EveryLibrary is the first and only national organization dedicated to building voter support for libraries. We are chartered “to promote public, school, and college libraries, including by advocating in support of public funding for libraries and building public awareness of public funding initiatives”. Our primary work is to support local public libraries when they have a referendum or measure on the ballot, to support school librarians in crisis through our SaveSchoolLibrarians.org initiative, and to build a national network of Americans who will take action to create a better future for library funding at all levels of government.
Support for Libraries on the Ballot
We provide pro-bono support to library leaders in the run-up to an election as well as free campaign consulting to local Vote Yes campaigns. We do this in three ways: by training library staff, trustees, and volunteers to plan and run effective Information Only campaigns; by assisting local Vote Yes committees on planning and executing Get Out the Vote work for their library’s measure; and by speaking directly to the public about the value and relevance of libraries and librarians. Our focus on activating voters on Election Day is unique in the library advocacy ecosystem.
In each election cycle, tens of millions of dollars are at stake for public libraries. From bonding for new or remodeled building projects to changing millages, levies, or taxes that impact staffing, collections, programs, and services, EveryLibrary is uniquely positioned to help libraries that are on the ballot.
Focusing on School Librarians
School libraries and school librarians are a central part of mission and work. Our SaveSchoolLibrarians.org site provides two kinds of support for school library budgets and school library positions. The core of our advocacy and activism work is on school and district level problems. Like with public libraries, we work in two ways. One is at the local level to activate parents and other local stakeholders for school library funding and school librarians' jobs. The other is to work in partnership at state or federal levels to advance a policy or legislative agenda.
Building a National Network of Americans
Our Action platform allows EveryLibrary to conduct direct actions for libraries quickly and effectively. On the Action site are able to create and field petitions that connect everyday Americans with elected officials when libraries are in crisis. Because of our donor support, we can have that campaign out in front of stakeholders that is supported by paid social media. It is the combination of grassroots techniques and paid advertising that makes us so effective. Our public-facing digital magazine at medium.com/everylibrary creates and syndicates high-quality, engaging articles about libraries and librarians for a general audience. We know that librarians are solutions-providers for literacy, jobs skills, entrepreneurship support, community building, culture, and the arts. The library itself is the channel or vehicle for those librarian-led solutions.
Training Librarians on Political Literacy
Through our companion organization the EveryLibrary Institute, our leadership team are frequent webinar and seminar speakers, conference presenters, workshop leaders, and keynoters. Our learning sessions are rooted in the data about voter and public perception of libraries and is informed by our successful advocacy campaigns and direct activism for public and school libraries across the country. All our speaking and training events to share actionable insights and build new political literacy skills for our audience. Please visit the Training section at the EveryLibrary Institute to learn more.