The American Library Association’s Washington Office invites you to participate in a short survey to share the ways your library supports democracy and civic engagement in your community.
To offer a bit of background, in 2000, ALA released a resource for librarians and elected leaders, highlighting numerous ways libraries were supporting democracy and civic engagement in their communities through voter registration drives, candidate forums, voter guides, and other initiatives. This was part of then-ALA President Nancy Kranich’s presidential theme, Libraries: The Cornerstone of Democracy.
Eighteen years later, libraries continue to offer these opportunities and more. This survey is an undertaking to report on the numerous ways that libraries continue to support and strengthen democracy in their communities through leading civic engagement efforts, hosting elected and government official town halls, serving as polling sites and offering many other opportunities. Stories – even more than lists of events – are especially appreciated, but lists are also welcome.
This project is being carried out as part of my Google Policy Fellowship work. In my time as a librarian in Kansas and as an LIS PhD student, I have witnessed numerous examples of ways libraries of all types and sizes are offering initiatives, partnerships, resources, and opportunities that give community members voices, knowledge, spaces and platforms to better participate in democratic activities and foster civic engagement in their communities. Many more of these stories exist throughout the library profession, and this survey seeks to uncover them. I will be releasing an article or online report later this year that will bring together the shared stories.
The survey will be available for participation through July 16. Please feel free to pass this information on to library colleagues through other listservs, social media and other means.
Thank you for your interest and participation.