HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Legislative Committee Report – Illinois Library Day – Part 2 of 3

In part 2 of 3 of this report, Michael Wold, MLIS covers his experience.

Fran Kovach, Eric Edwards, and I attended the ILA Library Day in Springfield on April 17th and 18th, 2012. A dinner was held at the State House Inn with a presentation explaining the process of advocacy with our representatives and senators on various issues.

Pre-arranged appointments were kept with Senators Darin LaHood and Larry Bomke and with Representatives Jim Sacia, Raymond Poe, and Rich Brauer. The Congressmen were cordial and listened to our issues. I was impressed by their willingness to help, but due to financial constraints, the flat level of funding can be expected. In addition, some of the representatives expressed the “bad” times hospitals face with the cuts in Medicare/Medicaid funding. The topic of “tax-exempt” status was discussed with no solution to this problem; however, a formula may be developed.

The representatives seemed impressed that a group of Health Science Librarians was participating in Illinois Library Day. Of course, we were representing all libraries with an emphasis on health science libraries. Overall, it was a good feeling that we accomplished our mission.

In the past, Illinois Library Day attendance was in the hundreds consisting of librarians and library supporters. Now, a distinctively smaller group, about 60, represents these issues. Due to the change of library systems structure and less, support available from the State Library attendance is lacking. Of course, there is no money, but I think now more than ever is the perfect time to ask for support or to ask to maintain the existing support.
For more information on advocacy, the ILA has an Advocacy Toolkit. The toolkit is at:http://www.ila.org/advocacy/advocacy-toolkit

Again, I thank Fran and Eric for doing such a great job. Our team will continue to advocate for our libraries and all types of libraries.

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