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Advocating for Libraries


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead

How can I get involved?


How to get started:
  • Get on ALERT email lists for Federal Issues (see the resources under “How do I stay informed?” for more information).
  • Read meeting agendas and minutes (available on most organizations’ websites) to determine when relevant issues are being discussed and to learn the background.
  • Get involved with organizations, like the Friends, that advocate on behalf of libraries.
  • Join advocacy and library communities on social networking websites like Facebook.
  • Attend meetings of the Library Board to learn from others and to express yourself about libraries.
  • Attend meetings of your local advisory boards, City Council, and County Commission.


 What do I say or do?
  • Tell a compelling story about your personal connection and commitment to libraries.
  • Explain why libraries are important to you, or what about them you value.
  • Use the short public comment periods at County Commission, City Council, NAB and CAB, and Library Board meetings.
  • Issue a Press Release and call TV and radio newsrooms to publicize advocacy campaigns.
  • Testify at Legislative Committee Hearings.
  • Join or create an email list of interested people to receive regular updates about important library issues in the community.


How do I stay informed?


These resources will keep you up-to-date on important information for library advocates.


Library Advocacy Resources

Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations:

“i love libraries:”

American Library Association:

Public Library Association:

Nevada Library Association:

Mailing Lists and Legislative Alerts

At the ALA Legislative Action Center, you will find links at the bottom of the page to register for e-mail alerts or RSS alerts from the American Library Association. These alerts deal primarily with national issues affecting libraries.

Meetings, Agendas and Legislation


Who should I contact?


Who do I contact to share my thoughts?
  • The Library and Library Board
  • Regional and local elected officials
  • Neighborhood and Community Advisory Boards, and other local agencies and bodies
  • State and National elected officials

When your elected officials come through for you, it is always nice to acknowledge their efforts with a thank-you note.


The Library and the Library Board

Washoe County Library welcomes input, suggestions, and concerns from the public. Contact Library Administration through the library website.

The Library Board of Trustees is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, and is responsible for the oversight of Washoe County Library. The Library Board makes final determinations and decisions regarding library policies, operations, and expenditures. Contact the Washoe County Library Board of Trustees here.

Regional and Local Government

The Board of County Commissioners of Washoe County, an elected body, is responsible for oversight of all Washoe County departments, but in the case of the Washoe County Library, that oversight is exercised through the Library Board of Trustees. The Board of County Commissioners is responsible for determining budgets for all county departments, including Washoe County Library, and for appointing Library Trustees. Contact the Board of County Commissioners here.

The City of Reno and City of Sparks do not operate the public libraries within their borders, but decisions made by their respective City Councils can affect libraries in a variety of ways, including parking, construction, zoning changes, and other local issues which may have an impact on libraries and library users.


Local Agencies and Bodies

Neighborhood and Citizen Advisory Boards (NABs and CABs) are full of local residents who are concerned about their communities, but may not know of issues affecting libraries.

The Regional Transportation Commission, or RTC can have an impact on library users through changes to bus routes and pricing.


State and Federal Government

Contact your elected officials in the State of Nevada, including your Governor, Senator, and Assembly member, about state legislation affecting library services, including measures which affect revenues at the county level. Legislation affecting the State Library and Archives can also have a “trickle-down” effect on local libraries, especially when it comes to funding for statewide programs and subscriptions which are used by all libraries in Nevada (such as research databases).

Contact your Senators and your Representative in Congressabout any bills affecting privacy, intellectual freedom, and national funding for library services (including the Library Services and Technology Act or LSTA).