Illinois Legislative Issues

Committed to serving as an advocate for Illinois libraries

ILA monitors all bills in the Illinois General Assembly that affect libraries. ILA's Public Policy Committee (PPC) carefully reviews issues and recommends action: support, oppose, or monitor. We seek to indicate "monitor" status only as we are gathering information about a bill; the goal is to ultimately support or oppose laws that will affect libraries. In rare cases, the impact on libraries remains unclear, or there is not a consensus among librarians whether to support or oppose, but in general, we try to avoid not taking a position. ILA's Quick Response Team addresses legislative issues that arise in between PPC meetings. Contact the PPC Chair, or read PPC meeting minutes, agendas, and reports to the ILA Executive Board here.

In addition to monitoring bills, ILA proactively proposes and advocates for legislation favorable to libraries; drafting changes to existing law or new law, finding sponsors for bills we wish to bring forward, and then garnering support and following the process through the passage in both the House and Senate, through signature into law by the Governor.

102nd Illinois General Assembly, 2022 Veto Session

ILA's Legislative Agenda

ILA's Public Policy Committee worked hard in the summer and fall of 2021, collecting, researching, and deliberating about possible legislative priorities for the association to pursue in the upcoming 2022 session. PPC made recommendations to the ILA Executive Board, which approved the following legislative priorities following its September 23, 2021 meeting:

  • Broadband: All K-12 school buildings in the state are offered broadband access via the state's Connect Illinois program; we will seek a comparable offer for public libraries.
  • e-Book Pricing: We will pursue legislation to ensure reasonable, equitable pricing for e-books for libraries. While this is a national issue, several states have successfully pursued, or are pursuing, such legislation on the state level. SB 3167 and HB 4470, both titled the "Equitable Access to Electronic Literature Act," were introduced for this purpose. SB 3167 did not advance, but HB 4470 passed unanimously out of its committee, only to be forestalled by a federal judicial decision regarding similar legislation in the state of Maryland, that the issue was not without merit but that it belonged in the U.S. Congress, not in courts or statehouses.

While these are the main pillars of ILA's legislative focus, we always seek to continue to tweak state law in keeping with our Public Policy Principle to "Increase Effectiveness in Illinois Libraries;" one way we'll seek to do that this year is to enable public library trustees to access the required Open Meetings Act training from a provider other than the state itself, as other special districts are currently permitted to do. We thank the PPC and at-large association members who bring suggestions forward for consideration.

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

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