The Political Journal: Volume 3, Issue 1
The Political Librarian is a peer-reviewed, open access, academic journal dedicated to expanding the discussion of, promoting research on, and helping to re-envision locally focused advocacy, policy, and funding issues for libraries.
In the public sphere, all is political, and no one can afford to claim neutrality. Libraries exist because countless people, with intentionality, worked to establish these essential services. They worked to pass laws and create political structures that support libraries and their communities. The political structures that support libraries are the direct interest of this journal: “The Political Librarian is dedicated to expanding the discussion of, promoting research on, and helping to re-envision locally focused advocacy, policy, and funding issues for libraries.” The Political Librarian invites you to re-envision advocacy, policy, and funding, and we have some outstanding authors to help you get started.
This issue starts with three powerful editorials. John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary, writes about possible changes to federal tax policy that will require library professionals to be innovative as they seek funding sources in the future. John articulates how changes in federal funding will likely force changes in local and state funding as well. Peter Bromberg, EveryLibrary Board Member and Executive Director of Salt Lake City Public Library, details the process that he and his team went through to secure a significant funding increase. Peter lays out a model that can be replicated by
other libraries, regardless of their size or location. Emily Drabinski, Coordinator of Library Instruction for Long Island University--Brooklyn, tells the incredible story of being a union leader and organizer during protracted labor negotiations. Though Emily’s experience is explicitly related to unions, her organizational techniques are useful to any advocacy campaign or negotiation.
This issue also includes two research articles and a thought-provoking think piece. I wrote an article with Mary Naylor, Assessment Librarian for Utah Valley University. Mary and I researched library professionals’ experiences related to institutional social media accounts and politics. This exploratory study captures the political ambiguity in which many library professionals work and begs several questions for future research. Heather Braum, Ph.D. student at the School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, details a fierce political battle and advocacy campaign that saved library systems across Kansas from possibly being defunded. She uses this backdrop to ask “What’s next?” after a major advocacy campaign. Using a Scenarios Methodology, Heather imagines future scenarios that can help prepare Kansas library professionals, and library professionals everywhere, for future political possibilities. Finally, in our General Librarianship Spotlight, Adriana Parker, Associate Librarian at the University of Utah, explicates her process and success as an embedded, and highly-involved librarian working with first-generation students.
PS - Please contemplate how your professional life sits at the nexus of politics, advocacy, and tax policy and consider writing for The Political Librarian. Send your submissions, questions, or project ideas to: [email protected]