The Future – Part 2
The steps to a new future have begun. There have been two meetings of the four southern systems (Lewis and Clark, Lincoln Trail, Shawnee, and Rolling Prairie). The first was June 22 and was held at the Kaskaskia Community College Center in Vandalia. At this meeting the word merger was not brought up. It was a meeting of getting to know the others, voicing issues and concerns of the members, and asking for additional information. The outcome was that another meeting was scheduled with the agreement that there could be a recommendation that would go to each system board on moving forward towards merger of the four southern systems.
That second meeting was held on July 14 at the same Vandalia location. Prior to that meeting the Directors and interim directors of the southern systems met to create an agenda and a draft planning process document. The four directors each acted as either facilitators or recorders for sections of the agenda. The meeting lasted for just over three hours and progress was made. At the end of the meeting there was agreement that each group of board members present would take back to their system board the recommendation to approve the Goal/Outcome and the Planning Process as developed at the meeting. Additionally each Board would appoint four (4) board members to be on the merger planning panel and one alternate that could be either a board member or a member librarian.
Each of the system boards have met and each have approved the documents and appointed their representatives to the Planning Panel. The RPLS representatives are:
- Val Green, President RPLS Board, member of the Barclay PLD Board, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Richard Helton, Treasurer RPLS Board, member of the Weldon PLD Board, email@example.com
- Nina Wunderlich, RPLS Board, member of Taylorville PL Board, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amy Ihnen, RPLS Board, Librarian at Chatham Area PLD, email@example.com
- Alternate – Mary Ann Pohl, Librarian at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, firstname.lastname@example.org
How can you be a part of this process? There are several ways. The first is that you can attend the planning meetings. These are open meetings and everyone is welcomed to attend. There will be public comment time at each of the meetings. The date, location, and time of the next meeting of the merger Planning Panel has not been set. However, as soon as we have that information it will be shared with the membership.
The second way is to contact the RPLS members of the Planning Panel and share with them any of your questions or concerns. Time is being set aside for merger discussions at each RPLS Board meeting. The planning panel members will update the board and members on the status of the process and then the floor will be open for questions, concerns, discussion. The next meeting of the RPLS Board is 1 PM August 17, at the RPLS Headquarters. As RPLS Director, I also look forward to hearing from our members about the merger process and will share your concerns with the Board.
The third avenue for participation is to read and comment on the documents that are developed during the process and to review agendas or meeting minutes. All of these will be posted on the CooperationToday website. Just look under the Southern System Planning tab. You can go directly to CooperationToday or link to it from the RPLS website.
The next few months will be very important to the future of library systems and the services they provide to the many libraries in Illinois. It is critical that every member keep abreast of the developments, attend meetings, and give input or feedback to the Planning Panel. Your voices must be heard.
Beverly J. Obert, Executive Director
Rolling Prairie Library System
A Library for Librarians
Helping Libraries Serve Illinois Citizens