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Librarians Visit Legislators

April 27th, 2009

On Thursday, April 23 nineteen System and local library staff members visited with our legislators in Springfield to thank them for their past support of libraries and encourage them to continue that support.  This year we were able to see five of our seven senators and seven of our representatives who were very congenial and took time to listen to us.  The mood in Springfield appears to be realistic-they know the budget is in bad shape but they’re ready to work and make those difficult decisions they’ll have to make.

Included in the SOS budget this year is an increase in public and school per capita grants and equalization grants.  Legislators are well aware how valuable library services are to their constituents and appreciate and will take that request into consideration.

We also discussed with legislators the help that libraries can be in this slow economic climate when people are looking for jobs and need to prepare resumes and make applications many of which must be made online.  In addition we asked that they speak up for libraries in any construction bills and especially in the distribution of the stimulus money coming to Illinois.

If you have not yet done so, please contact your local Illinois legislators and thank them for support telling them what kind of services you provide to their constituents.   Legislators feel strongly that they will complete their work no later than May 31.  This means they’ll be spending time in their local offices.  I’ll be setting up some visits to local offices and ask that you will go with me to those visits.  Summer is also a good time for you to contact your local legislators and invite them to visit your library to see firsthand all that you provide for their constituents.

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