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posted: 4/4/2012 5:18 PM

Schaumburg Township library hopeful Elk Grove conflict is in the past

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Schaumburg Township District Library officials expressed cautious optimism Wednesday that months of controversy over some Elk Grove Village residents' membership privileges are in the past.

By a 5-1 vote Tuesday, the Elk Grove library board reinstated full privileges to village residents living west of Rohlwing Road, reversing a decision that required those cardholders go to the Schaumburg library for some services.

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Those residents live within the jurisdiction of the Schaumburg Township District Library, to which they pay taxes, but received privileges at the Elk Grove library under a tax-sharing agreement between the two bodies.

Schaumburg Township library officials ended that 28-year practice last summer due to what officials said were pressing financial concerns. The Elk Grove library responded by canceling the membership privileges of residents who live in the Schaumburg district.

That decision was unexpectedly reversed Tuesday.

"Obviously, the board of the Schaumburg Township District Library was pleased with the decision that was made," Schaumburg Township District Library President Robert Lyons said. "We learned from what had happened that there are a lot of people who love the Elk Grove Village Library."

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said Wednesday the village board had no input on the decision as the Elk Grove Village Library board is duly elected to run its own business.

Johnson's personal concern was that all Elk Grove Village residents retain membership privileges at the Elk Grove library. As long as the finances work out, he said Tuesday's decision satisfies that concern.

In the past few months, the Schaumburg Township library board has heard from many patrons who prefer using the Elk Grove Village library, not because its closer to home for those cardholders but specifically for its smaller size or the assistance of trusted staff members there, Lyons said.

"I think we need to make more of an attempt to let people in that area know that we're still their library and encourage them to come and see what we have to offer," he added.

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