111622CM0420SPRINGFIELD – To address the ongoing stalemate at the Niles-Maine District Library, State Senator Laura Murphy is leading the charge to end the pandering that has left a trustee board seat vacant for over a year.

“The failure of the board to make an appointment, then the subsequent actions of some to challenge the State Librarian’s appointment, is putting the operations of the library at a standstill,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “It’s time for the board to put differences aside and prioritize the needs of the community.”

For the past 15 months the Niles-Maine District Library board has been at a stalemate in their efforts to fill a vacated seat. In August 2021, a former library board member resigned, the board was unable to agree on a replacement trustee, leaving the board in a perpetual 3-3 tie. Murphy led legislation in the spring to bring the stalemate to an end, and allow the Secretary of State—acting under the role of State Librarian—to appoint an individual to the vacancy.

However, the appointee was blocked from entering the position by a temporary restraining order, which was later made permanent, continuing the 3-3 tie.

House Bill 4073 – passed by Murphy Wednesday – clarifies the law she passed in the spring and requires the State Librarian to fill vacancies created prior to its enactment – which was May 27, 2022 – as well as vacancies created after. Under the measure, if a library trustee board fails to fill a vacancy within 90 days, the State Librarian is tasked to do so in the following 60 days.

“With this new clarification on legislative intent, it is my hope that there will be no future stalemates of this magnitude,” Murphy said. “Our libraries are one of our most precious resources, they make our communities stronger.”

HB 4073 passed the Senate on Wednesday. It now goes to the House for further consideration.