EveryLibrary 2023 Impact Report: Answering Unprecedented Challenges for Libraries and Librarians
In 2023, EveryLibrary continued to uphold our decade long commitment to libraries and librarians. Since its inception in 2012, EveryLibrary has been dedicated to securing better funding and policies for libraries, with notable achievements such as the launch of the Save School Librarians initiative in 2017. This year, EveryLibrary took bold steps to address the ongoing book ban crisis and solidify its position as a leader in library advocacy.
The highlight of EveryLibrary's year was the successful launch of FightForTheFirst.org, our digital organizing and advocacy platform. This initiative empowered over 70 local anti-censorship campaigns, enabling them to engage the public effectively, overcome attacks, and restore books about diverse populations to library shelves. With EveryLibrary's support, these grassroots pro-library campaigns - often underfunded and inexperienced - made significant strides. We were proud to show up for local groups like the Glen Ridge Inite Against Book Bans campaign, the Douglas County Freedom Defenders, the Let Sparta Students Read campaign and many others. We provided free stand-alone advocacy sites for groups like the St. Tammany Library Alliance and the Forsyth County Education Coalition. At the state level, we are the digital backbone for the Florida Freadom to Read Project, the Texas Freedom to Read Project, and Let Utah Read.
Download the full 2023 EveryLibrary Impact Report.
EveryLibrary’s donors prioritize these kinds of direct actions. We spend between $250- $1000 on each Fight for the First campaign to advertise calls-to-action to the local community. We are the only national organization doing this. It is the only way to reach enough people and affect real change.
EveryLibrary made measurable impacts on library funding again in 2023. Even in the face of censorship campaigns, the core of our work is still providing pro-bono support to nine libraries on Election Days. The campaigns to safeguard libraries were particularly important. When the Patmos Library in Michigan became the target of a virulent censorship campaign and faced certain closure last year, we stepped in to help build a new coalition to pass a three-year levy in November. In Pella, IA., frustrated book banners filed an election petition to eliminate the independent library board. EveryLibrary advised the Vote No committee during an 18-month campaign to preserve the library. We prevailed in November by 168 votes. In Great Falls, MT., the library needed to go to court to secure their right to a levy election. We were there every step on the way to more than doubling their budget on the May 2023 ballot.
State library associations are important partners. We played a pivotal role with 15 state library associations in opposing and defeating criminalization bills in these states. We believe that protecting librarians from unjust prosecution is a core value. The early part of the year was focused on helping state library associations identify and form effective coalitions with education, government, civil rights, and civil liberties groups to oppose these bills. Over this very contentious legislative session, our donors enabled us to bring sophisticated digital advocacy tools to these campaigns. Several of our public-facing coalition campaigns made the difference in opposing those bills, including the Idaho Library Association’s “Oppose H0314” campaign, the Maine Library Association’s “Defeat LD123” coalition, and the Montana Library Association’s “Oppose HB234” campaign.
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Through our Medium Magazine and social media channels, EveryLibrary reached millions, publishing over 200 original stories about libraries and librarians. This year, one of our key strategies was to expand our reach and influence among the American public. EveryLibrary added 67,000 new activists to our list and grew the national voter file to over 330,000 Americans who staunchly support libraries. Our social media presence skyrocketed, with over 500,000 Americans following our accounts. Our leadership team was regularly in the news, providing expert commentary on critical library issues.
EveryLibrary's personal donor base grew by 45%, with an average individual donation of $47.55, demonstrating the effectiveness of our organization in the eyes of individual donors and authors. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to new donor-partners, especially author Julia Quinn, who became our first National Ambassador, and Nora Roberts, who sponsored several donor challenges to build awareness and activate new donors. Organizations like the Long Ridge Action Fund, Follett Learning, and EBSCO continued their capacity-building donations. Their support has been crucial to our success.
Looking ahead to 2024, EveryLibrary plans to continue our focus on supporting libraries in crisis, fighting unconstitutional censorship, and growing our organizational health. We are excited to launch the Libraries2024 initiative to educate voters about library issues on Election Day and activate new support at the ballot box. We invite you to join us as donors and activists to be a part of this vital movement supporting libraries across the nation.
To get involved with EveryLibrary's mission to protect and advance libraries, visit everylibrary.org/donate to contribute. Follow our social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and on new platforms like Threads, Mastadon, and BlueSky.
Download the full 2023 EveryLibrary Impact Report (opens PDF).