The Evanston Public Library received the Illinois Policy Institute’s Sunshine Award for governmental transparency during its board meeting Wednesday.

The institute has given the awards to 74 of the state’s roughly 7,000 local taxing bodies over the past several years to praise their efforts to provide citizens with online access to key governmental information.

The library received a 90.4 percent rating from the group, lower than the 100 percent rating received by the City of Evanston in 2013, but higher than the 87 percent rating received by Evanston/Skokie School District 65 in 2011.

The Institute, a non-profit research and educational group with a generally conservative, market-oriented perspective, has developed its 10-Point Transparency Checklist to provide a best practices framework to improve local government transparency.

The library received points for posting online workers’ compensation, contracts, meeting documents, board meeting packets, budgets, expenditures, taxes, contact information for key administrators and other data.

Diana Rickert, vice-president of communications for the institute, says the library fell short of a perfect score “because there was no Treasurers Report that we could find and they were missing employee salary figures in 2014.”

Library Board President Michael Tannen noted that Evanston is only the second of more than 300 public libraries in the state have received the award.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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