Monday, October 25, 2010

Thanks for Helping the Library Systems!

Thanks to everyone who contacted the State on behalf of the Illinois Library Systems! We just received the news that a portion of the funds still owed for FY2010 will be disbursed to the library systems that are most in need. Metropolitan Library System, that serves Downers Grove Public Library, will receive about half of the funds that are owed to it. This will fund the remaining services – interlibrary delivery and some support for SWAN – through the winter. The news came on Friday after the Governor and Comptroller received thousands of emails and letters from library supporters across Illinois.

This doesn’t mean that the Systems have been saved, only that they can continue to offer the remaining critical services for a few more months. There has been no word on when the other half of the funds appropriated last year will be released, or if and when any of the funds appropriated for Systems in current year will be paid. This is good news for libraries now, but after the November election we will have ask our supporters to continue to remind the State that on-going funding for library systems is important.

In the mean time, thanks to all of you who took the time to contact the Governor in support for Illinois Library Systems!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Illinois Library Systems In Danger!

Illinois Library Systems and the support that they provide for local public and school libraries are in serious danger. The Library Systems have only received 52% of the funds that were appropriated for them in the State budget for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010. They have received no funds for the 2011 fiscal year. Most system services have been eliminated and most library system employees have been fired. Systems are using up their reserve funds to continue to provide the critical services of delivery of materials between libraries and support for automation consortia such as the SWAN online catalog. The reserve funds in most systems, including the Metropolitan Library System, will be exhausted at the end of November 2010. The Systems will be forced to shut down completely, if the remaining funding promised for 2010 is not released by the State of Illinois. Systems are not looking for increases in their funding, they are only asking that the funds that were actually budgeted for Library Systems be disbursed by the State.

Residents are urged to contact Governor Patrick Quinn and Comptroller Daniel Hynes and ask them to release the funds the Library Systems are supposed to have received in FY2010.

More information about the plight of Illinois Library Systems and links to the email address of Governor Quinn can be found here:[capwiz:queue_id]