A Milestone in Library Advocacy: Rebekah Cummings Runs for Lt. Governor of Utah

At EveryLibrary, we are thrilled to witness a historic moment in the intersection of librarianship and public service. For the first time to our knowledge, a librarian, Rebekah Cummings, is running for the office of Lt. Governor on a major party ticket in the United States. 

This remarkable achievement not only highlights the expanding roles of librarians in our society but also shines a light on the critical issues at the heart of our mission: advocating for the freedom of information and opposing censorship.

Rebekah Cummings has been a staunch advocate for libraries and has served with distinction in various capacities, including as the Board Chair for the Utah State Library Board and the Interim Director of Digital Matters at the University of Utah Marriott Library. Her leadership extends beyond her professional roles, deeply influencing library policies and advocacy, particularly in challenging times marked by increasing book bans and censorship issues nationwide. Rebekah's candidacy is not just a personal achievement but a milestone for the library community at large. It underscores the vital role that libraries play in providing critical services, defending intellectual freedom, and enhancing the educational fabric of our communities. Her background as a librarian brings a unique and valuable perspective to the political arena, where decisions affecting libraries' futures are made.

"We are very happy to see a librarian stepping up to such a high level of public service, especially at a time when libraries across the country are navigating challenges like unconstitutional censorship and state overreach,” says John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary. “While EveryLibrary, as a 501(c)(4) organization, does not endorse political candidates, we cannot help but admire the commitment and dedication of librarians like Rebekah who are willing to lead and foster change. Her candidacy is a beacon of hope for many in our profession and a testament to the important role that libraries and librarians play in shaping an informed and engaged society."

Rebekah has also been a vocal advocate opposing book bans during the Utah legislative session. As she wrote in a powerful op-ed that calls for new ways to find solutions to book challenges, “If we all agree that cherry-picking out-of-context excerpts is not an effective way to evaluate the suitability of books in school libraries, then we have some common ground to work together. Let’s go back to the drawing board and come up with a common-sense solution, one that supports a reasonable, consistent approach to book challenges and doesn’t lead to Bible banning and Utah teachers living in fear of prosecution.” As Rebekah Cummings makes her run for Lt. Governor, we at EveryLibrary look forward to the attention her campaign will bring to the issues facing libraries today. 

We hope her trailblazing candidacy encourages more librarians to engage with public service and policymaking, bringing their indispensable expertise and advocacy to the forefront of national conversations. We invite library advocates to follow this exciting development in Utah and consider how they can answer the call of service to run for office.