I am sure that all of you have been following the uncertain financial situation in Illinois. This financial situation is affecting many important services in Illinois that we all depend on. Libraries of all types are not immune from needing financial support from the state to maintain valuable services. For Lincoln Trail Libraries System this crisis has led to the Board of Directors and the Administration re-looking and re-thinking our entire service program. Approximately 50% of the system's budget comes from the State of Illinois. That includes a grant to maintain our traditional services. To date we have received all of the funds from the state to manage our special projects and 58% of the funds to manage general services. The amount we are "owed" by the state is $295,462. These funds support the LTLS delivery service, some of the LINC services (resource sharing) as well as consulting assistance, facilities, education and overall membership relationships.
There is a wide agreement in the library community and our users that sharing resources through shared automation services (LINC) and supporting delivery are the highest priority. The Board and Staff agree. Through conservative fiscal management by the Board and Administration, I can assure you that LTLS has sufficient funds to carry those programs to June 30, 2011.
The Board approved a "status quo" budget for FY 2011 at its May 24, 2010 Board meeting. However, we cannot support all the items in that budget without state revenue. Therefore we will look at every expense to make further reductions but maintain the viability of our shared future. Budgets and cash flow will be a constant on the Board agenda and these elected members are serving you well and will be fully engaged in the next phase of our direction.
That next phase is to accelerate our plans to look at re-structured cooperative services in the state. Some of the following actions will be taken within the next few weeks to begin this process.
* Maintain a leadership role in cooperative library service and continue to encourage and enhance the cooperative efforts that we have supported for more than 40 years. Be a leader in developing a new service model for library systems. Be positive about the future and look at change as an opportunity.
* Engage in discussion and survey the membership needs to understand service needs in a new cooperative model in addition to the priority services discussed previously.
* Actively participate in meetings both locally, regionally and statewide to plan for our shared future to restructure cooperation to meet the needs of the people of Illinois.
- Meet immediately with the Shawnee Library System representatives to discuss more formal shared services during FY 2011.
- Accelerate discussions with the southern systems (Lewis & Clark, Lincoln Trail, Rolling Prairie, Shawnee) to implement formal restructuring of cooperative services.
- Accelerate discussions and plans with the southern systems to determine the next steps for shared "LLSAP" services.
* Regularly update the Board and membership on the future of cooperation in Illinois.
The Board and the staff are committed to providing the best quality service and to looking at opportunities for improving the service in the future while maintaining those priority programs that are essential to library service for our users. I welcome your comments and strongly encourage everyone to answer survey questions that will be distributed within the week. Finally if you would like to have someone come to talk to you or a group of your colleagues or Boards please do not hesitate to ask. While we are in a time of change, be assured key services will continue during the coming year while we work with you and others to plan our shared future.