The September Project, a program created as a commemoration of the lives lost on 9/11, includes participation from more than 520 libraries in all 50 states and 29 countries.
As a contribution to the global event, the CSU Morgan Library is hosting its own series called Democracy at Your Library until Sept. 30.
“Having a voice in the political affairs within society is the most important aspect of a democracy,” said Cathy Cranston, an instruction and research services assistant professor at the Morgan Library. “This event allows libraries around the world to help students realize this and to get out and vote.”
Just more than half of all college students age 18 to 24 voted in the last presidential election, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The September Project intends to change the number of young voters by giving students the opportunity to register to vote and to research ballot issues and candidates at the display across from the loan/reserve desk.
“I use voting as an excuse to get out of my classes,” said Adam Dunning, a sophomore open-option student. “I think it’s important, but I’ll probably only vote when it comes to presidential elections.”
Hopefully the event will convince students to act, Cranton said.
“I would like to see every student 18 and over registering to vote,” she said. “Especially now that our country is at war, it is important to support the troops by exercising your right to vote.”
Cranston has also set up an online poll at http://www.lib.colostate.edu/about/news/vote for students to voice opinions on certain issues that have been brought up recently to the library staff concerning its services.
The poll asks three questions: Should the library offer personal research assistants? Should cell phones be allowed in the library? And, does the student really need a library anymore with all of the online services and research available in our modern age?
“Libraries are a great place to study and to do research. I couldn’t imagine college, or any school for that matter, without them,” said Michael Broekstra, a junior landscape design major. “As far as cell phones are concerned, I think as long as you keep them on vibrate, they should be allowed, but that’s easier said than done.”
Students can also visit the Constitution Day display across from the loan/reserve desk, which features a variety of books dealing with the nation’s most coveted document on our rights, available for checkout.
“Our constitution is the most important document we have outlining our freedoms within this nation. Everyone should at least know the first four amendments by heart,” said senior mechanical engineering student, Alan Baybayan.
The Libraries for Democracy project began five years ago on select campuses and has only grown since.
“Libraries in general serve democracy by providing information to help inform citizens about issues,” Cranston said. “If you need help researching about an issue or a candidate, we’re there for you.”
Staff writer Aaron Rognstad can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org