2023 Impact Report: A Year of Advocacy and Achievement at EveryLibrary Institute

The EveryLibrary Institute made significant impacts in library advocacy and public policy in 2023. Our focus was on safeguarding the right to read and the operational sustainability of libraries. 

Our proactive stance in these areas reflects our commitment to keeping libraries as cornerstones of free and open information access. It has never been more clear how important an independent voice for public policy is in the library sector. 

Download the 2023 Impact Report and learn about our
key initiatives and accomplishments


Bold Actions in the Fight Against Censorship

In 2023, we responded to the alarming rise in the number and intensity of book bans and censorship by launching FightForTheFirst.org, a unique digital platform dedicated to anti-censorship activism. Our work from New Jersey to Texas to Montana and Florida provided indispensable pro-bono support to local campaigners. This included our strong focus on school libraries and defending the right of students to access a diverse range of books, especially in the face of increasing censorship attempts targeting LGBTQ+ literature. We stood firm in our belief that every story matters and every voice deserves to be heard.

We published new model legislation, the “Libraries for All Act”, to address shortfalls in current collection development policies in public libraries. The 'Libraries for All Act' represents a significant milestone in our policy efforts. This model legislation aims to redefine collection development and display policies in public libraries. Recognizing the rich diversity of our communities, the Act proposes an innovative framework with Public Accommodation and Civil Rights protections to ensure that library collections are not only interesting to the majority but also relevant and affirming to protected minorities.

Innovative Research and Surveys

Our research portfolio continued to support Dr. Magnusson’s “Database of Book Bans and Challenges in the United States,” an authoritative source on censorship attempts. The "Funding Our Priorities" report shed light on how libraries are prioritized in public sector funding, offering crucial insights for future advocacy. The three-part “Parents Perception” survey series with Book Riot offered fresh insights into how parents view book bans and their implications on children's rights and education.

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Training and Thought Leadership

We conducted over 80 training events for librarians and library boards throughout the year, employing a 'flipped classroom' model for effective learning and engagement. We fostered critical discussions on emerging policy and funding issues that impact libraries through these events and our open-access journal, The Political Librarian.

Effective Coalitions and Civic Engagement

Our work extended beyond traditional library circles, as seen in our involvement with the National Special Districts Coalition and the National Voter Registration Day steering committee. We were highly involved in the National Digital Inclusion Network and the SHLB Coalition in order to support new funding and policy frameworks for libraries. These partnerships and coalitions underscored our commitment to placing libraries at the heart of digital equity and civic engagement. In 2024, we will relaunch our VoteLibraries.org initiative to support libraries as they expand voter registration and election administration projects. 

Forward Momentum

Our staff and board members, comprising professionals from the library and publishing sectors, helped steer ELI towards new horizons of advocacy and impact. We are grateful to our generous philanthropic and mission-driven donors. Our work would not be possible without the capacity-building support of these strategic funders:

  • Nora Roberts and the Nora Roberts Family Foundation
  • Abrams Family Fund
  • Allison Rosen Family Fund
  • Bookey Family Charitable Foundation
  • Moreau / Weinreb Family Fund
  • Steinmann Multiverse Fund 
  • Burlingame Charitable Fund 
  • Heend-Philips Family Charitable Fund 
  • Jim and Karen Conyngham Fund 
  • Rengering Family Charitable Fund 

For the EveryLibrary Institute, 2023 has been a year of unwavering commitment to the values that libraries represent. As we share these accomplishments, we invite you to join our ongoing mission to champion libraries as pillars of democracy and knowledge. Your support and involvement are essential in shaping a future where libraries continue to thrive as beacons of free thought and information.

Download the 2023 Impact Report and learn about our key initiatives and accomplishments.