Both the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Long Beach Public Library are nonprofit organizations, and as such are not allowed to endorse candidates in elections.
But that doesn't mean the organizations go quiet come election time. Leaders of both the foundation and the friends say they want candidates on the record about the library, and have consistently released a Library Voter Education Guide each election.
The guide gives every candidate in every local race the opportunity to express their feelings and stances relating to the city's library system. The most recent guide, released Friday, Oct. 16, has statements from 10 candidates in elections for the Second, Sixth and Eighth City Council districts, District 2 LBUSD board member and Area 4 Long Beach City College trustee.
The only candidate on the Nov. 3 ballot who did not respond was Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews.
“We want city leaders who recognize the value our libraries play in producing knowledgeable and informed citizens, and will help to improve access in any way possible,” said Barbara Sosa, Friends of the Library president.
“Equitable access to information and resources is crucial to civic participation which is why it’s important for voters to know how those vying for local leadership positions feel about libraries,” added Sharon Weissman, Foundation board president.