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: http://capwiz.com/ala/il/issues/alert/?alertid=18893756&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]