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Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’

Librarians Talk with Legislators about Value of Libraries

March 1st, 2010 Comments off

Elaine Steingrubey, director at Morrison-Talbott Public Library, and Erica Pyle, director at Columbia Public Library, and I traveled to the Sparta and Okawville offices of Representative Reitz and Senator Luechtefeld to talk with them about the value of libraries and their importance to the legislators’ constituents.  We also shared with them the SNAPSHOT activities in their libraries and here at the System.  Having those stats and comments made an impression on the legislators in a meaningful way.  Both legislators gave us all the time we wanted and helped us to understand what will need to be done to improve Illinois’s economic climate and repair the damage done to the budget.  I will be booking visits to other LCLS legislators and will be contacting directors to come along.  It was a very enlightening experience for the three of us.

County Clerks are a Library's Best Friend

December 29th, 2009 Comments off

As you all know, I am a proponent of knowing what information your county clerks have available for libraries. But it has been a while since I last climbed on this soapbox, so with tax levy ordinances being filed by library districts and municipalities now is the perfect time to remind you.

In most states, the office of County Clerk acts as a general location for various county documents. As counties evolved, if no one specifically knew what to do with a piece of information it was given to the County Clerk for safekeeping. Illinois is one of those states.

Your County Clerk is the official keeper of all property tax information, specifically as it impacts libraries –budget & appropriations ordinances for library districts, municipalities, school districts and other taxing bodies within the county. Also on file with the County Clerk are the tax levy ordinances, boring reading but incredibly important to the ongoing existence of libraries.

County Clerk’s also have the information on individual parcels –> who owns them, what taxes are assigned and who paid the taxes. Many libraries contact the County Clerk to verify residency on a specific parcel. The County Clerks’ are working to make this information available via the Internet. Your county will have the information available with a phone call or on their Web site.

Other information housed with the County Clerk concerns Voter Registration. This includes how and where to register, polling places, and voter registration lists. Voter registration lists can be critical when a library is considering any sort of referendum. To gain an idea of the valuable information on the voter registration list, visit Madison County Voter Registration Report.

My personal favorite from the County Clerks’ is the Levy, Valuation and Rate Information they supply to taxing bodies, and anyone who asks. Each County Clerk presents this differently, but the basic information will always be: taxing body, maximum rate allowed, tax fund, levy, actual rate, and the extension. The 2007 Levy, Valuation & Rate Information for Madison is a good example of what all the counties have.

Do we take time to thank supporters?

March 31st, 2009 Comments off

Many of us have been recipients of support from our legislative leaders through per capita grants, LSTA funds(federal dollars but need to be appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly, and discretionary funds directly from legislators.  This support has increased our facilities, programming, and materials collections.
When we get emails asking us to contact legislators–federal or state–do we take the 5 minutes it takes to contact them to be certain they understand the impact of proposed legislation?  I know that I have to tell myself to respond to such requests and I’ll bet many others do too.

While the Illinois state budget is in less than good shape, libraries have gotten support for their efforts through the SOS budget and the help of the Illinois State Library.

On April 23 at Illinois Library Day you and I have the opportunity to be in Springfield to express our gratitude and to make certain legislators know fully the impact of any legislation related to libraries.

Please seriously consider joining us that day, but if you can’t for whatever reason attend Illinois Library Day, please take that 5 minutes to send your legislator a thank you note for past support and ask for continued support.