We Sent Hundreds of Librarians to Congress!

At EveryLibrary, we are proud to share our friends and colleagues with Congress through our fundraising campaign to send librarians to Congress. In this campaign we raised over $4,000 to send copies of Kyle Cassidy’s Book, This Is What A Librarian Looks Like, to hundreds of our members of Congress.

I want to especially thank our donors, the 145 people who made this project possible. Thanks to your support, every member of the United States Senate and over 50 key leaders and committee chairs in the House of Representatives are receiving this book – and this new insight into the life and work of librarians across the country – as a gift from you. I sincerely hope it will open eyes to this profession.


get-your-ticketsParty with Kyle Cassidy and Friends at ALA!


Senators and Representatives live and legislate in a rarefied world. We suspect that most members of Congress are like average Americans. They lack exposure to librarians. If they don’t already have a librarian in their lives telling them about the work they do, it will be hard for them to make a smart decision on federal funding for libraries. When the President’s budget proposed eliminating IMLS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, hit in March we knew we needed a way to break through that Washington bubble. We believe that putting a copy of “This is What a Librarian Looks Like” in the hands of our Senators and Representatives would be a way to help do that. We wanted to introduce members of Congress to hundreds of librarians and to put compelling stories about libraries in front of them. Showing our elected officials about the work that is done by librarians (in every Congressional district) may just help humanize us – perhaps again, perhaps for the first time – with the people making decisions about the only federal program for libraries.

EveryLibrary was proud to be one of the hosts for Kyle Cassidy as he took thousands of pictures of the wonderful, engaging, and beautiful people on those pages. I got to see first hand how he made everyone at ease and encouraged his subjects open up to the camera.  Everyone in the book is doing something powerful in their work as a librarian. I know some of the 220 librarians in the book, personally. He captured their humanity.


make-a-donationEvery Dollar we raise we put to work to win $1,600 in stable library funding. Please contribute today!


We know very clearly that voters, constituents, donors, and elected officials want to not only see the library as an institution, but they also want to see the librarians who work there. It really helps folks who are making a decision about funding for a library if they can also see their librarians. The institution itself – especially for non-users – is kind of abstract. We know how powerful it is to talk about librarians because that is we do in every local library election we help run. When the institution is abstract, it’s easy to vote no. When the people who work there are hidden, it’s really hard to justify why they need funding. I’ve had that personal moment at a party or neighborhood gathering when the person I’m chatting with says “Huh – Libraries? Why do we need them anymore? Everything is on the internet.”  My response to that question is to talk about the library as a place just a little but, and to talk about what librarians do in the 21st century a whole lot more. I’m glad I now have This is What a Librarian Looks Like on my bookshelf to take down and show them and I’m glad so many of our politicians do too.

 

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