Mas’ood Cajee, California Endowment Scholars in Health Policy recognized with the 2015 White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIST) Award

Library advocates to converge in Washington to protect libraries

Hundreds to gather in D.C. for 41st annual National Library Legislative Day

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today marks the beginning of the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day, the annual event when hundreds of library supporters from across the country meet with their members of Congress to advocate for library funding. This year’s 41st annual National Library Legislative Day takes place from May 4–5, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) will jumpstart the event by discussing the importance of constituent advocacy at the opening briefing, which takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Monday, May 5, 2014, at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, D.C. Additional speakers include ALA President Courtney Young; John Carlo Bertot, co-director of the University of Maryland’s Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC); and Patrice McDermott, director of Openthegovernment.org.

National Library Legislative Day advocates will ask their congressional representatives to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and support programs that provide school libraries with needed funds for materials. Additionally, advocates will ask legislators to support library policy issues, such as the restoration of reasonable expectations of privacy.

“National Library Legislative Day advocates are true ‘nation builders,’ and we are appreciative of their commitment to supporting the country’s builders, innovators and dreamers,” said Courtney Young, president of the American Library Association.

During the annual event, the ALA Washington Office awarded Mas’ood Cajee, a library advocate from Stockton, California, the winner of the 2015 White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIST) Award. Given to a non-librarian participant attending National Library Legislative Day, the award covers hotel fees in addition to a $300 stipend to reduce the cost of attending the event. Cajee is on the board of the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County, and serves as the chair for Strong Libraries = Strong Communities, a group working toward a ballot measure that will support his city’s county library system.

Library supporters who cannot attend the Washington meetings have the opportunity to connect virtually with legislators via phone calls, emails and social media platforms.

To learn more about the award, go to www.ala.org/awardsgrants.

About the White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce

WHCLIST was an effective force in library advocacy nationally following the White House Conferences on Libraries and Information Services Taskforce, which were held in 1979 and 1991. WHCLIST recently turned its remaining assets over to the American Library Association to fund the WHCLIST Award and spread the spirit of committed, passionate library support to a new generation of advocates.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

Source: American Library Association

May 4, 2015