Friday, May 28, 2010

"Illinois Was Exemplary At One Time"

Link to May 27 Southtown Star article, "Library system in for bad ending?"

Excerpt: "Forty-five years of tradition comes to a screeching halt," Flossmoor librarian Megan Millen said.

"This is very critical. It's ugly," New Lenox Public Library director JoAnn Potenziani said. Her library is part of the Prairie Area Library System, which also includes the Homer Township, Manhattan and Mokena libraries. That system is short $1 million of its $2.2 million budget.

"Illinois was exemplary at one time, one of the best library systems in the country," Potenziani said. "It's still in place, it's just been eviscerated. It's got us running scared."

System services that will end include continuing education and consulting for library staff. There will be more mergers among systems and possibly even libraries, as they all pare down to bare essentials.

"It's like we don't have a safety net anymore," Homewood Library director Cindy Rauch said. "You would think the state would have a back-up plan."

Related articles:
Layoffs and service cuts in store for North Suburban Library System.  (5/14/2010)
Illinois Library Systems Still Await the Remaining 65% of Their State Funding.  (3/6/2010)
State funding shortage may doom library systems. (2/14/2010)
"Save Illinois Libraries" Campaign Shakes Loose Some Funds. (1/22/2010)
Save Illinois Libraries: Tweeting Up a Storm of Support. (1/20/2010)
Sarah Long: Illinois Regional Library Systems and Boiling Frogs. (1/13/2010)
lllinois Regional Multi-Type Library Systems Hit with Cut in Funding. (8/13/2009)

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