The Post Office Matters to Libraries, Readers, and Voters
It is vitally important that the Post Office be properly funded and fully supported in order for libraries to deliver literacy and reading into every corner of our country.
Libraries and the US Post Office have had a long symbiotic relationship that improves the quality of life for all Americans. It goes back to Ben Franklin, who was not only the Postmaster of Philadelphia but also the founder of The Library Company, the first American subscription library. For hundreds of years, the Post Office has been the last-mile delivery service for libraries to share books and promote the love of reading into every zip code. It extends to today's high-impact programs like Books By Mail and the InterLibrary Loan system, and innovative programs like the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress and it's state affiliates, who have sent hundreds of thousands of braille and talking books and magazines, large-print books, and described DVDs through the mail for free to anyone who needs them for generations.
From Alaska to Florida, libraries will send books, movies, audiobooks, and music to anyone anywhere. And everyone can send books and other media affordably through Book Rate postage for any reason and to every address. Affordable, regular postal delivery ensures that libraries can provide books and reading material, audiobooks, assistive technologies, and news and information to people from all walks of life. Digital downloads and eBooks are not a substitute or a replacement for print materials for all readers. Here at EveryLibrary, we believe that people with dyslexia, blindness, or other reading barriers should be able to access any book or audiobook they need for school or work - or just for the joy of reading - in whatever format they need through the mail as well as online.
This is why we were so concerned when Trump administration opposed $13 billion in emergency funding for the postal service in the first Cornonavirus stimulus bill and then again in April when the President said he would not approve government help for the postal service until it raised its prices and called the agency a joke. It is important to remember that the President's proposed FY 2021 budget also called for the defunding and closure of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This systematic dismantling of two core strengths of the American system - our libraries and the Post Office - is bad policy and should not stand.
As the nation's only political action committee for libraries, EveryLibrary works with libraries on the ballot across the country. The integrity of our elections during the COVID Crisis is important to us not only because we believe that every American who wants to vote should be able to vote, but also because so many libraries are on the ballot this November. Whether it is done securely through the mail or safely in-person, we want to see all voters cast their votes and all ballots counted. The Post Office cannot be made to fail or our democratic society suffers.
Please join us today and contact Congress to insist that they properly fund and support the Post Office in the next COVID relief bill. Make your voice heard for libraries and the Post Office because together they serve all Americans regardless of who they are, where they live, or what they can afford.