Publishers Weekly Coverage of EveryLibrary at SxSWi 2013

It was great to meet Calvin Reed from Publishers Weekly during South by Southwest Interactive (SxSWi) last week in Austin, TX.  

He's done a solid round up of the new tech, service, gear, and apps released at Interactive 2013 for the publishing and library community.  And EveryLibrary gets a mention as a "Not your usual tech startup.... is a political action committee set up last December to work on the national level as an advocate for libraries. “We are focused on local library ballot issues because 97% of all library appropriations are made at the local level,” he explains. “If those levies lose on election day, library funding - and the communities [libraries] serve - suffer.” Chrastka, who was the membership director at ALA for a decade, says there are hundreds of millions of dollars in support for libraries on local ballot issues that are often decided by only dozens of votes in each case - initiatives that can be won with “help from outside political consultants that can make a huge difference.”

Chrastka was in Austin to raise funds and to distribute Awesome Little Library Boxes, an open-source digital-distribution e-books-in-a-box library program, used to deliver digital content to communities with inadequate Internet access. SXSW and the tech community, he says, are natural partners to the library community. “Librarians are early adopters, and libraries train late adopters,” he said, noting that “libraries are training people to use stuff that was at SXSW three years ago.” EveryLibrary aids local libraries in preparing for ballot initiatives by providing strategic consulting and studies, training volunteers, offering financial support, and conducting direct get-out-the-vote efforts. EveryLibrary has already had an impact, helping the Spokane Public Library to pass a $1.6 million initiative to reopen several branches. And it doesn’t take much money to make a difference, he says. “We don’t need $50,000 to run a campaign, just $3,000 to $4,000.”

Read his full coverage at Lots to Choose from at SxSW 2013 along with feature stories from around the conference about graphic novels, self-publishing, and mobile content delivery.