The New York Times is running an article in today’s edition that highlights just how poorly the state budget in Illinois has been managed:
The article doesn’t mention the library systems, but the message is clear: for years the state has let its budget obligations slip, and the economic downturn has applied the needed pressure to bring it to the breaking point.
It appears as though the state is scrambling to keep the situation from spiraling out of control, while at the same time the situation for the organizations that rely on Illinois meeting its fiscal obligations is spiraling out of control. The quote that summarizes it best comes from Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes:
“Everything is triage now; We work to avoid outright disaster.”
Expect the situation for Illinois libraries and library systems to get worse before it gets better. The systems, especially, will find the above quote to be more than appropriate.