Apply for ACRL Travel Scholarship to National Library Legislative Day (May 7-8, 2018)

National Library Legislative Day informational graphic, May 7-8, 2017, Washington, DCAre you interested in federal legislation and policy affecting libraries and your campus community? Are you willing to work with your members of Congress for change? ACRL needs you! We recognize that travel funding is tight, but know that academic librarians can make a difference by participating in National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) in Washington, D.C., May 7-8, 2018. To make this participation possible, ACRL is pleased to award $7,500 to reimburse travel expenses for individuals at up to $750 each to attend NLLD through a competitive application process, described below. A group of member leaders will review applications, due December 19, 2017.

During NLLD, librarians, library staff, and library supporters from around the country converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their federal representatives to advocate for the support of libraries and library-friendly legislation. The first day is dedicated to an orientation to advocacy, issue briefings, and a reception on Capitol Hill; the second day is reserved for visits to Congressional offices, organized by your state delegation.

At the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore, we heard during a town hall meeting and grassroots writing sessions that ALA has only a few lobbyists for our nearly 60,000 members and one person is only one voice. In other words: we’re only as good as our members are engaged. Whether you travel to D.C. for NLLD or not, we urge you to dedicate yourself to learning to lobby and to commit yourself to regular sustained action. We need ACRL and ALA members, all of us, to join together in, “the fight of our generation” to preserve library funding and to speak up on other issues on the ACRL Legislative Agenda.

What is the award?
Travel scholarships at up to $750 each for individuals to attend NLLD May 7 and 8, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Who should apply?
Individuals applying to receive an ACRL NLLD scholarship must be members of ACRL, first-time attendees at NLLD, and apply by 6 pm (Eastern Daylight Time), Tuesday, December 19, 2017. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. Those selected to receive travel reimbursement must register for NLLD, make their own travel arrangements, and pay all associated costs. Reimbursable expenses may be up to $750 per person and consist of: NLLD registration, up to 3 nights lodging, travel (round trip, coach class airfare, train ticket, or mileage and parking), and $50 per diem for meals.

How do I apply?
To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A statement addressing the following questions (two pages maximum for all):
    1. Clearly state that you meet the eligibility criteria: 1) that you are a current member of ACRL and 2) that this is your first time attending NLLD.
    2. Why do you want to attend National Library Legislative Day?
    3. What actions can be taken to advocate for library issues at the national level? Describe any advocacy efforts you have been involved in for libraries. (E.g., contacting the local or DC office for your members of Congress, writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper supporting libraries, working with your government relations staff (typically in the office of the president, provost or external affairs) or, inviting your members of Congress to your campus for a library tour, organizing an event and inviting a staff person from the local district office to speak at your library.)
    4. What impact do you hope the experience of attending NLLD will have on your capacity for continued legislative and policy advocacy at the federal level?
    5. How much do you anticipate you would request in reimbursement? (Estimate your travel costs and show your math. Eligible expenses are listed above under the section Who should apply?)
  2. Your resume.
  3. Names of two references who can attest to your interest in advocacy.

When is the deadline to apply?
The single PDF application must submitted via email apply by 6 pm (Eastern Daylight Time), Tuesday, December 19, 2017, to Barbara Petersohn, chair, ACRL Government Relations Committee, at bspetersohn@ung.edu.

Members of the ACRL Government Relations Committee will review applications. The group will select travel scholarship recipients and notify all applicants by Tuesday, January 19, 2018.

If you have questions of any kind, please contact Barbara Petersohn at bspetersohn@ung.edu or 706-867-2921.