Election Day for Libraries, Too

There are library-related campaigns on ballots across the country—and some librarians, too. Catch up on the issues and candidates, see where to follow the results, and learn the implications.

Tuesday’s midterm election will decide the balance of power in Congress, and likely the country’s course of policy in at least the near future. Women’s rights, immigration, and healthcare are all hot issues for many voters, but there are also dozens of items on the ballot across the country that would impact school and public librarians.

EveryLibrary has been involved in 10 campaigns . According to executive director John Chrastka, the nonprofit organization is currently tracking 47 library-related campaigns altogether across the country as it monitors what’s at stake for libraries in this election. Chrastka says he expects to “discover, unearth, or otherwise stumble over another 20 as we progress through tomorrow's coverage.”

Using the hashtag #votelibraries, EveryLibrary will keep followers updated on results on Twitter (@everylibrary), starting when polls close on the East Coast and tweeting throughout the night. The organization will post a recap with on Wednesday.

For those who see the results but can’t quite analyze them on their own, on Friday, the American Library Association (ALA) will host a free, hour-long webinar providing an overview of “key results” and the implications on library policy agenda, outreach, and advocacy plans for 2019 “and beyond.” The webcast will also discuss specific policy and political opportunities for ALA and libraries.

The panelists will include ALA past-president Jim Neal, senior director of public policy and government relations Alan Inouye, as well as Penn Hill Group principal Vic Klatt and Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy distinguished fellow Gigi Sohn.

These aren’t only campaigns for funding. In some places, librarians themselves are on the ballot, bringing their particularly relevant skill set as part of the wave of educators who decided to run for office this year.

As you follow your local congressional race or the hot contests across the country, don’t forget to check in on the state of libraries—and candidate librarians—as well.

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (kyorio@mediasourceinc.com, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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