Registration is open! Visit the TNLA website for more information. 

Here's how you can prepare for TN Library Legislative Day and everyday library advocacy: 
  1.  Get to know your legislators:
    1. Tips from ALA on building relationships with your legislators
    2. Use the Tennessee Blue Book. The updated edition will be available in February. Go to the Legislators section and do a “find” search for the name you need.
    3. Download the State of Tennessee General Assembly app, and follow your leaders on social media. What is important to them? What are their personal interests? What committees do they serve on? What was their profession before their political career? How do libraries intersect with their agenda? 
  2. Know the issues.
    1. Stay up to date through ALATLA, and TASL on issues important to our libraries. 
      1. Metro Libraries Materials Funding
        1. Secretary of State Tre Hargett has requested $3,000,000 in recurring funds to support the purchase of library materials in the four metropolitan cities. This funding would be part of the Secretary of State’s budget, administered through the State Library & Archives.
        2. The metro libraries serve millions with programs focused on providing support for early childhood literacy, disadvantaged populations, STEM education, and lifelong learning for adults. All of these programs rely on a solid collection of current, carefully selected books and resources in other media to back them.
        3. The state provides $2.40 per capita to assist libraries in the 91 non-metro counties, but only $0.13 for metropolitan libraries. This funding would allow the state to support rural and metro libraries at the same level.
      2. State Coordinator of School Libraries in the Tennessee Department of Education
        1. School libraries are the information hubs of their learning communities and are committed to supporting the TNDOE strategic plan of graduating lifelong learners who are prepared for the challenges of our global information society. 
        2. A statewide school library coordinator is the missing link between the Department of Education and effective school libraries in every Tennessee school.
        3. 36 states have a State Coordinator
        4. Read a letter from ALA President Wanda Brown and AASL President Mary Keeling to Commissioner Schwinn
  3. Tell your library's story.
    1. What stories from your library do you have to share that help legislators connect with and understand your ask?
  4. Schedule an appointment with your legislator. Our appointments windows will be 9:30AM-11:30AM and after 1:00PM.
  5. Invite them to your library while they are not in session. 
    1. (Tips on arranging a Congressional Tour
    2. (TN General Assembly Calendar)





School and public librarians with Governor Bill Lee
Legislators received an infographic, a letter with our ask, and bookmarks from the 2019 TASL Bookmark contest
Blake Hopper, Jennifer Sharp, and Lindsey Kimery with Senator Frank Nicely, who signed a letter to Governor Lee in support of a state coordinator.
Jennifer Sharp, Blake Hopper, Lindsey Kimery with Representative Vincent Dixie who signed a letter to Governor Lee in support of a state coordinator.

We had more school librarians in attendance this year, and we continued our mission of sharing the value of school libraries and librarians in Tennessee, and asking legislators to support the appointment of a State Coordinator of School Library Services to the Department of Education. Thank you to Senator Jack Johnson, Senator Frank Nicely, and Representative Vincent Dixie for signing letters of support asking Governor Lee to include funding for this position in his fiscal year 2020 budget!



Data compiled from a 2019 survey of TN school librarians provided an overview for legislators about our strengths and the ways we can support our schools even more with the leadership of a State Coordinator.)

PDF version of the 2019 TASL School Libraries Report




Data provided by State Librarian and Archivist, Chuck Sherrill, about how IMLS funding is utilized in Tennessee) In addition to our ask, please contact your legislators to ask them to fund IMLS. The president’s budget currently eliminates and defunds the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which provides $3.3 million annually to Tennessee libraries. Our legislators need to hear how important resources, like TEL, which are provided by the state, are to your school. Chances are, if TEL was eliminated, TN schools could not individually afford to fund this level of database access for their students.



Contact your legislators and ask them to appoint a State Coordinator of School Library Services to the Tennessee Department of Education and ask them to fund IMLS.





Banned Books Week: September 23-29

Tools You Can Use to Advocate for School Library Programs



The ALA provides you a place to report challenged materials and they have resources to help you through the process!

The passage of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) was great news for school libraries.  Now it's time to take advantage of the opportunities it provides. AASL has shared the following information.  Check it out!

AASL has resources to help you understand exactly what it means for school library programs:


Looking for a tool to quickly and effectively show the impact made by your library?


Check out AASL's School Library Snapshot Tool.

The Snapshot is aligned to provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Be sure to share your snapshot!

Everyday Advocacy


Advocacy isn't only about contacting legislators and policy makers.  It's about being sure that all stakeholders know just how valuable a strong school library program is.  Here are some tools to help with your Everyday Advocacy efforts.

AASL has a Toolkit to get you started or inspire you with some new ideas. Check out AASL's advocacy page for even more information.

Tennessee Library Association Legislation Watchlist

The Tennessee Library Association actively monitors state legislation related to libraries, librarians, school media specialists, reading, copyright, and intellectual freedom. Also, locate your elected officials.

The Pennsylvania School Library Project has a wealth of information.  This valuable tool will help further your advocacy efforts.Here's the link: