All libraries in Illinois belong to one of nine library systems funded by the state of Illinois. Libraries in the suburbs surrounding Chicago belong to the Metropolitan Library System. These 464 libraries combine their resources to save individual libraries thousands and thousands of dollars.
MLS is able to negotiate prices for subscriptions to online information (databases) so that our users have the best, most up to date information available. MLS manages the automated online catalog system (SWAN) that 80 public libraries in the system share. MLS also operates a delivery system that allows our users to request an item from any of these 80 libraries and have it delivered in a matter of days.
At the end of June, services from MLS will be significantly reduced. Delivery of items requested through interlibrary loans and the shared online catalog will continue through November. If Governor Quinn does not fund library systems in the FY2011 budget, library systems as we know them in Illinois will disappear. The services that they make possible will change drastically.
Please ask Governor Quinn to “retain funding for library systems in the FY2011 budget.” Ask him to “release the funds that the state owes Illinois library systems for FY2010.” With your help, we can make a difference.
Please retain funding for library systems in the FY2011 budget.
Please release the funds that the state owes Illinois library systems for FY2010.
Library systems in Illinois allow our local libraries to combine resources and save thousands and thousands of dollars. Library systems are one of the best examples of economic efficiency in the state. Systems have not received a budget increase in 18 years, yet they continue to deliver an incredible return on the small investment the state makes in them each year.
Illinois library systems are the “librarians for the libraries,” providing libraries of all types (public libraries, school and college libraries, and even corporate and law libraries) with the resources they need to help their communities. Library systems provide programs such as:
-Van delivery that connects libraries throughout the state, allowing them to save money by sharing precious resources such as books, DVDs, and other materials.
-Training on the latest technologies so that Illinois libraries can continue to offer their patrons the high levels of library service they have come to expect.
-Arranging group discounts that save libraries up to 98% of the cost of the electronic databases taxpayers are demanding.
These are just a few examples of why Illinois library systems are such a tremendous value to the taxpayers. By providing such services, systems provide a return on investment of up to $10 in service for every dollar of funding received from the state. Please restore the funding in the FY10 Illinois budget that allows this incredible return on investment to continue. Please commit to retain funding for Illinois library systems in FY2011.
I hope that you will agree to support Illinois library systems on behalf of myself and my community.