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Library Systems and Resource Sharing Still in Peril
By law the State of Illinois must provide funding for library systems in the State to operate. However, State of Illinois payments are so far in arrears that the local North Suburban Library System (NSLS) ceased most all operations in June.
Library systems have not received 47 percent of system funding from the State of Illinois for FY 2010 (July 2009-June 2010) and have not received any system funds for FY 2011 (July 2010-June 2011). Many library systems have discontinued all but a few top priority services and have eliminated large numbers of system staff. A number of systems only have reserve funds to operate through December 2010.
Illinois library systems are critical to library services, annually delivering more than 30 million items, which are loaned to library users statewide. The online catalogs for more than 800 Illinois libraries are operated by the library systems and are used to circulate more than 45 million library resources per year to Illinois residents. Library systems also serve all 102 Illinois counties with Talking Book Program services for residents unable to read conventional print material due to a visual or physical disability.
Illinois library systems are actively engaged in merger negotiations, seeking new ways to reduce costs and continue top priority services. Without the receipt of payments appropriated in the library system per capita grant program, however, library systems that serve all types of libraries and millions of Illinois residents will stop services and close before mergers can be completed.
Illinois residents can contact their local legislators or visit SaveIllinoislibraries.com to voice their opinions on the issue.
Governor Pat Quinn
Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Christopher Lauzen (25th District) (P) (630) 264-2334
Pamela Althoff (32nd District) (P) (815) 455-6330
Timothy Schmitz (49th District) (P) (630) 845-9590
Jack Franks (63rd District) (P) (815) 334-0063
Michael Tryon (64th District) (P) (815) 459-6453