The Public Library’s Role during Elections: Voter Education in the Age of Misinformation

In a time marked by uncertainty, the public library is in an extraordinary position as one of society’s most trusted institutions. Public libraries can leverage that trust to be at the forefront of voter education as we head into what will be one of the most watched presidential elections of our lifetimes. Voter education reflects the needs of an often divided and overwhelmed citizenry. It also addresses the changing landscape of information gathering and dissemination, while encouraging people to engage directly with community, state, and national issues of concern.

This presentation equips librarians to gather user-friendly information from reliable and nonpartisan sources, allowing libraries to offer an invaluable, evolving resource tailor-made for their communities. By exploring resources—everything from a glossary of common terms used during elections to campaign finance information—this on-demand webinar helps librarians gather the most useful information in addressing their community's needs. With a focus on citizenship and voting, librarians will learn to serve their diverse populations in a nonthreatening and nonpartisan way.

Originally presented June 4, 2019.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the information needs of their communities regarding elections and voter mobilization efforts;
  • Identify key stakeholders and audiences to whom they will communicate the importance of their voter education efforts; and
  • Curate and design a helpful online resource equipping their communities to be engaged in the voting process.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for public library staff with limited or no prior knowledge of issues around voter education.

Presenters

Haley SamuelsonHaley Samuelson is reference librarian at the Cook Memorial Public Library District serving Lake County, IL. With more than 15 years’ experience in libraries, Haley has worked with library patrons of all ages in Illinois and Iowa. She also has experience working in at-risk neighborhoods on Chicago’s West Side. Since 2016, she has enjoyed marrying her background in politics with the information needs of her community.

Nate GassNate Gass is webmaster and emerging technology librarian at the Cook Memorial Public Library District serving Lake County, IL. In addition to maintaining the library's website, he has eight years’ experience teaching computer classes and technology topics in the public library. Nate also hosts and produces the Cook Memorial Public Library Podcast (https://cooklib.org/podcast) and is a member of the library's social media team.

Registration

Cost

This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

To playback this archived webinar you should have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.

Contact

If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to plawebinars@ala.org or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).