Lt. Governor Stratton Meets with Librarians for National Library Week

April 25, 2023

Books are amazing, but when it comes to libraries there’s more to the story. The library is a place where we can discover the world, and access critical services and information to live and be well with a caring librarian as our guide. That’s why it is important to celebrate National Library Week and the array of unique and wonderful resources that are available to us. 

Illinois has 645 public libraries, 180 academic libraries, and more than 2500 school libraries. The public libraries offer check out services that meet the needs of families, including Chromebooks, Wi-Fi-Hotspots, and power tools. At the Lincoln Library in Springfield, for example, there are even medical supplies available—like blood pressure cuff machines and dementia-friendly fidget blankets.

“Our libraries are havens to learn and find opportunities to grow. From supporting students and families with young children, to our elderly and people with disabilities, libraries are an essential fixture of our communities,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “We know how much libraries contribute to Illinoisans, and we are committed to shining a light on their efforts and the passion of hard-working librarians statewide.” 

In honor of National Library Week, Lt. Governor Stratton met with a group of librarians from across the state for tea and conversation. She asked them what is needed, and what the state can do to further support libraries across Illinois.

“It was great to meet with the Lt. Governor to share our ideas and what we are excited about,” said Jacob Roskovensky, Librarian Danville CSSD 118. “We need help shaping programs and finding ways for colleges and universities to get more students into the librarian pipeline.” 

Illinois has championed access to affordable, quality higher education for students regardless of their zip code. Historic investments are working to make college more affordable so that cost isn’t a barrier to pursuing a career—including in our libraries.  State support for libraries can take many forms. For example, Marshall Public Library also holds the Clark County Genealogy Library, and funding from the Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant Program will support their efforts to create a dedicated space for visitors to use. And the General Assembly has passed legislation to ensure that trustee vacancies are filled quickly so that libraries have a functioning board and leadership ready to guide the work. 

“Libraries in Illinois are at the heart of our cities, towns, schools, and campuses, providing critical resources, programs, and expertise,” said Cynthia M. Robinson, Executive Dir. Illinois Library Association. “They also provide a public space where all community members, regardless of age, race, culture, or income level, can come together to connect and learn.

To view a video message about National Library Week, and learn more about Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, go to her social media platforms (@LTGOVSTRATTON, LTGOVSTRATTON).

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