Leaving Our Library Silos - Coalition Work

As part of our 2017 EveryLibrary Agenda, we are taking a deliberate step to bring EveryLibrary to coalitions that support the people libraries serve. We will join together support the work of other organizations that address common concerns about our country, but may need to hear about libraries and librarians in a new way. Our hope is to find willing and engaged coalition partners who understand that libraries are part of the solution to problems facing America today.

 We will actively seek out projects and coalitions where we can bring our growing network of library activists and find solutions together. We are outlining an ambitious agenda for coalition work this year. Some aspects of the agenda come from how we are organized as a political action committee. Other aspects are rooted in our work with libraries and the populations they serve. Our areas of concern in 2017 are:

Voter Rights and Ballot Access Money in Politics Protections for Public Sector Workers and Pension Reform

Civil Society and Teaching Civics Economic Freedom and Prosperity Media Literacy Literacy, Education, and Lifelong Learning Information Access and Freedom of Information

Net Neutrality and the FCC Federal and State Budgets and Regulations First Sale, Copyright, and DCMA Reform

We are only limited in this work by our capacity. You can be a part of bringing libraries and librarians into more active participation by donating, sharing, or volunteering today. We need the financial resources to carry our part of the coalition work forward. EveryLibrary needs you to respond to these calls to action. And we will need a few people to help us at the table as delegates to the coalitions. Here's why we believe these new coalitions and partnerships are important to us, to the libraries we support, and the people they serve.

Voting Rights and Election Protection EveryLibrary works to build voter support for libraries. We believe that access to the ballot is a fundamental part of American citizenship. Free and fair elections start with informed and enfranchised citizens. Because libraries have a key role in registering people to vote and voter education, we will take the following actions in 2017:

EveryLibrary will expand our work as the library channel partner for “National Voter Registration Day” and support libraries’ efforts to register more citizens to vote.

We will join coalitions that focus on voter rights for disenfranchised or under-enfranchised populations, and look to partner on population-specific projects because they advance the interests of all Americans by empowering voter participation. 

Money in Politics As a 501c4 political action committee for libraries, EveryLibrary is committed to transparency in our fundraising and our spending. We believe that transparency correlates with a healthy and transparent democracy.  As an organization, we believe that dark money makes bad politics.  Because of our unique position, we want to help lead a new discussion in America about the role that money should play in politics. To further our organizational values, we will take these actions in 2017:

EveryLibrary will evaluate and join coalitions concerned with reforms to current IRS and state regulations concerning 501c4 organizations with respect to reporting and transparency.

We will actively educate our donors, supporters, and campaigns on transparency, and encourage libraries to include programming on money and politics topics in their civics education.

Protections for Public Sector Workers and Pension Reform EveryLibrary works to support smart tax measures that provide for appropriate staffing at public libraries. We stand with librarians and staff in support of their rights as employees and retirees. If public sector workers from public to school to academic librarians come under threat in 2017, we will take the following actions:

EveryLibrary will highlight and participate in public actions and coalitions that support the rights of public sector workers, particularly librarians and staff at local, state, and federal levels, and sign on to coalitions that seek to preserve the integrity of public employee pension systems.

Civil Society and Teaching Civics Libraries have a key role in teaching civics and supporting civic engagement. Understanding how government works is critical to an informed and engaged electorate. By example and by experience, EveryLibrary wants to encourage more people to become involved in setting policy and budget priorities for their libraries and other units of local government in towns, cities, and counties.  Because our work is fundamentally about civic engagement and voter participation, we will take these actions in 2017:

EveryLibrary will deepen our relationship with the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation to develop programming for libraries on civic engagement and civics in libraries.

We will identify and join coalitions need libraries and librarians when they create or promote Civics Days for communities and on campuses.

Economic Freedom and Prosperity One of the most consistent, but often most hidden, values that a library brings to its community is how it supports the local economy and economic freedom. Because libraries are on the front lines of helping people who need a hand-up, and are a vital part of the business and entrepreneurial ecosystem in towns and cities - providing pathways to individual prosperity through skills building, access to technology, and business reference services - we will take these actions in 2017:

EveryLibrary will help libraries showcase how they create and sustain more prosperous communities across the country through direct marketing and messaging to voters.

We will evaluate and join programs and projects where we can be an effective channel partner for libraries in support of their small business development work.

We will build partnerships and join multi-sector coalitions that can bring libraries and librarians to the center of discussions about the resources they need to make change happen for individuals and communities.

_____________________________________________________________________________ Media Literacy When fake news sets the agenda and rumor rules the airwaves, American voters are neither informed nor empowered to make good decisions. Local, state, and national tax and public policy should reflect and express the will of the people. EveryLibrary has a role in helping local library leaders develop more media-literate communities in advance of a library election through programming and other events. Because libraries have a unique and significant role in developing media and information literacies that help citizens be more informed participants in our democracy, we will take these actions in 2017:

EveryLibrary will work to integrate library issues into media literacy coalitions, and send librarians to symposia, conferences and events to connect with other concerned practitioners from a wide range of civic, social and educational organizations or stakeholder groups.

Literacy, Education, and Lifelong Learning Literacy and the ability to read are basic human rights. EveryLibrary supports our nation’s first and best literacy services: our public, school, and academic libraries. We know from our campaign work that the public appreciates and wants to support this core role for libraries. We also know that the public is eager to have their knowledge about how libraries do literacy services updated and expanded. In order to be effective partners with our library campaigns, and to support libraries nationally, EveryLibrary will focus on the following projects in 2017:

EveryLibrary will continue our successful local and regional partnerships on projects like Books with Barbers and prison libraries in California, and explore new partnerships and alliances that affect change while educating the public.

We will explore ways to help librarians participate in activities and coalitions that focus on literacy services for all ages and abilities, including first language literacy, and build bridges back to the role that libraries play in serving these populations.

Information Access and Freedom of Information EveryLibrary believes that a free people should be able to read freely, and that the principles of intellectual freedom and access to information are at the core of library services. When EveryLibrary’s organizational values align with other organizations, we will take the following actions in 2017 to support the broader advocacy and awareness ecosystem inside and outside the library community:

EveryLibrary will join coalitions, sign statements, and support Amicus briefs that preserve and extend the principles of intellectual freedom for libraries and the public.

We will actively work to build organizational partnerships that cross-promote allied membership or donor opportunities to our networks.

We will be vigilant about censorship or suppression of government-sponsored research and will work in partnership with national organizations to protect the rights of Americans to benefit from taxpayer-funded programs.

Net Neutrality and FCC Regulation Coalitions EveryLibrary believes that an informed public makes better choices for itself and for future generations, and that a level playing field on the internet and across broadcast media is the only way to ensure economic freedom and prosperity. We anticipate that Net Neutrality principles and policies will need to be defended again in the new Administration. Because libraries best serve the public, students, scholars, and local businesses when internet access is open to all, we are taking these actions in 2017:

EveryLibrary stands ready to again join with allies and organizations who are committed to the principles of net neutrality in 2017.

We will actively engage state and local coalitions and alliances that work to maintain or extend equity of access to the internet for libraries and the individuals they serve.

We continue to endorse and support our colleagues at the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute as they look to the reintroduction of the “Don’t Block LGBT” Act in the 115th Congress.

Federal and State Budgets and Regulations In any administration, the library community benefits from a unified and cohesive voice when defending and extending key programs and federal funding for libraries. EveryLibrary is concerned about any erosion to federal and state-level funding that diminishes capacity for innovation and service by libraries. In 2017, EveryLibrary will take the following action:

EveryLibrary will work to amplify federal legislative and regulatory calls-to-action across our networks.

We will continue to partner with state library organizations on common-cause issues, and amplify their calls-to-action to our networks.

First Sale, Copyright, and DMCA Reform Libraries exist for two uniquely American reasons: The application of First Sale doctrine and tax policies that fund the common good. EveryLibrary is concerned that the rights of individuals and institutions to own, lend, and share what they buy are eroding and must be restored. Economic prosperity in our country depends on it. Because First Sale, copyright, and the rights of both content creators and content users in the digital area are key to thriving libraries, we will take the following actions in 2017:

EveryLibrary will educate and advocate for a digital first sale for libraries that will maintain the economy of purchases, but also emphasizes libraries’ mission to own, lend, share, and preserve digital materials.

We will join the fight to copyright changes under current law that would curtail libraries’ present exceptions to reproduction and distribution for purposes such as lending, interlibrary loan, preservation, scholarship, or research.

  Our coalition and partnership agenda was developed by listening to hundreds of EveryLibrary supporters, and looking to our advisory committee and board for guidance. This expanded coalition work is a key component of our 2017 EveryLibrary Agenda. We invite your participation and appreciate your support. For more information about EveryLibrary and our work building voter support for libraries, please visit everylibrary.org, or to take an action for libraries and to support librarians, visit action.everylibrary.org. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has supported 60 library communities on the ballot winning over $200 million in stable tax funding for collections, programs, services, staffing, and facilities. Our support for library negotiations and lobbying extends to school, public, and academic library issues. As the first national super PAC for libraries, all our work is donor supported and provided free of charge to library leadership and stakeholders.