Welcoming Ashley Stewart
EveryLibrary is happy to announce that Ashley Stewart is joining us as our new Campaign Strategist. In this role, she will consult with public libraries on their funding or building ballot measures, local Vote Yes Committees on winning campaign strategies, and the occasional Vote No committee to oppose bad policies for libraries across America.
The Campaign Strategist position is integral to EveryLibrary's commitment to championing funding for libraries. With her extensive experience and qualifications, Ashley is a wonderful fit for this pivotal role. Her responsibilities include providing political advice and consultative support about ballot measures, collaborating with library leadership and board members to craft effective Information Only campaigns, and working with local citizen groups to as a partner and advisor to bridge knowledge and skill gaps within campaign committees.
"During the last six years as the Director of the Caseyville Public Library District, I have served on committees and advisory councils, presented at conferences, supervised social work practicum students, and even ran for local office," says Ashley. "Serving a community under 5,000 - we passed a 40% levy increase to save the library from cutting hours and services, acquired over $75k in grant funding, and successfully negotiated and executed an intergovernmental agreement with the local school district, including a building project. Having first-hand experience with program challenges that included threats to myself, my board, and my staff - I have the opportunity to assist other libraries during their fight to protect the rights of ALL constituents. This new chapter in my career will allow me to replicate this with library boards, library systems, and legislative bodies throughout the country."
Ashley brings a unique resume and qualifications to EveryLibrary. Most recently, she was Director of the Caseyville (IL) Public Library District, where she managed staff, community partnerships, state and federal reporting requirements, and financials. Since 2021, she has served as an elected Township Trustee for Collinsville, IL., with fiduciary, policy, and strategic responsibilities for this unit of local government, and sits on the Madison County Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Advisory Council. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Ashley is a Social Work Advisor to PLA, the Public Library Association, is a sought-after speaker at library conferences and is a frequent guest lecturer for MLS/MLIS and MSW programs across the country.
"Since 2012, EveryLibrary has provided pro-bono advising, support, and assistance to over 120 libraries on the ballot," says John Chrastka, EveryLibrary's co-founder and Executive Director. "We have won over 85% of the campaigns and have helped secure over $2 billion in stable tax funding for staff, programs, collections, and facilities. Ashley will help extend our ability to serve and support our partner libraries and ballot committees from the crucial early assessment phase through Election Day. Her experience and dedication to community service and advocacy make her an invaluable partner to our libraries."
Please join us in warmly welcoming Ashley Stewart to the EveryLibrary Team.