A Trip to the Capitol: Library Legislative Day 2024

Every year, during the Washington legislative session, a day is selected for Library Legislative Day, where staff from school libraries and public libraries from across the state meet up at the Legislative Building in Olympia to meet with their State Representatives or Legislative Assistants to advocate for libraries.  As TRL serves 5 counties - 7,000 square miles - there are a lot of legislators we can meet with. It all depends on how available Representatives are during the session and on Library Legislative Day. 

This year, I made the trip to the Capitol on February 14th. Joining me for their first Library Legislative day were Andrea H., Director of Content and Access, and Muriel W., Chehalis and Centralia Library Manager. We were able to talk with Rob Barnes, Senior Assistant to Representative to Senator Drew McEwen, Eileen Swarthout, Session Aid to Senator Sam Hunt, Ryan O’Connor, Legislative Assistant to Senator Kevin Van de Wege, and Brady Hood, Assistant to Representative Mike Chapman. 

We talked about TRL libraries with Expanded Access Hours, opens a new window, Anywhere Library, opens a new window, the MyTRL, opens a new window initiative with K-12 students in school districts, workforce development and TRL’s 29 libraries recently re-certified as Connection Sites, opens a new window, TRL’s 2023 digital checkouts reaching 1.9 million, opens a new window and that we are one of 55 public libraries in the world to reach this milestone, and more.  

A key takeaway for us was how thankful and supportive each group was of our libraries and the work we do in the five counties connecting people, places and ideas. All in all, it was a great day for TRL library advocacy!

Learn more about Library Legislative Day 2024 via the Washington Library Association, opens a new window