Thanks to the Illinois Library Association for hosting the South Suburban Library Legislative Breakfast last Friday at the Tinley Park Public Library. A lot of good information was shared by Association liaisons, state legislators, members of Congress or their staff. The librarians were concerned about local control seemingly being taken away from libraries. They also voiced their displeasure regarding discussions on reductions of the Local Government Distributive Fund and its impact on units of local government.
In sum, they need a champion in Springfield for many issues. As the State Librarian, Jesse White has long been an advocate. But, in this period of continued fiscal austerity, libraries must be seen as a necessary adjunct to many other institutions in the community like the schools and the arts. You never know what you have until it is gone.
State Representative Al Riley