Read Our 2020 Annual Report

Learn about how the EveryLibrary Institute works to advance a funding-focused agenda for libraries.

The EveryLibrary Institute focused its resources and attention in 2020 on both the individuals who staff libraries and the institutions themselves. This was a necessary and natural response to the COVID-related crisis facing individual library workers from public, academic, and school libraries as well as the disruptions and dislocations facing our institutions in the United States and abroad. 

COVID-Informed Responses
Since our start in 2018 as a public policy, education policy, and tax policy think tank for libraries, the EveryLibrary Institute has been focused on the funding framework and policy choices that impact libraries and library work. In 2020, it was vitally important that we rapidly and compassionately broaden our focus to include the health, wellbeing, and financial stability of our colleagues who work in libraries of all kinds. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, we have put our research, training, and fiscal sponsorship capabilities to work in new and different ways in 2020. Through the support of hundreds of individual donors, vendor donors, and corporate partners in 2020 we were able to respond - and lead - in agile and innovative ways. 

Our single most important effort in 2020 was the creation and deployment of the “Help a Library Worker Out” (HALO) mutual aid program alongside our companion organization EveryLibrary. The HALO Fund was the only COVID-era national library-focus mutual aid program. The program was designed to disburse personal cash grants of $200 - $250 per person to library workers in personal or household financial need. Beginning on March 22nd, over $80,000 was raised and distributed to over 450 affected library workers and librarians from school, public, and academic settings. Several key vendor and organizational partners made early and sustaining donations including Ebsco, Urban Librarians Unite, Awesome Libraries, Library Works, Brainfuse, Zoobean, WT Cox, Quipu, PIK Inc., and Niche Academy. Their support was matched by 615 individual donors who wanted to see this project work. Fully 90% of the monies donated to the project went to help people in need. The remaining 10% went to pay the direct expenses of running the Help a Library Worker Out campaign. The HALO Fund is not normal or everyday work for the EveryLibrary Institute. But our structure as a 501(c)3 non-profit and our approach to crowdfunding for institutions and organizations through our initiative made this people-focused and donor-powered program a success. 

Download the 2020 Annual Report Today

Library Advocacy and Funding Conference
As we looked at how the COVID-related economic shutdowns will affect funding for every type of library, we wanted to help library leaders respond. The Library Advocacy and Funding Conference (LAFCON) was designed to give practical and actionable advice and training to library leaders in political action, fundraising, community organizing, coalition building, and engaging major donors to help them succeed in the face of significant challenges. Every session was pre-recorded and available on-demand to allow maximum exposure and all the sessions were keynote quality. This allowed us to bring expertise and insights from outside of librarianship to help infuse our industry with new ideas, strategies, and tactics for rebuilding support for library funding. Over 1,000 library leaders from 13 countries viewed 52 top-quality presentations over the extended 6-day conference event in September 

Through the support of Mango Languages, we offered 50 complimentary registrations to students as well as unemployed and underemployed library workers. Bibliotheca, Baker & Tayor, and Follet Learning were Diamond-level sponsors along with 24 other vendor and corporate sponsors. We wanted this conference to be additive in the training and networking space. Too many of our colleagues had to cancel their conferences during COVID and were hurting financially. Our extensive sponsorships and strong paid registration allowed us to keep registration costs down to $100 per person on average. Along with individual scholarships, we donated 25% of the net proceeds from the conference to state library associations to help defray some of their financial hardships during COVID. 

Research Agenda
Through 2020, the EveryLibrary Institute focused on research projects that were informed by the current COVID-crisis and forward looking to what libraries need to be in the post-COVID era. It is mission-critical for us to engage in developing data and advancing the discussion of practitioners to help understand and create policies that reposition funding for library services in a new budget reality. Whether it is school librarians who are dislocated from the libraries, public library workers who are furloughed and reassigned, or academic librarians who are addressing massive shifts in service delivery, we were actively engaged in the discussion. 

With public libraries severely disrupted during the first wave COVID shutdowns, the EveryLibrary Institute collaborated with Counting Opinions to host the eMeasures Snapshot Survey and Count Week, a new reporting and comparison tool designed to capture digital, online, and virtual activity along with several retrospective shutdown-specific questions. The survey questions cover synchronous and asynchronous digital and online programs, services, collections, and interactions across website, social media channels, wifi sessions, and other virtual interactions. The Snapshot components of the project were designed to help capture and compare digital and online activities for reporting, planning, advocacy, marketing, and partnerships. 

We also were proud to publish Vol 5, Issue 2 of The Political Librarian. Published irregularly on the open scholarship platform of Washington University, The Political Librarian accepts new research, opinions, and whitepapers at the intersection of public policy and libraries. We are accepting article submissions for 2021 issues now. 

A Partnership Focused on Libraries
As 2021 comes into focus, we are dedicated to helping library leaders understand their funding landscape and the social and political environment for library work. We remain focused on helping individual library workers in need and committed to helping our ecosystem partners when possible. Everything we do is supported by our donors. We are grateful to dozens of individual donors who have helped build and strengthen our capacity to focus on the future of library funding. With the commitment of our donor community, the EveryLibrary Institute is well-positioned to continue to support the people who work in libraries as well as the policy framework for public and school libraries anchor institutions. You can help move the policy conversation forward for public and school libraries through smart research, targeted education and outreach, and compassionate engagement. Please donate today to be a part of our innovative and effective approach and help ensure that libraries of all kinds are ready to serve their communities and campuses post-COVID. 

John Chrastka 

Executive Director
EveryLibrary Institute, NFP

As a recognized 501(c)3 organization, donations, gifts, bequests, devices and transfers made to The EveryLibrary Institute NFP are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law and current regulations. EveryLibrary Institute is a Gold Rated charity by GoldStar. FEIN 81-4351204

Donate today online or by check to 6433 Fairfield Ave, Berwyn, IL. 60402 USA