Attending a Legislative Breakfast
What is a Legislative Breakfast?
Legislative breakfasts are laid-back, informal affairs that allow library teachers and library users to strengthen their relationships with legislators and showcase the important work that they do on behalf of local constituents. Legislative breakfasts are held throughout the state by both public, school, and academic libraries Local advocacy groups and committees organize breakfasts. The Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) provides resources and support and hosts a calendar of breakfasts. Breakfasts typically take place from 8-9am on Fridays, during the months of January-March.
Here's a LINK for upcoming breakfasts in 2020.
MSLA's talking points for 2019 are to support implementation of the recommendations in the Long-Range Plan presented in the Report and Findings of the Special Commission on School Library Services in Massachusetts. Visit this LINK to more information on the study and the Commission.
We hope that MSLA and other stakeholders can work with DESE and the library community to improve equity. We feel that important steps toward improving equity of access to school libraries are:
- Appointing an appropriate staff member at DESE to act as a focal point and allow for a direct connection between DESE and the school library community.
- Conduct a thorough census of school libraries, staffing, and services to clearly identify the areas of inequity.
- Working with DESE and the library community to act on the steps in the Special Commission’s recommendations.
- MSLA has endorsed the Legislative Agenda for fiscal year 2020 of the MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners following are excerpts from our letter.
- "We recognize your need to support the entire Massachusetts library community in your Legislative Agenda and feel that your well-balanced approach with a multi-pronged effort to support libraries of all types provides essential support for equity of access to authoritative information for Massachusetts students and faculty in the K-12 arena as well as professional development/support for school librarians. This year’s Legislative Agenda recognizes the financial pressures that could threaten these essential services for school libraries and students and recommends solutions to avoid service reductions.
- We appreciate your strong support for the school library community and thank you for working so hard to make libraries thrive in the Commonwealth. Please let us if we can help support your efforts.
- If you have questions about legislative breakfasts or are considering hosting one at your library, please contact the Advocacy Committee.
School Library Legislative Breakfasts
Legislative breakfasts take place in school libraries throughout the state. School librarians were invited to attend any of these breakfasts, as well as those being held in public libraries.
Considering speaking at a Legislative Breakfast?
Feel free to structure your speech around one or more of the talking points outlined by MSLA. Be sure to include personal anecdotes and honest reflections about how school libraries have impacted your life and the lives of your students. You speech should be no longer than 5 minutes and include a clear theme (i.e. equity, digital literacy, community, etc.).
Considering hosting a Legislative Breakfast at Your Library?
Hosting a breakfast provides opportunities for attendees to ask questions and make comments regarding pertinent issues, such as legislation impacting school libraries, funding, staffing, and equitable access to resources. Scroll down the page to find out more about hosting a legislative breakfast in your library.
2016 Legislative Breakfast at Dartmouth Middle School (Hosted by School Librarian Laura Gardner).
Hosting a Legislative Breakfast in Your Library
What takes place at a legislative breakfast?
When do I need to start planning?
How can I host a breakfast at my school library?
For questions or additional assistance in getting started, please contact the members of the MSLA Legislative Committee: LINK
How many people attend a breakfast?
How are the legislative breakfasts funded?
What are my responsibilities as the host library?
What are the two most important things to consider when deciding whether or not to host a legislative breakfast?
If you are interested in hosting a breakfast, please feel free to contact previous breakfast hosts.
Westborough High School
I am unable to host a breakfast at my school library, but I still want to be involved. What can I do?
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