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April 18, 2023 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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EveryLibrary Continues Its Fight Against Censorship With New Action Platform

EveryLibrary issued the following press release:

Fight for the First: EveryLibrary Launches Action Platform to Defend First Amendment Rights Against Book Banning and Censorship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 2023

Riverside, IL—The First Amendment is under attack. A startling increase in book banning and attacks on public libraries is taking place across the country, attacks frequently backed by powerful organizations with extremist political aims. One chilling example is the 20% loss of voter support for libraries in the last 10 years (according to the latest Awareness to Funding report). Even more alarming, these unprecedented attacks frequently target members of marginalized and historically disenfranchised communities, such as people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ population.

Fight for the First is the first line of defense against these attacks. Developed by EveryLibrary, a 501c(4) organization with national reach, and the EveryLibrary Institute (a 501c3), Fight for the First empowers communities to act in defense of their constitutional right to free speech. Our first goal is to overcome book-banning efforts underway across the country. Second, we will shore up protections for public and school libraries that are at imminent risk of hostile defunding attacks. 

EveryLibrary launched a beta version of Fight for the First eight weeks ago. In that short time, more than 20,000 Americans have signed dozens of local and statewide petitions against book bans and censorship in the United States. This platform has helped local organizers win in places like Glen Ridge, New Jersey. It helped activists build a campaign against legislation in Utah. It’s helping local community members fight against book bans in Rapides Parish in Louisiana. It is now ready for public release.

Book banning represents a clear and present danger to the constitutional foundations of the United States, and libraries have been at the forefront of this fight for decades. But the fight is changing as massive private interests throw their support behind small undemocratic activist groups. With this flow of private funding, these otherwise small groups are having increasing success in undermining the right to free speech. Local efforts to fight against book bans often face organizations with extensive reach, funding, and support. 

To counter these special interests, Fight for the First empowers local coalitions that can defeat book-banning attempts already in progress and lay the groundwork to fight such efforts before they even begin. Fight for the First offers the immediate resources that small campaigns need to be successful, as well as the platform to create long-term organizing action. Backed by EveryLibrary’s vast digital reach, with millions of weekly social media impressions, a national voter file in the hundreds of thousands, targeted email lists, and digital advertising dollars, we can offer unprecedented support to local movements working to defend the first amendment.

EveryLibrary has excelled at defending libraries during the last decade, securing over 2.7 billion dollars in funding for local libraries through pro bono efforts. With the new Fight for the First action platform, we can build a coalition like never before, and stop these anti-democratic efforts before they even begin. For every dollar EveryLibrary spends on fighting for local library campaigns, we raise $1600 in funding. But our ability to connect with and expand current library defense efforts is currently reactive, not proactive. Fight for the First changes that, allowing us to empower local leaders without bottlenecking our resources. It allows us to expand our identified supporters and reach our goal of one-million active defenders of first amendment rights, at which point our day-to-day operations will become largely self-sustaining with just 7% of those supporters’ offering donations.

In order to be proactive in our fight for the first, we need to do more than just create petitions. Fight for the First utilizes its integrations with EveryLibrary and the EveryLibrary Institute to bring national-level political and funding resources to local activists. This effort is rooted in the idea that people should drive social movements through direct action, even when those movements occur online. Existing toolsets for online social campaigns, like Change.org, turn activists into passive recipients rather than engaged citizens. Fight for the First is designed to empower local activists to create immediate and long-lasting change in their community.

Visit: https://www.fightforthefirst.org/

###

About EveryLibrary:

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.

About EveryLibrary Institute

The EveryLibrary Institute is a national 501c3 non-profit with a mission to support libraries and librarians in the United States and abroad. We partner with allied organizations including foundations, philanthropic organizations, associations, non-profits, and academic institutions to enhance the perception of libraries and librarianship through direct engagement with the public.

DONATION/PARTNER INQUIRIES:

John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary and the EveryLibrary Institute: john.chrastka@everylibrary.org 

MEDIA/INTERVIEW INQUIRIES:

Kosi Harris, Publicist: Kosiharrispr@gmail.com 



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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