2019 Annual Report
Our work as the only national political action committee for libraries reached several important milestones in 2019. You can read about all of our activities in 2019 in our annual report!
We were proud to celebrate our 110th library Election Day with a win in Southwest LaPlata County Colorado. This is our nation’s newest library district and passing this measure ensures that the library will remain open in this rural community. On social media, EveryLibrary has grown to be an impressive national network of over 340,000 Americans who are library supporters and advocates. Through our petitions and direct political actions, we now have a database of over 155,000 registered and engaged activists for libraries. Most have taken two or more pro-library actions and are personally invested in the cause. Through the SaveSchoolLibrarians.org platform, we have identified and activated 24,000 Americans for school libraries and school librarians. We were proud to partner with dozens of state and local library organizations and associations to help advance their policy and funding agendas through direct political actions. Through 2019, nearly 20,000 people have contacted Congress through our petitions about IMLS funding and other key federal issues.
In 2019 we took the bold step to launch Libraries 2020, a national voter engagement campaign to identify, cultivate, and empower supporters for libraries across the political spectrum. Libraries 2020 will use the best digital and in-person campaign tools to educate more Americans about the role and impact of libraries and librarians and activate them for funding and political outcomes. We are also focused on connecting with candidates for office in races from school boards and city councils to the state legislature and Congress to make libraries – both school and public libraries – an issue in their campaigns. Our hope is to put the skills, techniques, and successes we have built here at EveryLibrary to work on a national scale. Our aim with Libraries 2020 is to secure better funding for school and public libraries from all levels of government and see stronger support for our issues through this campaign. The campaign is a collaboration between EveryLibrary, the EveryLibrary Institute, and other state and national partners. In effect, we want to build the Library Party in the United States.
In 2019, EveryLibrary continued to see strong individual and corporate donor support for our mission and work. All donations made to the EveryLibrary are put to work in three ways.
1) We provide free consulting services, training, and support to public libraries when they are on the ballot or are negotiating with municipal partners; Our pro-bono approach is unique and high impact. Since our first campaign 7 years ago we have returned over $330 million dollars annually in stable tax money to libraries through these wins. Cumulatively over the lifetime of those bonds, levies, warrants, and other tax measures we have helped secure over $1.8 billion in stable revenue for public libraries. Our donors know that EveryLibrary has measurable and visible outcomes because of their support.
2) We put donations to work on focusing on the future of school library funding. The overall decline in the number of school libraries across the county is a national crisis. But even when one school library is closed or a school librarian is cut, it is a local tragedy. Educational outcomes suffer and students have diminished access to learning, reading, and individual discovery. In 2019, the ongoing support of our donors allowed us to reach and activate tens of thousands of people across the country for school libraries. Through dedicated support from Follett Learning, our SaveSchoolLibrarians.org digital advocacy platform has allowed us to work in dozens of schools and districts to fight cuts and restored school librarian jobs. We also participated in national convenings and conferences like the South by Southwest EDU to advance a policy framework for school libraries with other educational stakeholders.
3) We put our donors’ trust to work is by spending smart money to create and grow the national network of Americans who truly support libraries. EveryLibrary’s core mission is to build voter support for libraries. In 2019, we surpassed 300,000 people in our national network placing us just behind the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress as one of the largest national library organizations or institutions on social media. We are building this network in order to change the library advocacy landscape from reactive to proactive. As we grow toward one million Americans for libraries, we can see that starting to shift. Last year, we partnered with a dozen state library associations and organizations to reach people in their states to support their legislative agendas or advance policy and funding asks. When asked, Americans will stand up for their school or public library. We are proud to put donor support to work making that ask.
Here at EveryLibrary, we believe that all Americans deserve free and open access to education, literacy, and our shared culture and heritage through libraries. We believe that every student deserves a school library program that supports the curriculum and a school librarian staffing that largest classroom in the school. We, quite simply, admire and support librarians. They do the important work of connecting people to whatever they need. It is because of this that are at work every day trying to win elections for libraries, to save school librarian jobs, and to advance the idea that America is a better place when libraries are open, thriving, and properly funded. We think that each and every library matters whether it is in a school or on campus or at the center of a neighborhood or town. If you believe like we do that is important work, please join us.
We can only continue this fight for libraries in 2020 with your support. Please donate today and help us connect with more Americans who care about the future of libraries.
P.O. Box 406, Riverside, IL. 60546