When it comes to politics and Libraries I have always skirted around the edges, although my sympathies lie firmly on the left I did not want to align this site too closely with any particular side of the political divide as I know librarians on the left and right that use the site and did not want to alienate either.
Like many people on the left and centre I have been shaken by political developments across the world and the rightward lurch currently occuring in western democracies. I have decided to be more open with my political views and become more politically active where possible.
Libraries, are intensely political – no matter what has been said about them being apolitical; any institution that exists to uplift all parts of society is inherently democratic and intensely liberal – no matter the political leanings of the council or staff.
With that in mind I would like to suggest that Librarians and Library Staff step in whenever there are local or national elections and get the public to
Read the Vote!
This idea was sparked by reading about Rock the Vote a movement that has, since the 1990s, fused pop culture, music, art & technology to fulfil its mission of building long-term youth political power.
Libraries are perfectly placed to provide plain English (or first language of choice) information on all sides of the political discussion, that includes Public Libraries, School Libraries, University and College Libraries and any others that provide a service. The idea is not to push a partisan agenda but provide the information and context required for voters to make an informed choice when it comes to electing officials or making other nation-shaking choices (the Brexit vote for example).
This can be run on a local level with Local Government elections and on a national level with mid-term and national elections.
At present this is just a nebulous idea and I would like to hear suggestions on how this could be made a reality or if it is even feasible. Please feel free to make your views known in the comments below.