Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Save Illinois Libraries: Tweeting Up a Storm of Support

Save Illinois Libraries

Here's the text of a letter being sent to Governor Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes.

We need your help. Illinois regional library systems are on the brink of disappearing. Since July 1, the systems have not received any of their funds authorized by the General Assembly. Without these funds, systems will soon be forced to close their doors.

What will it mean if regional library systems go away? People in Illinois are using libraries in record numbers for help in finding jobs, homework help for kids, and free family entertainment. Without the support of Systems, libraries would be hard pressed to provide these services. Thanks to the Systems, Illinois taxpayers can use their public library cards at almost any Illinois library they choose to visit. Last year, over 9 million items were borrowed from other libraries, up from 7 million the year before. In addition, System vans delivered over 28 million library items between libraries throughout the state -- all without cost to taxpayers.

All of these important services will disappear if the authorized funding is not paid soon by the state of Illinois. In a time of increased need, library service will be decimated, crippling a vital community service.

You have strongly endorsed greater efficiency in Illinois government. Library systems are one of the best examples of economic efficiency in the state, returning as much as $9 for each $1 of investment. Please distribute the funds approved by the General Assembly in the last budget for Illinois regional library systems. Illinois citizens deserve to see their tax dollars being distributed as authorized, and in a cost effective manner for their benefit.

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