Chicago Sun-Times
A dialog between Sun-Times opinion writers and our readers

Author shows why closing book on libraries is a bad idea

| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks

As Illinois' network of regional library systems collapses without much apparent concern on the part of Illinois political leaders, it's worth reflecting on what author Christine Taylor-Butler said last month when she came to Chicago to accept an award from the Society of Midland Authors for her 2009 book Sacred Mountain: Everest.

" When I was growing up ... nobody in my neighborhood had ever seen a real writer," said.Taylor-Butler, who now lives in Kansas City. "So when I talked about writing, that wasn't a real career . . . because when you grow up an urban child you have no exposure to the world in the way it exists outside of your city or your neighborhood and no one tells you you have potential for that, or that the world can be open.

"So I lived in the Cleveland Public Library ...I was there until closing every day until they kicked me out. I was there every single weekend."

Legislators didn't vote to shut down the regional systems; they just didn't act as the state stopped paying the money it had appropriated. The North Suburban Library System was the first to run out of money, shrinking to a skeleton operation, and others are facing the same budgetary squeeze.

Follow BackTalk on Twitter@stbacktalk

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


Taxpayers will learn that allowing the library systems to collapse will one way or another increase their local costs. That's because the library systems were providing centralized cooperative services that will now have to be taken over and duplicated by each individual library.

Ironically, the same state that is killing off library systems now that they have proved their value forced local libraries in the beginning to join a system although many libraries were reluctant.

does this mean there will no longer be inter library loans of books? thats all I recall this north suburban library system offering the regular patron. where you could look up and see what other libraries had copies of and even possible deliveries of the books? thats whats going away? if so, wow...if not, well, never mind.

Bagwhan, I am not sure if that is what it means either but here is a link with a better interpretation.

BTW, how is the Secretary of State the State Librarian? This position should be run by a person with personal knowledge of how libraries are run.

Jesse White, do not let this happen!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on June 19, 2010 8:18 AM.

Concentration camps for sex offenders? was the previous entry in this blog.

DuPage Airport expansion has been controversial for years is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.