RUSH WORKS TO KEEP ROBBINS PUBLIC LIBRARY OPEN

August 22, 2009 at 9:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nearly $50,000 in federal funds secured for facility in ’08 and ’09

CHICAGO – Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) today said he strongly believes the William Leonard Library of Robbins will be able to keep its doors open as it struggles to find ways to cover its operating costs.

In his continuous efforts both to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Robbins and enhance the education of its youth who depend upon the Leonard Library for after school programs, recreation and tutoring, Rush has appropriated nearly $50,000 for the library over the last two federal fiscal years. In fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009 the congressman secured an appropriation of $237,000 and $190,000, respectively, for programming at suburban libraries in the 1st congressional district.

Through of the Institute of Museum and Library Services of the federal government, Rush secured the earmark using the Metropolitan Library System (MLS) as the fiscal agent for the suburban library districts. In F’08 Robbins received $19,408 and this year it is set to receive $25,500.

“The citizens of Robbins deserve a quality public library and the outcry its potential closing has generated in the last few days underscores that it is a vital community resource for families and children,” Rush said. “The focus now is on trying to deal with getting Leonard Library ahead of the curve relative to when they get their property tax funds from the Cook County government.”

MLS Executive Director Alice Calabrese informed Rush’s office the agency will make a first payment of $10,000 to Leonard Library by the end of August, 2009. The second payment of $10,000 will be made in September. The balance of $5,500 will be paid in October – for a total of $25,500. Regulations forbid MLS from paying out more than $10,000 per month.

“The local library is the life blood of the community and it connects all generation,” Rush said. “I am working hard to ensure this vital life line is preserved.”

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