Goals for Illinois Libraries

In the April-May 1971 issue of Illinois Libraries, Academic and Special Libraries Consultant Barry Booth urged libraries to consider cooperation in three categories – resources, services, and personnel. Resource cooperation by 1971 had been mainly in the form of interlibrary loans resulting from Union catalogs and union lists. Personnel sharing was receiving more emphasis at the State Library. Surveys were proposed to identify better methods of interlibrary cooperation.692

Booth noted that, “one of the major problems facing libraries today is the question of various legal jurisdictions. There cannot be a totally effective or efficient way of coordinating library services and resources as long as they remain a part of different legal entities.” Booth’s concern was a throwback to the decades-old problems with the district library law. Booth also recognized that libraries still disliked outside supervision in virtually any form. He urged libraries to “take the initiative” and “act upon these problems [and] turn willingly to meaningful cooperation, [so that] we can have some hand in the development of solutions to the problems.” Otherwise, “outside help may then be needed and libraries will fall prey to even more direct supervision.”693

Dwindling tax revenues were another reason for libraries to explore cooperation. Booth noted that tax funds were becoming limited “in terms of increased population to be served and in terms of the number of programs taxes must support.” Cooperation was the best way to ease that burden, and he urged librarians to welcome cooperation as a key to increased growth and development. Wrote Booth, “the future for libraries is what we, the librarians, make of it.”694