also prohibits participation in many affiliate organizations representing public, K-12, and university system libraries, including the:
    • American Association of School Librarians
    • Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services
    • Association for Library Service to Children
    • Association of College and Research Libraries
    • Association of Research Libraries
    • Association for Rural and Small Libraries
    • Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, and Futures
    • Georgia Library Association
    • Patents and Trademarks Resource Center Association
    • Public Library Association
    • Reference and User Services Association
    • United for Libraries (Trustees, Friends, and Foundations)
    • Young Adult Library Services Association
  • Harm libraries’ ability to do their jobs. The bill would prevent all libraries from purchasing the many print and digital books published by the ALA, which support everything from literacy and STEM programming to library financial management; eliminate access to curriculum tools like the widely-adopted Every Child Ready to Read curriculum in use at public libraries statewide; and render inaccessible cataloging tools like the RDA Toolkit used to increase discoverability of Georgia public and academic libraries’ vast collections.
  • Damage the ability of USG institutions to meet SACS accreditation standards. Institutions must provide an adequate number of librarians (standard 11.2), and SACS requires evidence of librarian qualifications and professional opportunities. Under SB 390, it will be much more difficult to meet this standard by harming recruitment and retention, shutting off Georgia’s in-state pipeline of newly qualified librarians, and limiting opportunities for professional growth.
  • Address an issue that will resolve itself: Georgia libraries and the Georgia Library Association are completely independent in their governance, finances, and outlook from ALA. Though ALA ideology has become a political topic, the organization has limited actual authority and the leadership will change before this bill would take effect.

Tell the House Higher Education Committee to reject SB390:

 

https://oneclickpolitics.global.ssl.fastly.net/promo/5my

 

Tell Your Representative to reject SB390:

 

https://oneclickpolitics.global.ssl.fastly.net/promo/5my

Find Your Legislator

Find out who is representing you! State and federal legislators need to be reminded of the good work you do every single day. Advocacy starts with educating and building relationships. One phone call or message from you makes an impact, especially if your legislator is on a House or Senate committee!

 

Find Your Legislator

Bill Tracker

Each year during the legislative session, the GLA Advocacy Division works with our statewide partners to track and advance issues important to Georgia’s libraries. The GLA Bill Tracker is regularly updated to inform members of the Senate and House bills GLA is watching and addressing, our position if any, and actions that we are taking to support or oppose the legislation.

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