Library Notes: Reading leads to learning and action during elections

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2022

By Brooke K. Taylor
Rowan Public Library

“I love election season” said no one, ever. OK, maybe there are some people who enjoy the months of enduring campaign signs on the roadside, advertisements on the television, flyers in your mailbox, candidate polls on your cell phone and pleas for campaign money in your email. I am not one of them. I used to be. As a competitive person, I have always enjoyed the struggle, strategy and ultimate success that is associated with both sports and politics. But recent years of viewing the political landscape have left me feeling disillusioned and confused, not with the process of elections but with the climate that can go along with it. My hopes for bipartisanship at each level of government have been sadly disappointed.

And so, as any good librarian does, I turned to books for knowledge and solace in an attempt to understand my fellow Americans and why it is important for me to fight any feelings of apathy I may have and get out and vote. Here are some titles I have found to be interesting and helpful: “What You Should Know About Politics — But Don’t: A Nonpartisan Guide to the Issues” by Jessamyn Conrad and Naomi Wolf; “We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of our Democracy” by Elijah Cummings; “Give Us the Vote! Over 200 Years of Fighting for the Ballot” by Susan Goldman Rubin; and “Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country” by Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy.

If you have young adult or juvenile readers looking to understand voting, I can recommend “Vote for Our Future!” By Margaret McNamara and Micah Player; “I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference” by Mark Shulman and Serge Bloch; and “Every Vote Matters: The Power of Your Voice from Student Elections to the Supreme Court” by Judge Tom Jacobs and Natalie Jacobs.

Each of these titles can be found at the Rowan Public Library and some are available digitally through the NC Digital Library with an RPL card. I encourage us all to read, think, and then act this election season.

Brooke K. Taylor is branch operations manager at the Rowan Public Library.

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