Election day is almost here, and in keeping with the political theme, I decided to explore what public libraries are doing to help youth become interested in the political process. I came across this article from the Denver Post detailing the efforts of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library (located in Broomfield, Colorado) in teaching kids about the importance of voting. Young children can cast their votes for their favorite stuffed animals as well as their favorite types of books. Teens, meanwhile, are able to vote for their preferred presidential candidate in somewhat more realistic mock election. The Broomfield Election Division even lent real voting booths to the library to add an air of authenticity to the experience.
Based on the article, it seems as though the children are having fun and learning a lot in the process, which is always an important part of youth programs. This particular program also allows the kids to relate to their parents by having them cast their votes in a mock election. And I am of the opinion that it’s never too early to teach youth about the importance of voting and participating in the political process. I’m glad the librarians at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library feel the same way.