Today is National Voter Registration Day and so we thought it only appropriate to feature in this edition of the Social Library, some of the ways in which libraries are raising awareness for voters in their communities. From voting workshops to mock elections, or from early voting to registration drives, libraries are emphasizing the importance of, and ensuring the access to, our right to vote. If you'd like to see your library featured in the Social Library series, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook.
- Cordova District Library in Illinois is hosting an Early Voting & Patriotic Lunch on October 26. The post on Facebook says that "the voting is for residents of Rock Island County, but everyone is welcome to attend the luncheon!"
- The Seattle Public Library is hosting a National Voter Registration Day & Ballot Box Celebration at a number of their branches to highlight new ballot boxes and to feature voter registration opportunities and informational resources related to the election, as well as activities, giveaways and more!
- Pickerington Public Library in Ohio is hosting a Voting 101 workshop. "Are you a first time voter? Are you a past voter who has questions about how to register or how to find out where your polling place is? Then join us as we welcome a volunteer from the bipartisan League of Women Voters, who will give you all the information you need to make sure that your vote is counted on election day." The free program is for teens and adults.
- Lewisville Public Library in Texas is hosting a Smart Voting Info Session. "This non-partisan information session is designed to help you navigate the upcoming General Election and make informed decisions when you vote. Discover resources that help you learn more about important issues, select the candidate most like you, and review the voter registration process. Voter registration cards will be provided, and we will remind you of important dates to remember related to the election."
- The Gordon Avenue branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Virginia is taking a different approach to engaging with voters coming to the library. On November 8, patrons of all ages can exercise their right to vote for the best flavor...of potato chips! "Taste one or taste them all and vote for your favorite." And at other branches in the system, patrons can cast a vote on the ballot for their favorite book character, or at another, more specifically, "vote for a favorite Mo Willems character and get a sticker and bookmark."
- Madison Public Library in Wisconsin made the news for their support of early voting efforts. "In an effort to shorten notoriously long lines for voting, the Madison city clerk's office has trained [at a recent library inservice day] librarians at all nine public libraries to process absentee votes." Also referred to as In-Person Absentee Voting, early voting will be available during regular library hours.
- Six Mile Regional Library District in Illinois will be hosting a Voter Registration Drive every Wednesday night until mid-October.
- And we hope you'll find some other ideas for supporting local voters in this ALA list on Smart Voting, in Ten Ways U.S. Librarians Can Inform the American Electorate by Kathy Dempsey, and What Every Library Needs to Know to Get Involved in National Voter Registration Day by Nicole Powell.
Thanks to all of this week's featured libraries for such outstanding service to your communities!