What if Libraries Were Better Funded?
As the Nation's first and only Political Action Committee for libraries, we're committed to focusing on ensuring that libraries are well funded in the United States. We’re only halfway through the year, and we’re very excited about our successes in 2018.
Already, EveryLibrary has helped win or secure millions of dollars in library funding that will directly benefit their communities. These libraries will be able to maintain or increase the funding that they use to purchase and provide access to databases, collections, programs, and services. Our campaign support for these libraries was only possible by the generosity of our vendor donors and our individual donors.
We were very excited to work to provide pro-bono support to the Ferguson, MO library for almost two years to help them win a campaign with a 66% Yes vote! We were proud to have worked closely with director Scott Bonner, his staff team, and their board to help shape the library’s Informational Campaign to Ferguson voters. We want to congratulate the Vote Yes for Ferguson Library Committee on their Get Out the Vote campaign, and are very happy we could support their strategy and tactics.
We worked with Oakland Public Library for almost 5 years in preparation for their election during the California Primaries. Through our donor supporters, we were able to provide a number of workshops and training sessions for the library board of trustees and the local advocacy group. We spent hundreds of dollars in the years before the campaign running actions to identify and cultivate voters to support libraries. This allowed us to provide a robust list of thousands of local library donors, supporters, and volunteers to the local campaign committee and help them get started.
It was great to see the passage of the keep the library in Potomac, IL. open campaign! EveryLibrary worked, pro-bono, with the Vote Yes Committee there for several months in preparation for Election Day. The ballot question was about the basics: keeping the doors open and the lights on at library. With a 64% yes vote in town and a 53% yes vote in the new part of the district, we are thrilled that this little library will now have stable taxpayer funding to do its job right!
When we heard that Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s proposed budget would eliminate state funding for libraries across the Bluegrass State, we took action. Along with over 70 other programs, Governor Bevin’s proposed cuts to libraries would be harmful to every community in Kentucky and be catastrophic for a few. At EveryLibrary, we fought hard against Governor Bevin’s efforts to curb the educational attainment for our children or the economic prosperity of our communities by cutting libraries. Through our action platform, we were able to call on Kentuckians from all walks of life to support their libraries and tell their legislators in Frankfort to reverse Governor Bevin’s drastic cuts and ultimately fund the libraries.
Middle Georgia Regional Library
Most recently, thanks to the support and signatures from hundreds of supporters, the Macon-Bibb Commission decided to fund the Middle Georgia Regional Library by amending last week’s interim budget. Through our extensive social media read and digital ad spend, over 800 people signed the petition and sent emails to the local commissioners asking them to restore the funding for the library. Dozens of people showed up to the rally outside of the Commissioners meeting with signs of support for library funding and chanted we will not be shushed.
We loved seeing a “Library Construction Update” from the team at the Henrietta (NY) Public Library. Last year, EveryLibrary supported their amazing board and staff team in planning and executing a very effective Informational Communications Campaign in their town. We were also proud to back the “Vote Yes – Henrietta Library Proposal” Committee as they did their Get Out the Vote work for the November 2017 election. It passed with a 62% Yes vote, and they’ve already broken ground. These truly are what Adrienne Furness, their wonderful director, calls “Exciting Times!”
These are just a few of the wins that were only possible thanks in large part to some of our largest vendor donors. In fact, as the only national Political Action Committee for libraries, we’ve been able to help libraries earn over $1.6 billion dollars in funding in the last 6 years thanks to the support from our vendor donor community. Our history of success is significant and for every dollar that we’ve raised, we’ve helped libraries earn about $1,600 in stable funding. That means that for every $1,000 in donations that we've received, we have able to help libraries earn over $1.6 million dollars in stable yearly library funding. But this is just the beginning. Because we are the only organization in the country that focuses 100% of our efforts and resources on ensuring the future of library funding, we will be working with a dozen more libraries that will be on the ballot through November.