Illinois Guv proposes book-a-month for kids


Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is proposing that the state provide each child with a book every month from birth to age five. The Governor is quoted as saying, "I’d much rather see us spend money on books for kids and encouraging parents to read to their kids than some of the things that we waste money on."

Story in the Chicago Sun-Times. The article in the registration-required-so-I-avoid-linking-to-it-when-I-can Chicago Tribune also mentions that the proposal targets families who tend not to use their public libraries.


I think this proposal would end up being a big waste of money. Just take the money you think you have for this project and fund the libraries. If they want to focus on children they can earmark that the money is to be spent on childrens collections. If the idea is to get books into the hands of kids they could also provide funds so that libraries could provide outreach programs to get the books to the kids.

Seems the powerful children's book publishers' lobbyists have been at work again...

The "Guv" recently paid our campus a visit for a policy speech. Some heard the Governor of Illinois speak, others witnessed a smartly coiffed Santa Claus in an Armani suit handing out goodies to the hoots and hollars of policy wonk elves. The only thing missing was snow.

Books for kids? Wonderful idea no question. In fact, our State Library got it right this year by just having a grant for books. No strings with technology, computers, programs, etc. Just books.
Of course, LSTA funds are basically federal dollars, not state.

Unfortunately Illinois is broke. Good intentions aside, the "Guv" should revisit the 4.5 billion dollar deficit Illinois is currently facing and revisit the books for children at a later date. Education dollars are too precious and I don't want to pay $175 dollars for my license renewal every year.

BTW, whatever happened to all of that tobacco money????


Here's a column from the Chicago Sun-Times that echoes your stance, Bibliofuture:

Libraries can enhance governor's reading plan

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