Read Our 2019 Annual Report
The EveryLibrary Institute is dedicated to building up and supporting the entire library funding ecosystem. From our research agenda and professional trainings to our crowdfunding platform and fiscal sponsorships, we are engaged in envisioning and creating a future where funding for public libraries and school libraries is ensured.
We know that we can only fulfill our mission through partnerships, alliances, and coalitions both inside and outside the library sector, both domestically and internationally. In 2019, we dedicated ourselves to operationalizing the fundraising, scholarship, and partnership networks we will need over the long term to succeed.
In December, the EveryLibrary Institute and our companion organization EveryLibrary announced the launch of the Libraries 2020 campaign, a national voter engagement initiative that is the first of its kind for libraries. It will bring together EveryLibrary’s skills in voter and public engagement with the EveryLibrary Institute’s competencies in research, polling, and messaging to identify, cultivate, and empower new library supporters. The Libraries 2020 campaign will include original polling and focus groups to understand public attitudes, voter sentiments, and the disposition of elected officials about libraries and librarians. From its outset, the Libraries 2020 campaign looks across our ecosystem at school libraries, public libraries, academic libraries, and the library profession. Our research, training, and partnership agendas are highly focused on the success of the campaign in 2020.
Our most significant activity in 2019 was the launch of our international partnership with CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information, to create Libraries Deliver, a campaign to engage the public and policymakers in England to improve the future of library funding. Funded by ACE, the Arts Council England, Libraries Deliver is a comprehensive digital advocacy campaign and support program that aims to identify and cultivate supporters of libraries across England and empower them to engage with their local Councils as well as Westminster about libraries. Over the last decade over 800 library buildings have closed across the United Kingdom. Numerous libraries, while open, are no longer staffed by professional librarians which we know leads to an information deficit for those communities. Libraries Deliver aims to bring together the robust policy framework and leadership within CILIP with our EveryLibrary Institute approach to digital advocacy, activism, and engagement.
Libraries Deliver launched in July at the CILIP 2019 conference in Manchester with a digital advocacy platform at LibrariesDeliver.uk and social media channels across Facebook and Twitter. The approach we bring is to create actionable pathways for the public to affirm their interest and support for libraries while building relationships through dialog with people over time. Early campaigns included an Open Letter to the Chancellor concerning library funding, the release of the Case for Support by CILIP and The Big Issue, and the launch of Bobby Seagull’s Library Manifesto.
When the UK general election was called for mid-December we expanded our focus to launch VoteLibraries.uk, a targeted campaign to reach voters, candidates, and national political parties with a #votelibraries message. To voters across the UK we asked that they consider the candidates and polices at stake in the election and “take the pledge to #votelibraries”. To candidates, we asked them to go on record and put libraries as a central point in their campaigns. And to the political parties we asked them to include a positive policy statement about library funding in their party manifestos. Dozens of candidates went on record in their constituencies that libraries matter. Most significantly, all four national political parties included a pro-library policy position statement in their manifestos. With the election of a new Conservative government on 19 December, the Libraries Deliver partnership will continue to focus its attention on holding the government to its promises about libraries.
Libraries Deliver would not exist without financial backing from the Arts Council and the leadership of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in support of the library sector. We are grateful to the board and staff leadership at CILIP who have identified the EveryLibrary Institute and the EveryLibrary approach to library advocacy and public engagement as attractive collaborative partners. We believe that Libraries Deliver demonstrates a viable model for true partnerships between library organizations.
In 2019 we continued to develop our research agenda to focus on projects at the intersection of libraries, politics, and library funding issues. We collaborated with institutional leaders and independent researchers to develop data visualization tools like our “Library Return on Investment” map and our “US Library Funding Change Rate” tracking tool. We were proud to publish the “Crime and Libraries” report, the first in a series that explores broad community impacts from library services. Our data science intern team assisted several partners with data normalization projects. In 2020 we will continue to develop research projects and public opinion polling that advance the library profession.
Our training programs are focused on developing political literacy skills among library leaders. Our online and in-person trainings were in high demand in 2019. The team delivered dozens of webinars and was on the road for several week-long training tours, leadership development seminars, and intensive workshops. Our focus is always on building new advocacy and marketing skills and political acumen that helps librarians in school and public settings succeed. Many of the trainings are supported by grants and we coordinate with our hosts at state libraries and library organizations to ensure that the issues we address are germane to the audience and funding partner.
In 2019 we added thirteen new board members to complete our transition from a caretaker board to a fully operational organization. Our staff and interns conduct day-to-day operations in a low-cost distributed office environment across several cities and in a co-working space in Brooklyn.
As a recognized 501(c)3 organization, donations, gifts, and bequests made to The EveryLibrary Institute NFP are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law and current regulations. FEIN 81-4351204. Please consult with your tax advisor.
EveryLibrary Institute, NFP
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Berwyn, IL. 60402