Announcing the EveryLibrary Institute

We are proud to announce the launch of The EveryLibrary Institute, a 501c3 companion organization to EveryLibrary, the first nationwide political action committee for libraries.

As a non-profit organization, The EveryLibrary Institute is dedicated to ensuring continued public and political support for library funding. The core work of the EveryLibrary Institute will be to advance a research and programmatic agenda that strengthens the policy framework in partnership for libraries and librarians in the future. The Institute’s 501c3 charter is aligned with EveryLibrary’s c4 mission of building voter support for libraries, but it functions solely within traditional c3 grant eligibility and spending limitations.

Since 2012, EveryLibrary has been the first and only national 501c4 political action committee for libraries. Our status as a 501c4 has allowed us to work within the law and current IRS regulations on political activities and political action for libraries, without the caps and restrictions of a charitable, association, foundation or nonprofit organization. This 501c4 status allows EveryLibrary to “raise and expend” donor money to build voter support for libraries, to work directly with local library communities when they are on the ballot, and to move from everyday advocacy to engaged activism for libraries and librarians across the ecosystem. EveryLibrary has changed the way that individual and corporate library stakeholders put donations to work on political outcomes for library funding. To date, we have helped libraries win over $265 million dollars in new or renewed tax funding support with this approach. The legal “Form” of EveryLibrary as a 501c4 has allowed us to “Function” in a unique and high-impact way.

The same goes for setting up the new EveryLibrary Institute as a 501c3 organization. Launching the EveryLibrary Institute as a 501c3 will allow us to put grant funding and other restricted sources of donor support to work on research and public engagement about libraries, librarians, and taxes. As a library ecosystem, we only have a limited understanding of what Americans think of libraries, librarians, and taxes. As we have seen with the recent release of the 2018 From Awareness to Funding study, the gaps in our industry’s knowledge and understanding of what motivates Americans about library funding is alarmingly limited. The core work of the EveryLibrary Institute will be to advance an open-access research agenda that is focused on voter and public perception of taxes for libraries, and not on what users experience as users of libraries:

  • Bespoke ‘Library Return on Investment’ Studies
  • Public Opinion Polling and Analysis
  • Voter, Donor, and Support Modeling
  • Library Social Media Effectiveness Analysis
  • Message Testing, Analysis, and Modeling
  • Textual Analysis of Library and Librarian Media Coverage
  • Data-mining Local Library Election Results
  • Track Long Term Changes in Voter or Supporter Data
  • Comparative Analysis of Issues and Voter Beliefs
  • Comparative Funding Models
  • R&D about New Revenue Sources for Libraries

The people who are involved with EveryLibrary – from our Board and Advisory Committee to our donors and volunteers – have a deep understanding that “any library funding problem anywhere should matter to every library stakeholder everywhere”. It’s the reason we called it “EveryLibrary” to begin with. That awareness permeates our ‘organizational DNA’ and will be carried into the mission, vision, and purpose of the 501c3 EveryLibrary Institute. Our leadership team is comfortable with political action. Our donors appreciate how we help turn voters into library funders. And librarians everywhere know that our approach to promoting libraries is rooted in the expression of the values system of librarianship. EveryLibrary’s c4 work will continue unchanged alongside this new companion organization.

With our new 501c3 EveryLibrary Institute, we are now ready to partner with foundations, philanthropic organizations, associations, non-profits, and academic institutions to enhance public perception of libraries and librarianship through research-driven direct engagement with American society. Our interest is in developing new understanding of voter and public perceptions to share with the entire library funding ecosystem. We hope to see benefits for library funding accrue at the ballot box, with local and state government, in Washington, D.C., from our partnership-driven work.