Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding

Sweeney, Patrick "PC" & . ALA Editions. Jun. 2017. 304p. index. ISBN 9780838915561. pap. $57. PRO MEDIA
Sweeney, political director of EveryLibrary, a Super PAC for libraries that raises money to influence policy, and Chrastka, founder of EveryLibrary, have compiled a guidebook of strategies for marshalling support for library funding initiatives. The authors include techniques similar to those employed by the League of Women Voters and community organizer Saul Alinsky. There are detailed plans on training, deploying, and empowering campaign volunteers. This book also explains how to collect data about voters and use donor and fundraiser databases. Though the authors offer examples, this isn't a collection of case studies. Most libraries have only one chance to pass a referendum—Sweeney and Chrastka emphasize that personal contact with voters wins elections. A chapter on "the art of the schmooze" is valuable for introverts as well as more practiced glad-handers; it addresses handshakes, body language, and how to deliver a pitch.
VERDICT Hard-to-find information pulled together in a readable, practical volume that is sure to become a go-to source at many libraries. Highly recommended for librarians and community leaders who need to build a "vote yes" committee and win an election for library funding.
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