How do you know whether or not the information you have is credible, accurate, or true? This is the challenge in the age of information overload and FAKE NEWS. Your public library takes this issue very seriously, because our mission is to help the citizenry stay informed. And the degree to which that information is credible, accurate, or true is the degree to which the engine of democracy sputters or runs well. Librarians know that finding quality information can be daunting, so we pulled together a selection of non-partisan resources to assist you.
Did you know that you can register to vote at any Toledo Lucas County Public Library location?
And again, you may be asking, what do these issues mean?
Here are a few resources that may help:
Vote411: Launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in October of 2006, VOTE411 is a “one-stop-shop” for election related information. It provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on the various aspects of the election process.
Ballotpedia: Provides neutral, accurate, and verifiable information on local, state, and federal government officials and the offices they hold.
League of Women Voters (LWV): They operate at national, state and local levels through more than 800 state and local Leagues. Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the centerpiece of the League’s efforts remain to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans through education and advocacy.
Public libraries understand the frustration many people experience trying to find quality information online, especially when attempting to make informed decisions about our government and how to vote. That’s one of the many reasons public libraries are so important.
As stated previously, the degree to which the information we have access to is credible, accurate, or true is the degree to which the engine of democracy sputters or runs well. Let’s get our engine oiled up to run well. Get civically engaged & get to the public library.
“Libraries are…essential to the functioning of a democratic society…. libraries are the great symbols of the freedom of the mind.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
“As knowledge becomes increasingly a source of power, the struggle regarding its accessibility and use becomes more and more central to democracy. The success of contemporary citizen activism in a variety of contexts depends upon the ability to ferret out key information, often against the efforts of powerful interests to restrict information access. From the parent who worries about local school dropout rates to the rancher fighting to preserve the open range from energy conglomerates, from community activists organizing around toxic waste to small businesspeople trying to increase the pool of resources available in their areas for entrepreneurial start-up projects, people need information to act. They also need ‘knowledge’—the organizational and communicative skills to organize. Studies of grass-roots leaders have found that the most successful have developed considerable talents at gaining access to information and to the organizing skills that facilitate action.” ~ Harry C. Boyte.
Source: CommonWealth: A Return to Citizen Politics by Harry Boyte. Free Press, 1989, pp.10-11.
“If information is the currency of democracy, then libraries are its banks.” ~ Senator Wendell Ford, 1998 ALA Annual Conference