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Last spring, WLA President Tim Mallory sent out an urgent message to WLA members: State Librarian Jan Walsh and WLA Federal Relations Co-coordinator Rand Simmons, both stalwart advocates for Washington libraries at the annual legislative days, were unable to attend Library Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on June 29. Team Washington, the WLA advocacy team, needed volunteers to go on visits to Washington's legislators on Capitol Hill. I was going to ALA, paying my own way due to the state budget freeze for public employees, and - as luck would have it - had no committee meetings or essential programs to attend on June 29. So I took a deep breath, typed a brief message to Tim (something like, "Put me on the list"), and hit send. Thanks to the confidence and charisma of team leader Kristie Kirkpatrick, great information from the folks at the Washington State Library, and the training provided by ALA, I learned a lot and had a great experience. Here's a chronicle of my adventure as a first-time advocate on the Hill.


Written with help from Kristie Kirkpatrick.