Helpful Tips for Library Legislative Day

For some helpful tips on a successful day, please watch this brief video. 

13 Tips for Attending Library Legislative Day

Thank you to Jamie Matczak and her colleagues at the Wisconsin Valley Library Service for this 3-minute video! While it was produced in 2023 when securing state library aid in the biennial budget was WLA’s primary objective, the other helpful tips remain relevant.  The emphasis for the 2024 Library Legislative Day will be on relationship building and “thank you” messaging for the resulting $6M budget boost to public library system funding. Please come prepared with a short anecdote illustrating how system support for local libraries make a memorable difference in the lives of the library customers/constituents you share with your legislators.

How to talk with your Senator and Assembly Representative

  • Please respect every legislator’s time and visit ONLY during your scheduled appointment.  If you do not have an appointment, feel free to join the group that has been scheduled but please go only during the time scheduled by the Wisconsin Library Association.

  • Begin by expressing appreciation for the support for public library system funding in the current budget. Mention that we’ve worked hard to use the dollars in ways that improve the lives of the state’s residents.

  • Give examples. Tell them stories of the impact this new funding has had on your library users relative to workforce development, technology, and lifelong learning, for example:

    • Gale courses that people can take to improve their skills, help them get jobs, and develop in their careers

    • Resume building software that helps people with job searches

    • Technology improvements such as scanners for digitizing, hot spots for checkout, and video conference rooms

    • Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming kits for children

Tell them stories about people whose lives are better because the Legislature has invested in our public library system in Wisconsin.  If the story is from the legislator’s constituency area, that’s a bonus, but if it’s not just add that it’s typical of the impacts happening within that legislator’s district and across the state.

  • Hand the staff member the WLA folder for the Senator/Representative.  Say: “This folder includes background information about libraries and library systems.” Don’t take out the materials.  Just leave the folder with them.  Mention that the folder includes a map showing the 15 library systems and contact information for them to schedule listening sessions at libraries in their district. Pro tip: If you are talking with a staff member, be sure to get their name or ask for their business card.  Thank them for their time and their support for libraries!

  • When you get home send a handwritten thank you note to the legislator. If you meet with a staff member, send a thank you note to the legislator acknowledging your appreciation for meeting with their staff, and send a thank you to the staff member

Online Directories

A Senate Office and Staff Directory with office room numbers is linked to the Senate home page at:

An Assembly Staff Directory with office room numbers is linked to the Assembly home page at:

Address Information

Address for all State Senators: P. O. BOX 7882, MADISON, WI 53707-7882

Addresses for Assembly Representatives:

  • LAST NAMES A-L at P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708-8952
  • LAST NAMES M-Z at P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708-8953 

Navigation Tips 

Wisconsin Capitol Interior Map

When traveling to offices, here are some great ways to remember the layout:

  • Senate offices are in the South wing.  Think “S” for Senate.
  • If the office is in the East wing, think “E” for Executive.  The offices of some Assembly members of the Joint Committee on Finance are located there along with those of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and Supreme Court Justices.
  • That leaves the North and West wings for the Assembly.  There are so many Assembly offices they get two wings.
  • When you enter the capitol, you are actually on the ground floor.  That means if you are looking for an office on the first floor, you’ll need to go up a floor.
  • Look for the ceiling light globes when you enter.  There are street names on them.  Escape room hint:  Remember your street of entry to exit the same way you entered. 
  • When standing in the ground floor rotunda, orient yourself to the compass points by noticing the information desk at the top of the East wing.  When it is on your right, you are facing the North wing.
  • Helpful markers are found at the top of each corridor in the first floor rotunda:  East wing is the Bob LaFollette statue, South wing is the bell, West wing is a flag grouping, North wing is the state constitution display cabinet. They can also be seen from the second floor rotunda balconies.
  • Absent the ability to circle the rotunda, the 3rd and 4th floors are more difficult to navigate because of the inner corridors.  Which elevator is chosen on the ground floor is important!  Upon entering the ground floor, use your maps to save time by first identifying the wing where the 3rd or 4th floor office is located and closest elevator.  Then use the corresponding elevator on the ground floor.