News and Updates
Public libraries buy a tremendous amount of office supplies, building supplies, cleaning supplies, food and beverages, arts and crafts supplies, and other materials. Your loading dock, backroom, or custodial closet is at the end of a very long global supply chain. Everything from copy paper, gardening equipment, coffee pods, art supplies, and HVAC filters are needed in order to run your library very day. In the current Coronavirus economic crisis, it is critically important for library leaders to reconsider their normal approach to purchasing these everyday products to ensure that it benefits the local economy. We are calling on library leaders to shift your purchasing and sourcing away from chain stores and online mega-retail and relocalize it to independent retailers and suppliers.
The CARES Act contains several new financial supports that could be used by 501(c)3 nonprofit libraries in the face of the Coronavirus economic slowdown. These new provisions are administered by the SBA and are intended to help nonprofits (as corporations) make payroll, pay the rent or mortgage, and meet other obligations for 2.5 months and up to $10 million. Key programs are structured as "forgivable loans" which turn into grants if certain criteria are met. They focus on supporting the non-profit sector, so libraries with a nonprofit corporate structure would be wise to understand the programs and access this federal funding if needed.
Can you "Help a Library Worker Out"? The EveryLibrary Institute is fundraising to support library workers, librarians, and staff who are facing unexpected financial difficulties because of the Coronavirus economic slowdown. As a national library 501c3 non-profit organization, the EveryLibrary Institute is in a unique position to quickly bring together donors from across the country and make grants to library workers who are part of our library family.
Here at EveryLibrary, our mission is to ensure that libraries are open and well-funded, and that staff have the resources they need to serve their communities, schools, and campuses. This is why we are grieving alongside our colleagues as libraries are forced to close in the face of COVID-19. But the threats to our communities’ health are too significant not to close, and we do not want to see a single library worker fall ill because of their job. Therefore, we are encouraging libraries to close and to quickly transition to digital services while continuing to pay staff during this disruption.
We are thrilled to share that all three libraries that EveryLibrary supported on the March 17th ballot in Illinois passed their referendum.
It is Election Day in Illinois. EveryLibrary’s mission is to “build voter support for libraries”. We do that in different ways depending on the campaign. On Election Days, it’s with individual libraries on the ballot. It’s very local and it’s always in support of new or renewed funding for the library.
Libraries are closing their physical spaces to the public in order to increase social distancing and we applaud those libraries that have closed. That doesn’t necessarily mean that libraries won’t continue to serve the public in some manner while their doors are closed. There are many digital and online library resources that are available to the public online and we created this content to help highlight how libraries can continue to serve the public even while closed.
EveryLibrary, the national political action committee for libraries, today announces the appointment of five new members of our Board of Directors to guide our organization in our mission to build voter support for libraries. We are thrilled to welcome Jeannie Allen, Director of Strategic Planning and Digital Strategy at Kitsap Regional Library, Lori Bowen Ayre, Founder and Principal Consultant of The Galecia Group, Roberto C. Delgadillo, Student Services Librarian at UC-Davis Shields Library, Gary Kirk, President of Tech Logic, and Kathleen McEvoy, Vice President of Communications at EBSCO Information Services, to the board.
Dealing with COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) raises many questions for librarians. Since being designated as essential disaster services, libraries have focused on the roles that we can serve during emergencies. Most of the attention, has gone to natural, weather, and human disasters as opposed to widespread disease outbreaks but the National Library of Medicine has a great Coronavirus resource page available to librarians as well.
The biggest role libraries can play in a national response to the emerging COVID-19 threat is as information specialists.