Report of May 20, 2010 Board Meeting
The Board of Directors of the Shawnee Library System held their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the Benton Public Library. Illinois State Library representatives Lawren Tucker, Deputy Director, and Greg McCormick, Fiscal Officer, attended the meeting to review the financial crisis facing Illinois and the Illinois library systems.
They reported that the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library has 1,277 pending grant payments totaling $27,027,106. These payments must be issued prior to the end of the state’s FY 2010 lapse period. That lapse period has been pushed back further due to the Illinois financial situation. That lapse period has been pushed back to the end of the calendar year. The ISL recommendation is that systems must consolidate or merge services into one, two, or perhaps three systems statewide and that there is approximately a year in which to do this. Systems were told that the funding they receive is for operating the online catalog and delivery services. Continuing education and consulting must be discontinued. They also reported that systems must review their property including buildings and consider their sale.
For Shawnee Library System this means that $512,526.29 of the FY 2010 share of the appropriation for Illinois library systems has not been received and may not come until the end of December 2010. This means that even though Shawnee should have received by now $1,195,282, the System has only received $682,755.71 which is only 57% of anticipated revenue. The prospect for funding for FY 2011 is unknown as the General Assembly has yet to pass a budget. Because of this, the Shawnee Board faces making further serious budget cuts. It is anticipated that the decision on those cuts will be made sometime in the next two months. The problem comes down to cash flow. The ShLS Board knows that unless present operations are seriously reduced, current operating reserves will run out by mid-October 2010.
The Board approved the submission of the Area and Per Capita Grant application to the Illinois State Library. They also appointed two Board members to work with the director to explore possible options for sale of the headquarters building in Carterville. A delegation of Board members and staff were also authorized to meet with another neighboring library system to discuss the possibilities for the creation of a new entity serving a larger area. This would likely include creating a new automation system to replace the existing ones. Other systems are likely to join this process as various levels of collaboration and cooperation have already been discussed by the southern systems.
The next meeting of the Shawnee Library System Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm at the CE Brehm Memorial Public Library, Mt. Vernon, Illinois.