ILA Public Policy Principles

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

The Illinois Library Association is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our profession and association, and by extension into the public policy principles we espouse. The association will:

  • Evaluate proposed legislation through an equity lens, particularly with regard to equity of opportunity. Equity recognizes that some groups are disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities.
  • Seek a range of viewpoints from ILA’s diverse constituencies when making decisions about legislation to support, oppose, or monitor, and in formulating policy positions 

Access to Library Services

The Illinois Library Association believes access to library services should be a right and responsibility of every Illinois resident. The association will:

  • Oppose legislation that would erode library service areas.
  • Work to extend tax-supported library service to the Illinois residents currently unserved.
  • Work to ensure that school library legislation is expanded to equip all school libraries with licensed media personnel.
  • Work in collaboration with the Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE) to develop legislative priorities relating to school libraries.
  • Encourage and support initiatives that increase internet connectivity by ensuring libraries are critical partners in cost-effective broadband planning and build-out. 

Increase Effectiveness of Illinois Libraries

The Illinois Library Association is committed to promoting legislation that will increase the effectiveness of Illinois libraries. The association will:

  • Work to include libraries in legislation crafted to benefit other entities of government.
  • Work to develop initiatives that improve the ability of Illinois libraries to effectively provide library services that meet the needs of the people of Illinois. 
  • Work to ensure transparency of government and access to information in ways that are cost effective for governmental entities. 
  • Provide direction for legislation that would allow administrative cooperation and public service enhancement that result in economies of scale to libraries. Economies of scale are savings realized from pooling resources and negotiating for services, access, or materials as a unit.
  • Monitor proposed legislation to ensure a balance between benefits to the community and expenses incurred by governmental entities, and take appropriate action.

Intellectual Freedom and Privacy

The Illinois Library Association is committed to protecting intellectual freedom and privacy while providing open access to information for all Illinois residents. The association will:

  • Examine legislation to ensure that library users' privacy and open access to information are adequately protected.
  • Support libraries educating the public on the safe use of the internet, including integrating the library perspective in state and federal initiatives on the topic.
  • Encourage library staff and boards to develop effective privacy policies.
  • Support legislation that protects and encourages net neutrality.
  • Oppose legislation mandating the use of Internet filters in libraries. 

Library Funding

The Illinois Library Association will work with a broad coalition of library advocates to improve funding for libraries. The association will:

  • Ensure public library and school library per capita grants are fully funded and explore alternative sources of revenue that result in a net increase to library funding. 
  • Consider the consequences of changes to the property tax extension law and support or oppose legislation as warranted
  • Oppose legislation that would decrease library funding.
  • Work with the legislature to increase the Secretary of State’s budget in order to increase the funding for the Illinois State Library as well as funding for state library systems. 
  • Work with the legislature to ensure healthy public pension systems. 

Approved by the ILA Executive Board September 23, 2021.


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