Library systems have not received 47 percent of system funding from the State of Illinois for FY 2010 (July 2009-June 2010) and have not received any system funds for FY 2011 (July 2010-June 2011). Many library systems have discontinued all but a few top priority services and have eliminated large numbers of system staff. A number of systems only have reserve funds to operate through December 2010.
Illinois library systems are critical to library services, annually delivering more than 30 million items, which are loaned to library users statewide. The online catalogs for more than 800 Illinois libraries are operated by the library systems and are used to circulate more than 45 million library resources per year to Illinois residents. Library systems also serve all 102 Illinois counties with Talking Book Program services for residents unable to read conventional print material due to a visual or physical disability.
Illinois library systems are actively engaged in merger negotiations, seeking new ways to reduce costs and continue top priority services. Without the receipt of payments appropriated in the library system per capita grant program, however, library systems that serve all types of libraries and millions of Illinois residents will stop services and close before mergers can be completed.
I am asking for your help in the release of payments to Illinois Library Systems. I will remember your assistance and support on Election.