Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BIG thank you from the Illinois Regional Library System directors

On Wednesday, January 20, the Illinois library community and its supporters banded together as never before to press the state government to release funds appropriated to library systems. Libraries, library systems, and their supporters across Illinois did their part to make our voice heard loud and clear in Springfield.

Over twenty-two thousand messages have been sent, more than eleven thousand each to the governor and the comptroller, letting them know that system funding is not something that can be neglected. In the wake of this campaign, we have received word that the comptroller’s office has released the first payments to the systems, covering approximately 35% of our total appropriated funding. This is wonderful news!

The not-so-good news is that there is no guarantee of systems receiving the remaining 65% of their funding for this fiscal year, or that the new fiscal year that begins in July will bear any better results. We will remain fiscally conservative by spending funds for only those things that keep our services available to Illinois’ libraries and their users. And we ask that Illinois’ library supporters continue to keep your elected officials aware that this funding situation is unacceptable.

For now, though, let’s take a minute and be grateful that our voices were heard and that some of our funds were released. We are thankful and humbled by your overwhelming response and support. Together we made a difference.

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