July 25, 2006

Day three COSLA Leadership Institute

This morning started with an all white male panel presentation on the legislative process. We heard from Michael Saxl, former speaker of the house from Maine. He talked about how to cultivate champions for libraries. http://www.verrilldana.com/AttorneyView.aspx?Id=77. He mentioned grassroots and grasstops. He mentioned that as part of a revitalization of towns, that libraries need to be made the community center and highlight of the town. Always try to get third party validation of what you're trying to do in writing. Give hard hat tours of old buildings in need of repair to get the point across. Make sure you have real testimonials from mreal people.

Anthony Driessen, a lobbyist, talked about contituent groups. http://www.quarles.com/Attorneys/Detail.aspx?attorney=178. He made the point of saying that if you don't like politics or politicians, they will sense it... he mentioned doing an asset inventory so you know who is on your side.

Mark Pocan, WI State Representative, spoke about face to face, personal letter, personal call, email communication. He said that you shouldn't assume a "yes" nod means anything when you're talking to a legislator. Also, knowing the staff is important.

Glenn Miller of the Pennsylvania Library Association spoke about advocacy. http://www.palibraries.org/about/. The four factors he discussed were: Merits of the issue, money, political implications, and personal relationships.

Richard Grobschmidt, chair of the WI division of libraries, moderated the panel and briefly discussed how to balance the issues of libraries within the policial realm. http://www.cosla.org/profiles/stateinfo.cfm?StateIndex=27.

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