December, 2021. In a year of relentless book challenges and successful censorship efforts across the United States, it's easy to feel hopeless, angry, helpless, and frustrated by political groups eager to restrict the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Those emotions are valid, but they don't lead to change. Change comes at the ground level, whether or not your immediate community is one in the midst of school or public library book challenges.
One of many groups working with ground level efforts to shut down censorship and amplify the voices of those defending Intellectual Freedom is EveryLibrary.
EveryLibrary is a nonprofit organization and the first and only national political action committee for libraries in the US. Their primary work is in supporting public library referendums, as well as supporting the continued existence of school libraries and building a powerful network of Americans who take the actions necessary to ensure libraries will remain as a resource for generations to come. Their work focuses on connecting with those in communities who need help, to deliver support through funds and advocacy.
Right now, EveryLibrary has a petition open to Americans that supports the freedom to read for all. The petition allows you to quickly find your state legislators and send an email to them immediately that lends support to intellectual freedom and the legal right to access and read materials from libraries.
View and sign the petition here.
Some of EveryLibrary's most recent successes include helping to ensure passage of New Orleans Public Library's core funding millage, which will support the system for 20 years; a rapid response to the draconian cuts in library service to Niles Maine Public Library; helping students in D.C. ensure school libraries remain a crucial, funded resource; funding the effort to help McCall Public Library in Idaho make necessary expansions via bond; and more.
Now it's time to turn toward helping build anti-censorship coalitions and on the ground efforts across the country, and Book Riot and EveryLibrary are teaming up to make these happen in the new year.
From Monday, December 20 to Wednesday, December 22, Book Riot will be matching all donations made by our readers to EveryLibrary, up to $5,000 USD. These funds will be earmarked for anti-censorship efforts across the US. More specifically, they'll be used to identify and deploy a coalition of citizens like you who care about the right to read in communities where that freedom is being challenged: Everylibrary Giving Campaign.
If you feel like making a monthly donation commitment to EveryLibrary to make an even bigger impact, they're offering a fun incentive right now, too: everyone who starts a monthly donation of $5 or more gets a pair of "I Love My Library" socks from John's Crazy Socks.
EveryLibrary is a 501c4 political action committee dedicated to building voter support for libraries. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has provided donor-supported pro-bono advising and consulting to 63 library campaigns helping to win over $220 million in stable tax funding. Beginning in 2016, EveryLibrary has provided strategic and tactical support to school library communities on education and tax policy, along with supporting dozens of challenges to school library budgets and school librarian positions in schools and districts across the country.
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