Library Finally Shows Up


DeKalb Public Library (DKPL) showed up for a dog-and-pony show at City Council last night, armed with packets of information that, once again, escaped being received and filed publicly by Council. The only conceivable reason for such a presentation is to rewrite the narrative of its dealings of the past three years into the meeting minutes, actively assisted by city staff and unchallenged by a negligent, collaborative legislature.

Still, there were educational moments. How else would we find out that an end-of-year fund balance of $1.2 million equals zero? That DKPL is actually quite poor in spite of its only recently abandoned plan to purchase $2 million in real estate?

At least Director Coover treated Council more like adults this time by including an actual Illinois Public Library Annual Report (IPLAR) in each packet. Perhaps someone will think to ask about the omissions in Section 26, which we will look at over the jump.

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Any question answered “yes” (or in this case, left unanswered) calls for a REQUIRED Supplemental Report to explain it. I have requested the supplementals — in fact, I thought I did a few weeks ago, but never mind: the formal request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gave me the opportunity to ask for the audits, too. I have never laid eyes on DKPL letterhead and am looking forward to it.

Speaking of FOIA, an attorney from the office of the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) phoned me last night. The gist of the conversation was that the PAC, which has been overwhelmed by Requests for Review since the new FOIA provisions went into effect, has added staff and is reviewing its own opinions made in the past year. I was given the opportunity to take another crack at my Open Meetings Act complaint, which I declined. However, I did express the hope that DeKalb Public Library would once more appear on the PAC’s radar.


DeKalb County Online: Close the book?