Why Libraries 2020?
Libraries 2020 is a national campaign to build support for local libraries in order to help them keep their doors open. But how does a national campaign and fundraising for EveryLibrary benefit local libraries like yours?
This is a very fair question!
We are dedicated to working in conjunction with other library advocacy organizations and to providing all of our tools, data, and services to libraries free of charge. Providing political support at no cost to local library campaigns and elections is important because many library campaigns are run by people who care about libraries and literacy enough that they've decided to take action and ask the voters for support. The Americans running library campaigns are not political operatives. They haven't been trained to run political campaigns. They don't know how to go to the voters to ask for support. But often, the organizations and political leaders who oppose libraries are backed by large political agencies and have the funding to hire well-trained consultants and spend thousands of dollars opposing funding for new libraries or the continued existence of libraries.
Our national Libraries 2020 campaign will allow us to bundle donations and resources from Americans around the country and put it directly to work supporting local libraries at no charge to the local libraries.
Specifically, your contributions will go to support 4 critical activities that ensure that libraries will be funded well into the future.
- Help us make direct contributions to local library campaigns and elections
- Allow us to provide pro-bono tools and resources to libraries for political initiatives
- Support or oppose legislation that impact libraries’ ability to serve their communities
- Conduct national voter education about the importance and impact of libraries through television, radio, print, and digital media
As always, your donations allow us to provide all of this at no cost to the libraries and library organizations that we work with!
Who Opposes libraries?
We've seen opposition to libraries from political leaders on both the right and the left who don't realize that libraries are one of the best investments a community can make. Organizations like the Koch Brothers funded SuperPAC, Americans for Prosperity, don't seem to understand that libraries often return between $5 and $10 to the community for every dollar spent on them or that libraries provide services to the hundreds of millions of Americans that visit them every single year. There are many politicians like Donald Trump (R), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo(D), Senator Cory Booker (D), NYC Mayor Bill Deblasio (D), and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) who are threatening library funding because they don't realize that libraries provide important programs and services like storytimes, after school help, resources and services for small business and startups, and services for returning veterans. Across the country, we have even seen school libraries and library funding decimated by school boards. We can't let this continue, and that's why we're here.
Our History Of Success
When we started EveryLibrary, our mission was clear and unique in the library advocacy space: build voter support for libraries. Since 2013, we have worked with over 100 libraries to fight the good fight for funding on their Election Days and we have supported hundreds of other libraries through our petitions and political action. We are continuously fighting for both public libraries and school libraries. We have trained thousands of librarians and library supporters to take action for their libraries and we support over 20 libraries at the ballot box each year. We are also fighting for many other libraries that are fighting against bad legislation and politicians who want to de-fund them.
With support from people like you we have won many political actions for libraries. In fact, we have been so successful that for every dollar that we have raised we have been able to return over $1,600 to libraries in stable funding totaling billions of dollars. That means that a $5 a month donation can help libraries earn almost $100,000 in stable funding.
As a 501(c)4 and the first national Political Action Committee for libraries, we are unique in the United States because we can focus on legislative work and building voter support for libraries. This is a critical distinction because almost 98% of library funding is dependent on the will of voters and legislators. Having a 501c4 non-profit designation (instead of the more common 501c3 designation) allows us to use a wide range of tools that are not available to many of the other library advocacy organizations in the United States. And, while these 501c3, advocacy, and membership organizations do amazing work that we fully support, EveryLibrary can use all of the political tools at our disposal to talk directly to the voters and legislators about voting yes for library funding and support the great work of our associations, co-operatives, and advocacy organizations.
As a 501(c)4 organization, contributions to EveryLibrary are not tax deductible. However, if you'd like to make a larger tax-deductible donation to the EveryLibrary Institute (our 501c3) to support our research and training for librarians, please visit everylibraryinstitute.org
You may donate by check or money order (US Funds only) made out to:
P.O. Box 406
45 E. Burlington St.
Riverside, IL 60546
EveryLibrary is a registered 501(c)4 organization (FEIN 46-1534149). We invite you to check up on us before donating by finding out more about us on Guidestar, the most trusted guide to non-profits on the Internet.